Re: County considers land purchase from Wal-Mart story, Dec. 24
County stay out of Wal-Mart dust-up
Viewing the situation between Tarpon Springs and Wal-Mart with a business approach, it appears that the activists who are the ardent opponents of Wal-Mart occupying this piece of property within their city are completely out of touch with the economic situation of our world today.
I see no reason why the county would be involved, as it is the residents and the city government of Tarpon Springs that have spoken along with their activists, not the residents of the county.
If Tarpon Springs has selected not to have the opportunity to receive property taxes and other income along with the opportunity to have many jobs readily available for their residents, that is their problem, not the county's.
A county commissioner has stated that this parcel of land has a property value, for tax purposes, of $6.6-million and that the county has no money for that purchase; however, funds could be obtained from the next round of Penny for Pinellas. You and I know that the sale value of this property is much higher than the taxable value.
Let Tarpon Springs take the responsibility for its actions and decisions, not the county residents.
Paul E. Lurz, Palm Harbor
Best to keep retail property on tax roll
It is almost unbelievable how the politicians of Pinellas County and the city of Tarpon Springs think.
All levels of government in Florida are running record deficits with no end in sight. The state is planning on closing 19 parks for lack of funds. Class A neighborhood schools are being closed. Libraries are limiting their hours.
The idea of taking a multimillion-dollar commercial property off the tax rolls is ridiculous.
Less than a mile south of the Tarpon Springs Wal-Mart property is the beautiful Anderson Park on U.S. 19. It is never crowded.
If County Commissioner Susan Latvala feels there are millions of dollars lying around that she can "cobble" up, then something is wrong.
If the city of Tarpon Springs doesn't need the taxes from this property, then lower the taxes that the working poor and retired Tarpon Springs residents are paying now.
Alan Shafran, Tarpon Springs
Don't close, merge Coachman Middle
I have been a teacher at Coachman Fundamental Middle School in Clearwater for 13 years of its 14-year history. I am livid about the School Board's proposal to close Coachman and "merge" it with Kennedy Middle School.
Kennedy's practices reflect those of a traditional middle school, not a fundamental middle school. Trying to merge or blend the two schools will result in disassembling one of the most successful middle school programs in the Pinellas school district, the Coachman Fundamental program.
Originally, it was thought that the Pinellas County School Board would close Kennedy Middle and move Coachman Fundamental to the Kennedy facility to expand the fundamental program in northern Pinellas.
However, the School Board's most recent proposal is to close Coachman as well as Kennedy and create a "new fundamental middle school," a hybrid school, born out of a merger between our highly successful fundamental school and a mediocre traditional school.
This proposal will bring the demise of our highly successful fundamental program. Compare the schools' ratings.
The continued success of the fundamental middle school program in northern Pinellas is dependent upon the preservation of the Coachman fundamental program that we have worked so hard to build. This can only be accomplished by officially closing Kennedy and relocating Coachman's current administration, faculty and staff to the Kennedy site to preserve the stability of the program while implementing the changes caused by the expansion.
Patricia D'Andrea, Spanish/multicultural liaison, Coachman Fundamental Middle School, Clearwater
Progress Energy needs new policy
The utility company called, misleadingly, Progress Energy, needs a new name. My suggestion absolutely fits their policies: Snidely Whiplash Inc.
Snidely Whiplash Inc. couldn't care less when you open your refrigerator and your food you could hardly afford to spoil has spoiled, to say nothing about the horrible mold that grows inside without power.
Snidely Whiplash Inc. loves to curl their mustaches by wide smiles as they add a $50 reconnection fee, because they really couldn't care about your problems as long as the CEO's bonus money comes in. Can you imagine all the extra money they can tack on a bill through reconnection fees? No wonder they try not to accommodate a consumer who needs an extra week or two.
This contrasts sharply with their own needs regarding their plan to build a billion-dollar nuclear power plant with our advance money. A true Snidely Whiplash move.
If there is a start-up offering alternative energy sources, communities should hire their own lobbyists to enact laws in favor of these alternative sources.
By the way, something should also be done about Snidely Whiplash Inc.'s shill, the Public Service Commission. They, too, need a new name.
Dee Nicholas, Tarpon Springs