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The point was parade, not pants


Published April 18, 2004

The readers and the community of St. Petersburg, particularly the downtown community, were done a grave disservice by the St. Petersburg Times' lacking coverage of Saturday's Festival of States parade. If you were not able to attend the parade, do not look to the Times for what you missed. Ask a friend instead.

The parade had more than 50 floats from various local organizations and clubs, so I find it disheartening that the reporter found the attire of the crowd more newsworthy than the parade itself. I am sure this also came as a disappointment to the many hard-working citizens and community leaders of St. Petersburg who invested their valuable time and money to construct and man a float in the parade. I was at the parade and did not notice anything noteworthy, much less newsworthy, about what the spectators were wearing.

Although I can appreciate the reporter's attempt to take a fresh slant on a story, I expect and deserve more from a Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper than a fashion report and a photograph of the rear end of a woman wearing blue jeans adorned with graffiti.


-- Karen Kirkpatrick, St. Petersburg

One lousy picture of festival

Whatever happened to the Times' great coverage of the Festival of States? Is camera film getting too expensive for you? Years ago the Times published some great photos of St. Petersburg's premiere event. The Times even used to have a special section on it. So when I looked in Sunday's Metro section of the paper ... what a shock. I thought I was reading the Tampa Tribune. There was one lousy picture of someone's pants at the parade. There were no pictures of the parade or any of the events that went on downtown Saturday. But your paper had a lot of coverage of a hit-and-run accident in Tampa.

If I wanted to read about what's going on in Tampa, I will get their paper.

The Festival of States is only once a year and a lot of local people give their time putting it on. Lots of local marching bands, floats, adults and children are in it. Let's cover "our" festival and turn it back into a great event, as Tampa does for Gasparilla.


-- Steve Harris, St. Petersburg

Pinellas Park throws money around

I am very concerned about the way the Pinellas Park City Council hired its new city clerk. It seems kind of sneaky to, at the last minute, add the appointment of a new city clerk to the council meeting agenda without giving adequate notice for the public to give their input.

It is unbelievable how these council members throw our money around on salaries. The last city clerk was paid an outrageous salary of $76,000, plus perks. Instead of negotiating a salary first, the council unanimously votes to hire the assistant city clerk and then tells the city manager ($97,000, plus perks) to negotiate a salary later.

This is just nonsense and the city manager should have had enough common sense to refuse to participate in such a reckless practice. Every intelligent business person knows that you first agree on a salary and then hire the employee. Not here in Pinellas Park. This seems like another case of the "good ol' boys syndrome," or "I'm too lazy to read resumes."

When will the taxpayers of Pinellas Park wake up and elect people to the council who know how to properly conduct the business of government?


-- Randy Heine, Pinellas Park

Feeling vulnerable in "pink streets'

I read the article in the Times concerning the recent break-ins/robberies in the "pink streets" (Nine burglaries make "pink" streets mean, April 11). I have lived in that neighborhood for the last 41/2 years. I am a single female and have experienced problems of prowlers in my yard, items stolen from my yard, items being purchased by others and shipped to my address, paint balls plastering the front of my house and even someone trying to enter my house at 1:30 in the morning.

Each time I have called the St. Petersburg Police Department, and each time I have been disappointed in the response. They show a total lack of concern, and at this point I feel it useless to even place a call to them. Instead I have opted to seek my own forms of protection: burglar bars, a security system, etc.

My neighbors and I are convinced that these bad elements are coming from the surrounding apartments in the area. Isn't it sad that you can live in one of the nicest neighborhoods in town and not feel safe for yourself or your property?


-- Julia Campbell, St. Petersburg

Russian exhibit is remarkable

I was delighted to hear that Florida International Museum will retain the Russian exhibit until July. I took a friend from Chicago who is a connoisseur of art, and she was amazed that the city of St. Petersburg could attract such a remarkable exhibit. She pronounced it "world class." She felt it surpassed the Treasures of the Czars, which she viewed on a previous visit.

The presentation of the artifacts was impressive. You can gaze out of windows at the spires of the basilicas, peep through the knot-holes of the monks in their refectory, admire the furniture, painting and interiors of the royal palaces, watch Dostoevsky write at his desk and immerse yourself in Russian folk life. A remarkable experience!


-- Rosalie Placet, Seminole

Give emergency vehicles a brake

Several times as I have been driving to work, I have witnessed emergency vehicles with their lights and sirens on, blaring their horns trying to get through busy intersections, and nobody stops to let them through.

Emergency personnel put their lives on the line every day they go to work. They have a lot of things going on en route to their destinations, and inattentive drivers make it more difficult and slows their response time. If an emergency vehicle is involved in an accident, it lengthens the response time for somebody who might desperately need it. Everyone is always worried about having a quieter vehicle, but just remember that there are things that still need to be heard.

My point in writing this letter is to make people more aware and to show support for all emergency personnel. We all would be lost without their services and willingness to perform a job that most people would never even think of doing. Thank you to everyone who risks his or her life for our safety and well-being. You are all very much appreciated.


-- Kelli Cliff, Clearwater

Purse left at store makes it home

Thank you to Wal-Mart on U.S. 19 in Pinellas Park.

My wife forgot her pocketbook in a shopping cart. She called very worried, and they assured her it was there waiting for her. There was not a thing missing!

Thank you to whoever did this good deed.


-- Harold Mierkey, Largo [Last modified April 18, 2004, 01:35:47]


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