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Take a few minutes to help keep litter in its place

In the 12 years that I have been picking up trash along 98th Street, between 86th Avenue and 94th Avenue near Osceola Middle School, I have never had the problem that I have had the past three weeks. There are hundreds of little pieces of colored paper about an inch square all along this area.

I think they are coming from a truck that picks up the trash at Starkey Elementary School, since I found an envelope with the school's name on it and I have seen a trash truck with its loader up driving along 98th Street and shaking the hopper into the truck.

Could someone please remind the trash collectors that this is littering and ask the teachers at the schools to tie up the trash so it does not float around? Sorry, I did not get all the squares picked up Sunday morning. I got too tired.

Mary Anne Hamilton, Seminole

Find inexpensive mural alternative

Re: Officials question $60,000 mural, story, Feb. 1.

Talk about wasted time and money! Since when does Clearwater have $60,000 just lying around to use for a sign on the overpass? They just voted for a big tax increase because of upcoming expenses.

Now, they want to spend $60,000 for a sign to let people know they have arrived in Clearwater. If they just have to have a sign, why not hire some of these talented people who love to paint fancy signs on everything, usually where they are not supposed to? Give them the cans of spray paint and a few hundred dollars for their effort. Then, if the overpass is torn down in six years, so what? The artist gets some recognition and the job won't break the city.

Let's not throw away tax dollars for something that's not permanent.

Fran Glaros, Clearwater

Keep fire district separate

Re: Squabble over fire station's location heats up, story, Jan. 30.

Thank you, taxpayers of Seminole, for agreeing to spend more than half a million dollars to build a fire station in Indian Shores and become our "first provider" at no cost to us. I'm sorry that your firefighters and equipment will be moved from Seminole, but I guess that's part of the growth business.

My only worry is that "Mr. Seminole," Doc Kinsey, was quoted by the Times as saying that he would like to see the entire Seminole Fire District absorbed by Seminole. Does this include Indian Shores and the Redingtons?

Bob McEwen, mayor, Indian Shores

Learn lesson from roundabout

Our great city manager, mayor and commissioners in Clearwater really had intelligence. They were told that the roundabout on the beach would never work, but they still went ahead and had it built. Now we have another white elephant on our hands at the taxpayers' expense.

As for the fountain that doesn't work or spray at times, it ends up being a great, giant birdbath.

They should never be allowed to develop the bayfront; it would end up being another disaster. They have ruined our once-beautiful Clearwater Beach.

Mary Cavanaugh, Clearwater

Roundabout is working well

I am not one normally to write to the paper and express my opinion, but this bashing of the roundabout on Clearwater Beach and the mayor, city manager and City Commission has gotten out of hand.

I have lived in Clearwater for over 40 years and this is the first time city officials have accomplished a major, positive project in a long time. I use the roundabout on a daily basis and I have never been in a traffic jam or had a wreck or anything close to a wreck.

If a driver changes lanes without looking on Gulf-to-Bay or U.S. 19, they will cause a wreck. The same is true for the roundabout. I want to give Mayor Brian Aungst, the city manager and the City Commission a pat on the back for a very beautiful and functional entrance to Clearwater Beach.

Earl (Rusty) Hoaglin, Clearwater

Roundabout is outdated traffic tool

When Mike Roberto announced the plans for the circle on Clearwater Beach I sent him an e-mail to inform him of what is happening with circles in the Northeast. His response was full of optimistic support for his ill-conceived plan.

In New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland, Rhode Island and elsewhere, circles are being controlled by traffic lights at their entrance, or being replaced with more modern designs that are capable of handling the present-day traffic volume, which is way beyond the ability of a circle to manage.

All of these facts were ignored by the city during the design phase. In his haste to beautify, Mike Roberto has foisted on the taxpayers of Clearwater a traffic handling device that is not only obsolete but also poorly designed and executed.

Now the motorists must pay the price with fender benders, confusion and alienation for this ostrichlike behavior by the city.

Michael L. MacDonald, Clearwater

City should heed survey results

A public opinion survey was commissioned by the city in February 1999. The results were reported to City Manager Mike Roberto.

In answers to questions about the most important project for the city to undertake, "allowing the construction of retail shops, restaurants and movie theaters on the bluff" received only 7 percent of the votes.

In answers to questions as to what projects are very important to the future of Clearwater, only 18 percent said "allowing the construction of retail shops, restaurants and movie theaters on the bluff."

This survey would indicate that development of the bluff is not a high priority among the general citizenry and not very important. Another public opinion survey commissioned by the St. Petersburg Times in November 1999 reconfirmed this situation.

In answer to the question as to what is the best use of the land overlooking Clearwater Harbor in downtown, 63 percent said it should remain as it is, mostly public-owned. This survey would indicate that a majority of the citizenry want the bluff kept in public ownership and in open space.

A survey by the Church of Scientology was presented to the city in the summer of 1999. The results of their survey showed a desire for a movie theater, coffee shop, brand-name restaurants, food and book stores.

According to a church official, Scientology owns some of the land that could be needed to develop the bluff, and 90 percent of their people want movies, Italian and seafood restaurants. These people are looking for places to go.

In the recent visits by the city team to prospective developers' projects, one developer was asked why he visited Scientology officials three times but never met with members of the city's downtown business community. He was warned by the mayor and the city manager that he could be criticized as a Scientologist.

In spite of the surveys done by independent public-opinion companies that show that development of the bluff or bayfront is not a priority in the city, the city continues down the path of bayfront development.

What counts anymore?

Lee Regulski, Clearwater

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