Streets plan raises hackles story, Nov. 1
An alternate idea for trail crossings
With complete disregard for reality, planning for two-laning of Court and Chestnut streets at their Pinellas Trail crossings in Clearwater seems to be speeding recklessly along.
If allowed to proceed, this irrational scheme will collide head-on with the already-challenging traffic stoppages that now plague these major east-west arteries. This can only exacerbate the already horribly traffic-snarled periods of our tourist and spring break seasons.
Moreover, sensible questions arise: Why is the accident data at these trail intersections not available to the Clearwater City Council and public? This mysterious lack of data seems to be the critical issue. Does a genuine safety problem even exist? Why are the relevant numbers unavailable?
Rather, are the Florida Department of Transportation and Clearwater traffic bureaucrats more interested in creating projects for themselves than improving or solving a legitimate safety issue?
Or is this a case of irresponsible cyclists and head-strong pedestrians pitting themselves against traffic, as all motor vehicle drivers frequently witness?
If this situation is a real problem, two alternative solutions readily come to mind:
1) Increase signage with flashing warning lights before the trail crossings, both on the trail and at the Court/Chestnut intersections. The same methodology works successfully in numerous cautionary situations such as school, hospital and other high-pedestrian usage areas.
2) Create a one-block detour of the trail route east to Myrtle Avenue, where traffic lights control both automobile and pedestrian crossings. Affordable improvements and additions to affected sidewalks, trail signage, and passage barriers could easily solve any perceived safety concern.
Again, does the "unavailable" accident data justify this traffic-choking plan? Do we really wish to stifle tourist and resident access to and from Clearwater Beach?
I urge all Clearwater Beach residents and City Council members to fight this misguided effort.
Paul R. Koenig, Clearwater
It has been an honor to serve
I have had the privilege of serving the residents of Pinellas County for the past 10 years as a member of the Florida Senate. Thank you for allowing me to be your voice in Tallahassee. During the past decade I have met some of the finest people I will ever know. It has been an honor and a pleasure representing the various communities that make up Pinellas County.
Now that I will be moving back to the Florida House of Representatives, my district will be reduced to one that is solely contained within Pasco County. Even though I will no longer be your elected official, I know that I leave you in the good hands of the state representative and state senator who now will be your advocates in the Capitol.
Please know that even though you no longer live in my district, I am still available to serve you if needed. I will continue to maintain my toll-free number (800-948-5885), which is for constituents to use when calling from outside the (727) area code. Please don't hesitate to contact me if you ever need my help.
May God bless each and every one of you.
Sen. Mike Fasano, District 11
Clearwater High dress code
A vote against uniform policy
I just want to take this time to express my extreme frustration with this school. My son and nephew are freshmen this year.
I for one am not in favor of the new uniform policy they set forth beginning this year. I don't appreciate my voice not being able to be heard when parent voting took place, because my child was not yet a student, however outgoing seniors' parents and community members were allowed to vote.
This new uniform policy has put a strain not only on my family, but many other families, especially in this time when jobs are nearly nonexistent. (We live paycheck to paycheck with next to nothing to spare.)
This week was the first cool-weather week, which called for jackets or sweaters. My son hasn't been able to go to school with a sweater or jacket because every jacket/sweater he owns has a hood on it and the school won't allow it. If he were to go, they would put him in in-school suspension.
I don't want my child to be punished and segregated from his regular classes and these in-school suspensions on his school records because I can't afford to go out and buy him what the principal thinks is appropriate.
This school uniform policy has consumed so much valuable class time and the staff can't manage to do their jobs in a timely, professional manner. It took me three weeks to get answers regarding my son's schedule, which I inquired about by phone many times, emailed many times and visited the school.
During my attempts by phone I hear nothing but commotion about this one's not in dress code, call his/her parents due to his/her pants. When I actually went to the school, there were many students in the office due to dress code violations.
Take the focus off of what the kids are wearing and put it back on what's truly important, education.
A. Padgett, Clearwater