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