Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Doggy dining: Change restaurant signs to 'No Dogs'

Having two trained English springers as wonderful and loving members of our family, I believe the city ordinances allowing dogs to share our dining space have gone too far.

The operative word here being "trained." Unfortunately, there are too many dog owners who won't follow the guidelines set by the shared dining ordinances, leaving the restaurant servers as subjective enforcers. These "dine-in" dog owners are the same people who don't pick up their "used dog food" when they walk through our neighborhoods, in our parks and on our beaches.

The dining ordinances are backed by a very vocal minority who can't seem to eat a meal without their precious pups sitting at the table, often in chairs or on their laps.

My dogs don't like me sharing their meals and consequently, I prefer not to have them hovering around me waiting for a dropped tidbit. Worse, I don't want to deal with someone else's pampered pooch while I'm trying to enjoy my meal.

Harvey A. Smith, Palm Harbor

Pier 60 play area: $440K story, April 17

Clearwater needs revised priorities

One has to wonder how the city of Clearwater can find $440,000 for a playground and another $100,000 for flags honoring our military organizations, while dismantling neighborhood playgrounds due to lack of funds to maintain these parks.

Joelle Castelli, representing the city, stated that a park playground can be dismantled when another is "nearby." So, if I have this figured out correctly, a child shows up at his or her neighborhood park this summer, paid for by his or her parents' taxes, only to find out that this playground is too old and our leaders have determined that this child should trek to another park "nearby." How far is "nearby"?

But Clearwater found enough money to spend on traffic calming all over Clearwater while our major park area, Crest Lake Park, stands in pitiful condition due to lack of money and concern. Seems to me to be a question of priorities.

R. Padgett, Clearwater

Remember whom you represent

So let me see if I have this straight. We have demolished 26 percent of our neighborhood playgrounds in the last six years because we can't afford to maintain/replace them. These are the playgrounds that are used by residents and paid for with property taxes paid by residents.

These are decisions being made by the same city that was going to spend a half-million dollars to build a playground to attract tourists to our beaches.

I wonder who our City Council members think they are representing?

Teddy Buell, Clearwater

Bring quiet back to Belleair nights

Belleair is no longer quaint and quiet. Mayor Gary Katica and the town commissioners have approved lighting the rec field until 11 p.m. (for years it was 9:30) so that this nightmare of noise and crowds and traffic with concerts on the Sabbath in our strictly residential community can occur. They have brought the masses to our quiet town.

I have lived here for almost 25 years and am truly bewildered at what they have made us, the residents who live close by, deal with several times a year.

Belleair is not Coachman Park. The masses are not residents. The noise levels and volume are extreme.

Turn the lights off and go back to no lighting and no sound on the field after 9:30 p.m. as it has been and should be for our town residents.

I realize some residents might enjoy a small musical event, but these "rock concerts" have been allowed to become a colossal nightmare for some of us, lasting not only hours but days! Move it to down by the water with stadium seating if you want these masses. Stay away from residents' homes and lives.

Belleair readers, even if these happenings have not yet affected you, please realize that this is commercialism and big business now occurring in our once quiet, residential town.

Please, take back your quaint and quiet town and support your neighbors. Voice to the mayor and commissioners your thoughts. Remember, they are supposed to work for us, the residents of the town of Belleair.

Pamela Hendrick, Belleair


Wednesday’s letters: Charters and traditional public schools each have their place

Public school as public good | Letter, June 17Both kinds of schools can workAs a mother and grandmother of children raised in both traditional public and charter schools in Pinellas County (and a 25-year supporting-services employee for public sc...
Updated: 11 hours ago

Tuesday’s letters: Keep programs that fight AIDS

For author Biden, it’s a father’s gift | June 6Keep programs that fight AIDSAfter former Vice President Joe Biden’s recent visit to St. Petersburg, I noticed an article that he co-wrote with former Sen. Bill Frist. It reminded everyone about the ...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/19/18

Is anyone watching the money?Hernando County’s budget shortfall is ever changing going from $6 million to $11.5 million to $14 million to what is assumed a final number of $12.6 million. Who knows the budget shortfall could change again.Who’s watchi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Re: County OKs solar zones | June 8Plea ignored at solar plant hearingThe Pasco County Commission on June 5 voted to identify a utility-sized solar electric plant as a "special exception" use on agricultural-zoned land in Pasco County. What thi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Monday’s letters: Skip those plastic bags and save the environment

To save our seas, overcome congressional apathy | Column, June 16Do your part and skip plastic bagsEvery day we read about the shame of our landfills and oceans filling up with plastic bags, yet most people don’t care. My wife and I always carry ...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

White House defends splitting up families as ‘biblical’ | June 15The suffering of the childrenI am a mother and attorney with more than 20 years of practice living in Tampa. For the past three years, I worked as a magistrate in a Unified Family C...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Saturday’s letters: Community-based care requires community involvement

Fix foster care, and do it quickly | Editorial, June 15Involve the community itselfWhile the detailed article about the scathing state review of Hillsborough County’s foster care problems touched on leadership, a critical point was not addressed....
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Friday’s letters: Freight trains are infrastructure that works in Tampa Bay

Railroads are infrastructure that worksFreight trains carry the loadCentral Florida is our state’s fastest-growing region. We’re on track to outpace South Florida’s growth 2-to-1 over the next several years. Great news for our local economy, but it n...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Thursday’s letters: Charter schools aren’t the enemy

Don’t plug your ears when schools ask for tax | May 20, columnCharter schools aren’t the enemyAs an educator, I am astounded when I hear claims from school board members that charter schools take away funding from the local public school system. ...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/14/18

Wednesday’s letters: Trump’s words insult our Canadian visitors

Trade disputes torpedo G-7 summit | June 10Canadian visitors are owed apologyLike many Pinellas County residents, I’m pleased that we receive thousands of Canadian "snow birds" as part-year residents. Not only do they enhance our economy, but by ...
Published: 06/11/18
Updated: 06/13/18