Local cuts always hurt needy most
Why, when cuts are made at the local level, do they cut programs that help the children and the needy? Today, when most folks have to work, not for luxuries, but for bare necessities, and have to leave their children unattended, the very programs that are being cut are needed more than ever.
Drug use is running rampant, and we cut funding (to drug abuse treatment programs), thus those who need the help are out of luck.
Mental health services for youth are being cut, even though many more are in need today than ever before due to children being left to fend for themselves. Does this make sense? If the budget is cut that helps the homeless, they will return to the streets and crime will increase.
None of these budget cuts will do anything except cause more problems. We have uncollected tax dollars for half-finished properties, and instead of fining these individuals or foreclosing on their property, we cut needed services to our needy. We have money for new parks and ballfields and other recreation facilities, but none to help those who really need our help.
Fran Glaros-Sharp, Clearwater
Too much rescue
I watched the other night with amazement as a St. Petersburg firetruck and a St. Petersburg fire and rescue heavy vehicle, both fully staffed, came roaring down my street next to a Sunstar ambulance to rescue a single neighbor in health distress.
I could not help but wonder how much it must have cost taxpayers to have these two huge city vehicles in addition to the Sunstar vehicle, which actually removed the resident, and why such a response was required.
I would like a response from city officials as to why this type of rescue operation is necessary and an appropriate use of taxpayer money given the tough budget times that I so frequently read about.
Steven Johnson, St. Petersburg
Revenue, not safety
Pinellas sheriff's deputies recently had yet another of their monthly wolf-packs out in force on the Bayway, near the turn for Fort De Soto Park. They spent the entire day writing tickets nonstop. As soon as they were finished with one hapless motorist, another was immediately available.
The fact that they were able to stop motorists literally at will suggests the speed limit there (45 mph) is artificially low. It's a proven fact that, in the absence of visible law enforcement, motorists will gravitate to a speed that is reasonable for the road and conditions. As a daily user of the Bayway, I know that most traffic flows between 55 and 60 mph. So why not raise the speed limit to something more realistic, say 55, and then have law enforcement concentrate on the real speeders who go way over that limit?
You know that will never happen — it would deprive law enforcement of their cash cow! Now, I'm sure the Sheriff's Office would say, with a straight face, that it's all about promoting safety. We know it's all about generating revenue.
I don't know how those deputies can look in the mirror after spending an entire day ticketing motorists. In addition to having their day ruined, these motorists are then faced with hefty fines, possible increased insurance premiums and points on their license, just because they exceeded some arbitrary limit posted on a sign.
Philip R. Thompson, Tierra Verde
I was one of the many participants in the Green Armada/Thunder Marine Goes Green cleanup of intracoastal waterways this past Saturday. I was sad to wake up to Sunday's paper and not see any coverage of how much trash we collected. People need to see what their trash in the waterways adds up to. They also need to see that they can come out and help clean up our beautiful beaches and waterways. Thunder Marine, West Marine, Green Iguana and Green Armada (among other sponsors) did an amazing job of organizing a huge cleanup.
I wish we'd see more coverage on things that are good in our neighborhoods! We need to praise volunteers, but even more, we need to put focus on taking care of our earth and how others can help.
I opened the paper in hopes of seeing pictures and info on both this cleanup and the ALS walk on Saturday, and neither was covered.
Let's read about the good stuff too.
Amy Bond, St. Petersburg
Proactive on trash
Recently my husband and I decided to drive from Pinellas Park to Redington Beach to watch the sun set. The clouds seemed to be just right to make it a good idea. We paid for the beach parking, walked across the beautiful white sand and opened our chairs.
There weren't too many people there, but once we settled down it was very depressing. Almost everywhere we looked, people had just left their trash lying around instead of putting it into one of the many trash barrels provided by the city. You could tell where each small group had been by all the garbage they had left behind. What a disappointment!
While we were talking, we noticed two young men starting to clean up the garbage, even moving the trash cans over to the garbage to make the job a little easier. We complimented the young men for what they were doing, even though neither one of them made that mess. They explained that they really love the beach and just didn't want it to be so littered for the people coming there the next day. It seems these two young men, both college students, clean up this section of the beach every evening.
So, here's to Jason and Mitch (who live across the bridge from the beach) for taking it upon themselves to beautify your beach instead of just walking past the trash.
We think they will be two of your future leaders in this area because they care.
Ruth and Gene Koop, Pinellas Park and Dayton, Ohio