1. Archive

Clearwater should ensure address numbers are visible

I would like to see Clearwater do something to enforce the approved ordinance regarding address numbers' visibility and size. It's a major hazard in driving when the traffic is so bad and so many people don't know where they're going. This ordinance applies to businesses and residences, but how many know or comply with it? Only a few.

The only way I know this can be enforced is by a fine if not complied with by a certain date. (Please _ not five or 10 years from now!) If staffing is short due to funds, a possible solution is to have a volunteer program such as the Largo police have recently started.

I'd also be happy to see cameras photograph people going through red lights. An argument I read is that it impinges on people's rights. Well, we have a right to go through a green light without being bashed by someone who isn't obeying the law.

The police can't be everywhere. People out here are speeding up to 100 mph in some areas. We as a community need to help wherever we can. But we need some direction beyond Clearwater. This should be a countywide effort.

Mary von Dorn, Clearwater

Third Friday generates business

for small shops in Safety Harbor

Re: Safety Harbor lays out night welcome mat, story, Oct. 18.

Thank you for your recent article on the Third Friday event held in Safety Harbor. I only wish it had been less negative.

Unfortunately, your reporters arrived a little early, around 5:30 p.m., and the event was scheduled for 6 to 9 p.m. The majority of the people arrived between 7 and 9 p.m.

As a relatively new shop owner in Safety Harbor, I had a very positive response that evening: My sales were beyond my expectations. Regular customers brought their friends, and new customers who had not been aware of my existence arrived.

Safety Harbor is a unique town, and this event only deepened my appreciation of it because of the support I received from the townspeople that evening.

I think the Downtown Business Association should be commended for its effort in generating more interest in our downtown business area, thus generating more business for the smaller merchants who must compete with the malls. I am sure the Nov. 21 Third Friday will be even more successful when our banner is in place, and there is a more positive attitude toward this event.

Edna Kirkirt, Safety Harbor

Editor's note: The following two letters are in response to A tell-tale sign in Largo's billboard debate, letter, Oct. 22.

Complaints will make

ugly signs vanish

The letter writer is taking Mayor Thomas Feaster to task for the color of the new funeral home in Serenity Gardens. I, too, believe a more subdued color would be better for the good-looking buildings and fence, but to each his own.

I don't care for homes painted purple or bright blue, but if someone likes it, so be it. I live next door to a mustard-yellow house and must look at it daily, but we can get used to almost anything.

A squeaky wheel gets the oil, so if we keep objecting to the signs to the city and the companies that are putting up those signs, eventually they will disappear.

Meta E. Ritz, Largo

Funeral home's colors

are a scary sight

The comment concerning "In Your Face Place," or Feaster's new funeral home, is certainly so true. If you drive past there, it is frightening. Drive by and think twice before making arrangements.

Helen Wells, Largo

Checkpoints were wrong idea

for Clearwater Jazz Holiday

My wife and I and our daughter visiting from New Jersey have just returned from the Clearwater Jazz Holiday. I especially enjoyed the music of Paul Taylor, the Rippingtons, Today Noel Freidline, Diva and the great Dianne Schuur.

The sour note of our weekend was getting into the park that evening. Because of selling beer and wine (I'm against that), there were checkpoints where coolers were inspected. We had no cooler, just chairs and a blanket.

Our daughter had just taken us to dinner for my wife's 59th birthday. My daughter's purse was searched and my wife's was also. It's about 5 by 7 inches, and she asked the cop what he thought she could put in it.

If this is what is needed to add beer and wine to the Holiday, I will not go again.

William Gilroy, Clearwater

Column gives food for thought

in lunch-till controversy

Re: Schools are a serving short of common sense, column, Oct. 23.

Something is definitely wrong with our system when a child has to be made "an exception to the rule" regardless of financial status.

Why is it that we can give Russia, Mexico and Israel millions and Russia saddles us with antiquated space equipment; Mexico undercuts our citrus, seafood and produce markets; and Israel only compounds our domestic relationships? Even closer to home, our own growers plow produce under and feed citrus to cattle just to keep the prices up.

One good point is that your column gives us a chance to air our gripes.

Earl Bonney, Largo

Mobile home residents come

from all walks of life

The president of Bay Aristocrat Village, a resident-owned mobile home park, had this notice in our weekly Spotlight: "I have just had word that Ray Frenette, Lot No. 237, has been named premier of the province of New Brunswick, Canada."

This, I believe, is an indication that you find all kinds of people in mobile home parks. As a neighbor I am proud that he has seen fit to honor us with his presence. Three cheers for mobile home parks on Tampa Bay.

Severino R. Titi, Clearwater

Synchronizing traffic

lights isn't all that hard

Every time I sit at an intersection waiting for the light to turn green, staring at the empty intersection, I wonder whatever became of the computerized traffic system. I remember the crews putting sensors in the pavement before and after the intersections. I remember reading in the Times the millions of dollars being spent to speedily move traffic through Pinellas County.

Here it is years later, and I still sit looking at an unused intersection waiting for the light to turn green. Or I will turn off of Belcher east on to East Bay and by the time I get to the next light, it is turning red. I wait for the green, and as I approach the light at Tri-City Plaza, it turns red. Great system!

I know the people down here don't want to hear how we did it up north, but years before the computer a main drag through Toledo was timed so that one could travel from one end to the other at 30 mph without stopping for one traffic light. Amazing!

John Downey, Clearwater

Orson Welles didn't meet

Tarpon Springs resident

Re: Oct. 18, 1944: Orson Welles has story for Ripley's Believe It Or Not, Pinellas History, Oct. 12.

A cute story but, alas, untrue. I did have a boyhood interest in magic, but the rest was all made up by a prank-playing pal, and how it got into the Times I remember not.

As I vaguely recall, the colorful Mr. Welles of acting/producing fame was to visit Tampa to entertain at a USO show at the Army Air Forces' MacDill Field. That's as close as he got to me. He never heard of me, and Genii magazine never printed anything about me, a 17-year-old student at Clearwater High School, a poorly run place that inspired me to little learning.

My mother had given me a Gilbert magic kit for Christmas, but I was too shy to do magic shows and was such a lousy "magician" that there was no way I could have come to Orson Welles' attention. At the time of the Welles "story," my only notoriety stemmed from being co-editor of the Scouting Times, a monthly tabloid newspaper published by the Pinellas Boy Scout Council.

If Orson Welles really had wanted to see me, I would gladly have paid the fare to run over to Tampa on the Gulf Coast Motor Lines bus of the day. More likely, I would have been driven over by my father if enough wartime-rationed gasoline had been available.

As a history buff, I am keenly aware that much of what is recorded as history either did not happen or happened in entirely different ways than reported and believed. As a former journalist, I can also attest to the hazards of believing everything reported in the media.

Harry Prior, Tarpon Springs