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    Letters to the Editors

    Naming street for King would promote unity

    © St. Petersburg Times
    published January 6, 2003

    Re: Tense history key in failed unity attempt, story, Dec. 29.

    Who could believe today that two adjoining communities cannot come together to celebrate the principles of a man who did his best to improve things for all people, black and white?

    How Largo can say its motto is "city of progress" and yet not encourage unity with its neighbors is beyond my understanding. To progress means to learn to move ahead and not dwell on the past.

    What a slap in the face for Largo Commissioner Charlie Harper, when not one commissioner replied to his request to rename a street for Martin Luther King Jr. Harper has the right idea for unity, but someone needs to shake up the rest of the commission in Largo.

    I can guarantee you one thing: If any of these people in either community were in serious trouble or needed immediate help, they would not be looking at the color of the skin of the person who came to rescue them. If we can take each other's help in a time of crisis, why can't we come together for the good of both communities?

    As young Nick Tinch said, this is 2002, not 1972. After all, blacks and whites and every other ethnic group came together during 9/11. Many worked together, and many died in the arms of others; yet it seems we have learned nothing from that national disaster. We must all learn to accept our fellow man as God's offspring, as he created each and every person who roams this Earth.

    Unless they all make up their minds to respect all of God's creatures, no matter their color or ethnic background, neither Ridgecrest or Largo will ever have anything close to unity. And to come to that conclusion in 2002 is sad indeed. Maybe 2003 will wake them up.
    -- Fran Glaros, Clearwater

    No savings sharing chills annexation enthusiasm

    Re: City, county lobbying golf community, story, Dec. 23.

    Officials thoroughly explained the $225,000 in incentives Largo offered to Cove Cay, consisting of upgrading and maintaining three sewer lift stations, replacing chainlink fencing, replacing 80 fire-rated windows, and grading and maintenance (of) a drainage ditch. Each of four village boards of directors and management welcome the incentives.

    But incentives do not represent savings to individual owners unless they result in a reduction of monthly maintenance fees. At one of the recent village meetings, the question was asked if any consideration had been given to sharing the savings with owners through lower maintenance fees. The answer was no. That does not make voting yes to annexation a very attractive proposition.
    -- W. Frank Wilkinson, Clearwater

    Sanctuary deserves more help; chimps deserve humane care

    Re: Government action hurt Chimp Farm, letter by Charles Derer, Dec. 23.

    I agree with Mr. Derer that power is a dangerous tool in some areas, government being one of them. Tempered with a little common sense, power can be a good thing. Did they ever stop to think, "What will happen to these animals if the facility cannot meet our standards?"

    I moved from Ohio three years ago. After arriving in Clearwater, I began to hear about the sanctuary from neighbors and acquaintances who had visited the facility in the past. I studied the Web site,, very carefully. I was appalled that some of the animals were literally dumped in the parking lot! What an indignity to these animals! Some lived their entire lives making money for their human caregivers. Once they got too old and sick to perform, they were dropped off at the facility.

    I began to take blankets for the cold nights. I got a volunteer application online, filled it in and went to "meet the kids." I cannot begin to name the kindnesses and sacrifice I have seen on behalf of these animals by other volunteers at the sanctuary. I have met more great people -- each one fighting desperately to keep these animals in the homes they know and love.

    As our director, Debbie Cobb, says: Humans garbaged these animals up; and it is up to us to keep them healthy, comfortable and entertained. I plan to do just that as long as I can. We make sure each animal is visited several times daily, sometimes with food and treats and sometimes just to talk. Some are not as friendly as others but cannot just be released into the wild where they would not survive because they are old, were used for research, or would not be accepted by any primate group. Some were scheduled for death because facilities were done experimenting with them.

    Hopefully, sometime around May, the U.S. Department of Agriculture will come again to see the new facility and be satisfied that all the i's are dotted and the t's are crossed so we can again open to educate and entertain the public.

    We always need volunteers for labor, blankets, food and, of course, donations. Please call the sanctuary if you have a few spare hours each week or if you have materials that you think could be used for either building, storage or entertainment purposes. I guarantee you'll leave with a smile and that warm fuzzy feeling.
    -- Jan Stiffler, Clearwater

    Thanks to hospice workers for their kindness, care

    I want to compliment Hospice of Pinellas County for the help they have been to me. I have been under their care for a few months now and just wanted everyone to know what a great organization it is.

    I was required to stay at Bay Pines Hospital for two weeks in the hospice ward, under the care of their staff and nurses. It was excellent. The staff could not have been nicer. My doctor has prescribed medication that causes me not to be in pain. I am comfortable most of the time and assured I am getting the best care possible.

    My family feels the same way I do. The staff takes time to talk with them and explain what is happening, and has family meetings to make sure everyone knows what is going on. When relatives from the north visited me at Bay Pines, they were provided room and board at the Fisher House -- which is on the property of Bay Pines but a separate organization -- for a donation or having duties to perform while there. It was reported to be beautiful, clean and having good meals. It was very convenient for them to be right there.

    If it were not for the hospice, my life and my family's life would be more difficult now. They have provided for my home a wheelchair, a walker, a chair for the shower, and would provide a hospital bed tomorrow if I wanted it. They also manage the medications.

    Thank God there is an organization like the hospice to help in difficult times in our life.
    -- A.M. (Jeff) Jeffers and family, Largo

    Thank-you notes a good idea but being fast forgotten

    I refer to a recent letter asking, "What happened to the tradition of writing thank-you notes?" I've wondered the same thing.

    I had three sons, and they wrote thank-you notes from the time they could write. When they were very young, I wrote a note for them to copy in their own handwriting. After that, they composed their own thank-you notes.

    Too many very nice customs are being dropped. Good manners are an asset in life and at work.
    -- Dorothy E. Karkheck, Dunedin

    Your voice counts

    We invite readers to write letters for publication. Address them to Letters to the Editor, the Times, 710 Court St., Clearwater, FL 33756. Or you may fax them to (727) 445-4119, or e-mail to . E-mail letters must be text only and cannot include attachments.

    Letters should be brief and must include the writer's name, city of residence, mailing address and phone number. Addresses and phone numbers will not be published.

    Letters may be edited for clarity, taste and length. We regret that not all letters can be printed.

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