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Published Aug. 9, 2007

Every time we have a significant rain, your paper comes running to Shore Acres to snap a picture of the first puddle you see. Have you gone to South Tampa, Bayshore Boulevard or other "flood-prone" areas of St. Petersburg? I know those areas flood because I've driven through them!

I have lived in Shore Acres for more than two years. Yes, the water on the roads backs up and, yes, we do get minor flooding. But when we get more than an inch of rain in an hour, don't you think everyone becomes "flood prone" in Pinellas County?

Your consistent headlines about "flood areas" has worn itself thin. Not every street in Shore Acres floods as you picture. Find other areas to showcase the county's puddles and give us a break!

Colleen Dalton, St. Petersburg

Give Shore Acres a rest

Enough already! Every time we have a heavy rainstorm in St. Petersburg, you can count on the Times having a photo of Shore Acres splayed across the Local and State section the next morning.

You guys must not get out much. While I was driving during the downpour last Wednesday, Fourth Street N had two lanes impassable due to flooding. Beach Drive NE and Snell Isle Boulevard had sections that looked more like ponds than roadways.

Lighten up on Shore Acres and drive around a bit during the next rainstorm. Temporary flooding from rainstorms is a problem all over the city.

S.W. Graham, St. Petersburg

Lives, livelihood hang in the balance July 25, story

Myopic government

How can our government be so nearsighted? Marina and Detlef Raddant's business supports suppliers of all sorts, not to mention that a friend of mine lost her job, too. And the little shopping center in St. Pete Beach may lose a tenant.

Margrit Ottwiller, St. Pete Beach

Compromise is worth considering Aug. 1, editorial

A city of shadows looms

Because politicos and newspapers seem to have more power than citizens, the future neighborhood high-rise in St. Petersburg is not a compromise to what those residents want.

When will you, the developers and the mayor be happy? When Straub Park is walled off from the low summer sun through most of the winter, thereby rendering "the Sunshine City" a misnomer? When the previously charming, yet slightly seedy downtown completely loses its draw due to canyons of shadow and funneled winds, amorphous glass and concrete facades and a loss of the quirky to the mundane?

If development increases tax base, it seems the downtown has already been developed to the point of including enough wealthy people. Leave the neighborhoods alone. High-rises do not make neighborhoods.

Gloria Mastell, St. Petersburg

If you're driving, don't call

Cell phone math: One cell phone + one automobile = one accident looking for a place to happen.

Are the lobbyists for the cell phone business so strong that we keep shooting down laws to stop cell phone usage while driving?

One cell phone + one automobile = one person oblivious to anything going on around him.

Please, if you need to use your phone while driving, pull over and find a safe place that does not put anyone in imminent danger.

M. Sperling, Clearwater

Much ado made of mulch choice July 23, story

Lots of mulch and it's free

There is an environmentally sound mulch choice available to all Pinellas County residents. We have been using recycled yard waste for more than three years now. Those piles of branches, tree limbs and trimmings at the curb on garbage day are picked up and turned into the most beautiful mulch you'll ever find. It's dark, rich and smells great.

In addition, this mulch is free! You can pick up mulch from a number of sites throughout the county if you have a suitable vehicle in which to transport it.

(To find a free mulch site near you, check out the list at:

If you don't have a truck, you can do as we do: Have the mulch delivered to your driveway in 10-, 20-, or 30-cubic-yard truckloads. In Belleair, we get ours delivered from the city of Clearwater for $105 a truckload, regardless of how much we have delivered.

If you want to make a choice that doesn't deplete our natural resources like cypress trees, recycle what you trim right back into your own landscape.

Gail Carroll, Belleair

Pet bargains from SPCA

I recently moved to Florida and one of the first things on my to-do list was to get a pet.

When I lived in Hawaii, it was $45 to adopt a pet and the animal was neutered; that's all.

Was I surprised when the SPCA in Largo charged only $15 for a kitty! Not only did she get spayed, but they also cleaned her teeth, gave her all her shots, tested her for feline leukemia, tattooed her ear and gave me food, treats and a carrier. Wow! What a bargain!

Molly Baldwin, Clearwater

Budget cuts? Try sports

If community budgets need to be slashed, why can't professional sports allotments from our taxes be a good (and a large) place to start? They are certainly not necessary to our lives.

And why can't some sports money at schools be cut and instead used for academics - books, teacher salaries and schools? Always, enough money is found for expensive stadiums - school or professional.

The dumbest use of (tax) money was for "beautifying" street medians.

Now, there has to be labor to trim them, often by shutting down the lane nearest the median.

J.L. Farley, Clearwater