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Foreclosure is at heart of economic meltdown

Foreclosure counseling to the rescue | Oct. 12, story

Foreclosure an urgent problem

Thank you for the story telling people where they can get help to prevent the loss of their home. My first new business item, on the day I was sworn in as a City Council member, on May 1, was to request that we find funds to help provide foreclosure prevention. Happily, the City Council stepped up and found the money to provide this assistance.

We are organizing a second foreclosure prevention workshop, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. this Saturday at the Coliseum on Fifth Avenue N, in St. Petersburg. This event will allow people to meet with their bank, a counselor and/or several agencies that can help with financial issues.

Foreclosures are at the heart of the economic meltdown that America is now experiencing. If we can get people to request help, we can help many of the hundreds of homeowners who enter the foreclosure process every week in Pinellas County. We are often able to convert folks to 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages with some of the principal reduced to reflect current values.

Again, thank you for spreading the word.

Karl Nurse, City Council member, St. Petersburg

Solicitations in medians

Median dangers

I would like to commend the St. Petersburg City Council for banning begging and fundraising from our city's street medians. I only wish that it had included the sides of the intersections as well.

For those of you who state it is not a safety hazard: It is one of the biggest safety hazards there could be and a huge liability for the city, which the taxpayers would end up footing the bill for if a lawsuit came against the city.

There are many other ways of fundraising without standing in the middle of our busy, dangerous streets. Google it. I just did, and there are tons of ways to raise money without standing in traffic, which also distracts drivers.

As far as the bums go, it's a disgrace to see them standing at every major intersection while we are all driving to or from our jobs! Good job, City Council!

Kyle V. Calkins, St. Petersburg

City: Median is off-limits | Oct. 3, story

No close calls

Who is St. Petersburg trying to protect with this new law, drivers who run red lights or drive 50 miles an hour in town?

I've never seen any even close calls because of newspaper sellers or firefighters collecting money. I enjoy having the option of buying Sunday papers on the street. I signal, other drivers are courteous and no one is at risk.

Jobs are scarce, and this is a bad time for needless legislation. Or maybe you know something I don't.

Barbara Ely, St. Petersburg

Gulf Boulevard repaving

Eyesore and hazard

Can someone please tell me why it is taking so long to repave Gulf Boulevard in Indian Rocks Beach and Indian Shores? This project seems to have taken more than the usual and acceptable amount of time to complete. Is there a problem with completing this project?

I cannot believe that it has anything to do with city funding because the residents of these two cities clearly pay their share of taxes. So what seems to be the problem?

As a local bicyclist who regularly rides down Gulf Boulevard and passes through Indian Rocks Beach and Indian Shores, I find this stretch of Gulf Boulevard an eyesore for visitors, as well as a downright hazard for pedestrians and cyclists.

In some spots you will find large potholes left open, loose gravel lying around, barricades that zigzag from one side of the street to the other, and deep ruts in the road where one side has been paved and the other not.

M. Lucas, St. Petersburg

Bigger and better, market is back | Oct. 5, story

Market is lacking

It's bigger … but it certainly is not better!

Gone from the Saturday Morning Market is the small-town, folksy atmosphere with stall after stall of just-picked vegetables, flowers, fruit and the wonderful smell of meats roasting on big grills with lots of samples of interesting cheeses and bite-sized tastes of all kinds of new and different food products.

The new market that opened next to Al Lang Field is 90 percent arts and crafts, glass blowers, wind chimes, jewelry and a few samples from the few remaining food stalls.

The market needs better organization, with plants, flowers and foods grouped together — apart from the crafts — so you can find what you are looking for.

David Robinson, St. Petersburg

Cabbies grow fearful | Oct. 8, story

Protect cabdrivers

So far this year, there have been three unsolved murders of Pinellas County taxi drivers, plus 16 robberies in which one driver was also shot. And what has been done about it? Officials of local cab companies had a meeting with St. Petersburg police to discuss cabbie safety. How nice. I hope they had coffee together.

But I am outraged. This is murderous violence on a scale that cannot be tolerated. We cannot expect taxi drivers to rely solely on "instinct" for avoiding passengers who might rob or kill them for the few dollars in their possession. They must be protected.

The taxicab industry should bring to Tallahassee all the compelling evidence of violence on cabbies everywhere in Florida. There needs to be legislation guaranteed to help protect cabbies; at minimum, a tax credit for taxi owners to install mandatory shields; and stiffer prison penalties for robbery attempts on cabbies.

Joseph H. Francis, St. Petersburg

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Foreclosure is at heart of economic meltdown 10/14/08 [Last modified: Thursday, October 16, 2008 4:50pm]
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