1. Archive

Team, city leaders irk Dunedin Blue Jays fans

Re: Fans may make call on Jays' new name, story, July 7.

This article brought up several points that need to be addressed by Dunedin Blue Jays fans.

First, the current nickname has nothing to do with the low attendance. One should look at poor promotion, the lack of senior ticket discounts and an earlier starting time as reasons for that.

Secondly, the article has brought into question the legitimacy of the contest. Staff writer Bob Putnam wrote the name may not change; but on the contest entry form the first line states, "The Dunedin Blue Jays will be changing their nickname." Perhaps team officials don't want to give away lifetime season tickets for Dunedin and Toronto to anyone, but just want people to come to the ballpark thinking they have a chance of winning something.

Lastly, Dunedin Mayor Tom Anderson talked about how he loved the Dunedin Blue Jays and how the nickname should relate to the city's Scottish heritage. Maybe Mayor Anderson has been to some Dunedin games, but I have never seen him at any. Also, I believe more people from Canada visit Dunedin than people from Scotland. Plus, many fans who attend the games don't even live in Dunedin. Why should those fans be forced to choose Highlanders, Pipers or Kiltsmen as a possible name if they wish to win the contest?

To sum up, team and city officials have succeeded only in irritating more fans of the Dunedin Blue Jays.

Calvin W. Boaz, Clearwater

A matter of style over substance

Re: Fans may make call on Jays' new name, story, July 7.

Does anyone really care what the team is called?

Instead of selling the steak, sell the sizzle!

Suggested new name: the CSADBBQHDs (Comfortable Seats And Delicious Barbecue Hot Dogs).

Lee Snider, Seminole

Horne has impressive management skills

Congratulations to Bill Horne on his selection as new Clearwater city manager! I, as a member of the recent Clearwater Fire Department Task Force, had the opportunity to closely observe Bill in action when he served as non-voting chairman. Among other fine qualities, he displayed impressive management skills, strong leadership and a detailed knowledge of our city. Thanks to our City Commission for making an excellent choice.

Bill Schwob, Clearwater

Clearwater needs town hall meetings

Congratulations are in order for Bill Horne and for the city commissioners who voted for him as Clearwater city manager.

Mr. Horne as interim city manager showed himself to be a thoughtful man who makes decisions based on facts, not politics. In a word, Mr. Horne is his own man who knows how to listen to others.

Speaking of listening to others: Bill, how about instituting town hall meetings to replace some citizen-attended commission meetings? Although commission meetings allow us to be heard, the town meeting format would be more open to the exchange of ideas. For a man who knows how to listen, there's no better place than a town meeting.

Fred Nassif, Clearwater

Aim those fireworks elsewhere, please

I am no ogre: I enjoy fireworks and usually have no problem with the people on Evergreen Drive in Oldsmar's Harbor Palms subdivision using their Fourth of July fireworks. Unfortunately, I had a bad experience this Fourth of July which might reinforce a belief that fireworks in the hands of the common folk are not good.

Thank God I spent the evening of July 4th at my sister's home in Wesley Chapel and not floating in my fiberglass pool. I awoke July 5th to go swimming in my pool. To my dismay, a bottle rocket had come through my bird cage and exploded in my pool. For 20 years I have paid homeowner's insurance, but you guessed it _ I must pay my $500 deductible to fix my bird cage and to find out how to get gunpowder burns off my white pool.

Please, whoever on Evergreen did this: It's okay this year; but next July 4th please remember that there are homes behind your fence in Bayside Meadows, and we bear the brunt of a lot of your fireworks. It is not prudent to set off bottle rockets in communities such as Harbor Palms and Bayside Meadows where houses are close together. Bottle rockets need to be set off in open, rural areas.

I thank God I was not floating and sleeping in my pool like I do in the evenings when it is not raining.

Luckily, I am just going to waste money to repair damage due to someone else's stupidity. All I ask Evergreen Drive is to please aim your bottle rockets where no one or nothing can get injured or ruined. Try aiming them at your own home.

Marcey Rotz, Oldsmar

Anclote Key lighthouse needs TLC

For a good number of years I heard they were going to fix up Anclote Key and the lighthouse, yet people have told me they haven't seen any progress.

