Fares to rise; routes are cut Sept. 28, story
PSTA ignores a revenue source
Sunday's feature on the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority justification of its increase in bus fares (as well as service cuts and its denial of a cost-of-living increase to workers) didn't tell the whole story.
While it is true that the agency's income from property taxes has been cut, it is far from necessary to lay the entire burden on bus riders and employees, as the agency has done. All across America, transit agencies sell advertising inside the bus and derive a handsome income from the practice. PSTA does not and has not for its entire history.
Why? Is it just because it is easier to burden customers and workers who are not organized to respond? Certainly it is not a difficult job. Mailboxes are filled with junk mail, newspapers are largely advertising and the Internet is burdened with spam.
Business wants to advertise, but PSTA will not offer this opportunity. For more than 20 years, the advertising slots in our buses have remained empty or with only a few agency announcements, unlike other American bus systems. For shame.
John Royse, St. Petersburg
Groups ready to fight ban on using medians to solicit, sell | Sept. 21, story
Danger is in drivers
The mayor of St. Petersburg wants to stop us from selling papers on the street medians. He claims safety reasons. I sell off the median and have been doing it for more than a year and have had no problems at all.
What the mayor needs to focus on is the reckless drivers and drivers who are always in a hurry. You should come out and watch the traffic on Sunday morning and afternoon. This is where your danger comes in, Mr. Mayor.
I sell off of 22nd Avenue N and I-275. I can't speak for anybody else, but I am trying to make an honest dollar. What the mayor is trying to do is not right. I hardly see any cars being pulled over for speeding or running red lights. Come out and join us, and you will see that I am telling the truth.
Douglas E. Tucker, St. Petersburg
Recycling in St. Petersburg
A foul notion
Those who propose once-a-week pickup of garbage in St. Petersburg clearly don't have one of the Dumpsters that the city so politely terms "multifamily trash receptacles" behind their houses.
There are three in the alley behind my house. They generally start to overflow on the second or third day after pickup. The loose plastic and paper wrappers blow into my yard, and the stench is horrible, even in winter.
This is Florida, people! The temperature is always above freezing, and food rots quickly. How would you like having a bin full of week-old dirty diapers sitting in your back yard? I agree we need recycling, but not at the expense of regular garbage pickup.
Margaret Little, St. Petersburg
Thanks, Troop 202
Saturday morning's incoming tide carried the canoes of Boy Scout Troop 202 well into the upper creeks of Clam Bayou Nature Park, and what they did was truly honorable!
Nine in all, they kept themselves busy with the task at hand — cleaning our wonderful waterways. Several huge bags of plastic, paper, glass and plastic foam were picked up by the Scouts from between the snakes and the herons that reside in the bayou. Because of their cleaning efforts last year (and the efforts of other courageous groups) the Audubon Society reported an increase in bird sightings here. I myself discovered eight new nests that resulted in several new baby herons!
"You cannot believe in honor until you have achieved it. Better keep yourself clean and bright: you are the window through which you must see the world."
— George Bernard Shaw
Thank you, Troop 202, for demonstrating remarkable environmental awareness!
Kurt Zuelsdorf, Gulfport
Now that's service
I was in St. Petersburg to see my parents, and we went riding around town. Needing gas, I pulled in to Bob Lee's service station on Fourth Street N. I got out and inserted my debit card into the pump when an employee startled me and asked if he could take care of that for me. He continued pumping the gas and then asked if he could check my tires because they looked low.
My parents, Bob and Peggy Love, are longtime residents of St. Petersburg and said this place has been here a long time. My mom joked, "Next, he will wash the windows!"
Lo and behold, he proceeded to wash all the car windows. As he approached my father's side, my dad asked, "How long have you been in business?" The service attendant informed us they have been there for 62 years and had always done business this way.
I told him we will return. His comment was, "That's the whole idea."
Look, prices are high everywhere. It was so nice to share this "part of the past" with my parents. I hope Bob Lee stays in business another 62 years at least.
Charlotte E. Fox, Tarpon Springs
Grateful on Corey
In these days of "tough times," retail merchants and restaurants are having a rough go. Advertising dollars are tight.
The Corey Area Merchant Association would like to express its appreciation for all the press releases and kind articles we have had published in your paper.
The association is able to pay for only a limited amount of advertising, and we are very grateful for your "Calendar of events," "Things to do" and "On the radar" listings. Your kind articles will definitely boost morale on Corey Avenue and hopefully business as well.
Thank you from all the merchants in the Corey Avenue area.
Kathi Hansen, vice president, Corey Area Merchant Association, St. Pete Beach