God bless our right to freely choose
Over the past few weeks I've enjoyed seeing myriad political signs planted in the front yards of homes across the city. They exhibited American democracy at work and the enthusiasm of the electorate.
A couple of weeks ago, the vista began to change.
Campaign signs disappeared. Rather than the blanket of voter support for multiple parties and candidates that had been on display, just a few signs remained. They were McCain/Palin signs. Unfortunately for that campaign, they were few and far between, broadcasting how far apart and limited their exposure is.
Yes, I support the Obama/Biden ticket, but most important of all, I support our democratic republic and the freedom of all people to have an opinion about what is best for our country. I must conclude that those who removed all of the other signs are fearful of letting people decide the best course for America for themselves, in case those people decide the "wrong way."
May God bless freedom of choice in America and marginalize small-mindedness.
Virginia Lazar, St. Petersburg
Plucked in the night
My husband and I received our McCain/Palin yard sign the other day, and my husband put it in our yard after he got home from work around 6 p.m. I looked out our living room window around 10 p.m. and the sign was gone.
It wasn't even in the yard for four hours, and some neighborhood Obamabot had to remove it.
What are you people so afraid of?
Celeste H. Miller, St. Petersburg
It's a crime
After many years of putting campaign signs in my front yard and having them undisturbed, it finally happened recently between sundown and 8 p.m.
It's unknown who they were, but I have a good idea.
They tore down our McCain/Palin yard sign. Those who did it should be aware that there are laws against trespassing and vandalism.
The police should be notified to keep an eye out for this type of vandalism between now and Nov. 4.
Ron Bowman, Dunedin
Cabbies grow fearful | Oct. 8, story
Driving a taxi nowadays can be downright dangerous. This fact cannot be sanitized and given a happy face. Cabbies are pounced upon by creeps, criminals and shiftless types. They work for minuscule wages and depend on tips. Cabbies are often beaten, robbed and murdered.
The criminals who do it are getting away with it with near impunity. The three murders of taxi drivers in Pinellas County this year remain unsolved. The crackdown on such crimes is crucial. Remember, unchecked criminal aggression always invites further aggression.
All cabdrivers should be able to carry a firearm so they can defend themselves. Pizza delivery people should also be afforded this right.
Robert B. Fleming, St. Petersburg
Like a flea market
Although I know that the market had outgrown its location on Central Avenue in St. Petersburg, it is a shame that it had to lose its "downtown charm."
We went on the first day at the Al Lang parking lot and were rather disappointed. It just seemed like a big flea market. Some of the familiar vendors from the old market were missing, and there just seemed to be a lot of arts and crafts, T-shirts, jewelry, etc. The feel of the old market was just that — a "market."
I know that more local farmers are going to be there in the future. At the very least, maybe it could be set up so all the vegetable and food vendors are together in one area and the other stuff in another. If you just want to go buy fruit and vegetables or plants, then you can just go directly to that area.
I think it is a wonderful thing for St. Petersburg, and once something gets big like that it has to change. But maybe we can try and get the "market" feel back!
Mary Wolfe, St. Petersburg
Downtown's growing pains Oct. 5, story
Kids gone wild
In days past, my family greatly enjoyed visiting BayWalk, both for dining and to take in a movie at Muvico. However, the last two or three times we were there (several years ago, now) we felt very unsafe as we were walking back to our car. We were almost "run over" by groups of out-of-control, loud and obnoxious teens and children as we exited the movies. At 10 at night, where were the parents, and why were these young people unsupervised?
The son of a friend of ours was accosted, knocked to the ground, kicked and robbed of his money on Christmas night last year, just a few feet outside Muvico.
BayWalk was a wonderful addition to our downtown, and it is a shame that a small minority of the downtown population has made it impossible for the citizens of Pinellas County to feel safe enough to enjoy all the offerings that used to be there.
Joy Lancaster, St. Petersburg
Ban on solicitation in public medians
The real problem
The St. Petersburg City Council really missed the mark with the ban of solicitations in the public medians.
The obvious target of this ordinance is the panhandlers who have inundated our streets since the city banned panhandling in the waterfront areas of downtown.
Why not just extend this ban to the suburbs? Instead, the council chose a broad action that will hinder many legitimate fundraising organizations. They have truly thrown out the baby with the proverbial bathwater.
Sam Jordan, St. Petersburg