Residents break out green thumb | Oct. 13, story
Neighbor helping neighbor There is an African proverb made famous by a New York senator and former first lady that says, "It takes a whole village to raise a child." In this day and age and in these challenging economic times maybe it's not time for the village to invest in the future of our children but for neighbors to get to know neighbors and for the villagers to become their "brother's keeper" whether they be a child or a senior citizen or someone in between!
There is no finer example of this commonality of purpose of neighbors helping neighbors than what took place this past weekend in Bayonet Point. I think that if I were looking to employ a handyman the first phone call I would make is to Andy Law who, when he read the story of 66-year-old Joseph Prudente being jailed because he couldn't fix his brown lawn in Beacon Woods, did something.
What he did was translate his outrage into action by making a few phone calls and by showing up at Joseph's home ready to prove that actions do speak much louder than words. He did this in conjunction with his girlfriend despite the fact that his own handyman business had "slowed to nothing" and they face the real prospect of bankruptcy.
James J. Simms, Tampa
Serving the community
Andy Law and Eric Wills are names to remember. They represent the best in true community spirit that we are going to need in waves in the face of a difficult future.
Eric, the lawn-mowing mailman, and Andy, the nearly bankrupt handyman, saw a human need and took action without regard for their own personal benefit. Mowing lawns at no cost to people without the means to do so and spearheading the full replacement of a dead lawn that put a homeowner in jail are emblematic of what needs to become a standard of community behavior in our town. Now, not tomorrow.
If a financially struggling handyman can galvanize a neighborhood to fix a lawn, what can people of regular means do to better their community? More government money will not substitute for the willful determination of our citizenry to help each other.
Examples of grass-roots service include a community garden in Bartlett Park, Friends of Williams Park working to fix it up, or people just pulling weeds from a housebound neighbor's yard. The opportunities to contribute are endless. Just look outside and go do it. Today.
Scott K. Wagman, St. Petersburg
More land saved from developers | Oct. 11, editorial
Preserve the property rather than build on it
As a taxpayer and someone concerned about the environment, I am angry that Pinellas County wants to create a recreation complex on 100 acres of the 871-acre Eldridge-Wilde well field. Since the surrounding area is Brooker Creek Preserve, and the county already plans to add 771 acres to that preserve, shouldn't the remaining 100 acres also be included with the preserve? How are we preserving the environment and wildlife by creating a man-made complex there? Isn't that contrary to the goal of protecting our greatest natural resources? The increase in traffic, the added noise, nighttime lights, air horns, etc., are all not part of a natural environment.
What many taxpayers are not aware of is that ELYSA (East Lake Youth Sports Association) is the organization that will ultimately benefit from this expansion, and the expansion will be paid for through our Pennies for Pinellas taxes. These taxes will buy the land, prepare it, build the development and then lease it to ELYSA for the grand total of $1 a year for 30 years. What a deal.
Because this complex is in the northern part of Pinellas County, it is virtually inaccessible to most residents in the county. I certainly don't want to see my tax dollars wasted on this when the monies could be better spent on improving our vital services. Pinellas County commissioners, do the right thing and include the 100 acres in question with the Brooker Creek Preserve where it can be enjoyed by all, including future generations.
B. Lawson, St. Petersburg
Only a start
This proposed amendment to the state Constitution restricts property appraisers from raising taxes on marinas. Too many other small businesses have been taxed out of business by ridiculous increases. This amendment should include all businesses that represent the prime income for the families that own and run it.
Any business that is 30 or 40 years old could be replaced with something newer or better, but that doesn't mean the owners should be penalized by higher taxes just because the appraiser thinks it should bring in more tax money.
The "highest and best use" rule is reprehensible. It allows the appraiser to go to any business and tell them their property is now worth more to someone else, and raise their taxes accordingly.
I will vote yes on this amendment, but this should be only a start to reclaiming our property.
Gloria R. Julius, St. Petersburg
Loan to Rouson seen as unusual | Oct. 13, story
I remember back in the '70s being amazed that a former partner of mine showed up with a new car after just filing for bankruptcy. There are certain parts of the American financial system that some segments of the population have used to their advantage forever, and it was "business as usual." Now that others are learning to "play the game," it becomes a big front-page deal.
A $263,000 loan? Give it a break! Write more about all those golden parachutes and the billions that some of these CEOs have pocketed and cost us and the situation that they have put this entire country in. Or is that "business as usual"?
Darryl Rouson's loan during bankruptcy hardly warrants front-page attention, if any at all!
Dr. Leroy McCloud, St. Petersburg
Red Sox. Enough Said. | Oct. 13, story
Keep spotlight on Rays
The last thing I expected to see on the front page of Monday's Times was an article about Red Sox fans. Monday was the third playoff game for our amazing Rays, yet the Times picks that day to write an article (along with a full-color picture) about Sox fans.
Why would you not showcase the Rays fans? There certainly are thousands to choose from. Our young team is playing their hearts out against a team that is no stranger to the World Series. I'm sure the amazing Rays (and all of their fans) would have appreciated a front page that showed Rays fans enthusiastically awaiting the game!
Carol Ruhl, South Pasadena
Red Sox. Enough Said. | Oct. 13, story
I find it hard to believe a newspaper would stoop to writing such an article! Your readers expect more from your paper. This article is not even worthy of being printed in a middle school paper. Shame on you for pointing out the adolescent behavior of a sports fan.
Was this newsworthy? It was not worthy of the front page or any other page in the St. Petersburg Times.
Barbara Mason, St. Pete Beach
Rowdy Trop fans pile up | Oct. 12, story
I had to chuckle when I read the articles about the people who were either arrested or ejected from the Rays/Red Sox games at Tropicana Field for their obnoxious/criminal behavior. Those who made comments, to a man, said they did nothing wrong. It was the other person who created the problem.
Of course. Isn't it always?
Gee, who do these yahoos sound like? That's right, our presidential candidates. Sure makes me feel better about this year's election.
MaryJane Schmidt, St. Petersburg
President's Oct. 10 speech
Skilled hands needed
President Bush says don't worry, we have the tools to fix the economic crisis.
Actually, we also had the tools for routine maintenance, but those of us who saw the problem coming couldn't even persuade Congress to hammer a nail into a board to prevent the collapse.
Having tools might not be the answer if you don't know which ones to use when and the right way to use them.
Maybe we need a new foreman on the job.
Beverley J. Combs, St. Petersburg