Sunday, May 20, 2018
Letters To The Editor

North Pinellas letters: North Greenwood residents have reason to be proud

Tug-of-war ensues over King's name | story, Aug. 4

Don't lose heart, North Greenwood

As the days and years have gone by, North Greenwood residents, you have a lot to be proud of. So keep your chins up and a positive outlook!

Through a very broad partnership approach and collective efforts, the North Greenwood community has come a long way. Thanks to the city of Clearwater, Pinellas County, and the lending and business community for all of their partnership support.

Readers, just take a look inside the community and see the impact of all of the efforts made by the community working along with the outside supporters for internal change. You will see a lot of beautiful homes built, many houses rehabilitated, apartments renovated, state-of-the art library, the Recreation and Aquatic Center, new park, improved parks, infrastructure improvements, etc.

It has been proven that the residents can work together to accomplish important goals that serve as a direct benefit to the immediate North Greenwood neighborhood, which also benefit our city as a whole. The community is not to lose sight of the strong values and assets in this community and not let any forces divide its internal efforts.

North Greenwood community, I challenge us to keep our positive momentum, for it continues to aid the community in its effort toward true neighborhood revitalization and becoming a stronger and healthier community.

Look at the bigger picture! This community is not unlike other neighborhoods. I do not know of any one community that has 100 percent support from all residents on all given issues. Therefore, it is important that we do not let a small issue divide and conquer the many positive efforts that are under way to help the community overall.

We know the community is moving forward and not backward. Stay focused!

Isay M. Gulley, Clearwater

EMS won't see sizable changes | story, Aug. 4

Commissioners have heads in sand

The Pinellas County commissioners are again sticking their heads in the sand after wasting another $300K of our taxpayer dollars. They are now taking the only proposal that would really save money off the table!

The proposal of having the fire departments transport patients to the hospitals instead of a private for-profit ambulance service is coming off the table. We should all be asking why.

If you really believe the Fitch Study that says it would be too "work intensive" and would cost too much to add the necessary personnel, then you need to stick your head in the sand right next to the rest of the commissioners.

Excuse me, but are the fire departments not responding to those calls now with engines, ladder trucks and squad trucks? Is the Fitch Study possibly talking about the effort it takes to put the patient into the ambulance on a motorized stretcher that requires no lifting? As for additional manpower, that is just a joke! We currently send a minimum of five EMS personnel to every call in the county and sometimes more, so why would we need more personnel?

An earlier article stated that there were three fire departments that in fact transported all of their patients to the hospital for over 10 years. Why was that not too "work intensive" then and it is too "work intensive" now?

Pinellas County fire departments work a 24-hour shift with 48 hours off. All of the county's 18 fire departments are already operating at the minimum manpower required for fires and non-EMS calls. Yes, although fires and other non-EMS emergencies only account for about 18 percent of the calls answered by the 18 departments, you still need the manpower when they occur.

If you follow the Fitch Study and "limit the number of hours some firefighters work," the departments are still going to be required to cover those hours with overtime. It may cost the county less in its EMS budget; however, it will cost the cities more. So up go the city taxes and again the taxpayers lose! You cannot just send those firefighters home and not cover their positions. There are nationally accepted safety standards required for minimum manpower for fires and non-EMS calls.

There are already 30+ fire department rescue vehicles that with some minor modifications have the ability and can be licensed to transport.

Clifford Lucido, Oldsmar

Motorists rejoice: New Keystone Road is wide and open | story, Aug. 7

Intersection still needs some work

The article says "For the first time in years, it's a smooth drive past the churches, small businesses and green pastures along Keystone Road."

Well, if you are at the intersection of Keystone and McMullen-Booth at 5:30 on a weekday you might not think so. The turn lane on Keystone at this intersection when turning south onto McMullen-Booth Road is about one-third the length it should be and gets easily backed up.

Pinellas should have bitten the bullet and built an overpass at this busy intersection, but it appears North Pinellas only gets overpasses on U.S. 19.

Scott McKown, Palm Harbor


Monday’s letters: Focusing on the mental state of shooters misses the point

Texas high school shooting | May 18Criminals, angry people kill peopleSchool shootings are a distinctly American phenomenon. But shootings by people with serious mental illness represent less than 1 percent of all yearly gun-related homicides in ...
Published: 05/19/18

Friday’s letters: Putnam and Publix, two P’s lose my nod

Publix pours cash to Putnam | May 17A pleasure to shop elsewhereMy family and I moved to Tampa in 1974, and have made Publix our favorite grocery store ever since. Forty-four years! That is why it makes me a little sad to have to say goodbye.Firs...
Published: 05/18/18

Saturday’s letters: For Florida to move forward, focus on a healthy and sustainable environment

Tampa’s future is bright | May 12Protect Florida, boost economyThis past year, Florida set another record-breaking year for tourism, welcoming more than 116 million visitors. While Florida boasts a unique quality of life and more than 1,300 miles...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/18/18

Sunday’s letters: What conservatives stand for

How can conservatism survive after Trump | May 13, Nickens columnhed#6324 I think it obvious that traditional conservatism was squeezed out of the 2016 campaign narrative and has become a niche thesis owned by a small group of intellectuals. A gr...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/18/18

Friday's letters: Putnam and Publix, two P's lose my nod

Publix pours cash to Putnam | May 17 A pleasure to shop elsewhere My family and I moved to Tampa in 1974, and have made Publix our favorite grocery store ever since. Forty-four years! That is why it makes me a little sad to have to say goodbye. F...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/18/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for May 18

Re: Pasco panel okays Tampa Electric solar farm after five-hour meeting | April 9 storySolar farm offers many positivesThere has been much publicity regarding the proposed TECO Mountain View solar project slated for 350 acres in East Pasco that was r...
Published: 05/14/18

Thursday’s letters: Florida has arguably become the autonomous vehicle capital of North America

Autonomous vehicles in FloridaThe state for self-driving carsAlmost overnight, Florida has arguably become the autonomous vehicle capital of North America. In the last three months, Voyage, a self-driving taxi service, has begun service in the Villag...
Published: 05/12/18
Updated: 05/17/18

Wednesday’s letters: Florida’s Community Health Centers save $1.78 for every dollar spent

Florida’s Community Health CentersHealth centers are a great dealIf you gave someone a dollar and they gave you back $1.78, wouldn’t you consider that a fantastic deal? That’s the deal Florida’s Community Health Centers provide for the state’s citize...
Published: 05/12/18
Updated: 05/16/18

Monday’s letters: Good ideas to fix schools still require enough money

Another plan for faltering schools | May 9The right ideas, cash still neededThe administration of the Hillsborough County School District should be applauded for persistent efforts to find the right formula to improve educational results of stude...
Published: 05/09/18
Updated: 05/14/18

Saturday’s letters: Short-sighted prison cuts hurt society

Call to rethink prison cuts | May 10Short-sighted prison cuts hurt societyThe Florida Department of Corrections is dismantling successful substance abuse and re-entry treatment programs to fix a $28 million shortfall. The short-sighted action wi...
Published: 05/09/18
Updated: 05/11/18