Friday, February 23, 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


Thursday’s letters: Second Amendment is outdated

Second AmendmentCongress can act on firearmsThe Second Amendment is outdated, since it is predicated on the need for a "well regulated militia." Militias are defined as civilian soldiers trained under the command of competent military leadership. The...
Published: 02/20/18
Updated: 02/22/18

Wednesday’s letters:

House Bill 21Opioid proposal merits supportIn 2016, Florida recorded 952 heroin-related and 1,390 fentanyl-related deaths. Four in five new heroin users began by misusing prescription pain medications, also known as opioids. Despite the widespread op...
Published: 02/20/18

Hernando Letter to the Editor for Feb. 23

Re: Hernando business leaders push to loosen development rules | Feb. 9; Re: Deny Brooksville mine expansion, planning commissioners say | Feb. 16Wish to register my opposition to both the draft of the new Hernando County Comprehensive Plan that elim...
Published: 02/20/18

Tuesday’s letters: Making politics personal is one way toward reasonable gun control

The Parkland shootingMake gun politics personalAs an educator of 32 years, it encourages me to see our young people engaged after the horror at Stoneman Douglas High School. The tragedy at Parkland has awakened the sleeping giant that is the millenni...
Published: 02/19/18

Sunday’s letters: Congress must act on firearms

Deadly toll: 17 | Feb. 15Congress must act on firearmsIt’s time for Congress to be counted.The failure of Congress to act to: (1) limit access to assault rifles and (2) require meaningful background checks for all gun purchases is appalling.Surel...
Published: 02/17/18

Monday’s letters: Call it by its name: terrorism

Deadly toll: 17 | Feb. 15Call it whatit is: terrorismLet’s just call it what it is. It’s terrorism. No school in the country is immune. They all have procedures for sheltering in place or emergency evacuation from a shooter. It’s prudent to be pr...
Published: 02/16/18

Saturday’s letters: Payoff to porn star not front-page news?

Lawyer: I personally paid porn star | Feb. 14Where we’re at: This is 4A newsOnly under the Trump presidency does a story about the president’s lawyer paying off a porn star to cover up an affair with the president show up on page 4A. Never mind t...
Published: 02/16/18

Friday’s letters: Water quality too important to gamble on

State to update water rules | Feb. 10Don’t gamble with water safetyI wondered whether this front-page article was an early April Fool’s joke. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection "updated" its pollution regulations in 2016, with str...
Published: 02/15/18

Thursday’s letters: Bill protects pharmacy customers

House Bill 351Bill protects pharmacy customersWe all need the protections provided in Florida House Bill 351 to ensure pharmacy benefit managers, or PBMs, are transparently operating with patients. Currently, PBMs are not regulated by the state and o...
Published: 02/14/18

Wednesday’s letters: The ocean is no place for amateurs

Youthful dream sinks in two days | Feb. 12Ocean is no place for amateursFirst of all, let me say I am sorry this couple lost their boat and I do applaud their adventurous spirit. However, I have spent over 20 years at sea and would like to commen...
Published: 02/13/18