City: Median is off-limits Oct. 3, story
There's no proof of accidents, danger
The statement by St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker and assistant police Chief Luke Williams that banning solicitations in public medians would improve safety has no merit. Show the proof, cite the accident reports, etc. They can't because there wasn't any or they would have used them to back up their statement. They don't seem to have enough backbone to just be truthful and say they want it passed because they don't like seeing the poor soliciting for money.
This is the making of laws/regulations that have no basis in reality. They just sound plausible but have no facts to back them up.
No wonder people get mad or distrust our public officials. They say something that might be plausible to the public and accepted as true, but they dare not state their real reason, which might not be liked by the public, and those reasons could range from "Because this is what I want and everybody should live the way I do" to "I don't want the public to know that my friends and myself will get a benefit from the proposed law or regulation."
We need to keep a check on the people we elect. And if council member Jim Kennedy did say "the Constitution is an inconvenient document," then the people of St. Petersburg should demand that he resign. He apparently doesn't understand that public servants are there to protect our rights rather than promote their views.
James Deveney, Pinellas Park
City: Median is off-limits Oct. 3, story
Thanks for ban
Thank you, City Council members, for passing the median ordinance last week. It has been a long time coming. At our last Council of Neighborhood Associations meeting, a number of neighborhood representatives spoke about the need for this ordinance.
We understand that this ordinance in no way infringes on anyone's ability to stand (legally) on one of the four street corners to solicit donations or sell merchandise (newspapers), and those locations are much, much safer for the vendor, the drivers and their cars. Nor does it hamper free speech. It just places that activity in a safer location for everyone involved.
Barbara Heck, CONA president, St. Petersburg
Madeira Beach keeps strength in reserve fund | Sept. 28, story
Beach city in decay
What is the description of a healthy city? Most people believe it is one that provides all the needed services for the common good of the residents. Cities were originally created because the benefits of having a city outweighed the disadvantages. Today cities are more interested in eliminating services than providing even the basics.
When I moved to Madeira Beach 22 years ago, it met the above description. It had its own police department, building, water and sewer, and one of the best garbage collection systems I had ever seen. Today the garbage collection and fire department are about all that is left. There are so few services left that the disadvantages of having a city now greatly outweigh the advantages.
Selling the sewer system eliminated an income source to the city and resulted in a loss of control.
When I moved here, this city was vibrant and the shops and restaurants were always busy. Now outside of John's Pass and McDonald's, you can't even buy breakfast and the number of empty storefronts tell the real story of a city in decay.
Unless the city changes its ways now, it should be devolved and become unincorporated. We would eliminate the city taxes and we would still have the same county water, sewer and sheriff.
Kent Irving, Madeira Beach
Fares to rise; routes are cut Sept. 28
PSTA's cold ways
I would certainly like to comment on the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority's board members' sense of duty to the public. It stinks! What a bunch of cold-hearted troglodytes!
PSTA's job is to provide affordable public transportation to all. PSTA's board members are not supposed to be picking and choosing who gets public transportation and who doesn't.
What are poor people going to do if they don't have public transportation to and from work? I guess having a job that overworks and underpays you isn't bad enough. Now the poor can't even get to that job. Public servants, who don't serve the public; a health care system that doesn't provide affordable health care to all; insurance companies that don't insure — and now, a public transportation system that does not provide public transportation.
No one on the PSTA's board or the St. Petersburg Times can figure out how to properly fund a countywide transportation system. But I can bet my life that PSTA's board members and the Times can figure out how to raise funds for a new stadium. What a disgusting lack of priorities here in Pinellas County!
F. Kyle Kendall, St. Petersburg
Skyway jumper survives Sept. 29, story
Add nets, save lives
Well, over 100 seriously depressed people have died jumping off this bridge. Oh, my God! I think there is no good reason that netting to catch these poor people cannot be safely installed under and extending outward from the bridge. The netting could stretch and keep that poor person from the big plunge to death.
Every human life is precious, more precious than the cost of a net survival system on the Sunshine Skyway bridge. I demand that a plan be developed and implemented and that the funds to do this be taken from the bridge tolls and from the sales taxes. Even money from lotteries and casinos could easily offset this cost.
Let us save lives, not allow another life to be lost from this leap. No one deserves to end this way. No one.
Cynthia Lynn Buchanan, St. Pete Beach