Re: Palm Harbor Library tax referendum.
As the co-Volunteers of the Year at the Palm Harbor Library and longtime residents of Palm Harbor, we would like to urge all voters in the Palm Harbor Library taxing district to support our library and vote March 7 for an extra one-quarter mill of library tax revenue.
The library has operated for the past 20 years with only one-quarter mill tax revenue. The area's increase in tax base has barely been enough to keep up with inflation and the increased services required by the growing population.
Twenty years ago, the library had one computer. Today, there are about 75, including a virtual library room for use by the public, computers in the children's area especially for their use, catalog computers and, of course, those used by the staff.
There was no literacy program; now it is one of the largest and best in the county. There was no genealogy section; now it is large, and a volunteer is available most days to help. There were only a few videotapes, and CDs and DVDs were unheard of; now there are aisles of them. A teen room was also unheard of then. All these services take more staff and more space. These are just a few of the services added in the past 20 years.
As for those who say we don't need a larger or better library - "Everything is fine now" - this is just a compliment to our great fellow volunteers, our super staff and the visionary and efficient leadership of our director, Gene Coppola. These people, working understaffed and in cramped quarters, just make it seem that way.
Please join us March 7 and vote "yes" for a bigger and better Palm Harbor Library.
Dorothy and Frank Greenstreet
Library offers endless
benefits and opportunities
For me, at age 87, the most striking aspect of the Palm Harbor Library is its total contrast to the intimidating and uncomfortable atmosphere of the library of my youth. The Palm Harbor Library's stimulating atmosphere envelops you and keeps bringing you back. The director, staff and volunteers feel like a family to me.
A few quick glimpses of my very heavily used Palm Harbor Library:
+ The eager anticipation of preschoolers excitedly running ahead of their mothers and dads into the library as fast as their little feet will carry them; the stimulated and nourished look on their faces as they leave.
+ The elderly bringing their intellectual curiosity and hunger for readily accessible cultural activities and much more.
+ The jazz concerts, the opera concert celebrating Women's Day, and more.
+ The sessions on American poetry that stimulated me to write poetry again after a 60-year hiatus.
+ The sessions on writing with an Eckerd College staff member that have resulted in the formation of a writers group. My wife and I are founding members.
+ The monologues by actors representing Eleanor Roosevelt, tributes to Ernest Hemingway, Zora Neale Hurston and more.
+ The art education programs in conjunction with St. Petersburg College's Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art.
+ The range in ages of library computer users, from young children to this 87-year-old using the extra-busy computer room and overflow areas.
+ Programs for the deaf and those who need help integrating into their new culture.
In essence, the Palm Harbor Library is a win-win situation for everyone. The library is for all people!
A few needs, as I see them:
+ Resuscitation and expansion of the overused computer program in three ways: more space for more computers, more up-to-date computers, and more up-to-date software.
+ More annual cultural programs.
+ Expansion of the too-small parking lot.
Barry L. Levin, Palm Harbor
Where were parents when
teen was gathering arsenal?
Re: In teen's house, police find guns, hate, Feb. 18.
The Clearwater Police Department has done a fantastic job in thwarting what could have been yet another tragedy in our schools or streets. I have three questions:
+ Where were the parents?
+ Who are they?
+ Why was the address omitted from the story?
Neighbors and the public must be aware of what is going on in their community; therefore, an address should have been included. Of course, if the case is still an ongoing investigation, then I would understand why it was not included.
If he was, in fact, under a guardian's care, do they not check the son's computer occasionally, as parents are told to do?
Estelle Marcopoulos, Clearwater
Tearing up intersection
again hurts merchants
The merchants on North Clearwater Beach are dumbfounded to see that the intersection of Mandalay Avenue and Baymont Street is being torn up again. What could possibly be down there that couldn't be fixed the last two times this same spot was torn up?
And, unbelievably, the work is being done at the start of tourist season again. Who is responsible for such an outrageous failure of execution and planning? I truly believe that the people who make these decisions are better suited for jobs that involve the phrase, "Would you like fries with that order?"
Dave Spath, Clearwater