Letters to the Editors
Anniversary is time to forgive and be grateful
© St. Petersburg Times
published September 11, 2002
Whether we have more disasters or whether everything stays calm and cool, I hope everyone will learn to count their blessings, even in the wake of Sept. 11, 2001.
We live in a free country, and most people have plenty to eat and to share, as well as a roof over our heads. All we have to do is turn on the national news to see how the people in other countries suffer day in and day out with no real relief in sight.
We must learn to be grateful for what we have and where we live, as well as learn to treat all men equally. Yes, even those who do us harm, we should pray for. We can hate the sin without hating the sinner. We don't like their hatred against our country and our people, but as I read my Bible, he tells us nothing is impure that he created.
God is our judge, and no one else. Let's love everyone and let God be the judge. By showing hate, we only bring about more Sept. 11s.
New retail concepts needed to entice people to spend
Re: Shopping center plans still a go, despite delays, story, Sept. 6.
I have been a Clearwater resident since 1985. I left the great shopping and eating of New York and settled in to a better life here in Clearwater. My parents have been residents since the '70s, and I came to vacation here very often, enjoying our beaches and weather to escape New York winters. I have been very lucky to find such a beautiful place to live.
But . . .
What's with the shopping and eating? Countryside Mall is going down the tubes with the economic slump and the new owners from Australia. I still call it Countryside Mall. What is a shoppingtown?
It was a good idea to bulldoze Clearwater Mall to make way for new and exciting stores. But we are not getting anything new. What is wrong with the big corporations? They have the same stores just a mile or two down the road. We don't need another Lowe's. We don't need another Target. We don't need another large cafe bookstore. We don't need another PetsMart.
We need new stores with new concepts to excite people to spend money. How does the new Clearwater Mall expect to make money with the same old stores? We need a big movie theater like the one at Walt Disney World. We need smaller clothing stores that do not cater to teens, but to us baby boomers who like nice clothes and hate the same old department store stuff.
We need chic places to eat with reasonable prices and no two-hour waits. How about an international restaurant? How about a California-style restaurant with fresh food?
I think everyone in Clearwater should tell the mall owners what we want instead of waiting for the same stores to arrive, only to close because of no business. I did.
Attack on land use ignores personal property rights
Re: Tarpon: Don't rezone Sunset Beach land, letter by Barbara Blackman, Sept. 5.
I am the real estate broker at Harris & Co. and have listed for sale the property located to the north of the entrance to Sunset Beach in Tarpon Springs. I have fielded many inquiries about the property, mostly from individuals or builders wishing to construct one or more houses on the site. Dino Attardo, therefore, is not alone in his interest to find a suitable waterfront lot on which to build a home.
Ms. Blackman's attack on Attardo and on his father was certainly unjust. In my dealings with Attardo, I have found him to be honest and aboveboard, desiring only to build a home for his family. Attardo's father has never resided in Tarpon Springs and has not worked for the city nor served on any board of the city and is in fact a resident of Boston. If Attardo's name were Smith, would she have made the same accusation? Ms. Blackman, did you do any research at all or is this your personal version of the Salem witch hunt?
Misstatement of fact and questioning the ethics of individuals, as well as the Tarpon Springs City Commission, may earn a byline in Letters to the Editor, but it has nothing to do with private property rights.
This parcel of land is not owned by Tarpon Springs and is not a part of Sunset Beach Park. Let it be noted that on several occasions I have approached the city, urging it to purchase this land, and was repeatedly advised that it has no money to buy such land. In addition, all land purchased by the city must first be approved by a citywide referendum -- not an easy task to accomplish.
Further, an owner of real property is entitled by law to a reasonable use of his land; failure by a municipality or a governing body to grant such use may be construed by the courts as inverse condemnation.
It is truly a shame when those who have found their piece of paradise in Florida want to slam the door behind them for others that follow.
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