Will the city ever have recycling?
I was a science teacher in the '70s. I spent time and lots of energy encouraging students to become one with recycling. We had newspaper contests to see which grade level brought in the most newspaper. We encouraged students to recycle boxes, cans, glass and plastic. We felt proud of our accomplishments. We kept trees from falling into chopping machines, or so we hoped.
Well, after 30-plus years I am tired of lugging papers, magazines, cans, bottles, plastic!
My son has recycling at his home in St. Pete Beach as does my daughter in Tampa. Will St. Petersburg ever have recycling?
Patricia Archibald, St. Petersburg
Gator Will Rogers wore all kinds of hats | Dec. 13
Jungle Prada great for a museum
As a local history buff and longtime resident of the Park Street/Jungle area of St. Petersburg, I was especially interested to read about Walter Fuller's role in the history of the Jungle Prado (Prada) building.
Ever since Saffron's Restaurant left the Jungle Prada my fear is that someday I will drive by and see a wrecking ball destroying it, just as years ago I observed the slaughter of the beautiful Florida Theater in downtown St. Petersburg.
Why not acquire the Jungle Prada and convert the historic building to a western St. Petersburg museum, just as we have the St. Petersburg Museum of History on the approach to the Pier in eastern St. Petersburg?
The city already owns adjacent recreational and park land, boat launching facilities, a pier area and adjoining parking spaces. What a bonus to be adjacent to one of the area's Indian mounds and the probable landing site of Spanish explorer Panfilo de Narvaez in 1528.
With the right combinations of grants, Pennies for Pinellas money and other sources of preservation funding, this could be a superb historical attraction. If some additional revenue were needed, the city could continue to rent out some of the space until the museum gradually expands into the entire structure.
This would be a great way to engage citizens and students in the fascinating history of the area.
Roland R. Martens, St. Petersburg
3 parks given special status Dec. 25
Centennial year starts for parks
If one were to identify the one thing that makes St. Petersburg special, certainly close to the top of the list would be our parks, especially our downtown waterfront parks. Therefore it was particularly significant to see Mayor Rick Baker and the City Council approve additional protections to three of these waterfront parks this month: Albert Whitted Park, Soreno/Straub Park and Poynter Park. They have now been classified as charter parks, requiring a public referendum before any possible future use other than parkland may be made.
This December starts the centennial year of these wonderful parks, which begin on the south with Poynter Park and end on the north with Coffee Pot Park. They encompass nearly 115 acres and stretch along the bay for more than 5 miles.
The centennial celebration of the waterfront parks will begin on First Night and continue throughout the year. The First Night souvenir badges will feature the Waterfront Parks Centennial, and there will be special First Night Centennial-related activities.
St. Petersburg Preservation is proud to be the organizing sponsor of the centennial, and we wish to acknowledge the fine work of the SPP Centennial Committee chairman, Peter Belmont, and the many committee member volunteers, and also thank Mayor Baker for agreeing to serve as honorary chair of the centennial.
Will Michaels, president, St. Petersburg Preservation
Bicyclists flout the traffic rules
With all the traffic in this lousy county you would think people would shy away from biking outside the Pinellas Trail. But I see bikers in traffic all the time. It's way too dangerous for bikers and pedestrians.
I see a lot of bikers and walkers defy the law and not use crosswalks or cross with traffic. It's not all the motorists' fault.
These racing bikers think they own the road, yelling obscenities at cars and trucks. You think you're going to beat a car when you're only on a bike? I have seen too many bikers to have respect for them. Why can't they stick to the trail?
I also see lots of bikers run the stop signs on the trail and yell at the car driver. Where is law enforcement? If bikers want the same game in traffic as cars, then they better learn to follow the rules of the road as well!
Rob Gibson, Dunedin
Where will the speed bumps lead us? | Dec. 20, Diane Steinle column
'Calming' devices roil neighborhood
Thank you for the article on speed bumps. Everyone we talk to about this agrees that traffic calming devices are a real nuisance, and perhaps a public hazard, as you say.
In Tanglewood, where we live, the neighborhood has been without representation by the Council of Neighborhood Associations for years. Efforts to get it going again invariably turn on this one issue.
One side effect of the speed bumps and islands seems to be that houses nearby don't sell readily. We believe this is driving down home values for the sellers as well as for the neighborhood. These devices are an obvious red flag to any potential buyer that "something is wrong here."
Mark and Pam Reinecke, St. Petersburg
More people need to adopt animals
I am a volunteer for a nonprofit, all-volunteer animal rescue organization. There is a huge need for many more volunteers to help the homeless animal population, which is out of control. Many animals are out in the cold and rain, starving, injured and dying. Kittens are being born by the hundreds, with no hope for a happy and safe future.
I go by the churches and ball games and see thousands of people who could spend just a small time helping and volunteering, and if just 10 percent of these people would adopt just one animal, it would make such a difference.
The holidays should be a time for compassion and unselfishness. What a wonderful feeling it is to save a life!
Laurette Farmer, Dunedin