Re: Scientology's grip hurts downtown | letter, May 27
Everyone's aim is better downtown
Like letter writer Ric Ortega, I have been active in the Clearwater Main Street program. He must have forgotten the many meetings and planning sessions regarding downtown and working at events side by side with our neighbors practicing Scientology as a religion.
We all work together to make downtown Clearwater more vibrant.
Regarding the Cleveland Street corridor, surely Mr. Ortega doesn't think that the well-kept and improved buildings are the problem of our good downtown. Surely he has seen the buildings and landlords who refuse to improve their properties despite the facade grant programs and such available to them. There currently are buildings that would be great retail or restaurant space but need to be marketed and promoted.
Let us take a more proactive approach in working with the many diverse groups that make up our community. Laying blame on anyone's doorstep does not get us anywhere.
Those active with the many downtown initiatives continually keep looking at ways to improve the quality of events and happenings in bringing people to visit our downtown, such as the Clearwater Jazz Holiday, Seafood & Blues Festival, Main Street Art Stroll and Spring Pet Fair.
It has been my experience in volunteering in the Main Street program for more than three years alongside of many, including Scientologists, that our Main Street program benefited from the long hours of labor, sweat and smiles of these and other hard working, community oriented folks.
Also, I believe our downtown is fortunate to have a couple of events from the parishioners of the Church of Scientology worth mentioning in a big way, like Winter Wonderland and the Easter Egg Hunt.
I appreciate your efforts to find a rationalization for the intricate issues of our downtown, but I feel you may be missing some facts.
Hoping for friendlier and happier times for a vibrant downtown corridor.
Lulu Carren, Palm Harbor
Re: For kids, spring cleaning time comes in summer | guest column, June 13
Son's desk yields hidden treasures
As a former teacher, I found Shelley Kappeler's column regarding her son's excess "junk" from his school desk interesting. Firstly, I found the idea that he had never used his crayons or colored pencils amusing, as he seemed to rely on mom's ability to replace his favorite "smelly" markers. As an educator, I shopped back-to-school sales for notebooks, crayons, pencils and markers for each of my students as I knew most of them would not have them. How wonderful to find a parent who will replace on demand.
Amazing, also, were his unused folders "which were oh so important on that supply list." I wondered if he was ever given the chance to clean out his desk and practice organizational skills throughout the year. These skills are so important for children to learn.
Finally, I was beyond amazed to see he had three rulers and at 10 years old knew how to cross out the Republican presidents (Did he include Lincoln?) on one of them. My goodness, a third-grade liberal! No wonder your mom gets her column in the St. Petersburg Times.
Cindy D. Schartner, St. Petersburg