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Boyd Hill plan shows lack of respect

Re: Muck trucks to use road cut from park, Nov. 8.

With all due respect, the mayor of St. Petersburg and our City Council members don't seem to get it. The people of the community have just expressed their overwhelming support for, and love of, Boyd Hill Nature Park. With an outpouring of emotion, they objected to the city's proposed staff cuts at Boyd Hill and were successful in preserving the integrity of the education and outreach program of the park.

Now, council members have put the park back on the chopping block again. On Nov. 7, they approved the construction of a 1.4 mile road through the heart of the park, with plans for dump trucks to traverse it 18 hours a day, 5 days a week, for 520 days, to facilitate the cleaning up of Lake Maggiore.

Fifty trees must go, including a dozen oaks. The sacrifice of our park is said to be necessary to spare the residents the commotion from the dump trucks that will carry muck away from the lake.

Please take note, elected officials, Boyd Hill is our treasure! It provides one of the few remaining areas of wildlife habitat in a county that is nearly all asphalt. The park's integrity and the well being of its wildlife should not to be sacrificed for the city's temporary convenience. Certainly, the city's engineers are resourceful enough to devise an alternative. The lake is large, and has much shoreline that is not a nature park. Why do our city officials show such a continuing lack of respect for our treasured park?

Anne Meylan, St. Petersburg

A word of thanks from new official

Thank you to all those who gave me support in my campaign for the Pinellas County School Board. Your vote of confidence, your kindness, your enthusiasm and your willingness to help in any way you could meant a great deal to me. Words can never truly express my sincere appreciation for all your help.

My vision for the Pinellas County school system is one that embraces change and promotes equal educational opportunities for all of our children. I will do the very best job I can, to help make our school system a district of educational excellence.

I look forward to working with the board members, all school system personnel, parents, students, the community and businesses, to help make our school system one of the best in the country. I believe that if we unite our energy, our knowledge and our talents and work together, we will have a win-win team for education.

I also believe that if we make a greater effort to listen and get to know each other, we will find that this great community of ours is a truly diverse family that loves all of our children and will work hard to ensure an education that will encourage all children to reach for their stars and be the best they can be.

We came together to help me win this race, now let's stay together to help our school district win the race in providing quality programs in education that will meet the needs of all of our children.

I invite all those candidates who ran for the School Board in the primary and in the general election to share their ideas and suggestions with the board. You ran because you felt a desire to help make the school system better. Please stay involved; the system can always use a helping hand.

Pinellas County, let us be the best we can for the benefit of our children.

Mary Brown, new School Board member, St. Petersburg

Fire official wrongly interferes

Re: Lealman fire official seeks revote, Nov. 11.

The head of the Lealman Fire Commission, Mike Brophy, is once again showing his ignorance. It is not his job, and he is in no position to call for a new election regarding the problems that arose at the polls between John Frank and Kathleen Litton.

The only people who are able to contest the issue are the candidates. And with their own campaign funds. Litton would have to get at least 560 more votes in order to win this election _ a slim chance.

To ask the 37,000 people of Lealman (only about 8,800 voted on this campaign) to go back to settle an issue of 633 votes is preposterous, extremely expensive and just plain stupid.

Why is the chairman of the commission even questioning the situation at all? Doesn't he like the people of Lealman to speak their minds?

Sasha Friedman, St. Petersburg

Good sense wins in Treasure Island

Re: Treasure Island vote.

For days I saw planes littering our beautiful sky with "VOTE NO Nov. 5." The TV ads, radio spots, newspaper and related media were besieged with ads. Our voters showed they have a brain and chose to keep our pristine, beautiful island the way it is. They also showed that sometimes no matter how much money you have, you can't buy an election. Good sense and love of our community prevailed.

Our vision statement for Treasure Island clearly states "small town ambience." The voters say we should keep what we have. Let's hope our city commissioners will heed what their constituents want.

Betty G. O'Hearn-DiNardo, Treasure Island

Take note of SPCA's achievements

Our community is fortunate to have the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to serve the pets _ and people _ of Pinellas County.

The sign that marks the entrance at 9099 130th Ave. N. in Largo reads "SPCA" but fails to inform passersby of the many achievements made by this extraordinary animal shelter.

Under the excellent direction of Beth Lockwood and the SPCA's board of directors, advancements are occurring in:

+ The health and comfort of shelter animals.

+ Emphasizing the need to build a more compassionate community for all.

+ Partnerships with law enforcement and social service agencies aimed at cross-training and intervening in suspected animal cruelty and domestic violence cases.

But the animals are the ones that will tug at your heartstrings.

As they await adoption _ without time limits _ the dogs and cats in the SPCA's care are treated to large doses of love and kindness. Some have never experienced this. Most have been someone's beloved pet before unfortunate circumstances broke the bond. Others were unwanted from birth, the sad result of their owners' failure to spay or neuter. More than 40,000 such animals come into shelters in Pinellas County every year. The SPCA of Pinellas County admits between 14,000 and 17,000 of these. Yes, the heart of the SPCA beats strongly in our community.

Many come to volunteer. Others give from the fruits of their labor. Most supporters give both time and treasure. I choose to support the SPCA through its Heritage Society, earmarking financial support to come after my death.

In difficult or good economic times the shelter _ as do other nonprofits _ must count on members and public support to ensure that the organization's mission can continue. The SPCA of Pinellas County is one animal shelter that truly merits support

Evelyn Burton, South Pasadena