Sunday, March 18, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Pinellas letters: Beach driving hurts Treasure Island asset

Re: DEP tames beach events | Aug. 1

Dunes and driving

We agree the beach is a great place for events; we have sponsored many. However the beach is no place for street vehicles, which are destroying the qualities that make Treasure Island beach our most valuable resource — qualities that include a safe place for families to visit, tranquility, wildlife habitats, and most of all, hurricane protection.

The Florida Legislature in the 1980s determined that beach driving and parking poses a significant risk to beaches and beachgoers' safety and has prohibited beach traffic in all Florida coastal communities but for a small handful, most notably Daytona Beach. The Treasure Island City Commission is not immune to the law.

In recent years we've learned a lot about what good beach management is and what it is not. Hurricane Sandy taught beach communities an expensive lesson about the value of healthy beaches and dunes. Most of the homes, businesses and infrastructure that survived Sandy stand because they were located behind healthy dunes. Sand dunes cannot thrive, build or expand when the beach is rutted and compacted by vehicles.

We invited Dr. Robert Young, the director for the Study of Developed Shorelines at Western North Carolina University to study the Treasure Island beach. His assessment is alarming: The area where the vehicles have been parking is low, compacted and defenseless against storm surge, compared to other areas of the beach where the dunes are forming nicely. The illegal beach traffic is leaving our hotels as well as Gulf Boulevard and downtown incredibly vulnerable.

We have repeatedly tried to work with the city to allow events that don't harm the beach, to no avail. There is no need to park and drive cars on the beach to hold events. We are confident we will prevail at trial Dec. 8.

Arthur Czyszczon, Page Terrace Beachfront Hotel; David King, Thunderbird Beach Resort and Tahitian Beach Motel; Kevin McInerney, Windjammer Resort Motel, Treasure Island

Re: SPCA facility is window dressing | letter by Joseph A. Ciccolini, Aug. 1

Inside the SPCA

As a volunteer and having a rescue dog from the SPCA of Tampa Bay, I feel I must respond to this letter. In my opinion, there is a great deal of difference between his letter and reality.

One of the missions of the SPCA is to keep animals with their families. Many have to surrender their pets due to financial hardship, thus one reason for the wellness clinic. Low-cost health care is one of the ways the SPCA can help those families keep their pet.

The SPCA does not pre-select any breed. I believe that is a most preposterous statement and know it to be totally untrue. It is not a boutique pet store for any breed.

Dogs and all animals do not relieve themselves on a timetable, just like people. After a thorough cleaning in the morning, an animal may relieve himself again, which is cleaned up as soon as possible. To say the grounds and kennels are filthy is another false statement. I am at the SPCA all hours of the day. Never have I seen what Mr. Ciccolini alleges.

Rather than write a hateful or untrue letter, possibly he could spend time volunteering, as it seems he has little else to do. The SPCA is a most worthy cause. It cares for those animals brought in by surrendering, abuse, accidents and hoarding. The dogs are walked twice a day, given love, training and spend time in the play yard interacting with other dogs.

Thank God for the SPCA.

Betsie W. Scott, Clearwater

Parking logistics

I tried to attend a movie matinee today at the Muvico Sundial in downtown St. Petersburg, but the parking garage was full due to an event on the waterfront. Not wanting to pay nearly the cost of a movie ticket to park in one of the few lots within walking distance, I came home — because all of the downtown meters are for a maximum of two hours.

Movies routinely exceed two hours, and one might want to also walk around and shop or have a meal, so why can't the meters be reset to three or four hours? If anything, the city would get more parking revenue, and the local economy could also get a boost. Where's the downside here?

Peter Ford, St. Petersburg

Re: Plans call for Central in lights, story, July 25

Clean the concrete

As a downtown St. Pete resident in love with my location, I have a piece of advice for the group of artists planning to illuminate Central Avenue.

Buy a pressure washer before turning on the lights. The sidewalk on Central Avenue between Second and Third streets is disgusting! Take a walk.

Cecelia LeClair, St. Petersburg


Monday’s letters: Protect Floridians’ right to privacy

People push for changes at Constitution hearing | March 14Protect Florida’s right to privacyI attended the Constitution Revision Commission’s public hearing at USF St. Petersburg last week. I was there because I thought it was important to have m...
Published: 03/18/18

Sunday’s letters: Effort to stem pet cruelty pays off

Puppy millsEffort to stem cruelty pays offThank you to everyone who contacted their legislators, and a huge shout-out to the Tampa Bay Times for letting us know that state legislators were considering a bill to eliminate the hard-achieved gains on lo...
Published: 03/17/18

Saturday’s letters: Insurer focused on repairs, not fees

Citizens hit with $12.7M verdict | March 15Insurer’s focus: repairs, not feesCitizens Property Insurance Corp. has spent the past several years making sure that insurance proceeds for sinkhole repairs are used to restore a home and make it whole....
Published: 03/16/18

Friday’s letters: Put young people to work rebuilding infrastructure

Smart way to pay for infrastructure | March 13, commentaryMake rebuilding a youth project Raising gas taxes to pay for infrastructure may not be the best way to go. I suggest we re-invent the old WPA (Works Progress Administration) and draft high...
Published: 03/13/18
Updated: 03/15/18

Thursday’s letters: An alternative for giving: Breadcoin

Panhandling paradox | March 11Innovation in giving: BreadcoinPanhandling is destructive to the donor, panhandler and our community — a guilt trip that erodes personal dignity, respect and self-worth, making the recipient more beholden and entitle...
Published: 03/13/18
Updated: 03/14/18
Wednesday’s letters: Daylight bill is bad for business

Wednesday’s letters: Daylight bill is bad for business

Daylight saving timeDaylight bill is bad for businessI encourage Gov. Rick Scott to veto the daylight saving time extension bill. It makes no sense. It puts Florida out of sync with the rest of the country. Commerce will be affected. The entire Easte...
Published: 03/13/18

Pasco Letter to the Editor for March 16

Re: Pasco to test roadside recycling | March 9 column Pasco County (and its residents) have financial incentives to recycle, but the participation rate is low. Clearly, Pasco County either needs to make recycling mandatory — by making residents r...
Published: 03/13/18
Tuesday’s letters: Billionaire’s personal agenda

Tuesday’s letters: Billionaire’s personal agenda

Billionaire targeting young voters | March 7Using youths in personal agendaIs anyone surprised that Tom Steyer is using his extreme wealth to support his personal agenda and the liberal agenda of the Democratic Party? His real motive, hidden in h...
Published: 03/12/18
Updated: 03/13/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for March 16

Re: Pasco to test roadside recycling | March 9 columnOur community, Briar Patch, in New Port Richey has really gotten on board with the recycling program. Many homeowners diligently separate garbage from recycling material and place it curbside f...
Published: 03/12/18

Thursday’s letters: Gun limits, maybe; confiscation, never

Gun controlLimits, possibly; seizures, neverThe antigun left-leaning media constantly refers to the "gun lobby" and the National Rifle Association when trying to ban and even take guns away from legitimate owners. They blame organizations for the act...
Published: 03/07/18