Walk, bike or ride instead of driving
Americans like convenience. I have been one of the guilty. As a child, a bicycle was my main mode of transportation and my most rewarding experience. My friends and I biked miles and miles in the summertime to all our destinations.
As a child and teenager, to get to school or to go shopping in the city, a 20-mile journey, I boarded the bus, most times walking a mile before I arrived at the bus stop.
Sometimes the weather was hot as Hades. In the winter, my legs would be numb from the cold. There were no options. If you wanted to get somewhere, you hopped on your bicycle or the bus.
These days when driving my car to a destination, I plan all my errands for one day of the week, usually with a companion. I no longer drive around to a quick stop here and there multiple times per day or per week. The price of gas has brought that way of life to a screeching halt. I am happy I learned to ride a bike at an early age. Although now a senior, I look forward to riding my new bicycle to do errands and take in the scenery.
And I will also now look forward to the trips on the bus to places I have not visited in a while, not worrying about traffic jams, crazy drivers and long red lights.
I'll just do the thing I love best when riding the bus: getting immersed in a good novel while someone else is in the driver's seat. I no longer feel guilty. And this, I believe, is a new independence.
Michele Shriver, Palm Harbor
Rezoning request for Bayside Reserves, a five-story apartment complex and 10 homes at 49th Street N and 162nd Street N, off Roosevelt Boulevard
Project will bring problems to area
In September, residents and senior citizens opposed this project. Today, Bayside Reserves will again make an application for this project. Again, we will oppose this out-of-scale project being built in our hamlet-style community. Why?
The project is to be built in a 100-year floodplain. Eagles reside in a tower less than a block from the site, and trees to be cut down are habitat trees. The area is a sanctuary for other rare birds and wildlife. Bayside Reserves spokesman Jake Stowers stated that "the eagles are urbanized and used to living with humans." We disagree, as does the Audubon Society.
There will be increased levels of noise, air pollution, crime and traffic, plus danger to drivers exiting County Road 611 and merging with 49th Street S. The project would put 300 to 400 additional cars on Bolesta Road and 49th Street, with only one left turn onto Roosevelt Boulevard. Picture that at peak traffic time mornings and evenings. Not a safe or pretty picture!
Conclusion: The quality of life for wildlife, eagles, residents and seniors goes down the drain. The increase in traffic will result in pollution that will affect the health of the very young and the elderly in the area.
Fill up the vacancies in the four or five apartment complexes between 62nd Street and 58th Street on Roosevelt Boulevard and East Bay Drive. Pinellas County already has the highest population density of any county in Florida. Enough is enough!
Richard N. Shott, Clearwater
Death walked right past her, April 5, 'I am leaving my marriage to finally be myself,' April 4, Red flags before dad's rampage, April 3, and Murder, suicide laid out in letter, April 2
Stop coverage of recent tragedy
Your reporters and editors (whose names, mercifully, I shall leave unmentioned) seem to have an obsession for dragging through the mud the members of the families of those individuals involved in the tragic events in Clearwater and Largo of Dec. 14, 2007 (four months ago).
In their zeal as reporters and editors, they seem intent on dredging up the most intimate and sordid details of everyone's life and exposing to the public the most personal and private weaknesses of everyone even remotely involved. (I count six family names that have been dragged into this.)
This "reporting" is another form of killing — killing the family names and any good legacies that the families may have had until your relentless editors and reporters decided that it was a good opportunity to sell a lot of newspapers.
Please. It is long past time to cease fire and permit the distraught survivors to grieve and heal. Have a heart in your exposes.
Paul A. Gualtieri, Dunedin