Where is the outrage? - July 18, letter
I don't write to the newspaper often, but I could not stay silent after reading this letter.
Again we have the great race divide. I am a citizen of the United States, who happens to be a resident of St. Petersburg who is black. The simplistic expectation expressed in the letter is an insult. Parents don't rise up every time we read about children who kill their parents. Drivers don't rise up every time road rage occurs or drunken drivers kill. And the people like the letter writer do not write to newspapers to encourage such a stance.
When Americans stand up and demand an end to the killing of innocent people at home and abroad, black or white, then we will truly be what our maker wants us to be.
By the way, if the letter writer is referring to TyRon Lewis and the confrontation that followed his untimely death, I would not label it murder as he was killed by the police. His own action contributed to that event. Those who rose up to protest his death represented themselves and their causes, not the community - just as the little white men who wear white robes and pointed caps or skinheads or other self-serving white racist groups, do not represent all white people.
Lounell Britt, St. Petersburg
Black society faces cancer from within - July 18, letter
Get involved for safety
This was a well-written letter telling the problems of our neighborhoods, but it doesn't tell how to solve our problems.
In the white neighborhoods, if there is a suspicious act of some nature, the residents will check it out or call someone who will. In other words, we police our neighborhood.
If you want to live in a safe environment, you and your neighbors must get involved. As you can see, this is a life or death situation.
Donald F. Kelly, St. Petersburg
A new homeless plan - July 18, and It's time to move past tent cities March 3, editorial
Homeless fix elusive
I urge you to update your editorial in light of the current situation. St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker and the City Council are really not interested in permanent shelters for the homeless. The agencies have not gotten their act together. The city and the county are not getting more beds and more services for the homeless. They think this problem is going away.
I try to focus on the need for, and importance of, permanent shelters as well as the safety of the homeless. The politics of this cannot, of course, be ignored. We are up against the apathy of the public, the lack of spiritual will, the fear of lost funding on the part of the faith community, the power of some of the more affluent neighborhood associations (not in my back yard), and, of course, the business interests.
How can we make this into a win-win situation for these varied interests? If we had everyone at the table, face to face, and we really listened to each other, we might make some progress. The question then becomes: Who can facilitate or mediate?
Dwight Lawton, St. Petersburg
Beach is for heroes
On a beautiful sun-kissed morning in the early 1950s, a young girl and her father walked along the pristine sugar sands of Madeira Beach. They came upon an unusual sight. Men wearing striped robes in large wooden wheelchairs were enjoying the sun, the beach and the magnificent view.
The child asked, "Who are these people?" The father replied, "They are heroes. They fought a terrible war to make our country safe." "But why are they here?" asked the little girl. "Because this is their beach, dedicated to veterans. It belongs to them."
That beach was Archibald Memorial Beach Park on Madeira Beach. I was that child and the father was V.W. Manginelli, a physician at Bay Pines veterans hospital. These were his patients. He wanted his child to understand the importance of honoring our servicemen and never forgetting their sacrifices.
My father and most of his patients are gone now, but we must honor their legacy. Once again our country is at war, and new heroes are returning home. They deserve better than to have their memorial beach turned into a commercial enterprise to enrich the coffers of Madeira Beach. Madeira Beach mayor and council members, I am ashamed of you. God Bless America.
Paula Manginelli Kelly, Pensacola
It's time for recycling
I am a five-year resident of St. Petersburg and am appalled that we do not do a better job of recycling in this city of more than 200,000 people. You hear about global warming, and you look around at all the culprits: people driving enormous vehicles, no emissions testing, not conserving energy - and no mandatory recycling!
What one person can do to help slow global warming is astronomical: We could all replace our light bulbs with energy-efficient light bulbs, plant another tree in our yards, drive a little less, and certainly in a smaller car. These are things that we can all do with just a little effort. It doesn't take flipping your entire world upside down to feel good about your part in helping ease this epidemic.
That said, that the city of St. Petersburg, and quite frankly, any other town or city in this country, does not have mandatory recycling is ridiculous. I do recycle, but it's not as easy as it could be. I bought my own bins, and I take them once a week a couple of miles away to recycle them.
There is no reason why the city should not be recycling. Please help by writing letters to Mayor Rick Baker insisting that we start mandatory recycling. Get involved before it's too late!
Rae Wilson, St. Petersburg
Test older drivers - July 18, letter
Test people, not ages
I disagree with this letter. Sixty-five is not that old to be retested for driving skills. Make it 80 or older. Most people at 65 are still limber, have good reflexes and good eyesight. Go by the individual, not the age.
Gail and C.W. Wright, St. Petersburg