1. Archive

Library isn't meant to be home away from home

Published Feb. 28, 2006

Re: Library lacks ample funds, resources for its services, letter, Feb. 23.

Letter writer Leonard Dozois insults common sense. My children visit the Palm Harbor Library to discover interesting books to bring home and read. They go in, finish their business and leave. I think anyone who isn't a part-time employee or volunteer who spends four hours a day five times a week in the library is ridiculous. And I'm not thrilled to learn that people like Mr. Dozois use my neighborhood library as their personal office space.

To suggest the library couldn't afford a $75 wireless router if it really wanted to is simply absurd. I'm curious as to why you feel the library should supply your personal wireless notebook a router anyway. What could you possible be doing with a personal notebook in a library for four hours a day that you couldn't do at home?

I think the ladies working the front desk are very nice and I have no problem with them, but the check-in and -out is a bit slow. I'm not complaining, but don't make it out as if it's because of overcrowding.

Noise isn't allowed in a library by anyone. Noisy teens would be ejected. And what does a 7-year-old in a tree (outside the library) have to do with the library or my tax dollars?

Please understand, Mr. Dozois, I'm not antilibrary. But my electric bill almost doubled. My water bill did double. My fuel cost for my car doubled. My food bill is on the rise. My work salary hasn't increased.

If this gets any worse, I'll have to move in with you at the library.

William Howard, Palm Harbor

For a better library, just vote "yes'

The Palm Harbor Library has a reputation for using every penny of tax money and donations wisely. The land, original building and its expansion, additional parking lot, and materials, including computer systems, are all paid for. Since opening in a rentedroom in 1978, the library has outgrown its ability to serve adequately a population of 60,000, especially space for children.

All the services you receive now are provided by one-quarter of a mill of property tax approved in 1986. It is difficult to operate on a budget set 20 years ago. It is true that the tax base has expanded, but population and expenses for library operation have multiplied just as rapidly.

For the price of a good loaf of bread, $2.65 (this is the monthly tax increase for the average homeowner in the library district, according to county records), the library will be able to offer you an expanded building, more parking, Sunday and extended evening hours, more books, videos, DVDs, computers and cultural programs - all at no extra cost. As well as quiet study areas and new special areas for teens and children.

Your community library needs your support. Please vote "yes" on March 7.

Jeanette Malouf, Palm Harbor

Mobile home park should suspend rules

Re: Adults-only park stands firm against soldier's kids, story, Feb. 25.

There are many stories in the news that get my dander up, that break my heart and that I find appalling - and sometimes all of that and more. Take the story of Thomas Boyette, whose son is serving in Iraq and who took his daughter-in-law and grandchildren into his home temporarily while their house was being completed. Now the mobile home park where Mr. Boyette lives is forcing him to choose between eviction or kicking his grandchildren into the street because the park is an adult-only community.

I get that it is restricted to adults only. But if ever there was a time to suspend the rules, isn't this situation that time? The Riviera Estates mobile home park flies a banner that states "Support our Troops." It seems to me that they are merely paying lip service, and when it comes down to actually doing something specific and heartwarming to show support, they hide behind rules that clearly do not cover every situation.

Community associations create rules and restrictions for good reasons for the most part. However, I believe in some latitude in the application of these rules - latitude that reflects the understanding that circumstances sometimes do not fit neatly into the rule structure. Latitude that shows there are caring and thoughtful people behind the administration of the rules, not automatons who refuse to open their hearts.

I am appalled that Mr. Boyette should have to make a choice between his home and his grandchildren. Riviera Estates and the people behind this organization should be appalled at themselves for forcing him to.

Stephanie Hall, Palm Harbor

Attacking park managers serves no one

Re: Park's support for troops hollow, editorial, Feb. 22.

I have to wonder after reading this editorial just what the Times hoped to accomplish by it. Should residents storm the office every time someone has a worthy family emergency? Is the solution to this family's problem to do away with seniors-only communities?

Bringing this problem between the homeowners and park management into the public arena could have helped solve the problem to everyone's satisfaction. It could still increase the chances of resolving a difficult situation in a win-win manner. So far, though, media coverage has only magnified the standoff.

I would rather see your paper foster public communication. We know that in communication the goal is not for someone to be right and someone to be wrong.

So now it's up to the neighborly instincts of the bay area. Will someone step up with an affordable short-term rental or donations? How about some pro bono legal assistance for the park to explore its options? How about something other than ganging up on the park management?

Kristi Leach, New Port Richey

Police chief earns more than high-fives

Re: Largo lucky to keep Aradi as police chief, editorial, Feb. 23.

Now that Largo's beloved police Chief Lester Aradi will not be leaving after all and the city breathes a long sigh of relief, let us hope that Aradi receives more than a hearty slap on the back and high-fives. Just because he lost out on the job in Batavia, Ill., does not mean that he will be immune to a better offer if the opportunity presents itself.

Words of love and praise alone may not be enough to keep a rein on the police chief. After one close call, maybe Largo will entice Aradi with more pay and a better retirement package or whatever else it will take to make it well worth his while to stay on as Largo's much-acclaimed police chief.

JoAnn Lee Frank, Clearwater