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Good deeds deserve to be noticed

From hospital to hospitality | Oct. 6, story

Good deeds deserve notice

Thank you, St. Petersburg Times, for not only printing this story but printing it on the front page of the Tampa Bay section. It is high time that people and companies who do wonderful things for their fellow citizens get the coverage they deserve.

Special thanks to the Hampton Inn for helping Bryan Post and his family in their hour of tragic need. But the greatest thanks of all goes to Hampton employee Laura Miner, who put the wheels in motion to help Bryan and his little daughter in a very personal way.

Please know that I will patronize Hampton Inns when possible and will recommend them to as many people as I can.

Together with Laura, they have helped to restore my faith in humanity. God bless them!

Jeannie Newman, Holiday

Generation Why-Me? | Oct. 4, BayLink story

Future looks dim for the coming generation

Keith Chrostowski writes an interesting article about comparing the generation of today with the baby boomer generation which currently is in control of this country. Just what does this upcoming generation have to look forward to? At this time, I see absolutely nothing. Greed, political ambition, profit hunger, price gouging, outsourcing American jobs for cheaper labor whether domestic or abroad and very inept government representation are the order of business today in this country.

Our government tells us that people live longer, healthier lives yet cannot adequately financially aid those who are on Social Security or Medicare. Our government imposes taxes on the average- and low-income people for smoking, crying that the cost for treating smoking-related illnesses is a major cause of the astronomical health care costs, yet it allows corporate America to charge whatever it feels like in providing medical insurance and medical care.

Our government allows corporations to pay little or even no tax at all as they set up shop in other countries making products and selling them back to the Americans at top dollar. How often have we read about corporate executives defrauding the American public? How may politicians themselves have been caught in unethical practices?

I feel sorry for this upcoming generation as my generation (baby boomer) is struggling enough and there is absolutely no one to blame but the inept leadership of the people we entrusted over the years to keep America strong and independent and to allow all Americans to achieve their ambitions.

Jack Burlakos, Kenneth City

It's a familiar tune

I may have lived just long enough. I'm seeing the phenomenon of history repeating itself. Almost every day, someone can be heard proposing a program that will place a great burden on our children and grandchildren.

I first heard this in the 1930s, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt proposed the public works programs — most notably, the Works Progress Administration, which generated a rich source of jokes, such as one about four men assigned to do one man's job. It also put money in a man's pocket that wasn't there before.

My father took a job with the WPA, and I still remember when he came home with his first month's paycheck — $75. He said it was the most money he'd seen in a long time. I think we had pork chops that night instead of fried mush, like many others in the same boat.

I don't remember how much money FDR wanted, but it was nothing like the 700-something-billion-dollar stimulus plan that George W. Bush proposed and that Barack Obama had to deal with. He's done a pretty good job too — so far.

Gene Taylor, Pinellas Park

He aims for bull's-eye, and wears one Oct. 4, story

A voice for voters

Rep. Alan Grayson seems to be a voice for voters instead of the big corporations that take their money. A public option in health care reform is the best way to go for the good of the nation.

Maybe if we had more of his type of person in the stodgy Senate something positive could be accomplished in this country.

Michael Dallmann, Clearwater

Examples of hypocrisy

On one hand, Democratic Rep. Alan Grayson demonizes the Republicans' health care plan as a plan to let sick Americans die.

On the other hand, Grayson supports the Democrats' health care plan as a plan to abort baby Americans before they are born.

I think Rep. Grayson and his congressional Democrat supporters (including the speaker of the House) have become examples of hypocrisy and have undermined Congress' ability to pass a health care bill. They should apologize to Americans in general and Republicans in particular — to the point of making Rep. Joe Wilson look like a saint.

Ray J. Bath, Clearwater

Powerful hosts | Oct. 8, letter

It's not necessarily quality

Books on the New York Times bestseller list are just that, bestsellers, not the best. McDonald's is the bestselling hamburger, but it certainly is not the best. I don't see Herta Mueller, winner of the Nobel Prize in literature, on any list. Let's not compare quantity with quality.

Ed Keen, Lithia

Jeter's home field | Oct. 5

Give him privacy

Why doesn't the press let New York Yankee Derek Jeter have the privacy he deserves? He chose Davis Islands for the privacy and security and paid a hefty price for them. The whole islands community will suffer loss of privacy. I have seen this already, with people driving all over the islands looking for the house.

I have been asked frequently by strangers where the house is when I was walking with my granddaughter. Now the family's safety and privacy are jeopardized also. Would you like your address on the front page of the newspaper? He works hard for his money. Leave him alone, please.

Maureen Dever, Largo

They put dagger into BayWalk | Oct. 4, Tim Nickens column

A decline unabated

Thank you, Tim Nickens, for the candid column on the BayWalk sidewalk controversy.

My wife and I used to visit downtown St. Petersburg two to three times a week for theater, symphony, dinner and overall shopping. We have watched with dismay store after store leaving the now nearly deserted BayWalk area. Unfortunately, the plague of BayWalk is spreading through the whole downtown area and our weekly visits to downtown have been reduced to only special occasions.

The suggested closing of the sidewalk appeared to be a strong beginning for the BayWalk restoration and we were appalled to see the action of four members of the City Council who voted against the proposition.

