'Life line' in dire straits
story, March 13
Your article concerning the Willa Carson Community Resource Center is much appreciated.
I have been a volunteer physician at the center since its beginnings in the "projects" 10 years ago. Willa Carson was one of my heroes. She resisted changing the center's name to include hers. The center has always been about service, not notoriety. Her selfless devotion to the community continues uninterrupted. I have had the privilege to witness this first hand once a month.
Many times, the center is the last (and only) safety net for our clients. Each client is offered respect, direction and help. To restate, without the center, these clients are abandoned.
One can lament and be critical that our government has cut drastically into life-saving funding. We all hear that there would be no problem for the Florida Democratic Party to come up with $20- to $30-million for a re-vote on the primary. Recently, the St. Petersburg Times discussed people paying $1,200 for a purse.
As George Burns (a.k.a. God) in the movie Oh, God stated, "It can work, if we all do our part." So maybe, some can skip the next purse, or the Democratic "deep pocket" will see an alternative use for his money, or the rest of us $5 at a time can resurrect the Willa Carson Community Resource Center. It is the season for such action.
Dean H. Fauber M.D., Dunedin
'Life line' in dire straits
story, March 13
Miles separate need from wealth
While Willa Carson's legacy to heal the sick and help the poor at her North Greenwood health clinic struggles for survival, only a few miles away, construction nears completion on a second McMullen-Booth mansion for Jesus.
Patti Sullivan, Clearwater
Where is news of spring training?
Now that the front pages are all written and read about the Jazz Holiday, Ironman race, Christmas lightings, Epiphany, Tampa's Gasparilla, the Super Bowl, Mardi Gras, etc., it would be nice to see the Clearwater Times cover baseball's spring training games at Bright House Field in Clearwater.
There are thousands of baseball fans from around our country in the Tampa Bay area. They fill the stadium each game day/night and it seems there could be more photos and write-ups, not only on the sports page, but perhaps making the front page with information about the teams, their players, the big plays, special guests, etc.
At the opening day ceremonies, our city manager, Bill Horne, attended along with our military color guard. Isn't that worth a picture in the Times? (You always have room for that picture of a tourist at the beach, or some children playing on a swing!) Can't we get a picture of a home run?
Recently, the Phillies played the Yankees with an attendance of more than 9,100 — standing room only! There must have been something to have a picture of, even if it was of the thousands of cars parked there.
After spring training, the minor league takes over and has many games until September. Last year, the Clearwater Threshers won the state championship. How many people knew it? The Times had only a small corner write-up on the sports page! Wasn't that exciting enough to warrant a picture of the team?
I attended most of these games, being an avid baseball fan, and was disappointed that there wasn't more coverage. Let's hope the Times doesn't miss any celebrations this year.
D. Anderson, Clearwater
Firefighters reject city's latest offers | story, Feb. 26
Give respect to our firefighters
I took great exception to Clearwater City Manager Bill Horne's statement in the St. Petersburg Times: "Their (firefighters') raises and my raises are not related at all. You are talking about a city manager, city resource manager and firefighters. You are talking about three types of employees … I don't know why they (the fire union) continue to make those comparisons."
Mr. Horne sits in a nice, safe office all day, doing nothing more dangerous than getting a paper cut, while firefighters put their lives on the line every day they work. It is their skill and knowledge that daily save lives and property. Mr. Horne insinuates that firefighters are so far beneath him that he deserves a 3.95 percent raise for all his pencil pushing and firefighters do not.
If the city is between a rock and a hard place, where did they get all the money to grant themselves, other city employees, police, etc., a raise? If money is so tight, why didn't Horne and human resources director Joe Roseto set an example by refusing their raises?
Are the mayor and City Council members satisfied with the way Mr. Horne is handling this situation? It would be good for them to start taking a hard look at this problem to see if it's not becoming personal with Mr. Horne to bring down the morale of your fire department.
Firefighters have always been under-appreciated, until your house is burning or you are in an accident. Then, they become the most important people in your life. These people are professionals, every bit as much as a city manager or human resources director, and they should be respected as such. A city can get along without a city manager, but it cannot get along without a fire department.
George Costage, Safety Harbor