Luxury lifts up church hotel March 22 story
Money could go to better use
In this time of recession, when people are losing jobs, houses are going to foreclosure and times basically are tough all over for everyone, it's nice to see the cult of greed spending $40 million on renovations to its lair — not for the good of the community or to help those less fortunate, but to add to its own excess.
As a "religion" and a "church," you would think that Scientology would put that money to better use. And I like the fact that they told people that the restaurants and ballroom in the renovated Fort Harrison Hotel would be open to the public, but once the renovations were complete they had a change of heart.
And they won't be hiring anyone because they'll just put their own members to work in the hotels so they can keep everything in house behind closed doors. How does this organization help to improve our community? It doesn't provide jobs or help people, and Scientologists won't even be frequenting other establishments in the area, because they're all self-contained.
Only when the local leaders put their foot down and stop showing up at their receptions and kowtowing to the cult, will we finally see what a fiasco this really is. Scientology is not here for the good of the community, but for its own profit and gain. How can an organization run up $245,000 in fines and not pay them before they are allowed to finish these other projects? Not much has changed since they snuck into the community under an assumed name with a hidden agenda back in 1975.
And the St. Petersburg Times should be ashamed of itself for running this story next to the epilogue on "Attorney Williams" Isaiah W. Williams.
James Devine, Clearwater
Candidates pay price for early mail voting | Diane Steinle column, March 22
Confusion and problems abound
Early mail voting caught most all Dunedin candidates by surprise, before any candidate had a chance to speak before the public or be involved in any public forums.
Also, I would like to know the number of mail-in ballots that were disqualified because the back of the envelope was not signed. Doesn't it make more sense to require the signature on the ballot form? It's just too easy to overlook.
Change the date of the city election to the general election in November and save the cities and county tens of thousands of dollars plus the cost to the voters in time and aggravation answering the doorbell, the endless phone calls and tons of paper being mailed. Please, subject us to only one time per year.
Bill Coleman, Dunedin
Group kicks sand on Biltmore plans for beach hotel | story, March 4
Remembering a better Sand Key
This is regarding an article about the Belleview Biltmore wanting to replace a restaurant it now runs on Sand Key with a new hotel.
Sand Key resident Cynthia Remley stated, "It's a declaration of war by the city on Sand Key. They're trying to turn our residential community into another hotel alley like Clearwater Beach."
I guess Mrs. Remley was in Ohio, or perhaps Michigan, at the time, but I would like to tell her what Sand Key was like before it was turned into her beloved condo alley.
It was a great place. Weekends brought loads of kids, young and old, riding mini-bikes, go-carts and motorcycles through the many trails that led all through the tall pines that covered much of Sand Key.
Along Clearwater Pass, there were sand dunes so tall they must have been the highest ground in the county. After riding our mini-bikes around, we would sit and watch the older guys, in their dune buggies, trying to climb those dunes. Some would make it to the top. Others wouldn't. We just dreamed that would be us some day!
Breaking for lunch, we could take a dip in the water and enjoy grilling hot dogs between the trees and the shore.
We were so far away from everything, we weren't bothering anyone. This is part of my boyhood memory of Sand Key.
I'm not sure which condo building Mrs. Remley lives in, but I can guarantee I had some kind of fun on the land where it now stands. But I am not allowed there any more.
Mark Hepburn, Clearwater