1. Archive

Community shows its concern

I have a short story to share which I think gives merit to a special community.

My family moved to Clearwater in 1973. We were one of the first families to live in the Wood Valley subdivision, between Drew Street and State Road 590.

My mother had recently divorced, had not worked in 15 years and had three children to raise. Needless to say, life wasn't easy.

As the children grew into adults and moved on, my mom remained on Melonwood Avenue. The community changed very much throughout the years.

Though we saw many families move and new ones came, one thing remained: the commitment to be good, caring neighbors. My mom lived there for the past 20-plus years alone. Alone? Not really. All her neighbors looked out for her, in small ways and in big ways.

Unfortunately, I lost my mom on July 9. An extremely short 10 days after stage 4 cancer was diagnosed, she passed on. The shock was overwhelming, though we thank God she did not suffer long.

It was this neighborhood, these friends, total strangers, kind, caring and extremely generous people whom my family wishes to thank. From the first day, the community of Wood Valley came forward. They saw that we had food and drinks every day. They brought tables and chairs, ice, coolers, hot dishes, cold dishes, desserts, cards, flowers, thoughts and prayers _ before the funeral and after.

We can't say enough about their unconditional love.

Our world depicts very troubled times these days. It is my hope that others will know special moments like these more often. What appeared before us was tragedy, but the people of Wood Valley brought encouragement into our hearts.

We have been touched by this community and we will remember their random acts of kindness in memory of Ida M. Busher, a friend, for the rest of our lives. Again, thanks.

Pam, Mike and Mark Busher, Dunedin

Thanks to all who fought

for McMullen-Booth traffic light

Re: For safety's sake, board approves new traffic light, story, Aug. 12.

We applaud the Metropolitan Planning Organization's courageous decision to recommend a traffic light be installed at McMullen-Booth Road and Union Street. This ensures the safety of our children and the entire McMullen-Booth Elementary School community.

While we understand the engineers' job to keep traffic moving, this cannot be done to the detriment of our children.

Those people who knew a light was needed and fought hard for it, we thank you.

Anne and Paul Kluga, Safety Harbor

All drivers, not just truckers,

need a highway safety reminder

Re: More unmarked police cruisers would deter violators on U.S. 19, letter, Aug. 5.

I'm a truck driver, and I believe that all drivers should be educated about safety around trucks, not just truck drivers. I also believe that all people driving a motor home should be required to obtain at least a class C license.

I agree with the letter writer that we do need more unmarked police on U.S. 19, but they should be in trucks. The things I see "four wheelers" (as passenger vehicles are called by truck drivers) doing would turn most people's hair white. I see beer bottles, drugs and sexual acts, not to mention what you four wheelers see: talking on cell phones, applying makeup and reading while driving. I think Pinellas County would have to build another jail if they put just three police officers in trucks and let them cruise up and down U.S. 19.

I disagree with the writer on his point that "trucks should stay in right lane." Trucks range in weight from about 15,000 to 80,000 pounds. That is 40 tons. Most four wheelers seem to think that the big gap a truck driver leaves between the truck and the car ahead of him is there because the truck is moving too slow. Wrong! That space is there because that's what is needed to stop the truck.

People don't hesitate to cut off a truck and fill in that space, not giving a thought to what would happen if traffic suddenly came to a stop in that lane. A fully loaded truck would totally crush the car in front of it, if it didn't have adequate room to stop. Some drivers do this with their kids and family members in the car to boot.

Would you grab a lightning rod in a thunderstorm?

Of course you wouldn't, but you'll pull out in front of a truck that outweighs you by 20-to-1 or better.

Mark Honor, Dunedin

Largo officials' reaction

to "speed trap' signs is typical

Re: Bird's-eye view helps police spot speeders, story, Aug. 10.

Typical mentality of Largo officials: A resident puts up "speed trap" signs, Lt. Michael Stephens admits it helped achieve the goals of the operation, then Largo police remove the signs, and Stephens plans to talk to the man who put them up.

I'll bet Mayor Thomas Feaster had something to do with the order to remove the signs.

Allen Volonino, Largo