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Criminals seem to own this town

Criminals seem to own this town

I manage a 46-unit apartment complex in Clearwater. I came here from a small town in New York — a place where you don't have to lock your doors at night or take the keys out of your car.

My first day here I stopped at a store near where I now live to buy a cold drink. There was a police car parked about 40 feet from the door. As I got out of my car I was approached by a man asking if I wanted to buy some crack cocaine. I was approached three more times before I entered the store and I only had to walk 20 feet. When I came out of the store, I watched 10 drug deals go down. At that time the police were gone, but I called and reported it.

My fourth day here, my car was stolen. Two hours later the police responded and took a report.

In the building where I work and live, there were drug dealers and prostitutes working the building. Although I witnessed the crimes, I was told nothing could be done unless the police see it.

One night I decided to go for a walk. I walked down S Betty Lane to Cleveland Street to Martin Luther King Avenue to Marshall Street. As I walked past a bar called the Blue Chip across the street from a police substation, I was approached several times and asked if I wanted to purchase crack cocaine.

Are the police afraid or do they just not want to be bothered? Why can't these people be taken off the streets? I've been here a year now. The dopemen are still working the store and the bar. I've reported addresses where drug dealers do business. I found out you don't have to have the title to sell a car — any junk yard will buy it.

When does the law stop protecting the criminals? I know the police are outnumbered, but why can't police arrest criminals when a citizen witnesses a crime? I've seen teenagers buy alcohol. I've watched junkies sell food stamps to a store for cash. I've seen a 12-year-old buy cigarettes. When asked by the cashier how old he was, he said 12 and was still sold the cigarettes.

Lewis Wolcott, Clearwater

Re: Keep hotel out of south Sand Key | letter, May 16

'Progress' started long ago, folks

Letter writer Bernie Browne writes that he doesn't want a new hotel in his nice little Sand Key bedroom community to spoil his ambiance (my word).

Gotta tell all you folks on Sand Key who want tourists to stay in Clearwater Beach a little fact as a fifth generation Floridian born and raised here. Your little bedroom community wasn't there 30 years back, folks. What was there, from Sand Key to Pasadena, was open beach, mom and pop motels, and a food joint or six. Then the fools decided that Sand Key and the beach area should be built up for "progress." We true Florida folks lost our open beaches to what you refer to as your "tidy little community."

Seriously now, Mr. Browne, is one more motel/hotel really going to ruin it for y'all? Let progress roll, and build that sucker!

And to the folks at Legg Mason, do you need help pushing the idea? I have time to help.

Doug Holmes, Clearwater

Re: Merchants say protestors driving away business | story, May 14

Protestors are hypocrites

Let's see now ...

People in comical masks who wish to remain anonymous are protesting Scientologists' beliefs because they find the Scientologists too secretive. Did I get that right?

Well, at least members of Anonymous don't look like Middle Eastern terrorists anymore. Let's give these sincere souls a hand-clap for that.

I wonder what Anonymous' God beliefs are? Seems to be a secret. Bless their hearts. Amen.

Nadine Duke, Oldsmar

Why chase away a good business?

I have lived in Clearwater for many years and my husband and I also own a law office in the downtown area. We were very pleased when the floral business set up on the corner of Court Street and Myrtle Avenue and visited it frequently.

I was very dismayed on my last visit to discover that the owners had to move because of an ordinance prohibiting this type of business from setting up permanently in the "downtown core." Previously, this corner had been vacant, not maintained, and quite frankly, an eyesore to the downtown district. Please reconsider this ordinance, as this business is the kind of attractor that downtown needs to draw visitors and residents alike .

Susan Haggitt, Clearwater

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Criminals seem to own this town 05/17/08 [Last modified: Thursday, May 22, 2008 8:33am]
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