Bullied online, girl kills herself | Sept. 13
Message is not getting across
It is encouraging that all the parents of the girls involved are cooperating with law enforcement. Bullying cannot be tolerated, yet social media websites are such a convenient forum for immature, cruel and uncalled-for comments, some of which go beyond mean and are simply damaging lies.
Too many children are still not understanding the impact of their actions, nor the legal implications. I have a lot of respect for the painful, yet absolutely right choice those parents have made and hopefully other lives will be saved. It's obviously time to deliver heavier messages about bullying in our schools and at home.
My condolences to the Sedwick family at this painful time.
Robyn Dalton, Largo
City considers park fences | Sept. 13
Parents: Watch your kids
The beauty of Florida's parks and the water near those parks is what attracts people to the parks. Putting fences up will distract from that beauty and cost taxpayers a fortune.
While I understand safety is important, ultimately it is the responsibility of parents to watch their children and keep them safe. It is not the responsibility of the government and taxpayers.
Cathy Carter, Odessa
Bridge ban upsets anglers | Sept. 13
Anglers deserve a chance …
So pedestrians who carry a fishing pole are banned from this span, but vehicles, which could run into and seriously harm pedestrians, are allowed?
If officers are to prohibit fishermen from using the bridge, they should also prevent bicycles from using the bridge. After all, by law, bicycles are considered vehicles and subject to the rules of the road, and vehicles are specifically banned from using a pedestrian bridge.
I suggest a compromise. Bicyclists should stop objecting to fishermen so they can both share this very expensive bridge.
Bill Hammond, Clearwater
… or, maybe not so much
Well, tough. After 37 years of living and bicycling all over the Tampa Bay area I can state categorically: People who fish off bridges are slobs. Don't believe me? Go check out any bridge popular with "anglers". You'll find discarded beer cans, broken beer bottles, old coolers and parts thereof, fish guts and bones, dead fish, hooks and lures, fishing line waving in the wind, old chairs and other plastic garbage, etc.
While bicycling over the Sand Key bridge I once caught a snarl of old nylon fishing line with my rear gears and chain. It was caught on the railing and blowing in the breeze. It brought me to a sudden halt. I had a very trying time digging it out and going on my way.
My mother taught me to clean up after myself. If the local fishermen and women would "leave only memories" they would be a lot more welcome.
Pete Wilford, Holiday
Residents stand up for nature | Sept. 8
Bill Maxwell says the residents of Lakewood Estates are on the side of the Boyd Hill protection group in the matter of the building of townhomes.
This is not the case.
The only residents of Lakewood who are against the townhomes are the ones who might have to look at them; the other 1600 homeowners recognize that if the country club doesn't get an infusion of cash, the people protesting the loss of part of their "view" ultimately might have no view at all.
Judy Ellis, St. Petersburg
Legal fight gains support | Sept. 13
No more gifts for Walmart
As a Hillsborough County taxpayer I am tired of seeing public money going to huge companies to pay for infrastructure.
I thought it was wrong when Hillsborough gave Bass Pro millions for infrastructure. Now Hillsborough is planning to use $5 million to add turn lanes to the two biggest intersections near the proposed Walmart on Bloomingdale Avenue. Why is Walmart not paying for this?
The proposed Walmart is going to make traffic a nightmare in the area, even with added turn lanes. There are already two Walmart's on Bloomingdale Avenue and we do not need a third.
F. M. Younglove, Brandon
Home prices up from a year ago | Sept. 12
An unaffordable state
My mother originally purchased the home I live in 20 years ago and it was not in a flood zone. Thanks to remapping several years ago, this same property is now in Zone AE. Yet never once in 20 years has there been any flooding.
I review flood insurance policies and other loan-related documents for a living. Imagine my disgust to see a home in Louisiana located 12 miles from the I-10 bridge to New Orleans paying one-third the premium I pay, and another property located a half-mile from the banks of the Mississippi River that was not in a flood zone at all.
Where are Florida's legislators? Why aren't they speaking out on something that will surely stop any progress in the recovery of Florida's real estate market. The closer I get to retirement the more often I consider leaving Florida as it is no longer an affordable place to live.
Denise Lishefski, Seminole
Girl who filmed bus beating sentenced Sept. 13
How to use videotape
The girl who recorded this beating, which stemmed from an argument in the cafeteria at Mitchell High School, was given the same punishment as the attacker? And the prosecutor said she was the instigator? I suspect we are not getting all the facts to this story.
It sounds like the person making the recording was punished for recording the incident (and then posting the video on social media). I think many people might warn their children not to record illegal or inappropriate things that happen at school or in other places. And I'm not sure that is a good idea.
Could the Times please write an article about the legal aspects of recording an illegal act or beating? After all, nobody believes what goes on in schools until you show them a picture.
Sue Martinson, Hudson