1. Opinion

Plant the right tree in the right place

Here’s what readers had to say in Friday’s letters to the editor.
An unidentified man walks past palm trees reflected in glass panels at the Dali Museum Friday, Nov. 22, 2019 in St. Petersburg. [CHRIS URSO  |  Times]
An unidentified man walks past palm trees reflected in glass panels at the Dali Museum Friday, Nov. 22, 2019 in St. Petersburg. [CHRIS URSO | Times]
Published Nov. 28

Plant right thing in the right place

Throwing shade at palms | Nov. 23

What’s more “Florida” than a palm tree? To millions of visitors, it’s the first sign they’re in a tropical climate. This article notes that large trees such as live oaks provide more benefit to the environment. However, this same article misses the problems these types of trees can cause in an urban environment. Live oaks are great canopy trees, but they’re not suited to city locations. For one thing, they can grow to 40 to 60 feet high and have a canopy spread of 60 to 120 feet wide. The root system of this species can spread five times the size of the canopy, making it the bane of sidewalks, driveways, building foundations, sewer lines, above-ground power lines — pretty much everything that’s in the surrounding area. The first principle of Florida-friendly landscaping is “right plant, right place.” Do live oaks have a place in the environment? Certainly, but not in an urban setting.

Debi Ford, St. Petersburg

Another hostile takeover?

Bloomberg joins Democratic race | Nov. 25

Democratic Presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg [BILL TIERNAN | AP]

During the last presidential election cycle Donald Trump executed a hostile takeover of the Republican Party. This cycle, it appears Michael Bloomberg is attempting a similar takeover of the Democratic Party. Neither of these men has the slightest clue what life is like for the average American.

Brian Walkowiak, St. Petersburg

Citrus is just fine as it is

Crowdfunding can’t solve this dilemma | Nov. 25

The New York Times newspaper on the shelf at the Citrus County Library Lakes Region. [DIRK SHADD | Tampa Bay Times]

I think our Citrus County commissioners did the right thing in denying the digital New York Times. It is not the most important issue here. If you are coming here for your political issues, we don’t need that here. It has nothing to do with the beauty of our area or what you can see here. You can get your politics on your own computers or phones, so why should we have to provide that? Tourists don’t come here for our library. We like our county as it is and thank our commissioners for not caving to outside groups who are trying to push their politics in our county.

Sylvia Slimak-Butler, Beverly Hills

Fees that don’t reward runoff

Stormwater fees

Kudos to St. Petersburg as the new water and sewage rates have gone into effect. The rates charged are much fairer to those who have yards in which rainwater gets absorbed into the ground and is not stressing the stormwater drains. Thank you to all those who studied and implemented this more equitable system. Yet we need to go farther.

Fairfax County, Va., has taken glass out of the curbside recycling stream, which makes the recyclables mix much less contaminated and glass easier to isolate; 2.8 million pounds of glass has been collected in various “purple bin” glass recycling receptacles throughout the county, mainly at participating businesses. Our household avidly recycles what we can, and the result is a major reduction in the standard waste that goes into the big black bin in the alley. With this major reduction in waste, the black garbage bins are rarely full anymore, and yet there are 10 pickups of trash per month — eight regular bin pickups and two recycling bin pickups. Our city utility bill is still about double one from Pasco County and other areas. It is certain that the good people of St. Petersburg can streamline the trash pickup system more, which will lower our bills.

Rand Moorhead, St. Petersburg


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    The new North American trade pact is good for the nation and for Florida.
  2. Dwight D. Eisenhower (center) in front of a grid the SS had fashioned from railway tracks for the purpose of burning the corpses of dead inmates from the mass graves, April 12, 1945 [MOORE, U.S. SIGNAL CORPS  |  National Archives Washington]
    Some things are not up for debate. The Holocaust happened, write two officials from the Florida Holocaust Museum.
  3. There are great programs in Hillsborough public schools to provide free or low-cost breakfast and lunch for students who qualify.
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  4. A CH-47 Chinook helicopter takes off after dropping soldiers in Bagh village of Khakeran Valley, Zabul province, Afghanistan. [TOMAS MUNITA  |  AP]
    Here’s what readers had to say in Wedneday’s letters to the editor.
  5. Technology jobs in industries including aerospace are highly coveted. A SpaceX Falcon heavy rocket lifts off from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral earlier this year. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
    Five metro areas dominate high-tech employment. There isn’t a Florida city among them.
  6.  [Bill Day --]
  7. Yesterday• Letters to the Editor
    Pinellas County tourism officials are selling area beaches in two places that need them most this time of year: NYC and Chicago. [Tampa Tribune]
    Here’s what readers had to say in Tuesday’s letters to the editor.
  8. Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly, center, and Navy Adm. Michael Gilday, Chief of Naval Operations, look on as an Air Force carry team moves a transfer case containing the remains of Navy Seaman Mohammed Sameh Haitham, of St. Petersburg on Sunday at Dover Air Force Base, Del. A Saudi gunman killed three people including Haitham in a shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen) [CLIFF OWEN  |  AP]
    Service members like Mohammed “Mo” Haitham of St. Petersburg should not be at risk of being killed on a base in their home state.
  9. The effects of Red Tide are seen at Pass-a-Grille Beach in St. Petersburg in Sept. 2018 where hundreds, perhaps thousands of fish lie dead on the beach. [MARTHA ASENCIO RHINE  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    A state task force meets this week in St. Petersburg to listen and discuss the options.