1. Archive

Stoplights are more red than green

Is it me or has the length of time we wait for stoplights in Pinellas County gotten longer lately? It just seems to me that I am sitting longer than in the past for traffic lights. And the greens are getting shorter. And the yellows are a joke.

I can understand municipalities liking this because it generates more traffic violations and is a good source of income. People get tired of lights and sit long enough for them, so unfortunately they go through right up to the turn from yellow to red, sometimes even past that.

It appears a bit strange that the news media show that red-light running is "running" rampant in Pinellas County, but then leaders lengthen the time the lights stay red. Would that not be counterproductive?

You wait for five to six minutes for a red light to turn green, and then the green light does not seem to last much past one to two minutes. Turn arrows are the most aggravating.

I travel the roads of Pinellas County every day, and it's just getting worse. To lengthen the time the lights are red just coerces people to go through more red lights. Do the math. The yellow and green don't equal the time the lights stay red.

I think they should make the green and yellow equal the time the light stays red. At least people might get a chance to get somewhere in this sorry, light-infested county without running a red light.

Rob Gibson, Dunedin

Good reporting on Leverock's

Re: Condos at Leverock's? It's not a done deal,Feb. 12.

Kudos to Paul Swider for a well-written article! Often, news articles leave us with more questions than answers. Mr. Swider's thorough research and clear explanations left the reader with a satisfying chronicle of events. Excellent reporting.

Ann Still, St. Pete Beach

Martohue's bias is the real issue

Re: Incumbent faces extra opposition in election, by Paul Swider, Feb. 8.

Nice try to deflect the very serious issues District 1 faces in St. Pete Beach. While Deborah Martohue would like us to believe that attorney Ken Weiss is an electoral issue, the fact is her record of consistently voting to disallow citizens of St. Pete Beach their constitutional right to vote on the enormous changes she wants.

Add to that Martohue's history of "representing the development community," her area of expertise for condominium development, and her record of representation of the cellular phone industry.

And there is this other nagging little issue of a state ethics commission complaint against Martohue for being a registered agent for the guy who owned the Travel Lodge motel. This occurred while she, as an elected official, voted on legislation affecting his investment. By the way, the guy made a $30-million profit in 18 months.

Don't be fooled by a group passing itself off as a citizens group when it really is made up of businesses hoping to get rich off development. The only "grass roots" citizens group is the one Ken Weiss represents, and he is doing it nearly for free because he believes in the citizens' right to vote.

Cherie Haigley, St. Pete Beach

Most mobile home parks are well kept

Re: It's time that mobile homes moved along, letter, Feb. 8.

You are going to hear from a lot of mobile home owners referring to the letter writer's problem with Pinellas County's mobile home parks. He states that they are a blight on the county landscape.

Well, I will agree there are some parks that are old and do look bad. However, most of the mobile home parks are beautiful and well kept. Where does he live, in a million-dollar condo or home in Palm Harbor?

Move mobile home owners to Polk County because the parks are sucking up valuable land? What a crazy thing to say! This man must have a grudge against people who live in these affordable homes. I think he is all wrong in his thinking.

John Fenwick, Clearwater

Pinellas County caters to the rich

Re: It's time that mobile homes moved along, letter.

For the letter writer's information, mobile home parks do pay taxes and plenty of them. I would be willing to bet we pay more than condo people pay.

Pinellas County is dead set on getting rid of the parks because it caters to rich people. The county raises taxes on the mobile home parks to try to drive them out. On top of taxes, each owner pays for a sticker each year that costs $30 to $60, depending on whether they have a single- or doublewide home.

Mobile homes were here before the condos. They belong to retired, working-class people who must now depend on Social Security to pay for rent, food, insurance, health care, medicine, etc. Some are still working to make ends meet.

Don't tell me about social services. Mobile home owners get very little, if any, help from them.

As a mobile home park manager, I know the taxes and insurance we pay. I write the checks.

Why don't county officials think about building suitable housing for people being kicked out of mobile homes, ones these people can afford instead of so many condos? Maybe we need some new people in these positions who are geared to the poor working people! Remember this at voting time.

D.J. Arter, Clearwater

A number of parks are very nice

Re: It's time that mobile homes moved along.

I am responding to the letter writer who thinks there should be no mobile homes in the county. I agree that some of the older ones do cause blight in some areas. However, there are a number of resident-owned parks that are very nice. They have only doublewides, and some have a privacy fence around the entire park.

There are some residents in our park who are still employed. Like my husband and me, they bought, hoping very much that this would be their last move. If our park is sold, we will be forced to walk away, leaving our home and investment behind.

Take a good look at the retired military personnel who can afford housing in a park like ours. Not all of them came out of a career protecting this wonderful country as four-star generals.

Incidentally, our park is loaded with tall oak trees draped with moss. I don't feel that these beautiful trees should be destroyed so that developers can build high-rises. Also, a lot of people are on fixed incomes.

M.J. Gibson, Clearwater