Editorial paints negative picture of firefighters

Letters to the Editor
Published August 14, 2005

Re: Clearwater firefighters must clean up their act, editorial, Aug. 7.

To all the readers who were subjected to this obviously skewed opinion of the Clearwater Fire Department on a Sunday morning, I apologize. I know how tough it must have been to enjoy your Sunday morning with the Times editorial dredging up all those negatives from the past two years.

What would possess the Times to publish such negative and hateful words that are an obvious attack on the Clearwater Fire Department? The public knows the high level of protection they receive from their fire department. Why is the editor trying to persuade these residents to lose faith in them?

Each statement only touched on the most negative highlights, without taking the time to explain the whole story. For the public unaware of these ongoing stories, seeing only these brief statements gives a fraction of the story, the one that the Times wants you to know about. This doesn't seem like quality editorial work to me. Are they not supposed to be unbiased and forthcoming with the whole story?

Why do the positives that happen every day go unnoticed in the media, while the handful of negative happenings continually gets rehashed? Our Fire Department is full of great people and even better deeds. A few bad apples do not make a bad fire department. Maybe the Times should care enough to take the time to get a different perspective and talk to the people that know the facts: the firefighters.

-- Kris Familiari, Spring Hill

Safety Harbor mayor is a strong teacher under attack

Re: Mayor's e-mail use raises questions, story, Aug. 4, and Safety Harbor mayor must stop shifting blame, letter, Aug. 10.

Safety Harbor Mayor Pam Corbino is a very fine computer and word processing instructor at Safety Harbor Middle School. Last year my son had Mayor Corbino as his instructor, and he has nothing but good things to say about her efforts in class. In fact, the benefits of her instruction are quite evident, as he is now capable of preparing written reports independently, using our home computer.

Mayor Corbino is a very capable instructor and an asset to our community. Those who pay close attention realize that she balances her work and duties as mayor.

There does, however, seem to be a smear campaign which begins anew with each election cycle. One time, it was alleged that the mayor, as an elected official, has fewer civil liberties simply because she serves as an elected official. Of course this was nonsense, but it somehow became a story.

Certainly, all of us respect and appreciate the time and effort that the mayor has devoted to our children and the community at large. This is a fine example of leadership for others to follow. When a mistake is made, Mayor Corbino can admit her mistake, apologize and commit to a better course in the future.

-- William P. Steele, Safety Harbor

Tarpon commissioners' stand earns reader's praise

Re: Dalacos ruffles feathers at county board, story, July 23.

Maybe four minutes is not enough time to allot for a City Commission member to discuss why it may be a bad idea to build homes next to contaminated land. Were the county commissioners or the Pinellas Planning Council looking out for the future health of the possibly 25 families living in these houses? I don't think so. I think Tarpon Commissioner Peter Dalacos was.

Wouldn't it have been safer to leave this property zoned industrial instead of taking a chance that, down the road, people will get sick because of where they live? Did we learn nothing from places like Love Canal?

I am glad there is someone who, as the mayor of Tarpon Springs said of Dalacos, "goes to the tune of a different drummer." Thank God there are still people in the government who care.

-- Carole Cline, Tarpon Springs

Perfect timing? Not on Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard

With all the talk lately about Pinellas County and its cities exploring the timing of traffic lights on major arteries, is anyone paying attention to the lights that used to be timed properly?

I have the misfortune of driving along Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard in Clearwater several times every day past the Clearwater Mall, and for the last several weeks it has appeared that someone went out of their way to finely tune the lights to such perfection that drivers are guaranteed to hit every single one as it turns red. This happens for three or four signals in a row, regardless of which direction they are driving.

This is no small feat to accomplish in two-way traffic, but if it is someone's idea of a practical joke, we've all had our laugh, so you can please go back to making Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard one of the pilot projects for "smart signals."

-- Matt Murphy, Clearwater