Re: Tug-of-war over fake turf | story, June 23
Letter writers upset by city's turf war
It's just amazing how backward-thinking Clearwater government can be. Here we are facing one of our driest and hottest droughts on record, and our city leaders are forbidding property owners from installing artificial grass.
We have watering restrictions, fertilizer restrictions, runoff problems, algae blooms, mole crickets, chinch bugs and all kinds of other constraints preventing us from having nice yards, and the perfect solution to these problems, artificial grass, is outlawed?
The absolute nonsense of this code and policy is beyond comprehension. The city needs to immediately reverse this decision and actively support property owners in this effort to reduce water, fertilizer and pesticide use, not to mention the carbon footprint associated with lawn care equipment.
Our city should be promoting green solutions, not penalizing them. I've seen this artificial grass. It's really a great product, it looks good year-round, does not require any maintenance, and is a totally green solution. Why are our city leaders denying their constituents the opportunity to literally and ecologically have nice, green lawns?
Craig Williams, Clearwater
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As a longtime resident of Clearwater, I do not understand the city's harassment of Carol Korotkow over her attempt to have a nice, maintenance-free yard.
The entire area was citrus groves until the 1950s, and sand-based soil has never been a friend to lush green yards. Untold volumes of needed water is wasted for mediocre results in our now overpopulated area.
Maybe the city could learn from her, as it has totally destroyed the beautiful Morningside neighborhood and should be fined for the obstacle course it has created for residents and emergency responders.
I support Ms. Korotkow and also take issue with the snub you took at Donald McFarland. Mr. McFarland was my attorney for years and was partners with Lloyd Phillips, then one of the most influential law firms in the Tampa Bay area. Clearwater was then a beautiful area to live in, until Scientology and the present leadership ran amok with their roundabouts and beautiful downtown artwork.
William Dixon, Clearwater
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I am very disappointed in the way the city is handling the synthetic waterless grass issue. The lawn was made with recycled material and does not require water. Ms. Korotkow is conserving water and using recycled material. What more does the city want!
We purchased a new lawn a few years ago, at a hefty price, and we are trying to keep it alive without any luck because of the limited rain and watering restrictions.
The neighbor that made the complaint about the synthetic grass should be thrilled that Ms. Korotkow has taken these measures to keep her home looking nice, especially in these times when neighborhoods are losing their value due to the economy and foreclosures.
If Ms. Korotkow loses this battle, she should paint her house multicolored and let the weeds grow. Then maybe the meddlesome neighbor would have left well enough alone.
Patrice Swigart, Clearwater
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Florida is stupid with a capital "S." I just came back from out west in the desert states. The people don't have grass lawns that need to suck up water or be cut. They have decorative stone with drought-resistant plants. Their yards look great and the different colors are easy on the eye.
Code enforcement, get off your high horse and praise her for being socially conscious and saving water.
Robert Saltzman, Safety Harbor
Re: Belleview Biltmore hotel
Time is past for return to glory
I've lived here since 1989, so I am very familiar with the discussions and sales and the sadness of seeing that terrific old hotel falling into disrepair while stupid people continue the useless talks about what to do with it.
Well, just tear it down, build more new condos or a better golf course! Lord knows we really need another one.
The truth is that the integrity of this building is fading with each passing day and I believe we are past the halfway mark. Therefore, it will never be able to be restored to its former self or anything near.
I went to the last big sell-off of the contents of the hotel and stood in line for a few hours to get in. I'm so glad I did. I have a lovely set of old glasses, some plush white towels, and a set of four bread and butter dishes — things I will hold onto and remember fall luncheons out on the porch with friends and family before the end.
Phyllis I. Heinly, Tarpon Springs
St. Petersburg chases off visitors
A friend and I recently went to a Rays game (vs. the Red Sox and yes, we're Rays fans) and were disgusted to find a parking ticket on my car when we returned. We both looked prior to parking for a no parking or restricted parking sign and did not see any near my car.
After spending more than $100 on overpriced food and beverages at the Trop, to have to pay another $25 left a bitter taste in my mouth.
Thanks to St. Pete's parking police and the city's hospitality to its visitors, I don't think I'll ever attend another Rays game or St. Pete event.
I've been to numerous events at Vinoy Park and Rays games, and have received tickets at least half the time, even though there were no signs near my car each time. You would think during big events, the gestapo-like parking police would cut their visitors a little slack, especially when parking is difficult to find without paying $20.
Thanks for discouraging visitors, St. Pete, and ruining their nights after spending money in your city. I just wonder how many other visitors the parking police have chased away forever. No wonder the Trop is barely full most of the time.
Donald S. Joseph, Clearwater