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Homeless are a nuisance downtown

Letters to the Editor
Published February 16, 2005

Re : Look into the faces of the homeless, and Empathize, act instead of complaining, letters, Feb. 9.

I did not read the initial letter (Williams Park is a wretched place , Jan. 30), but I did read the reponses, written by people who obviously don't work or live downtown.

This month, I came to work to find a homeless couple sleeping next to my building. I called the police and, surprisingly enough, they showed up in response to my call. The officer stated that the couple were new to the area and weren't aware they couldn't sleep next to my building. He sent them away instead of arresting them, which was my choice.

Why would I want them arrested? Over the years, homeless people have entered my place of business, stolen my property while inside my business, scared my clients, used my bathroom and then stolen more items from it. I could go on. This activity has caused me to incur the expense of a security system. Many of the homeless people have been arrested for trespassing, and almost all have criminal records, including battery on a woman.

I have no solution to the homeless problem. I choose to assist in the form of monetary donations to local facilities. One of the letters suggested a facility to aid the homeless. We have those. They do wonderful things, but we still have a problem.

Both letter writers invoked religion, stating that the homeless are children of God and to be like Jesus and help them. Religion has nothing to do with this problem, but I wish the letter writers the best of luck with putting their suggestions into action.

-- Michelle Moody, St. Petersburg

Sunset Beach sign police rear heads

The sign police of Sunset Beach were out again last month picking up "open house" and "garage sale" signs, in order to do what? Treasure Island and Sunset Beach look like a combat zone; so why all the fuss about a few little signs? Sunset Beach is unique, and one of its enduring qualities is that few, if any, visitors can find their way around the maze of streets. I think those of us who are trying to sell houses and stuff should get a pass for three hours on Sunday afternoon, and the sign police should go find something more constructive to do.

-- Bill LauBach, Treasure Island

Stop the mad rush near Snell Isle

As a resident of St. Petersburg, it concerns me that we cannot feel safe in our own front yards. The traffic is supposed to be going 30 mph on 22nd Avenue NE. I would challenge anyone to stand in the front yards on these streets and clock the traffic. You cannot safely get across the street without running. The elderly have a very difficult time crossing. City buses certainly do not go the speed limit! And it has been brought up many times - why so many buses, when they only have one or two people on them?

The bridge at Snell Isle is another terrible spot. Try crossing that street at rush hour! I watched a man cross with his dog, and the dog just missed being hit.

What recourse do you have as a resident? I have watched this over the past six years and nothing has changed!

And then there is the wonderful roundabout on First Street N that no one seems to know how to use. Put up stop signs; it certainly would decrease some of the anger that is shown to other drivers who are being cautious.

City Hall, what are you doing about it? Enough talk. Do something.

-- Barbara Braga, St. Petersburg

[Last modified February 16, 2005, 04:30:09]

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