When the Cape Hatteras lighthouse in North Carolina was moved, it made the news and was an event that drew thousands. On the videotape that I purchased, people came from as far away as Europe to see the move.

The Anclote Key lighthouse was built in 1887 and has been standing in the same place for 114 years. It was taken over by the Coast Guard, automated, decommissioned in 1984 and left to rot. Now it is a pawn in a game, and no one is sure what the deal is.

I've been a resident of the area for more than 20 years and remember the lighthouse beam shining over Alt. U.S. 19 in Tarpon Springs. It was thought of as a giant lawn ornament and useless, as some stated years ago; but to boaters it was important. Many were saddened when it was turned off and some of us knew that it would be forgotten and mistreated.

This lighthouse, like a sea turtle or manatee, can't speak for itself. After awhile you get tired of politicians always talking about what they are going to do to help; and the next time you hear about them, they just vetoed the funds for the project. They really don't care what they say as long as it gets votes.

Everybody knew about the Cape Hatteras lighthouse and its move. Nobody knows about the restoration of Anclote Key. I could never compare Cape Hatteras and Anclote Key; they are like night and day. Hatteras is a well-maintained tourist attraction for Buxton, N.C., and loved by all. Anclote Key is an eyesore in the Gulf of Mexico in need of tender loving care.

Gina Austin, Port Richey

Editor's note: The current state budget includes $370,500 to conserve or replace key metal components and glass in the light's lantern room, remove lead paint and paint the 101-foot tower.

Kudos to several young heroes

We hear a lot of negatives regarding the youth these days being involved in crime, drugs, alcohol and other misdeeds.

But in the last few weeks we have seen the actions of teenagers who, without regard to their own safety and well-being, put themselves in harm's way to come to the rescue of others in distress.

I speak of the accident on the Howard Frankland Bridge in which a car went into the water and a teenager jumped in to try and save the driver; and another incident in which a woman and her dog were attacked by a pit bull, and a teenager came to her rescue.

How refreshing to hear such stories of heroism on the part of young people, who all too often get the short end of the stick with the media. Hats off to young people who show they are caring, responsible and are productive members of society.

Len Vivolo, Clearwater

Great example for leaders to follow

The recent withdrawal of funding support by the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority for Clearwater's parking garage has provided us a valuable lesson about how our government system should work.

The PSTA rightly conceded that it couldn't afford to build a new bus terminal complete with a parking garage for Clearwater. Instead, our county will spend significantly less by renovating the existing terminal.

And a private group, the Church of Scientology, decided that it would build additional parking for its membership at its own expense.

The county decides to renovate at a huge savings to taxpayers, and a private group pays its own way. This is no minor revelation. What a great example for our Clearwater city leaders to follow during the continuing beach and downtown development process.

Dan Moore, Clearwater

Morton Plant serves community well

I hope the residents of Clearwater and environs appreciate fully how fortunate we all are to have the outstanding facilities of Morton Plant Hospital and Morton Plant Rehabilitation Center.

In recent years I have spent considerable time in each and have found nothing but full effort and a common desire from the administrators, doctors, nurses, physical therapists and maintenance personnel to help the patients recover and get well enough to resume as much as possible a normal life.

In addition, I would like to commend the paramedics, who are very skilled in their jobs and very caring about anyone they have to help.

Allen Lewis, Clearwater

Morton Plant Hospital staff lauded

My husband received excellent care at the Morton Plant Hospital emergency room in March from the minute he arrived in an ambulance. Our family was well satisfied with his prompt, lifesaving care in the emergency room.

But I saw other injured or sick patients who spent long hours in the waiting room and in chairs set up in the hall. No matter how big or how modern the new emergency room is, there will be a constant need for sufficient skilled physicians, nurses and others on the medical team to take care of the many men, women and children who arrive (with families surrounding them) in need of care.

Our sons and grandchildren were born at Morton Plant Hospital. My husband and I have had lifesaving surgeries there. It is reassuring to know the emergency room will be bigger and better with designated areas and more beds.

I thanked one nurse who easily started an IV for my husband. I said he must be a specialist, and he replied, "Ma'am, we're all specialists here." They are.

Lois Cormier, Clearwater