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St. Petersburg should focus on helping residents, not bar owners

Later bar hours bring OT | Sept. 12

City should help citizens, not bar owners

What did the St. Petersburg City Council think later hours at our bars would bring? Just as "Drink Responsibly" is an oxymoron, so, apparently, is "Think Responsibly" on our City Council!

Will the bar owners be pitching in their extra revenue to pay overtime wages to our police?

I'd like to suggest City Council members tender their resignations and let us find people who will actually seek to benefit the citizens of this town who don't own bars.

Maryjane Schmidt, St. Petersburg

Encouraging later drinking is shameful

Shame on the towns and the chambers of commerce that encourage longer drinking hours in bars. Haven't we had enough tragedies caused by drinking and driving?

Mildred Lavery, Dunedin

A future of fewer fire districts? Sept. 5, story

Consolidation needed for fire, EMS service

This story was prominently positioned in the Neighborhood Times. While I appreciate its premier positioning, I would have appreciated Anne Lindberg's article even more had it been titled in the declarative and not as a question. The next, not-so-far in-the-future governmental financial crisis is going to be the bankruptcy of numerous municipalities and even states (California!) due to unfunded and unfundable public service employee pensions.

In last year's mayoral race, I assiduously advocated for a consolidation of the myriad fire and EMS agencies into two units, one above Ulmerton Road and one below. In my endorsement interview with the St. Petersburg Firefighter's Union, I presented my idea for the St. Petersburg Fire Department to take the lead in structuring the inevitable countywide consolidation, with St. Petersburg being the ultimate (south) survivor. The look on the firefighters' faces made me feel as though I was from another planet.

The shocker to me was that the firefighters just didn't get that they, as the frontline soldiers, would hardly be touched. Routine attrition would thin their ranks over many years. The real effect would be to reduce the highest paid chiefs, assistant chiefs, assistants to assistant chiefs, etc. Then stir in the reductions in fixed costs, offices and other nonlife-saving accoutrements and we might have a chance of seeing that promised pensions actually get paid.

I love firefighters, but I also love stick shift transmissions and they are all but gone, a victim of changing times. Fire departments are now 90 percent health care related, not so much firefighting, with different equipment needs and public expectations. Since the fire departments are stuck in the '50s, it falls upon the Pinellas County Commission and the key city mayors and city councils to make the right, urgent moves on this most important public safety issue.

Scott Wagman, St. Petersburg

Thanks for keeping traffic from flowing

The Florida Department of Transportation works hard to see that traffic does not flow. On West Bay Drive and Ulmerton Road in Largo, if you hit one red light you hit them all. There can be six lanes of traffic stopped for a red light with no perpendicular traffic, and we still have to wait for the whole cycle before the light changes. Could we get with the 21st century, please, and have lights that are traffic sensitive?

Also, who decided that the new Belleair Causeway Bridge should be 30 mph? Come on! A major east-west bridge at 30 mph? Of course, the old folks worry that they are going to get a ticket so they have to drive 20 mph.

I just had to write to thank you for wasting my precious time, DOT.

Ann Stoner, Indian Rocks Beach

Please hire capable hands for Mahaffey

St. Petersburg is searching for new Mahaffey Theater management. The Mahaffey Theater is one of our community's greatest assets and the region's only "music palace."

It is vital that the city places the building in capable hands, which may or may not be the "low bid" company. If the hall is dark 200 nights per year, if there are shows priced above the reach of the average citizen, the earnings carted from our town as soon as the curtain falls, our city will not have taken full advantage of the fine gift presented by the Mahaffey family.

David J. Abbey, St. Petersburg

New landscaping on Corey is appreciated

I would like to thank the city of St. Pete Beach for installing new planters and trees. Corey Avenue was getting hard on the eyes, due to several palm trees being taken down. The city came in last month and filled bare spots with beautiful planters and palm trees. Corey is cozy once again. All the businesses in the Corey area appreciate the new look. Thanks a bunch!

Kathi Hansen, vice president, Corey Area Business Association, St. Pete Beach

St. Petersburg should focus on helping residents, not bar owners 09/14/10 [Last modified: Thursday, September 16, 2010 9:05am]
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