1. Archive

Library lacks ample funds, resources for its services

Re: Library wants tax for features not needed, letter, Feb. 16.

It's interesting how one's perspective on the needs of the Palm Harbor Library depends upon how often one uses it. Letter writer Rick Whitelaw writes, "I bring my three young children there at least twice a month and I am there more than that."

Well, Mr. Whitelaw, apparently you are not there often enough.

I too visit the library regularly. In fact, I am often there more than 20 hours every week. As a freelance writer, I find I am more productive when I have the library's research resources at my fingertips and I am able to access the Internet through my laptop's wireless port. That feature, I might add, was donated by a patron because the library did not have the $75 in the budget that it needed to purchase a wireless router.

I frequently have to park at the ballfield because the main parking lot and the overflow lot are filled to capacity.

I see patrons queued up waiting to use the woefully inadequate computers that can't even run the latest software because of antiquated operating systems.

I see patrons waiting in check-in and check-out lines that rival the lines at the grocery store on two-for-one sale days.

I have endured groups of noisy teens who are meeting in the adult section because the teen room is filled to capacity.

And just recently I witnessed a library staff member trying to coax an unattended 7-year-old from out of the tree he had climbed by the library entrance while his mother was who knows where.

Although you don't come right out and accuse library director Gene Coppola of inventing his justifications for the increased tax levy, you certainly offer a strong opinion for someone who spends a fraction of the time there that he does.

Perhaps you should visit more often before stating as fact what can only actually be misguided opinion.

Leonard Dozois, Palm Harbor

Businessman's influence could taint city government

On Feb. 2, an article appeared noting the campaign contributions made to the various candidates in the upcoming Largo city election. I couldn't help but notice that Fred Thomas of Pinch-A-Penny made some significant contributions.

I wonder if Largo residents remember the overwhelming problems and discord Thomas caused with city government when he was a Clearwater resident. Is that what we want in Largo, a City Commission bought by Fred Thomas to further his interests in developing his properties? I certainly hope that Largo voters will see through this and vote to keep Fred Thomas' influence out of our city government.

Robert A. Croslin, Largo

No need to dig up dirt on City Commission hopefuls

Re: Office seeker disowns bad deal, story, Feb. 19.

I read with disgust this muckraking article in the Largo Times section of the St. Petersburg Times. This article may have had some relevance if the matter written about had happened one or even two years ago, but to bring up material that is 18 to 20 years old is muckraking.

This is just plain dirty politics. Why not either keep the race clean or do an expose on each of the candidates, air all the dirty laundry and go back 18 to 20 years to get that laundry?

Also, each of the candidates you chose not to endorse should be allowed far more than 300 words in their rebuttal. The endorsement editorials you wrote are nothing but free political advertising. The other candidates should be allowed equal space.

Dawson Berry, Largo

Question arises about lack of animals seen outdoors

For the past couple of years, we see no birds outside our windows. Once we enjoyed gangs of blue jays, occasional family of cardinals, the song of a mockingbird and squirrels running wild everywhere.

Not now. A Sunday afternoon in Phillippe Park was eerily quiet: no blackbirds proclaiming their presence, no sparrows trying to steal your lunch and not a squirrel in sight.

Today on a walk in Lake Chatauqua Park, I encountered one human but no other sign of life in the air or on the ground, not even an ant, no creatures great or small. Anyone know why?

Loyal Farrell, Safety Harbor