Letters to the Editors
We've had our fill of foreigners and their opinions
© St. Petersburg Times
published May 28, 2002
Re: Sept. 11 stems flow of foreign students, story, May 16.
Well, isn't it just too bad that Schiller International University is having trouble getting enough foreign students to cover its bottom line? It seems to me that we have about all of the foreigners we need or want in this part of the country.
A few weeks after the tragedy of 9/11, my wife and I, along with friends, attended a special speak-out night at the Dunedin Library put on by Schiller International University. The subject matter was the cause of the terrorist attacks, and they had one liberal professor and three foreign students speak to us. It was a night of "blame America" and nothing else.
The students from Saudi Arabia, Morocco and Pakistan all agreed that we had brought this trouble upon ourselves by supporting Israel.
Since your story pointed out the value of multicultural exchange among students as a value of the university, I wonder where the other point of view was the night we wasted listening to Islamic garbage without a balanced point of view.
City survey doesn't tell whole story
Re: Keeping momentum is Clearwater's next challenge, column by Diane Steinle, May 12.
"Sounds like the residents, not City Hall, deserve the blame for this communication problem." The last line of your article is indicative of the way many Clearwater officials respond to constituents: "If you point to a problem, you are the problem." I would expect a newspaper to be more objective, even in an editorial.
The Times and city leaders are all gaga over the recent survey by Bordner Research that says 62 percent of Clearwater residents think everything is just peachy. While it might be a case of looking at a glass almost half empty, that still means that 38 percent of those paying the bills are not happy customers.
Before you go labeling me a "naysayer," I would probably have responded in the positive to most of the survey questions; however, that does not mean I'm ready to write city leaders a blank check or suggest that everything they have done is right. A majority of residents might be satisfied with city's service, but that does not mean it is moving in all the right directions. Yes, I said directions -- some areas require us to step back and reflect; others, to scale back and yet more to move forward.
Bordner Research says that residents were surveyed at random, but why is it that the only areas mentioned are Countryside, the beach and south central Clearwater? I polled the membership of the Northeast Clearwater Regional Homeowners, which covers five neighborhoods west of U.S. 19 and south of Sunset Point Road. None said they were queried for this survey. Nor have they found any others in the city that were.
David Kelly, the man who conducted the city leaders' survey analysis meeting, is a family counselor. He may work for USF's Institute of Government, but he's still a marriage counselor. At the next "visioning" meeting, can we expect to see everyone hold hands and sing Kumbaya?
Terminal prepositions make life easier
Re: Who's watching the language watcher?, letter, May 23.
In defense of guest columnist Douglas Spangler, who is well-equipped to defend himself: Ending a sentence with a preposition hasn't been considered a grammatical offense for some time, if it ever actually was.
A reader wrote in to expose this "error." The sentence she was referring to was, "If you had a tough language question, Claire was the person to turn to." The strict "correction" (barring rewriting the sentence) would be, "If you had a tough language question, Claire was the person to whom to turn." This is a stilted formation that most grammarians, professional and recreational, wouldn't use.
The Gregg Reference Manual, 7th edition, comments on terminal prepositions."Whether or not a sentence should end with a preposition depends on the emphasis and effect desired." It differentiates between formal and informal, stilted and natural, and then lists several examples of common short sentences that end with prepositions, including "What is this made of?" "Where did he come from?" and "He has nothing to worry about."
The 10th edition of this same manual goes further and states: "Trying to avoid ending a sentence with a preposition may lead to very awkward results." And it notes that "many people are familiar with Sir Winston Churchill's complaint to an editor who tried to discourage him from ending his sentences with prepositions: "This is the sort of English up with which I will not put.' "
Billboard sets us back in sexual equality
Traveling east on State Road 580 just before U.S. 19, I suddenly saw a huge billboard on the south side of the road depicting a woman's breasts slightly covered with a 98 Rock T-shirt. It really took me aback for a moment.
I wonder how other motorists have reacted. Do they think it is cool, funny, disgusting, sad? Or do they just accept it as as sign of the times?
I don't listen to 98 Rock because it isn't my choice in music. This billboard causes me to think this station feels it is perfectly okay to participate in exploiting women. Is that the intent? Why else would there be breasts with a T-shirt -- not even a face!
It reminds me of the Dark Ages when women were considered sexual objects with no brain, personality or rights. I thought we were trying to move away from that mentality.
Mayor took wrong stand on pier issue
City says no to alcohol at pier, beach, story, May 17.
How does Clearwater Mayor Brian Aungst justify his position to allow alcohol and children to mix at the Pier 60 playground?
Thank goodness for the common sense of Commissioners Whitney Gray, Bill Jonson and Frank Hibbard.
Thanks, commissioners, for pavilion vote
Re: City says no to alcohol at pier, beach, story, May 17.
I recently wrote a letter chastising most of the Clearwater commissioners for supporting larger business signs and allowing large trees to be cut down.
I would now like to thank Commissioners Whitney Gray, Bill Jonson and Frank Hibbard, who voted against allowing the alcohol sales (at Clearwater Beach pavilions).
Is only "Times' worthy of city's attention?
Re: No clubhouse for Clearwater golf course, story, May 22.
I am amazed that all it takes is an article by the St. Petersburg Times to get the Clearwater city commissioners and city staff to take a closer look. Maybe we should have the Times look at their projects more often.
Change all street names to numbers
Re: Where the streets have four names, story, May 20.
I think a simple solution to the confusion of multiple-named streets is to change the names to numbers. A numerical system would prove much less perplexing to motorists trying to locate addresses. It would be much safer, too. I wonder how many lives a year would be spared on busy U.S. 19 alone as a result of people having a better idea of where they're going. (On 115th Street? Twenty more blocks to go for 135th Street.)
Named streets are for one-horse towns. Even without the multiple names, the current practice of naming streets results in way too much confusion. A county as big and as populous as Pinellas should have dropped that small-town practice long ago.
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