Again we want to thank Tim Nickens for his article and especially for identifying the individuals who voted against the proposition. You have made our voting selections on the Nov. 3 ballot much easier.

Bob Frye, St. Petersburg

They put dagger into BayWalk | Oct. 4, Tim Nickens column

Easier to stay home

Tim Nickens is totally wrong about BayWalk. Ever heard of Netflix? We used to go to the movies several times a year, but with the convenience of four movies a month mailed to you for less than the cost of one person going to the movies, we haven't been for a long time. With all the convenience of downloading movies plus new big screens, plus the economic downturn and probably fewer teenagers around, I don't understand how he can blame this on the sidewalk issue.

Nancy Ogden, St. Petersburg

They put dagger into BayWalk | Oct. 4, Tim Nickens column

A vote against jobs

We at the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce share Tim Nickens' disappointment with the four City Council members who voted against vacating the BayWalk sidewalk. He rightly pointed out that this vote will hurt the future prospects of BayWalk as a viable entertainment and shopping destination, and thereby damage economic growth and job creation in St. Petersburg.

I was particularly disappointed in council member Jeff Danner's opposition, given his passionate advocacy for mass transit alternatives, which he knows can only succeed by concentrating shopping and employment in regional hubs, especially in a strong downtown. How can mass transit succeed in Tampa Bay if our political leaders sabotage it with ill-advised votes like this?

In a time of unprecedented economic distress, the council's vote against jobs and quality of life in our city is a real setback.

Steve Raymund, chairman, the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce, St. Petersburg

They put dagger into BayWalk | Oct. 4, Tim Nickens column

Safety was a concern

Blaming four St. Petersburg City Council members for putting the "dagger into BayWalk" is like blaming the teacher when your child fails a test.

BayWalk's management had the responsibility to provide proper security at the facility, and it failed miserably. Protesters weren't robbing visitors in the parking garage. They weren't running rampant in hordes throughout the complex. They didn't cause gang fights that were a regular Saturday night event. Protesters didn't drop a speaker on a young child during a concert.

Management did too little to control the crowds inside the complex, to give patrons a sense of security that they weren't going to be run over or cursed at by unruly teenagers, or be drawn into a fight. That's when Baywalk's problems started, and then the recession sealed the deal. People won't go to a place where they don't feel safe. The protesters were annoying but not threatening.

Calling out council members for making the right choice on the sidewalk issue is deflecting attention from what really caused BayWalk's decline. First, beef up security inside the complex and especially inside the parking garage, then cut deals with vendors to refill the storefronts and promote the changes. Then people will come back as the economy improves.

Larry Halstead, St. Petersburg

Oh, yes you do! | Oct. 4

Beware of easy judgments

Recently, I read the letter from a high school junior that was submitted to tbt*, and, judging from the response letters printed with it in the St. Petersburg Times, I seem to be one of the few people who can understand it, perhaps because I am a junior in high school myself.

The letter has convinced many readers that President Barack Obama's idea to increase the number of days students are in school is a good one, and even more readers that our educational system needs some serious help.

There's just one problem with this: insufficient evidence. It frustrates me that people have formed their own conclusions from reading just one letter from one high school student. This letter does not represent all high school students. Many of us can write perfectly well and form coherent arguments when the need arises.

I fear the letter that was published will make people even more condescending toward young adults than they already are, and that's something we can definitely do without. All I'm saying is, we're people, too, and we're not all that stupid.

Morgaine Scott, Seffner

Roman Polanski

Let him face justice

Conservative stalwarts often lambaste the culture of Hollywood for its so-called lack of moral values. Most of the time Hollywood, like the "mainstream media," serve as convenient whipping posts for conservative political agendas.

However, in the case of Roman Polanski, his Hollywood and celebrity supporters and their "demand" that he be released from incarceration in Switzerland have gone way over the line. Their actions clearly show that these individuals lack moral values and basic human decency.

In the case of Woody Allen, and his relationship with his former stepdaughter, what more needs to be said? I wonder what Polanski's supporters would say if their 13-year-old daughter was drugged and raped by a middle-aged man?

Roman Polanski is a criminal and should be extradited to the United States to face the justice that he has cowardly fled from. He should not be treated any differently than the typical sex offender that we see locally. It is a sad indictment of portions of society who believe that individuals should be excused from a dastardly crime simply because they have some type of special talent.

Michael S. Greenberg, Ph.D., licensed psychologist, Clearwater

British TV is better

As an adult I am appalled by what we see on major networks' prime time TV. Reality shows are everywhere in one form or another. They are obviously the darlings of the networks because the are cheap to produce, and the majority of us do not want to be challenged mentally.

I have found a huge difference in British television shows, whether they are comedies or dramas. In my opinion MI-5 is the best show on television. I watch it on WUSF-TV. No one does spy thrillers like the British do.

If we cannot get those quality shows from our networks, I vote for more British TV shows to be available to us on our educational stations. I wonder how many other Americans long for quality instead of quantity.

Ann McEwan, Clearwater

Good deeds deserve to be noticed 10/09/09 [Last modified: Monday, October 12, 2009 3:00pm]
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