A flag flap forces flip-flop story, Aug. 4
Symbols cloud real city issues
How symbolic of why our nation is in trouble. First, let's note that the city employees took an entirely rational approach to the budget concerns and reducing flag-flying difficulties and costs, which were handled poorly only in the sense that they failed to recognize how hysterical and mob-ruled our political arena is these days. Woe to he that would dare touch Linus' security blanket, even if only to wash it!
As for the general public's outcry, as I said, how symbolic! Our citizens show great and ignorant concern for anything they perceive as the least disrespectful of the colored cloth while being blithely oblivious to the reality that flag is supposed to represent.
Yes, take away our privacy and civil rights, but don't you dare remove a single symbol of wasteful spending! Speaking of which, cut back on whatever services you have to, even if it causes poor people to die, but don't you dare stop spending on that symbol! We might be the home of the frantic and the broke, but we'll make sure everyone knows we're proud of it!
Politicians love this kind of public outcry. It draws attention away from back-room dealings and inefficient practices already in place to benefit their friends. Oh, and let's ignore the slow takeover of Clearwater by Scientology.
Brent Yaciw, Wesley Chapel
Scientologists care for city flags?
In the spirit of community involvement, I think the Church of Scientology should volunteer to help take care of some of the flags/flagpoles around our city. They have a huge volunteer pool to pull from, and we all need to do our part.
Only in a country that offers all of the freedoms that we enjoy could the Church of Scientology survive, in spite of itself. Let them show their appreciation by helping, not just our city, but theirs as well.
Gregory Lord, Clearwater
Boater explains rescue of fugitive
The July 24 story, Commandeering presence on board, left out a few details. I was the operator of the vessel who picked up a man in the water on July 23 at approximately 1:30 p.m. He was waving his arms, yelling for assistance and appeared to be on the verge of drowning.
I reacted instinctively as most seasoned boaters are educated to do in a situation like this. I turned my boat toward him and I pulled him onto my boat. This rescue event took place in the "resume normal speed" section of the Intracoastal Waterway channel north of the Seminole Street boat ramp in Clearwater. I had no idea who he was or where he came from.
I later learned that this man was a fugitive wanted by the Clearwater police. I took the fugitive at his word that his family was worried about him and he needed to meet them on the Clearwater Beach side of the channel. I headed my boat slowly in that direction. The fugitive was visibly shaken but never indicated to me that anyone was after him.
The next thing I know I was being chased by the U.S. Coast Guard and a civilian boat with six police officers on board. They ordered me to stop the boat, which I did immediately. The fugitive then dove into the water to escape but was quickly captured by the police, who hauled him onto their boat.
I was then asked to follow their boats back to the boat ramp, where I was appropriately questioned about my actions by the Clearwater police and the Coast Guard. I was then verbally reprimanded by the Clearwater police for not hearing their "halt" commands' from the shoreline, presumably at the time that I rescued a man who turned out to be a fugitive.
Things could have gone very badly for me during those brief moments when the fugitive was on my boat. Thank goodness no one was injured. I now see why law abiding citizens are reluctant to get involved. I was both surprised and puzzled by the reaction of the police to me. Apparently, no good deed goes unpunished.
Gasper J. Sacco, Palm Harbor
Developer's delays result in lawsuit | story, July 30
Scale back condos to be affordable
Do we not have more than enough luxury/high-end condo units available in downtown Clearwater, Island Estates, Clearwater Beach and Sand Key? And most of them have what high-end buyers want: a water view.
Would it not make sense to develop the Strand at Clearwater Centre on Cleveland Street into affordable condos, as there must be more prospective buyers looking for affordable housing than luxury condos? Should not the builder be looking for a market that is not saturated?
For many, high end is not an option, but having a new, nicely appointed, modern, affordable condo might be where the buyers are. It's not too late to deep-six the granite, etc., and return to the basics.
Doris Carroza, Clearwater