Pass laws to keep insurance fair
When State Farm recently announced its intention to drop all Florida property insurance, this created another major headache for homeowners.
In the past week, I have searched every Web site that has been referred to by the state and your newspaper articles, but to no avail. No one will even give me a quote for homeowner's insurance because specific ZIP codes in Pinellas and Pasco are blocked for coverage. Why?
I believe allowing the insurance companies to apple pick or punish certain areas due to their ZIP codes is blatant discrimination. Our state legislatures need to review the laws governing the insurance companies and make it a crime to deliberately deny people coverage based solely on where they live.
In our case, we have lived in this same area for almost 50 years. We were not the ones who filled in the natural waterways, built on the beaches or destroyed the natural beauty of Florida. We are the very people who came to Florida, raised our families, worked hard and paid our taxes and, yes, our insurance premiums. In years past, Florida was happy to have us, but now that greed has taken over common sense, we no longer seem to matter.
Our governor needs to take a stand. Either the insurance companies offer reasonable coverage to all, or they cannot write any insurance.
Vivian Kiwala, Tarpon Springs
Re: Library's renovation was money well spent | editorial, Jan. 14
Library remodel deserves praise
Thank you for your editorial about the Palm Harbor Library reopening. I want Pinellas to know what a blessing our library is to our community.
Jan. 10 was a great day in Palm Harbor. The library celebrated its reopening after a year-long remodeling/transformation (following three years of planning). Library services carried on during this remodeling period with just a few short closings during the first three phases.
No floor space was added to the 26,000-square-foot facility, but it appears to have 40,000 square feet with efficient use of every inch, due greatly to the talent and imagination of architect John Toppe.
Caladesi Construction Co. and its supervisor, Mark Woodward, accomplished the job within budget and on time — an achievement almost unheard of in the construction industry. Also, thanks to all the subcontractors and to interior designer Emily Papachristou.
Special appreciation goes to the staff and volunteers. They went about doing their work in crammed conditions. Even while the library building was "closed," they continued to issue books from the trailer or a kiosk set up in the entryway. Reference information was furnished upon request. The book store operated from a tiny room in our mini-library.
Children's programs continued off-site at very cooperative business venues. Local churches and retirement homes opened their meeting rooms to library groups when the library had no space.
Our beautiful new library could not have been possible without the dedication and vision of director Gene Coppola, assistant director Lois Eannell, and administrative assistant Debbie Phillips.
Lastly, a very special thanks goes to all the library members and patrons and the Palm Harbor community for their patience, support and good humor.
Jane W. Martin, library volunteer, Palm Harbor
Re: Restaurants fail to offer good value at good price letter, Feb. 4
Restaurants just trying to get by
It concerns me that so many good restaurants are going out of business. They are in business and that means making a profit.
It also concerns me that someone is complaining about the price of eating out when it is hard enough to put food on the table. The cost of food is up, and just like everyone else, restaurants pay a higher price.
If you cannot afford to get a good meal out, than don't. Stay home! Visit one of the finer establishments and order off the value menu and feel free to share. No one will care.
Heather Albane, Palm Harbor
Don't forget about the good things
With all the negative stories in the news, I hope you will print this positive one.
On Jan. 21, I had just completed a doctor's appointment and saw that one of my car's tires was almost flat. Luckily, I was close to a gas station at Belcher Road and Drew Street. I stopped there to put air in my tire.
A man in an SUV was putting air in his tires. When he finished, he drove forward and I got out of my car to put air in my tire. He stopped his vehicle, got out and helped me. I offered the man a cup of coffee and money, but he declined both.
I want people to realize there are still good things and people in this world. Thank you, sir. I never asked your name, but I appreciate your kindness.
Darla Epper, Clearwater