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