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Letters to the Editors

Riding an escalator is not child's play

© St. Petersburg Times
published December 4, 2002

Re: Escalator injury at Tyrone Square Mall.

It is sadly disappointing to read once again of a small child injured on a department store escalator, and yet it was by no means unexpected when one considers how often small kids are observed playing on the devices with no parents in sight or, worse yet, actually being encouraged by their mom or dad.

The moving escalators are fascinating to curious young minds -- all the more reason for parents to remain close at hand.
-- John Royse, St. Petersburg

South Pasadena has made great strides

I feel much credit is owed to the progressive thinking and love for South Pasadena as displayed by our longtime mayor, Fred Held, and to the various commissioners who faithfully serve us and did in the past. We are indebted to them in terms of achievement.

Before 1990, the median strips were mud and weeds. The so-called open green space was more dirt than green. Today, South Pasadena is a designated Tree City USA. Each year $12,000 is set aside for tree planting, etc. The city pays nothing for the title. The median strips are now flush with palm trees, bushes and various beautiful plantings. Also, there are four large parks for the enjoyment of our residents.

The latest achievement is the long-awaited, impressive mosaic mural that now graces the median strip across from Palms of Pasadena Hospital. Coincidentally, the marketing director for the SPCA in Largo passes by the hospital each day, and she mentioned to me how much she admires the mural. Beautiful landscaping will soon begin to appear in the median.

All of this is the result of many months of study by the City Commission, which was inspired by meetings with "Visions of the Tampa Bay Planning Council." It was also influenced by community input.

How well the mural now delivers the message that South Pasadena is much more than just a gateway to the beaches. As our logo states, it is "our place in the sun."

It is easy to criticize when there was no previous attempt at involvement. The naysayers are really quite a small group as compared to the silent majority, who are the backbone of the city and feel the mural is functioning in a positive manner. It's amazing that approximately 686 people were coerced into signing a petition against the mural based on false information. Apparently, people were told that their taxes would rise due to the cost.

Not so! The money was budgeted in 2001 and because of the Sept. 11, 2001, tragedy, all was postponed until this year. By the way, our taxes are still the second lowest in this county of 24 cities.
-- Evelyn Burton, South Pasadena

Why not pay teachers as handsomely?

Re: Working: A day on the job.

I enjoy reading your articles about the variety of jobs in South Pinellas County each week. It gives me a better perspective on the types of education and the variety of skills necessary to make a living in our community. As a teacher, I try to share some of this information with my students when appropriate.

I have to admit that I was pleasantly amused with the article about the sanitation job here in St. Petersburg (Nov. 27). As a teacher with a master's degree and relatively the same years in my profession as Mr. Smith, I found it interesting that I make less than he does in a year's time. I am proud to live in a city that pays its government workers well. Perhaps the county and state should follow this example when setting salaries for teachers.
-- Abby Madeiros, St. Petersburg

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