Enforcement is key for new DUI policies | editorial, May 9
Who got breaks in DUI stops?
Are you kidding me? The Clearwater Police Department originally had recommended one-day (big deal) suspensions for the officers that decided to sweep under the rug the DUI incident involving one of their own and give the drunk a ride home.
Several calls were made to the Clearwater PD that night alerting them that this guy was stumbling out of a bar toward his car. Then when he was rolling, he was reported to be swerving and nearly hit another vehicle.
Now they've decided the one-day suspension is apparently too harsh and are going to give these guys written reprimands instead. What really bothers me is that apparently this has happened before (to civilians and surely other officers). Until now the officers were able to use their discretion and would sometimes skip the field sobriety test and just call the driver a cab.
Really? So how was it determined if the driver would be subjected to the tests and be arrested if found to be driving under the influence? What type of drivers did you decide to help out with a cab ride? What was the criteria for the officers to decide a driver deserves a break and a cab should be called?
Chris Burgess, Dunedin
Where's the party? Not here, Dan Ruth column, May 9
Real Democrats do the hard work
Clearly, the chair of the local Democratic Party erred in his handling of the candidacy of the Rev. Manuel Sykes for congressional District 13, something he will readily admit. However, I remind the Times which, in spite of its moral indignation about how Sykes was treated by the Democratic Party, was quick to publish very old negative information on him as soon as his name surfaced as a viable candidate.
In his recent column dealing with this subject, Dan Ruth brings up a very important question. Where (or who) is the Democratic Party? Is it the county chair who left the now well known message for Sykes? Is it the state chair and the state executive director who chose Ed Jany, an independent with no experience, to run against David Jolly in the House race for District 13? Or is it the rank and file members of the party who do the day-to-day work?
These rank and file Democrats support local Democratic candidates with money, support and hard work. They give up their free time to make the phone calls, knock on doors, wave signs, write checks and generally do their best to get the people in whom they believe elected in spite of Republican-designed gerrymandered districts and a huge monitory advantage in favor of Republicans.
These are the people who believe in the core principles of the Democratic Party and who will work hard to elect a Democrat as governor because they believe that Rick Scott is too busy taking care of special interests to represent the interests of the people or of the state.
These are the people who favored accepting the federal money to build the Tampa-to-Orlando rail line in spite of the governor's irrational hate for the president of the United States, which caused him to reject the money and all the jobs which would have resulted from building the rail line.
These are the people who resent the Republican Legislature's callous indifference to the needs of the uninsured, the unemployed, union members, state employees, the very old, the very young, the disabled and the poor. These people cut taxes on businesses that fight the expansion of the minimum wage. These legislators make a big deal of returning $25 in fees to Floridians for registering their cars but hide the fact that companies like Hertz and Avis, which register thousands of cars a year, are the prime recipients of the decrease in fees.
Yes, our Pinellas County chair made a bad decision in leaving a phone message, and our state chair made a poor decision in putting the weight of the state party behind an inexperienced candidate. However, they are not the Florida Democratic Party. The real party is the Democrats who keep on working for the candidates they believe in, in spite of the obstacles in their way.
Mary Louise Ambrose, Belleair Bluffs
Where's the party? Not here, Dan Ruth column, May 9
Democrats need new leadership
As a registered Democrat, I found it disturbing to read about the rude behavior of Pinellas County Democratic Chairman Mark Hanisee.
If the Democratic Party didn't want the Rev. Manuel Sykes to run against David Jolly for the House seat in Pinellas County's 13th congressional district on Nov. 4, party members should have used more tact. Hanisee could have taken the high road and had a telephone conversation with Sykes or he could have met with him to discuss the upcoming election.
Instead, Hanisee took the low road and left Sykes a belligerent voice mail, verbally slapping Sykes in the face. Not only does Hanisee owe Sykes an apology for the cockiness he displayed, but Pinellas County needs a new Democratic chairman. Hanisee has sunk in moral turpitude.
JoAnn Lee Frank, Clearwater
Pay attention to signal's timer, and Light sensors can help traffic flow letters, May 9.
Filling the gaps helps traffic flow
In reference to Steve Rock's and Jim Green's letters of May 9, I would like to add something that would get more people through each phase of a signal and make for smoother traffic flow.
If everyone would fill the gap when they stop at a signal — pull up close to the car in front of you — more cars could get in the through lanes and the turn lanes. Don't stop a car's length or more behind the car in front of you and sometimes slowly creep up, as the car behind you may not creep up. That leaves large gaps that take away from the number of vehicles that could get into a turn lane and it will also take a couple of seconds more for you to fill that gap when the signal turns green. Filling the gaps would help many more people get through each signal phase.
Yes, timing does seem to be off at some signals and some seem to be on a fixed time instead of sensor-controlled. A change in that could also help traffic flow and we need all the help we can get.
Stewart Ayers, Clearwater