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Here’s what Pinellas taxpayers and residents really want | Letters
Here’s what readers are saying in Saturday’s letters to the editor.
Housing on one side of the road, rare wild land on another. The contrast could not be more stark for the Gladys Douglas-Hackworth property, 44 undeveloped acres in the heart of Dunedin. Even as it’s surrounded by housing developments, this hammock of green space serves as a refuge for wildlife. Pinellas now has a second chance to protect this habitat — the largest left to preserve in Pinellas. [Photo by Carlton Ward Jr    |   Florida Wild]
Housing on one side of the road, rare wild land on another. The contrast could not be more stark for the Gladys Douglas-Hackworth property, 44 undeveloped acres in the heart of Dunedin. Even as it’s surrounded by housing developments, this hammock of green space serves as a refuge for wildlife. Pinellas now has a second chance to protect this habitat — the largest left to preserve in Pinellas. [Photo by Carlton Ward Jr | Florida Wild] [ Photo by Carlton Ward Jr | Florida Wild ]
Published Feb. 6

Coming together to save a treasure | Editorial, Feb. 4

Here is what people want

I have been involved in conservation efforts and many hearings throughout the region over the last 18 years.

When I think of all the Pinellas County cases and the overwhelming community objections from county to municipalities over the years, I think that the public is trying to tell our leaders the following:

We want to save what is left. It is where we want our dollars to go. After that, we want road and transportation improvements and modernization. Put the apartments, offices and industry in all of those wasting areas along U.S. 19. They should “green them up” while they’re at it!

Also, please start giving us affordable solar options. And protect the coasts and adjacent uplands against sea level rise. Plan for hurricane evacuation. Stop changing the hydrology and get rid of herbicides and pesticides. Only plant native.

Help the homeless by remembering you represent them too. Never, ever, ever tolerate racism or misogyny.

Make good decisions that help to create good futures for our children.

We can see the fight for space in nature and in ourselves. It indicates that humans are going beyond the carrying capacity. The “quality” component of the comprehensive plan needs to be looked at thoroughly and possibly amended.

The grassroots effort saved the Gladys Douglas property. Let’s see what else we can do.

Barb Walker, Palm Harbor

$10M goal met to save 44 acres of woodland | Feb. 2

Nice, but not cheap

It’s a nice thing to see the money was raised to save the Gladys Douglas estate, but I question the amount of taxpayer money being spent. There will be ongoing expenses as far as maintenance, insurance and improvement costs for the life of the ownership.

And now, residents of Dunedin are getting hit with utility bill rate hikes. That could have been offset with a portion of this money. Why do all of the residents have to pay for the dreams of a few?

Steve Vitale, Dunedin

Vaccine website delivers confusion | Feb. 5

I don’t know where I’d be

Thanks to my industrious, tenacious, stubborn daughter and her husband along with my tech-savvy grandkids, my wife and I have been able to secure our COVID-19 vaccines. Without this support system, we would have been two lost souls in a sea of red tape.

As a fellow octogenarian I feel the pain of my contemporaries who, like myself, had the temerity to be born early in the last century and unable to traverse the vagaries of the internet.

I was especially saddened to read of the gentleman whose letter described his inability to find help in getting the vaccine despite pushing 90 with a heart problem.

There have to be groups or associations out there to help others like this gentleman. My daughter was instrumental in getting appointments for 10 others besides ourselves while working full time with two kids virtually schooling. She doesn’t consider herself exceptional, only caring.

James Mootsey, Dunedin

Vaccine website delivers confusion | Feb. 5

An endless loop, forever

After spending many, many, many hours these past two weeks online at both the Publix and Pinellas Country vaccination websites, I’ve come to the conclusion there is a just punishment for Gov. Ron DeSantis and all those who have devised this registration system, which effectively tortures old people.

Wherever they go in the hereafter, they should all be condemned to sit in front of a computer, 24/7, and watch the screen that says, “This page will refresh in 60 seconds.

Frank Braccio, Treasure Island

Divided House punishes Republican Rep. Greene | Feb. 5

The illogic of a child

“I was allowed to believe things that weren’t true,” Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene asserted. That’s the excuse of a child. A 6-year-old. It’s the passive excuse of someone who claims to have been led and accepts no responsibility. It’s the buck-passing excuse that’s the equivalent of “nobody told me it was wrong to lie.” It is not the statement of a mature adult with critical thinking skills. It should not be the statement of a 46-year-old in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Mary McCoy, Odessa

Florida’s GOP Legislature chided for ‘statement bills’ | Feb. 5

Make up our own minds

God, I am glad that I live in Florida. I have not always agreed with Gov. Ron DeSantis’ stewardship. However, he has taken a very big step toward holding big tech companies accountable by proposing laws that would leave it up to Floridians to decide for themselves what they read and hear without being censored, filtered or blocked.

Mark Khan, Tampa

Rob Portman’s exit interview | Column, Feb. 1

Telling it like it is

Of all the columns that I have ever read by Peggy Noonan, this one is the best. She began by praising the work done by Sen. Rob Portman, a Republican of Ohio, who, like President Joe Biden, has made good strides at bipartisan work in Congress.

Then, writing about the reaction of Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky to the assault on our nation’s Capitol on Jan. 6, and the upcoming impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump, Noonan wrote: “This is a loss to rising democracies and also to us, to our standing and reputation. Senate conviction is the chance to show the world: No, we won’t have this; those who did it will pay the highest penalty.”

Whether or not the Republican senators will own up to it or not, I believe that the impeachment trial handlers will be able to reveal the truth with clarity for all Americans to see that, as Henry David Thoreau once said, “The trout is in the milk.” It is what Peggy Noonan has certainly come to see and so, in my opinion, the date Jan. 6, 2021 — like those of Dec. 7, 1941, and Sept. 11, 2001 — will go down in history as “a date that will live in infamy.”

Ralph Madison, St. Petersburg