Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Pinellas Letters: Edgewater deserves beauty, not an Eyesore

We need beauty, not an Eyesore

Last week in Dunedin the so-called Edgewater Eyesore sold to a German investor after sitting at the head of scenic Edgewater Drive for four years, angering neighbors and perplexing visitors .

But the new owner has a problem. The building permit expired in 2011, and in a rich irony, the standards for waterfront development have since changed in Dunedin, precisely because of this building. City leaders were so horrified at the excesses of the project, they were inspired to rewrite the rules.

Under the new guidelines, elected officials can either grant a new building permit or deny it. If denied, the proud new owner will be forced to demolish the skeleton and build something smaller. Why the foreign investor didn't do his homework is a mystery, but the city planning director stated (city) commissioners have strong legal grounds to deny the permit.

That may sound unfair to some, but the greater public good issue is this: Edgewater Drive is a true jewel, a spectacular 1.3-mile waterfront drive, one of only five such scenic drives in the entire county. As it lies within Dunedin's city limits, we must take exceptional care of it, which won't happen if a new permit for this monstrosity is issued.

It is truly sad the city let this rare piece of ground slip away, but sadder still if this bizarre structure is allowed to become a permanent fixture at the head of this exceptional scenic corridor.

Instead, the city and the neighborhood, together with the new owner, can produce a more appropriate project, still profitable but more responsive to this special stewardship that has been entrusted in us, rather than settling for some unfortunate, expedient outcome.

Dunedin's leaders, there is a door there, and if you will open it, it may lead to a more creative solution that will satisfy everyone.

Lucy Myers, Walter Allen and Maryellen Tilly, Dunedin

Re: This is a bomb Floridian story, April 8

Don't stereotype the Orthodox

As an Orthodox Christian, I was drawn to comment about the in-depth article published in your newspaper detailing the problem with "traditional bombs" in Tarpon Springs.

Stating it might be "another Greek-bomb Easter" was very offensive to those of us — and that would be the majority — who do not celebrate the holy commemoration of Christ's resurrection with explosives. I have never heard of the rite of passage for teenage boys to "toss bombs and run from cops."

The article is unfortunately strewn with inaccurate statements. I would challenge your reporter to prove that Easter bombs are as much a part of Greek culture as bouzouki music in any other place other than Tarpon Springs. I would also venture to say that those who create such "bombs" in Tarpon are not the devout Orthodox Christians who respect the true meaning of the observance.

Father Michael, the priest of the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral, was referred to as a "pastor." Pastor is not a title in the Orthodox Church. Greek Orthodox Christians were referred to as "Catholics" in the article as well. This, too, is inaccurate.

I felt compelled to write, just as I did a few years ago when you printed a picture of a man getting ready to slaughter a lamb for the traditional Paschal feast and inferred that all Greeks raise their Easter lambs in their back yards and kill them for their dinner. I, as well as 99 percent of my fellow Greek Americans, buy my meat from the grocery store.

This is the skewed message that allows stereotypes to continue and it is not right.

Helen Caros, Oldsmar

Re: 'Action steps' for homeless | story, April 8

Keep homeless consulting local

Why go outside the area and hire a consultant?

The Homeless Emergency Project (in Clearwater) does a wonderful job and has a proven record.

Margaret Carter, Clearwater

Volunteers, thank you for clean park

Let's give a "shout out" of appreciation to the volunteers that have offered their service to keep Pinellas County's Philippe Park clean and enjoyable for the many residents in the Safety Harbor area. These good people led by Peggy Johannesen are working hard to fill in for the park rangers that have been laid off due to lack of funds.

Peggy and many others, like myself, have for many years enjoyed spending leisure time in our beautiful county park by Old Tampa Bay. It was sad to see the park grounds begin to deteriorate after the layoffs began, and Peg decided to do something about it.

Despite having her own business downtown, she began to volunteer to help out and gradually was approached by others interested in offering their services as well.

We offer our thanks and appreciation to these fine folks who donate their time and labor to keep our park open and safe and enjoyable for us all!

Charlie Mortensen, Safety Harbor


Tuesday’s letters: Keep programs that fight AIDS

For author Biden, it’s a father’s gift | June 6Keep programs that fight AIDSAfter former Vice President Joe Biden’s recent visit to St. Petersburg, I noticed an article that he co-wrote with former Sen. Bill Frist. It reminded everyone about the ...
Updated: 7 hours ago

Is anyone watching the money?Hernando County’s budget shortfall is ever changing going from $6 million to $11.5 million to $14 million to what is assumed a final number of $12.6 million. Who knows the budget shortfall could change again.Who’s watchi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Re: County OKs solar zones | June 8Plea ignored at solar plant hearingThe Pasco County Commission on June 5 voted to identify a utility-sized solar electric plant as a "special exception" use on agricultural-zoned land in Pasco County. What thi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Monday’s letters: Skip those plastic bags and save the environment

To save our seas, overcome congressional apathy | Column, June 16Do your part and skip plastic bagsEvery day we read about the shame of our landfills and oceans filling up with plastic bags, yet most people don’t care. My wife and I always carry ...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

White House defends splitting up families as ‘biblical’ | June 15The suffering of the childrenI am a mother and attorney with more than 20 years of practice living in Tampa. For the past three years, I worked as a magistrate in a Unified Family C...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Saturday’s letters: Community-based care requires community involvement

Fix foster care, and do it quickly | Editorial, June 15Involve the community itselfWhile the detailed article about the scathing state review of Hillsborough County’s foster care problems touched on leadership, a critical point was not addressed....
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Friday’s letters: Freight trains are infrastructure that works in Tampa Bay

Railroads are infrastructure that worksFreight trains carry the loadCentral Florida is our state’s fastest-growing region. We’re on track to outpace South Florida’s growth 2-to-1 over the next several years. Great news for our local economy, but it n...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Thursday’s letters: Charter schools aren’t the enemy

Don’t plug your ears when schools ask for tax | May 20, columnCharter schools aren’t the enemyAs an educator, I am astounded when I hear claims from school board members that charter schools take away funding from the local public school system. ...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/14/18

Wednesday’s letters: Trump’s words insult our Canadian visitors

Trade disputes torpedo G-7 summit | June 10Canadian visitors are owed apologyLike many Pinellas County residents, I’m pleased that we receive thousands of Canadian "snow birds" as part-year residents. Not only do they enhance our economy, but by ...
Published: 06/11/18
Updated: 06/13/18

Hernando Letters to the Editor for June 15

Opinion: Commissioners arrogant and incompetentMy wife and I live in Hernando County. As such, we are represented by a Board of County Commissioners where all the members manifest two common traits. Those traits are arrogance and incompetence.The arr...
Published: 06/11/18
Updated: 06/12/18