Friday, June 22, 2018
Letters To The Editor

North Pinellas letters for Nov. 6

Scientology bullies Clearwater

The city of Clearwater and its planning department are a joke!

The "church" cut down two oak trees. Oak trees grow very slowly and were each probably 50 years old. And the church was fined only $2,000.

And if the obnoxious sign (on Scientology's tent) is not removed, they'll be fined $250 a day. What a joke! Why take it down when it's easier to pay fines and have things the way the "church" wants them?

For removing the trees, perhaps a fine and community service for "church" leaders!

I have a question. What other organizations have defied the city's ordinances?

The "church" thinks it owns Clearwater and can do anything it wants to. In life we call this "bullying." So Clearwater citizens, what do you think?

Sue Brewster, Clearwater

Parishioners on hook for 'Vatican'

If you build it they will come. That worked for Kevin Costner in Field of Dreams. However, it doesn't seem to work for Scientology.

They built this multimillion dollar monstrosity, then ordered 10,000 victims to come and celebrate its opening. Apparently the "parishioners" have had their pockets fleeced enough and are not in a celebratory mood.

Perhaps "asking" 10,000 victims is a bit of a reach since there are only 50,000 or so worldwide. Well, I hope the cult can sell enough auditing time and books to pay for the upkeep on their "Vatican."

David Rodman, Dunedin

Repaved Pinellas Trail a delight

As an avid bicyclist, I would like to compliment Pinellas County regarding maintenance and capital improvements to the Pinellas Trail. In particular, the recent repaving of the trail from Palm Harbor into Dunedin was done very well.

The county and its paving contractor deserve kudos for the quality of the work. The seamless and smooth transitions between the trail and road intersections are excellent.

It is a delight to ride on this section of the trail. On older sections of the trail, it feels like my tooth fillings are being shaken loose.

Emergency markers along the trail are a thoughtful addition and will help injured trail participants receive timely medical attention.

Thanks to (former county administrator) Fred Marquis' vision, we have a wonderful asset in our county, and I look forward to the completion of the eastern loop of the trail.

Tom Yacko, Palm Harbor

Halloween a joy to celebrate

Halloween night was once again a resounding success in the Northwood Estates neighborhood of Countryside, where many homes were colorfully lit up with orange lights.

Celebrants ranged in age from a 2-year-old baby in his mom's arms to me at 86-plus years sitting in my driveway distributing candy. I was costumed as an aged Indiana Jones complete with brown fedora, brown leather jacket and boots, whip, etc. The younger people didn't know who I was supposed to be, but the subteens and older all recognized Indiana Jones.

Weather was perfect and enthusiasm ran high. From 6 to 9 p.m., I passed out over 300 small candy bars and 100 Tootsie Roll pops to a wide variety of trick-or-treaters in attractive and original attires. Among others, there were tiny princesses, small ninjas, young monsters and beautiful teenage girls in eye-catching outfits.

The politeness of the young people was impressive. All remembered to say "thank you," and some even did so a second time! My visitors included several dogs in costume, and since I had dog biscuits for them, I received some appreciative doggie kisses.

Overall, the best of Halloween spirit prevailed, and I was once again very pleased that we Americans know how to enjoy life.

Bill Schwob, Clearwater


Friday’s letters: What a new Rays ballpark would mean

Rays exec hints at stadium timeline | June 15What a new ballpark would doThe Tampa Bay Rays 2020 organization is working diligently with local business leaders and civic organizations to rally support for the Rays’ new ballpark in Ybor City. The ...
Updated: 7 hours ago

Thursday’s letters: On immigration there has to be a better way

‘Zero tolerance’ ignites outrage | June 20Find better way on immigrationOver the years I’ve voted for candidates from both parties. My observation of the Trump administration’s policy on immigration is not about politics. It has to do with having...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/21/18

Wednesday’s letters: Charters and traditional public schools each have their place

Public school as public good | Letter, June 17Both kinds of schools can workAs a mother and grandmother of children raised in both traditional public and charter schools in Pinellas County (and a 25-year supporting-services employee for public sc...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/20/18

Tuesday’s letters: Keep programs that fight AIDS

For author Biden, it’s a father’s gift | June 6Keep programs that fight AIDSAfter former Vice President Joe Biden’s recent visit to St. Petersburg, I noticed an article that he co-wrote with former Sen. Bill Frist. It reminded everyone about the ...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/19/18

Is anyone watching the money?Hernando County’s budget shortfall is ever changing going from $6 million to $11.5 million to $14 million to what is assumed a final number of $12.6 million. Who knows the budget shortfall could change again.Who’s watchi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Re: County OKs solar zones | June 8Plea ignored at solar plant hearingThe Pasco County Commission on June 5 voted to identify a utility-sized solar electric plant as a "special exception" use on agricultural-zoned land in Pasco County. What thi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Monday’s letters: Skip those plastic bags and save the environment

To save our seas, overcome congressional apathy | Column, June 16Do your part and skip plastic bagsEvery day we read about the shame of our landfills and oceans filling up with plastic bags, yet most people don’t care. My wife and I always carry ...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

White House defends splitting up families as ‘biblical’ | June 15The suffering of the childrenI am a mother and attorney with more than 20 years of practice living in Tampa. For the past three years, I worked as a magistrate in a Unified Family C...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Saturday’s letters: Community-based care requires community involvement

Fix foster care, and do it quickly | Editorial, June 15Involve the community itselfWhile the detailed article about the scathing state review of Hillsborough County’s foster care problems touched on leadership, a critical point was not addressed....
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Friday’s letters: Freight trains are infrastructure that works in Tampa Bay

Railroads are infrastructure that worksFreight trains carry the loadCentral Florida is our state’s fastest-growing region. We’re on track to outpace South Florida’s growth 2-to-1 over the next several years. Great news for our local economy, but it n...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/15/18