Ban on street soliciting
Cleaning up St. Petersburg's image
Thursday night, after months of workshops and several hours of public comment, the St. Petersburg City Council voted unanimously to ban solicitation on all major roads in the city. This is something that the community has wanted for years and was long overdue. My colleagues and I weighed all the options and realized the only way to comply with our constituents' wishes to rid our streets of this unsafe and unsightly activity was to ban all solicitation.
At the meeting, much of the discussion was about the Muscular Dystrophy Association's Firefighter Boot Drive, a noble gesture for a great cause. However, I believe that the hundreds of firefighters in our city can do better than collecting $30,000 a year and not have to stand in the middle of the street to do it. I challenged them at the meeting to come up with a better way to raise funds for MDA and double that number next year. Every other agency in the county raises money by hosting golf tournaments, silent auctions, dinners or concerts. We have a great group of dedicated men and women who are capable of meeting, even exceeding this challenge.
I also challenged the St. Petersburg Times to listen to "those they wish to sell ads and newspapers to." This community wants very much to clean up its image and get on with recovering in this difficult economic time. With every street corner populated by people asking for money, it is difficult to sell property, rent apartments or fill vacant storefronts. The Times should dedicate the resources it has to finding new ways to sell papers that are not a blight on our city's image and show the community they hear their concerns and are a partner in this goal. Spend your time and money on innovative methods to stay competitive in an ever-changing media and not on attorneys suing your city and forcing us to spend ever-diminishing tax dollars defending what your community wants — a clean, safe, comfortable and thriving environment to live and work and enjoy life in the Sunshine City.
Jeff Danner, St. Petersburg City Council member, St. Petersburg
To come here, follow the law
The people in Arizona protesting against the new immigration law are charging that the country is discriminating against hardworking, honest individuals who came here for a better life.
That is not entirely accurate. No one will argue that this is not a country of immigrants, or that these folks are not hardworking, often doing jobs that are menial and low-paying. But the key is that they came illegally.
My husband went through the process, the never-ending paperwork, the waiting, and the money for application fees. He did not cross the borders illegally. On May 20, he became a citizen.
It is a slap in the face to those immigrants who followed the law of the land and went through the process, without whining about discrimination. They paid taxes, and did not demand welfare, food stamps and other handouts to support their desire for a better life.
Candy Puri, Largo
More must be done
BP's full-page ads in the St. Petersburg Times are a joke. BP states in its ad on Friday that they have 30 teams to help wildlife. Thirty teams of how many people?
And if I understand the correctly, teams are a group of people who work together, so how can they possibly cover the thousands of miles of shoreline? And what about the sea animals that spend most of their time in the gulf?
It breaks my heart to see pictures of birds, turtles and other wildlife dying. BP should be sending 10,000 people or even 100,000 or more, if that's what it takes to save every animal possible instead of figuring out how much to pay in dividends to stockholders.
Richard Golden, San Antonio
Gulf oil spill
Send the CEO out
I have just seen on TV and the Internet the photographs of the pelicans mired in oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill. It absolutely breaks my heart to see those birds dying a slow, painful death.
BP is spending millions of dollars on public relations efforts to try to convince us that they are concerned about the spill and the environment. I'd truly find their PR efforts more believable if BP CEO Tony Hayward would don a pair of waders, get out there and personally try to save these birds and the other wildlife being threatened. What is he waiting for?
Bev Jester, St. Petersburg
Chocolate milk off the menu | June 4, story
It's better than no milk
These activists who are involved in this nationwide campaign to remove flavored milk from school menus need to focus their attention on other areas that need reform. Research has shown that removing flavored milk from school cafeterias results in a 65-75 percent reduction in milk consumption.
It is estimated that approximately 50 percent of American children are lacking sufficient vitamin D in their diet. Milk is the leading source of vitamin D. A vitamin D-rich diet will lead to increased height, bone strength, and bone mineralization. Milk is also a leading source of calcium, which lends itself to the previously outlined benefits.
Flavored milks contain the same essential nutrients as unflavored milk with only a small increase in sugar grams and/or calories. Children who drink flavored milks are no more likely to gain weight or consume empty fat calories than children who drink unflavored milk.
Bottom line, I would prefer that our schoolchildren drink flavored milks instead of high-sugar fruit drinks and carbonated beverages. If the only way to get them to drink sufficient milk is to add a minimal amount of flavoring, so be it.
Fred Lucardie, certified dietary manager, Tampa