Local chambers not part of political attacks
There have been many casualties in this especially unpleasant election campaign season. These include the hundreds of chambers of commerce across the country working tirelessly in support of their communities. National and state media coverage of "chamber of commerce" candidate endorsements and backdoor campaign funding has tainted the image of our associations.
Most of the attention has centered on questions about campaign/candidate funding provided by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which the media consistently refers to as "the chamber of commerce," unknowingly (or knowingly) putting us all in the same pot. Adding to the antichamber rhetoric have been the candidate endorsements and attack ads produced by the Florida Chamber of Commerce.
It's important to understand that these organizations are, for the most part, political action committees and business lobbyists. They hold little resemblance to the local chambers of commerce that have been the cornerstone of their communities for generations.
Rest assured, the Largo/Mid-Pinellas Chamber is not a political action committee and does not endorse candidates financially or otherwise. Through its 58-year history, the organization's board of directors has been consistent in limiting the chamber's political voice to issues that face our community, region and state, not specific political parties or individuals. It's a process that has worked for nearly six decades, and one to which we will continue to adhere.
I hope this helps set the record straight.
Tom Morrissette, president, Largo/Mid-Pinellas Chamber of Commerce
Unseen cones in zones
My issue is driving in a school zone with a reduced speed of 15 mph. Last week I was on 16th Street N crossing 62nd Avenue N going south. I don't mind slowing down; it's where the cones are placed that is the problem. At times vehicles block them so you cannot see them.
By the time I crossed 62nd Avenue, I realized that a truck in the left-hand turn lane from 16th Street onto to 62nd Avenue was blocking the cone. We really need to place flashing lights or something other than orange cones that are 18 inches from the ground.
Surely you can't give a person a ticket if she is unable to see the cones. I didn't receive one, but I find it disturbing where they are placed.
Barbara Turchiarelli, St. Petersburg
Play ball; guard market
International baseball at Al Lang Field is a great idea, with this caveat: Don't mess up the Saturday Morning Market.
The market is the main livelihood for 120 to 200 vendors and is attended by 5,000 to 10,000 people every week, many from out of town.
The market brings in an average of $100,000 a week, or $3 million during its 30-week run. Almost all of this money stays in the local economy.
There are two ways to resolve the potential conflict of baseball and the market sharing space:
1) Have Saturday games start at 4 p.m. or later. The Al Lang parking lot is so clean by 4 p.m. that you would never know the market was there.
2) Give the market its old Central Avenue space for free on the Saturdays when there are games that conflict with their use of the Al Lang parking lot. Possibly charge them for sanitation if they do not clean up the area themselves.
Hal Freedman, St. Petersburg