Re: Smoking ban ignites debate, story, Feb. 1.
This is an open letter to the smokers of King's Manor Mobile Home Park.
As an internist and medical oncologist, I applaud your efforts to continue smoking in your community room. After all, the Florida Indoor Clean Air Act is a thoughtless government intrusion on your rights to play bingo while enjoying the pleasures of nicotine.
Never mind the fact that more than 250,000 people will be diagnosed with lung and smoking-related cancers this year. The majority of those will die within a year. And who has time to worry about the nearly 1-million Americans who die yearly from smoking-related heart disease, strokes and emphysema when you're one square away from coughing out "Bingo"?
Lastly, who really cares about the well-documented dangers of second-hand smoke on non-smokers? They shouldn't be allowed to play bingo anyway, and I'm sure they will quickly become used to the stale tobacco smell in the community room.
No, despite my profession, I am totally supportive of your Marlboro mayhem. I unfortunately can't join you (despite my love of bingo) but will be more than willing to see any of you in the future, should your medical conditions warrant.
By the way, during the two hours you spend playing bingo tonight, 40 Americans will die from lung cancer. Have fun!
Joseph Rosen, M.D.,
Cornerstone Cancer Center,
We should be grateful, not greedy when it comes to park
It occurs to us that Clearwater is a city that is lacking just plain community spirit. The greed of developers is well-known. They see an area they like and feel they can turn it into mega-bucks. That is really all they care about.
Many people who have lived here 25 years or more came here because of the love of the natural beauty and the peaceful, slow-paced way of living.
Coachman Park is one of the loveliest parks one could ever find. Other cities have to raze old buildings and go to great expense to clear them, and then endeavor to landscape them so that in five to 10 years down the line, they will, hopefully, look half as nice as the bluff area.
Now the city commissioners have gone to a major expense to have architects draw up various plans to develop this beautiful park. Downtown Clearwater is an area of many vacant buildings. The Scientologists seem to be the only outlet for many of the starving landlords. And yet, too many residents of Clearwater are angry that that religious cult seems to be growing and endeavoring to "take over" that area!
Isn't it about time the commissioners started to use their heads and appreciate the fact that businesses, when they are busy, don't care whether they have a beautiful view of the waterfront or not?
In our increasingly fast pace of life, people are spending a lot of money for more peaceful and serene surroundings where they can unwind and relax. The bluff area is exactly that _ sit and take a deep breath and view the water.
Wake up, city commissioners! Please don't ruin what other cities must truly envy! Take a second look at what you already have and see it from the retirees' eyes as well as many of the tourists.
Susan M. and Charles P. Parker,
Looking for an end to distractions for drivers
Re: Officials question $60,000 mural, story, Feb. 1.
Well, here we go again. What will the Clearwater powers that be think up next?
First, it was keep the drawbridge to the beach as a pedestrian bridge. Then it was take out the mangroves to see the water. Then, erect a roundabout. Now, put up a mural on the U.S. 19 overpass at Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard for drivers to gawk at, as if they don't have enough to do navigating the road.
I ask, "Where will it end?" Living here since 1956, I believe something is a little out of whack.
Let residents, not politicians restore beauty to our beach
Wake up, Clearwater! I've written letters to the editor since 1945 warning of the destruction of our beach. Let our own local residents plan needed changes, not someone who desecrates our once-lovely natural living with big-city garages and roundabouts.
These people have loaded their pockets with our money, destroying beauty for glitzy appearance. Let nature take it back. If left alone, our once beautiful area would be saved.
As a longtime resident, I say take the money spent on salaries for these outsiders to rejuvenate what once was natural beauty _ the water, sky and trees, all growing naturally with help from the one above who created it.
Roundabout makes trip
to restaurant unsettling
We've spent many winters in Clearwater, mainly because we love the beach. But this year, going to our favorite restaurant, Frenchy's, was an experience on the roundabout.
We had no trouble getting to Frenchy's. But trying to get back on the roundabout to the mainland was almost impossible. There's no way to leave except by forcing your car into the circle, and it's equally difficult to exit the circle.
Perhaps Frenchy's will consider opening a restaurant in Dunedin so we can still enjoy their delicious food without putting our lives at risk.
Paul B. Smith,
Library renovations require
more oversight, thought
Until recently the Palm Harbor Library was a superbly designed community library that functioned well for a growing area. No longer is that the case. The recent physical changes to the interior now taking place or about to take place are, for the most part, unwarranted and unwise.
Therefore, I recommend that the Palm Harbor Community Services Agency do the following:
Restore the former research area exactly the way it was before the present director decided to change it. The former research area functioned in an outstanding manner, providing well-organized materials and quiet space for patrons to do research.
Cancel the construction of four literary rooms, a conference room, a separate genealogy room and a separate office. Do proceed to enlarge the "Virtual Library." It is needed and justified by the patron use.
The cost of the impending modifications cannot be justified and will seriously interfere with the library's core objectives. Further, it is appalling that the plans by the present director were never publicly displayed for comment. The director has taken it upon himself to act as a library planning consultant, interior designer, architect, engineer and general contractor _ none of which he is qualified for.
Finally, the library should not function as a community center at the expense of the library. A community center is needed, but it should be a separate facility.
Future planning should begin with a mission statement that acts as a policy guide for the planning and the day-to-day functions of the library.
Richard M. Selleg,