Clearwater's opposition to zip-line
Restrictions only hurt our parks
It's too bad about the Clearwater City Council's latest stance on the zip-line proposal for Sand Key Park. Perhaps a history lesson, one City Commissioner George Cretekos is well aware of, could have prevented or softened its response to the county's proposal.
Sand Key Park was never intended to become a park primarily for the residents of Sand Key. In the early 1970s, a phased purchase of 60-plus acres of park land comprising the north end of Sand Key, before the jetty and beach accretion, was taken over by the Board of County Commissioners from the city to complete its purchase agreement with USS Corp.
The interior of the property was in deplorable condition then, due to the excavation rights utilized by USS and obtained from the city under the initial purchase agreement.
With the help of U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young and environmentalist Nat Reed, as well as the support of Merrett Stierheim, Pinellas County received one of the largest federal/state grants of the time for a local government to purchase Sand Key for public use in perpetuity.
George Cretekos, as Congressman Young's legislative aide then, certainly had his very capable hand in this. The first professional director of the county park system, Jim Work, who was a great innovator and visionary, was about mid-career during the Sand Key acquisition and would be appalled by today's level of parochialism in the parks business here.
He would have been dismayed also by too-prominent features like "dog parks" and restrictions placed on decision-makers like him that could keep parks like Wall Springs, Chestnut, Eagle Lake, Sand Key, and even Fort DeSoto, in particular, from ever achieving their full potential as regional attractions if we don't watch out.
David Morgan, Dunedin
Editor's note: The writer is the retired former planner and grants manager for the Pinellas County park system.
Clearwater looks at grim choices to make up deficit, story, April 14
Money being spent stupidly
Your article makes me wonder if the people that are responsible for running the City of Clearwater got their degrees from a Cracker Jack box.
I would like to know what is more important to the city — the loss of firefighters, heavy duty rescue Squad 51, and police officers, or the stupid street calming and streetscaping the city has already installed and is installing in Clearwater?
In my neighborhood, Skycrest, alone, the cost of street calming cost $3 million and it is worthless. It does not slow down the traffic. The traffic circles are a hazard and something people see how fast they can drive around. Lots of people don't know who should yield to which driver. Large trucks block the one lane and cars go on the opposite side of the street to get by them.
Then there is the streetscaping the city is doing on Cleveland Street at Missouri Avenue to the tune of $2.7 million.
How stupid! Who goes to downtown Clearwater? Not many, because there is nothing there! Spend some of the money to bring a business to downtown.
Millions of dollars was spent on the roundabout at Clearwater Beach — millions of dollars to build it and then some more money to tear it down.
Take the money the city is wasting doing these jobs and give it to the people who protect us. Have the city manager and mayor cut their salary by 6 percent. Do you think they would get out on the street and put their life in danger like the police, firefighters and rescue people do?
I don't know anything about politics, but I do have sense enough to know to buy food for the table instead of grass seed for my yard.
Alice Ballmer, Clearwater
Nehr's venture a legal anomaly | story, April 20
Glad that Fasano is after the truth
Thanks to state Sen. Mike Fasano, we the people can now discover the truth about state Rep. Peter Nehr and his phone card and sweepstakes business.
While I do not frequent the area where Nehr's sweepstakes cafe is located, I have voted each time since I was allowed to cast a ballot in Florida at age 18.
Keep digging, Mike, this is getting interesting.
Becky Kyker, Palm Harbor
A local company couldn't do it?
I'm glad to see that Clearwater and Pinellas County businesses have made such a miraculous economic recovery that the Clearwater Community Redevelopment Agency is now helping Brooklyn, N.Y., to recover.
The agency hired a New York company to build the new Cleveland Street District web site!
I would love to have a comment from Mayor Frank Hibbard on the well thought-out planning that went into this decision. I'm sure all of the Clearwater business owners and taxpayers would as well.
Kevin Collins, Tarpon Springs
'Aida' a truly wonderful show
Congratulations to Dunedin High's musical theater students for their presentation of Elton John and Tim Rice's production of Aida.
This was a tremendous production with more than 35 students on the stage and more than 60 students working behind the scenes to make it possible. The director, Gerald Durst, worked very hard with these students, and he is to be congratulated and admired for tackling such a big project.
The principals in the play — Rachel Daniels, Adam Zeph, Nicole Kendall, Keegan Lee, Leanard Merchant, Brooke Evans, Ben Given and Andrew Lang — were all outstanding and deserved several standing ovations.
The entire evening was delightful. Even the ushers and the ones working the concession stands were awesome. This truly renews our faith in our young people for all of the good things they do.
It is sad that we do not see more of the good in our young people instead of all the negative we read in the newspaper. Thank you, Dunedin High Musical Theatre.
Margaret Hyde, Clearwater