Re: Earlier bell for middle school | story, June 9
School Board's priorities skewed
With utter dismay I read in the St. Petersburg Times that among the cuts that now appear likely is eliminating the school district's Literacy Success Program.
I find it very irresponsible that Pinellas County School Board members would even consider cutting programs that directly impact the academic education of the lowest performing students.
Schools that do not qualify for Title I money still have lots and lots of struggling students. Eliminating the Literacy Success Program is an equity issue: The schools with Title I get help, the rest do not.
If reducing transportation costs to middle and high school athletic events would raise equity issues, imagine what eliminating LSP says to your voters: that you, as School Board members, regard getting to an athletic event to be more important than helping students learn to read!
Pat Dalton, Clearwater
Re: Gator no match for deputy | story, June 2
Alligator was not a threat to anyone
It's very sad that this particular alligator was wrangled and more than likely carted off to be slaughtered.
What was he doing wrong? All he was doing was walking down the sidewalk. He was probably living in the area before the sidewalk was built. Humans put the sidewalk there. It's not the gator's fault he needed to walk on it. I think all he/she was doing was trying to get from point A to point B.
The deputy should have left the gator to do his/her thing. There are signs all over the place in East Lake telling motorists to watch for deer. Why not a sign or two telling motorists to watch out for alligators too?
We humans need to learn how to get along with the wildlife we have encroached on. Killing them is not the answer.
Marcie Musgrave, Tarpon Springs
Crazy traffic? Try Pachyderm Plan
I live in Morningside Estates in Clearwater. Our neighborhood is currently undergoing a fourth traffic calming project. We have stop signs, lane striping, speed humps, bump-outs, and eventually will have roundabouts, all of them constructed for the specific purpose of slowing vehicles down.
I respectfully submit that these measures just don't do enough. Drivers could realistically get through these devices at a high rate of speed.
They could cross the lane striping, barrel through the stop sign, roll inverted after hitting the bump-out, and be launched airborne by the speed hump. What, may I ask, will prevent this law-breaking citizen from flying through the air at speeds well in excess of the posted 25 mph speed limit?
Elephants, that's what. I am confident that a taxpayer-funded study will prove that a new traffic calming strategy — strategically placing elephants in the lanes of traffic (hereby labeled the Pachyderm Plan) — will ensure that airborne speeders meet leathery hide before recklessly endangering the public. And all of this while allowing law-abiding citizens maintaining an appropriate rate of speed to pass harmlessly between the elephants' legs … after making it through the signs, striping, humps, bumps and roundabouts.
I propose that the city of Clearwater prudently ponder the Pachyderm Plan. The safety of our community demands it.
Adam Sechrest, Clearwater
Re: Dunedin Causeway improvements
Fix the gridlocks and bottlenecks
Come on, guys, how can you improve the causeway with gateway signs and not solve the problems of gridlock caused by the bottleneck at the entrance to Honeymoon Island State Park?
Repaint the crosswalks at the Royal Stewart Arms complex. Collect tolls upon exiting park, like at Tampa International Airport. Supervise weekend action on the causeway. Then average people will still come and come back. Let's get to work!
William Hill, Dunedin