Fireworks laws must be tougher
As I write this letter on the evening of July 4th, a neighbor behind our subdivision has ignited hundreds of rockets over the roofs of his neighbors. The show was bigger than you would expect to see at our local public displays.
At those displays, the persons in charge are licensed and the launch site would not be in their neighbor's back yard. This display has gone on for well over an hour. I cannot understand how any private person can purchase this volume of fireworks without a state permit.
I just called the police and was informed that it is not against the law to fire off fireworks of this magnitude in a back yard in a subdivision. I was told that anybody can purchase and set off the materials.
I understand that in the last session of the Legislature, there was a bill proposed to control fireworks. This action was headed off by representatives of the fireworks industry. How can such a small industry have such a large influence on the Legislature? Every year a lot of discussions are held and a lot of posturing takes place and once again nothing happens.
The authorities in Pinellas County made a big issue of taking care of the problem by requiring a permit to purchase, but as anybody can see, the law is avoiding any enforcement. The officer tonight told me that this is the way we celebrate July Fourth in this country and it won't change.
Celebrating in this manner in subdivisions must stop.
Paul C. Blatt, Dunedin
Grow up, show respect on Fourth
Fireworks should be displayed only by licensed professionals. I have found fireworks remains in my yard and blown through the screen window at my home. This could have been a fire hazard if it didn't burn out.
Those who set off fireworks have no regard for their neighbors or fellow Americans at all.
Don't get me wrong, I love a professional fireworks display. But with homes within 2 feet of each other, trees and grass dry, most animals fearful of the sound and, unfortunately, the popping sound possibly mistaken for gunfire, it is time we the people grow up and be more thoughtful of others.
A. Raulerson, Clearwater
Land destroyed; taxpayers buy it
So, we should all get down on our knees and thank Big Sugar for allowing us to buy back 187,000 acres of land — land the sugar companies and the South Florida Water Management District have destroyed?
Now the taxpayers are to bear the burden of restoration.
My husband and I cruised for 12 years. During that time, we crossed Lake Okeechobee and its wetlands many times. We saw firsthand the terrible destruction caused by runoff from cane fields and burning of the cane, with ash falling into the area.
By our last trip in 1989, Lake Okeechobee was like a thick sea of melted chocolate, with very little wildlife. It must be much worse now in 2008.
No amount of time or money will restore 187,000 acres to the glory it once was.
Phyllis I. Heinly, Tarpon Springs
911 dispatchers rude to nurses
I am a medical professional who works the night shift and sometimes has to rely on the benefits of the 911 system in Pinellas County for the sake of those that I care for. I am writing this letter to make everyone aware of changes to the system that need to be made for the sake of the patients.
When I call 911, I am asked for my location, phone number and nature of my emergency. Then I am asked about a dozen times if my patient is conscious and breathing. I am also told not to hang up.
I explain every time that I am a nurse and that I need to be with my patient and I am hanging up now and someone will meet you at the door. The dispatchers and/or paramedics are rude, nasty and condescending. This is not what I need to deal with at this time. The patient needs me, not you. I have given you the pertinent information and I am now trying to perform interventions to help my patient, which is only right.
Stop beating up on the nurses of Pinellas County. When we tell you who we are, let us go! It could mean a life. We need to work together.
Stephanie Ann Abramo, Palm Harbor