Saturday, November 18, 2017
Letters To The Editor

Why not combine bird and marine rescue?

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Aquarium's big question, and Injured birds will get help, but... | stories, March 3

Why not combine bird, sea rescue?

The juxtaposition of the stories in Sunday's Clearwater & North Pinellas Times about the Clearwater Marine Aquarium's proposal for downtown Clearwater and the emergence of Suncoast Bird Rescue illuminated an important connection between the two: They both share the mission of rescuing and rehabilitating marine wildlife.

Collaboration between the two, rather than launching one single attraction, could transform downtown Clearwater's identity by giving it a viable, long-term mission — one that educates and generates an appreciation among visitors and residents about the ecology and wildlife, feathered and finned, that make our area unique.

Businesses would have a compelling reason to take root and spin off that theme.

As downtown partners, the two could attract a more diverse population of visitors and locals, which would add to the long-term viability of the project — an important factor when residents vote on the referendum.

If it comes to pass, Clearwater residents will have good reason to take pride in their downtown. They have waited a long time.

Cindy Deadman Maxwell, Clearwater

Clearwater Marine Aquarium expansion

Stop before losses deluge aquarium

Anyone who claims to be a supporter of cooperative regionalism in our purported community of Tampa Bay needs to start writing letters and emails to the board of the Clearwater Marine Aquarium right now. They need to say "Stop! This is a monumentally bad idea that will do irreparable harm to so many people and institutions that it defies reason." Copy Mayor George Cretekos, Pinellas County Commission Chairman Ken Welch and any other public official who will be called upon to lend financial support to this ruinous pipe dream.

Without a $7 million per year subsidy from Tampa, the Florida Aquarium there would probably fold. Then review the umpteen articles about the attendance woes of the Rays and Bucs. Then stir in the new Secrets of the Seas Marine Science Center being built at John's Pass. Then ask St. Petersburg what the existence of Ruth Eckerd Hall and the Straz Center for the Performing Arts has meant to the Mahaffey Theater.

This is a clear case of not understanding the impact of competition in Tampa Bay. Twenty-five years ago there were limited entertainment options here. Now, the discretionary leisure dollar has been sliced so thinly that every not-for-profit entertainment venue has struggled of late, with little relief in sight.

I'm thrilled with the success in Clearwater that aquarium CEO David Yates has conjured up from the making of a heart-rending fish tale. But ultimately, Winter the dolphin is a one-trick pony that will cause more damage to the Tampa Bay cultural scene that won't be fixable with a gimmick.

Scott Wagman, St. Petersburg

Dunedin leaders brainstorm story, March 1

Pedestrian mall's a great idea

What a wonderful idea to have a pedestrian mall for Main Street in Dunedin! There is nothing more enjoyable than to be able to stroll down the street during festivals instead of trying to squeeze by on the small sidewalks.

Germany and Belgium and many European countries have been doing this for years. They have free parking outside of the malls with shuttle service running repeatedly.

I don't think Dunedin needs a shuttle service, since it is very easy to walk there. However, I think more free parking lots would add to the incentive to come downtown more often.

Concetta Platania, Dunedin

Clearwater rejects hotel story, Feb. 23

Council's reason not reported

Your article misleads. The City Council wisely rejected the proposal, but not because it was too big for the site. (Nowhere in their lengthy discussion was that identified as an issue.)

The hotel density reserve units are to be used for restoration of lost midprice, midsize hotels, not for bringing older units into compliance.

The project did not comply with those rules, and would certainly have contributed to an undesirable canyon effect as well.

Vicki Jackson, Clearwater

Comments

Monday’s letters: Doctors should speak up on harassment

Sexual harassmentDoctors need to speak upThe recent widespread recognition, followed by disapproval, of sexual harassment across many workplaces signals a paradigm shift in social attitudes toward abuse of power that is long overdue.The male-dominate...
Updated: 11 hours ago

Saturday’s letters: Reservoir project off to a good start

Lake OkeechobeeReservoir project off to good startThis year, more than 70,000 Floridians contacted their legislators to support expediting a reservoir project south of Lake Okeechobee. Another 150 business people, anglers, health care professionals a...
Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/17/17

Sunday’s letters: Roundabout way to help the rich

Senate GOP’s tax plan to kill ACA mandate | Nov. 15Devious way to hurt middle classSo, let’s see if we have this straight. The proposed amendment to the Senate tax plan, to kill the individual mandate, will cause young people to not buy health in...
Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/17/17

Friday’s letters: Stop laying blame on teachers

Hillsborough teachers are set to protest | Nov. 14Stop laying blame on teachersI am a veteran teacher, coming up on 30 years of service to public education. My mother was also an educator, clocking over 40 years of service in public education. Sh...
Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/16/17

Pasco Letters to the Editor for Nov. 17

Questioning fees draws snarky responseYou are probably aware of the new Pasco utility fees that became effective last month.Under the dubious title of "convenience fee" for making utility payments by credit card or e-check, Pasco Utilities adds $2.75...
Published: 11/15/17

Wednesday’s letters: Generosity makes all the difference

National Adoption MonthThe difference generosity makesAs a football coach, I always had to be ready to overcome unexpected challenges. With injuries, crowd noise and especially weather, the game plan is always adjusting to overcome adversity.Our stat...
Published: 11/13/17
Updated: 11/14/17

Monday’s letters: Moore is not fit for public office

Woman: Candidate pursued her as a teen | Nov. 10Moore is not fit for public officeIt is sad that Roy Moore, a self-professed religious man, is running for a Senate seat when he is clearly unfit for any job involving the public for so many reasons...
Published: 11/10/17
Updated: 11/13/17

Monday’s letters: Don’t fall for the tax cut ruse

Tax billDon’t take your eye off the ballThe rush is on. The Republican Congress is rushing to pass a modest tax cut for the middle class while giving corporations a massive tax cut. While taking away some of the tax deductions from ordinary taxpayers...
Published: 11/10/17

Sunday’s letters: End greyhound racing in Florida

Tom Lee wants to phase out greyhound racing | Nov. 8Put a stop to this cruel industryKudos to Sen. Tom Lee for shepherding a constitutional amendment to end greyhound racing in Florida. Greyhounds forced to race live in misery and frequently die ...
Published: 11/09/17
Updated: 11/10/17

Friday’s letters: Hillsborough school making strong progress

Hillsborough school district in financial, leadership crisis | Nov. 5, editorialSchool district’s achievementsWhile I respect the Times’ editors and acknowledge our district is facing financial challenges (facing them head-on, in fact), I feel it...
Published: 11/08/17
Updated: 11/09/17