Let's make bowl fans feel welcome
This year Tampa Bay celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Outback Bowl on Jan. 1. For more than 20 years, Clearwater has hosted one of the most successful events, Clearwater Beach Day, associated with this top bowl game experience.
Looking beyond the football game at the economic impact this event creates for the region and specifically for Clearwater, corporate and community support is imperative. As we continue to struggle with difficult economic times, it is important to focus on those activities that support our No. 1 industry: tourism.
The return on the investment that is made by our hotels, restaurants, attractions and the city of Clearwater is significant at a time of year when hotel occupancy on Clearwater Beach is traditionally low. This year, the University of Florida will be playing Penn State. The Penn State football team spent the week before Christmas on Clearwater Beach while practicing at the Bright House Networks Field complex, spring training home of the Philadelphia Phillies.
The Penn State band also will be staying on Clearwater Beach for four days. There are 315 members of the band plus support staff. The University of Florida band will be staying three nights on Sand Key, traveling with about 300 people. That results in a significant number of room nights and bed tax dollars.
We would like to thank our community partners that have invested in providing a great experience for the football teams, marching bands, alumni and fans of the universities participating in this year's Outback Bowl: the Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce, city of Clearwater, Visit St. Pete/Clearwater, Sheraton Sand Key, Hilton Clearwater Beach, Control Copy Management, Suncoast Hospice Foundation, Pier 60 Concessions, St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport, Allegiant Airlines, Whirlwind Events and the St. Petersburg Times.
Experience the excitement of Outback Bowl Clearwater Beach Day on Thursday. Help us welcome our visitors and invite them to return again soon.
Bob Clifford, president/CEO, Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce
Re: Red-light cameras
Let timers count down to red lights
Much is being discussed about whether red-light cameras are being put in place to generate money or prevent accidents.
I propose that when a red-light camera is installed at a traffic light, a countdown timer, like the pedestrian countdown timers, be installed next to the traffic light. This timer would give approaching motorists adequate time to prepare to stop for the yellow and red light while also allowing for trailing motorists to slow down to prevent rear-end collisions.
This would put an end to the debate over accident prevention vs. money generation.
Daniel Spencer, Clearwater
Re: Opponents of red-light cameras
Quit complaining about the money
Personally, I am sick of reading about these crybabies and how it's all about the money. I guess if a police officer stops you for running a light or speeding, it's all about the money. So let's just do away with the lights and the cops on the street and make it a free-for-all. Look at the money we could save then.
I really don't care if these idiots kill themselves, but they shouldn't put others at risk. And, by the way, have they ever heard about not following too close?
Robert Correll, Palm Harbor
It's not that hard to stop at lights
How many drivers out there run red lights as a common practice? I have seen far too many lately blatantly run red lights, while I stop without any problem. I fully support red-light cameras to stop these practices. Even at stop signs, people do not stop.
These are just a few of the reasons for so many accidents in this area. Driving under the influence, driving with suspended licenses and cell phones are other major issues.
Llewellyn Denny, Safety Harbor
Re: Water main break
Appreciating workers' efforts
A sincere thank-you to all the workers who probably did not have a great Christmas weekend with family. Your efforts on our behalf are greatly appreciated. I know you are still working as I write this, but great job.
John Kavanaugh, Largo
Re: Disquieting time, story, Dec. 19
Graphic writing was distasteful
I feel for the mother and son in the story. However, your graphic descriptions of life in the group home are beyond distasteful. This follows your descriptive item about the Clearwater fire chief in the previous Saturday's paper.
May I ask what the point is? Meanwhile, you bury the story of toxic waste in Stevenson Creek that should have been front-page news. Or maybe the war or the recent voting in Congress. If your staff feels that the way to the hearts of their readers is through such descriptive trash, I might as well subscribe to the National Enquirer.
The group home in that story as well as the ex-fire chief have problems for sure, but let the poor jury that sits on any case that comes out of it have to listen to such unsettling information. I used to encourage my children to read the paper. I have changed my thinking.
Diane Pearson, Dunedin