Letters to the Editors
Leaders support developers, not our environment
© St. Petersburg Times
published April 24, 2002
Re: Commission to allow larger signs, story, April 19.
I can't believe the headline. It seems like 10 years ago we were so thrilled that the Clearwater City Commission had voted to get uniform signs that were small and appealing to the eye. They and the rest of us were tired of Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard and U.S. 19 looking like -- what can I relate it to but junk shops, eyesores, trash, etc.
We are regressing, not progressing.
The St. Petersburg Times supported the two candidates that were last elected to the commission. I think had we elected Patricia Bates-Smith and Ed Hart, we would not be witnessing this change. We would have had three commissioners who were for the environment and people.
Now we have commissioners who are for big business, the developers and I guess the Scientologists. I'm sure they are happy about the new development codes.
We used to protect our trees. Why can't the developers find architects who can build around all those trees? It would be a challenge and a positive move toward saving our environment. It would make shopping in the shade a pleasure rather than having the sun beat down on us.
I read that they have to have a second vote on this in two weeks. Why don't you call Clearwater City Hall at 562-4040 and leave a message for all of the commissioners, or you can e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org. Just say you don't want big ugly signs; you want small pleasing signs. Also tell them that you don't want them to allow the cutting down of nice, big, established trees that aren't considered junk trees.
Dunedin is making itself into a charming place to live, Pasco County has a new tree ordinance that requires the planting of trees, and Clearwater will soon be the junk heap of Tampa Bay. Just envision the drive from the Courtney Campbell causeway to Clearwater Beach.
Write to our commissioners -- and don't re-elect them if they don't change their votes.
Clearwater lawyer's courage, friends' generosity an inspiration
During recent hospitalization at Morton Plant Hospital for open-heart surgery with a triple bypass, I was happy to read donated St. Petersburg Times newspapers, especially the Clearwater section. Reading editor of editorials Diane Steinle's editorials and local stories helped lift my spirits.
After a January heart attack with a fourth stent, my cardiologist said the next time I had a heart attack I'd have to undergo a bypass. I was in denial until the chest pains came.
My surgery was April 5.
On April 14, I read staff writer Lisa Greene's beautiful story about Ed Armstrong, my favorite attorney (Waiting for a transplant: Anything for Ed). Unable to attend Clearwater City Commission and Community Development Board meetings, I watch on cable. It was always a pleasure to watch and listen to Ed Armstrong when he'd go up to the microphone. The Times photo by Douglas Clifford shows this courageous man with his beloved wife and daughter.
Ed Armstrong has always accepted a challenge. It was heartwarming the way friends came forward to offer to donate a kidney and that one donor has passed the test.
The April 16 Times story by Lisa Greene (Lawyer's kidney surgery goes well, wife says) told us the good news that Armstrong's kidney-removal surgery was a success. Every day will be better for him.
I am grateful for family and friends, and for the expert medical teams at Morton Plant Hospital and the folks who came daily from St. Cecelia's Church. I keep a medical journal with the daily reports and names of the wonderful people who are helping me continue to live a happy life in Clearwater. Some of the hospital staff were surprised to see me writing down medical information -- I'm still a records keeper, I guess. Perhaps Ed Armstrong will write in a journal to share his experience and strength.
Your story about the courage of Armstrong will inspire many people, as it has inspired me.
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