Meltdown hits the fortunate
Somehow the familiar, irritating "beep beep beep" of the yellow-box moving van reverse-twisting around the mature ficus tree seemed like a fitting soundtrack.
Ours is a neighborhood of the fortunate. The histories are familiar. We are envied and admired. Study hard, get trained at a university, become a professional, work 25 or 30 years, live below our means, invest our savings. Retire, live on the water, buy a boat, travel the world. Along the way educate our children, practice our religion, give to charity. Less symbolic than the Statue of Liberty, we embody the promise of the American Dream.
Most of us had some specialized knowledge: veterinary medicine, dentistry, running a dry cleaning business. We didn't pyramid one condo on top of another with "sub-prime" mortgages. We are the folks that pay off our mortgages.
We never heard of "credit default swaps." We thought Lehman Brothers had gone the way of E. F. Hutton. Our money was invested at Fidelity, the bank or Merrill Lynch. If we were sick, we worried about health. On June 1, we worried about hurricanes.
But we believed in cause and effect. If we are honest, if we save, if we invest, if we pay our bills and don't buy stuff we can't afford then we'll be secure. Our bankers and brokers told us to keep it in there, it'll come back. Soon it was too late to sell anyway.
Now we worry and hope, convincing ourselves that we'll be okay as we watch the yellow-box moving truck beep-beeping its way into another neighbor's driveway.
Lou Gerber, Belleair Beach
Re: Brooker plans 'inconsistent' | story, Oct. 19
Commissioners, it's a 'preserve'
You may recall the movie where a television anchorperson asks people to walk over to their window, stick their heads out and shout, "I am mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!"
Well, that is how I feel about how the Pinellas County commissioners arrogantly disregard the will of the people, amply demonstrated at numerous County Commission meetings on the topic of preserving the Brooker Creek Preserve.
To the commissioners I say, "Why can't you follow the law, and the will of the people who elected you?"
Perhaps you should change the name of Brooker Creek Preserve to "Brooker Creek We Can Do With As We Please Wildlife Area" and then you can do as you please and not have to deal with the legalities you are ignoring and the people's will.
As you can surmise, I am mad as hell!
Marilyn Weaver, Tarpon Springs
Re: Bayside housing plan overcomes opposition story, Oct. 23
County officials in 'develop' mode
It is frighteningly clear to me that the county commissioners are in the developing mode. We have overbuilt in this county. No surprise there.
In this awful economy, there are probably more reasonably priced homes than the need exists for them. Do we have clear penalties when the project, if approved, fails, as it surely will, and builders file Chapter 11 and the developers feign surprise at cost overruns? Can we incarcerate the whole lot of them?
What about those who move into Bayside Reserves and can't afford it, tear them to shreds and move drug traffic into that area? What are the neighborhoods to do? Who would buy a home where there are set asides for "affordable housing"? No one I know. And the existing neighborhoods suffer. Why?
On the Booker Creek Preserve, I thought it had been decided there would be no additional ballfields there. Please. We do not need to develop any more preserves.
Mrs. Harriet P. Sherwood, Clearwater