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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.
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, 2019

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
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.
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