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Mango Circle playground fiasco shows Tarpon Housing Authority exec needs attitude check

Re: Exposing kids to lead tops play area outrages | editorial, April 30

Give housing exec an attitude check

The real tragedy of Mango Circle is the attitude of Tarpon Springs Housing Authority Executive Director Pat Weber, who said the playground was inspected just a week before the nationally certified playground safety inspector checked it, and the playground was fine. However, the playground specialist saw a different picture when he inspected Mango Circle: "a perfect example of a playground that has had no maintenance program or retrofitting, badly rusted and corroded."

Pat Weber's attitude has been, "Well, we are going to have to tear it down in a couple of years when we tear the apartments down." After the report from the playground specialist, Weber solved the problem: The entire playground was torn down completely! Out of sight, out of mind. Does this mean the children who play on the Mango Circle playground will have to do without a playground for the next two to three years?

The second tragedy of Mango Circle is the community itself. As a mother, would you allow your child to play on a playground full of broken glass without going out and picking up the glass and cleaning up the playground first? We are all responsible for our behavior. I can understand how the community feels when they state that if they fix it up, the older kids will just come and vandalize it. Does that mean that we just give up on what could be a wonderful, positive experience for the young children?

Maybe it will take the whole community of Tarpon Springs to help out with the playground on Mango Circle. Maybe the Tarpon Springs Housing Authority executive director needs to be properly evaluated to see if she has the right attitude about working for the community's best interests.

This is really too big of a problem to just sweep under the rug. This problem provides the community with a wonderful opportunity to do something great for the kids. Let's keep our eyes on it to see if this problem is solved in the best interest of the children.

Margaret Hyde, Clearwater

Re: Turtle Grill remains in limbo | story, April 29

Grill must live within the limits

Don Alvino, owner of the Tarpon Turtle Grill, certainly appears to present an arrogant defense of his actions regarding violations of his seating limits and his site plan.

As a public official involved for many years with code enforcement, the strategies are familiar to me. Defense option No. 1 is, "It is better to ask for forgiveness than permission." Then, defense option No. 2 is to bluster and gain whatever popular support is available in the hope that the elected officials will cave in to vocal supporters.

I must admit that when I was a young man looking for hot spots to cruise and enjoy, I paid little attention to the families and property owners adjacent to the hot spots of the day.

However, in all fairness, it is not possible as a mature adult to disregard adjacent families and property owners for my own entertainment. Mr. Alvino should live within his original application and, presumably, his original business plan.

William Campbell, Dunedin

Re: Debate over EMS response heats up after crash | story, April 29

Consider impact on loved ones

I was very appalled at the lack of consideration for the feelings of the families and friends of the boys involved in this accident. This article was untimely and showed a complete lack of consideration but is quite typical of the style of the St. Petersburg Times!

Mrs. D. Nichols, Largo

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Mango Circle playground fiasco shows Tarpon Housing Authority exec needs attitude check 05/05/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 5, 2009 4:39pm]
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