Juvenile Welfare Board millage increase
Increase required bravery, strength
I applaud the bravery and strength of the Juvenile Welfare Board's decision to increase the millage rate. I think they were trapped between a rock and a hard place. If they didn't vote to do this, then many necessary programs for children would either have been radically cut back or disappeared entirely.
The Juvenile Welfare Board would have heard lots of howling from us citizens for it. So, either way, they were going to get flak from the community. I believe they made the right choice. The children of our community need these programs. These children are the future, and we need to invest in that future.
Victoria Weaver, Gulfport
Lessons from Takamatsu, Japan | July 20, guest column
Recycling can work
The guest column by St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker regarding his trip to Japan was fresh on my mind as I took the unrecyclables to the alley trash bin. There was no room in the bin closest to us, a whole day before pickup. The adjacent bin was filled with yard debris, so it couldn't accommodate my one trash bag from one day of collection in our house.
This made me realize that St. Petersburg is in a great position to innovate a recycling system with its awesome, large and convenient bins in the alleys.
Mayor Baker is right, to a point: Curbside recycling is not cost effective. The jobs it creates are grueling, and the trucks contribute to carbon buildup in the environment.
Yet, why couldn't we designate different bins in the alleys for different types of refuse? One bin could be for yard waste — a year-round cash crop in topsoil-challenged Florida (compost works!). Another bin could hold newspaper and paper products. Yet another could contain cardboard, which fetches a really good price these days. Glass and metal could be put in one bin as magnets separate these "raw" materials during processing.
The major challenge of separation of our discards could be solved, if we really put our minds to it.
"Traditional" trash collection could be reduced to once weekly, thus offsetting the capital costs of implementing an alleywide recycling system.
Don't let the lack of curbside recycling in Takamatsu, Japan, fool you, Mayor Baker. The Japanese produce far less waste than the Americans. In my adopted hometown of Inage, Japan, outside of Tokyo, we were treated with free household paper products delivered to the various town squares if we contributed some recyclable household waste.
It's time to move on, St. Pete. Each week, our alley's trash bins are overflowing with trash that could easily be separated and recycled. The present system is old school and expensive.
Rand Moorhead, St. Petersburg
Edmunds manages to charm them again | July 16
No time for a raise
Hooray for Seminole City Manager Frank Edmunds. He is to be congratulated for making the sacrifice of forgoing a pay raise during these austere times. He should be a stellar example for leaders in the county and other municipalities to follow.
John Dufek, Seminole
City cites its own landmark July 22, story
Preserve it with use
The article gives the impression that there is limited use of the Mirror Lake Recreational Complex. The St. Petersburg Shuffleboard, Lawn Bowling and Chess Clubs, the Mirror Lake Ballet Academy, and SPIFFs all use the facility on a daily basis.
The condition of the complex hasn't stopped an increasing number of people from enjoying it. The article briefly mentioned St. Pete Shuffle; approximately 100 people come out to play shuffleboard every Friday night. Some 800 people attended "I Love St. Pete," an art show celebrating St. Petersburg artists. At India Night, 700 people came out to dance, eat and shop for locally made crafts. The city's Therapeutic Recreation department, the Boley Center and several adult group homes play nearly every week. Neighborhood associations and church youth groups have organized shuffleboard nights. Several companies host their holiday parties at the club. Children have birthday parties at the club. These are just a few examples of how the facility is used by the public.
As a city-owned property, the Mirror Lake Complex belongs to all St. Petersburg residents. We are responsible for what condition it is in when we will pass it on to future residents. I feel it should be restored and continue to be used as a public recreational facility. The best way to ensure the facility is preserved is to use it. I invite you to bring your family out to St. Pete Shuffle on a Friday night (it's free). Let us teach you to play shuffleboard. Consider becoming a member of one of the clubs. Ask us about other ways you can use the facilities. These small steps help show city officials that preserving a little bit of "old" St. Petersburg is important to you.
Christine Page, St. Petersburg
Thanks to donors
We want to thank all of the Sunrise Sale Pajama Party shoppers who donated new pajamas and made cash donations to Pajama Program.
The St. Petersburg chapter of Pajama Program was started within the year, and this was our first year as part of this early morning shopping event, thanks to the Downtown Business Association's invitation to participate.
The donations were taken to the Children's Home Society of Florida's Family Visitation House here in St. Petersburg, where they will be given to children entering foster care.
For more information about Pajama Program and how you can help, visit our Web site at www.pajamaprogram.org.
Clarissa Hughes and Pam Raml, co-presidents, Pajama Program St. Petersburg, Osprey