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Wal-Mart would make waterfront attraction

Re: Sketchy Wal-Mart plan stirs anxiety, story, Jan. 25.

I am glad Wal-Mart is coming to Tarpon Springs. What would Pinellas be without a Wal-Mart every 5 miles? And what a beautiful location it is: overlooking the Anclote River, one of the last natural habitats left in the county. The fish jumping, the birds, the manatees _ what a great spot for a parking lot! What's a little more garbage in the river, anyway?

And what will the citizens of Tarpon get out of the deal? Two hundred and fifty new jobs? How many work at Kmart a mile down the road? Maybe they can get those jobs when they go out of business.

But the biggest thing the citizens of Pinellas County get is the best reason of all: another traffic light on U.S. 19. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Let's spend millions taking away traffic lights on U.S. 19 in Clearwater and add them back in Tarpon. Ingenious.

We need a Penny for Pinellas incompetence tax.

Mark Weaver, Tarpon SpringsDrama programs

get little funding

Re: 800 students compete at 3-day thespian festival, story, Jan. 22.

I was pleased to read the comment by the sponsor of St. Petersburg High School's thespian group that "our district is one of the most talented in the state of Florida" when it comes to the dramatic arts, as evidenced by our success at the recent District 4 Thespian Festival at Countryside High School.

However, this article unintentionally misleads the public by omitting the fact that both the state of Florida and the Pinellas County School Board provide virtually no funding for the arts in almost all of our schools. Unless this unfortunate reality is at least mentioned, readers remain uninformed of the fact that success in the arts in Pinellas County occurs in spite of, not because of, our legislators' and School Board's policies.

Development of the talent in our district is entirely due to the dedicated teachers who work uncounted extra hours for little or no extra pay to develop and nurture these students; the parents who participate by continually raising and donating funds; and the students (not only aspiring actors, singers, dancers and musicians, but also those students involved in the technical aspects of theater, including costuming, makeup and stage work), who not only commit themselves to the extra work necessary to develop their talents and consistently present professional productions, but also continually involve themselves in fundraising.

The inclusive nature of theater production and the importance of the arts to a well-rounded education more than justify the added expense to provide minimal financial support, at least, from the state and local authorities. When, if ever, will this support be forthcoming?

Martin Altner, Safety HarborRoad construction

project wins praise

Re: Pardon the dust, story, Jan. 18.

Read with interest the article regarding reconstruction of Patricia Avenue in Dunedin. While no one likes construction areas, especially on the roads, I want to commend the construction crew for its serious attention to safety and traffic flow.

I live on Patricia Avenue and have yet to experience a traffic holdup. Exits into area business are clearly marked. Dirt and dust have been kept to a minimum, with a water truck even available on dusty days. Even the opening of the new middle school went smoothly inside the construction zone.

So, thank you, first for the wonderful new road we have to look forward to and secondly for trying so hard and successfully to make the construction compatible with our neighborhood.

Anne Daigle, DunedinDisk golf unsafe

for park pedestrians

It made me laugh recently when I went for my walk in Taylor Park in Largo. On both ends of the walking path they have erected signs: "Caution Disk Golf." How can we watch for those fast-flying disks? I think they should put up signs saying: "Caution, People Walking."

But the best thing to do is not have the disks flying across the path where people have been walking for years. We were here first.

Shirley Barkman, Largo

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