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Giving developer condo job shows where true loyalty lies

Re: Allowing condos on old dump appalling, letter, Sept. 22.

I am in complete agreement that our county commissioners sold us out.

Yes, they did delay the decision by hemming and hawing over a few hundred feet here and there, but when it came right down to it, they knew all along they were going to give Grady Pridgen what he wanted.

Can anyone tell me why a man who has announced grand plans for a condo project here, a subdivision there, and a 42-story tower that may or may not ever appear should be given the right to even consider building homes in a polluted area? The greed of this developer is outrageous.

As far as elected officials failing us, I feel St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker deserves more blame than our county commissioners. His unending praise and support for Grady Pridgen makes one wonder where his true loyalties are _ certainly not with the people who elected him. For this he, too, should be sent packing. Let's give St. Petersburg a leader whose biggest priority does not involve selling more copies of his own book.

J. Patrick, St. Petersburg

Beach pavilion closing, but why?

After a sunny weekend on the south end of Clearwater Beach, I am still trying to think of one reason why the Clearwater City Council wants to close the South Beach Pavilion at the end of September.

Is it the $10,000 per month they are being paid by the operators that they do not want? Do they want to put the eight or 10 employees who work there out of a job? Do they want to disappoint hundreds of residents and tourists who visit the south beach for chairs, umbrellas and snacks and soft drinks?

Could one of the council members give me one reason why it should close? Maybe our local government "representatives" should get out from behind their desks and visit the south beach and witness for themselves the wonderful service provided to tourists and us local voters.

I thought the council was supposed to provide an attractive beach to maintain the economic prosperity of the city and the reason many of us have chosen to live here. Would the mayor or any council member like to reply?

Fred Eiselein, Clearwater

It's every citizen's duty to vote

Re: Lesson in democracy: Use it or maybe lose it, editorial, Sept. 21.

Except for one clause in the last paragraph, excellent thoughts. That clause: "Voting is a privilege . . . "

Voting is not a privilege, and that thinking is part of why this country has such a dismal turnout at elections; it reinforces the "my vote doesn't make any difference" attitude of so many 30- and 40-somethings.

Voting is a duty and a responsibility if you want your democracy to be the robust and vibrant one of American dreams. It is your duty and responsibility to become an informed citizen and participate in the democratic process as much as you are able, even if that means voting is the extent of your participation.

To do any less is to invite a decline into fascism, beginning with the oligarchy we witness today at every level in America as we fail to exercise our "privilege." Because citizens refuse to take responsibility and do their duty.

Michael L. MacDonald, Clearwater

We're only guests on wild animals' turf

When we moved from Palm Harbor to Fort Collins, Colo., our neighbors warned us not to let our cats outside because of the eagles, ospreys, owls, foxes and coyotes. When we moved back to Crystal Beach, we did not let our cats outside either because of the eagles, ospreys, owls and possible foxes and coyotes.

Are you sure it was a coyote, and not an eagle, osprey or owl? We need to remember, as much as we love our pets, the wild creatures such as eagles, ospreys, owls, foxes and coyotes were here first. They are wild and this is the way nature works.

Claudia McCabe, Crystal Beach

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