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Tour of Homes value requirement is insulting

Letters to the Editor
Published October 4, 2005


Re: Homes needed for Dunedin yule tour , story, Sept. 22.

Dunedin is a city that prides itself on supporting diversity and celebrating the differences in its residents. We are not one group of people but many kinds of people. I share the excitement of my friends about the changes that are being made in our city. There is new construction, a new recreation center is being planned and a new senior center has been built.

I recently read that the Youth Guild is looking for homes to be part of the Christmas Tour of Homes after several participants withdrew because they are housing hurricane survivors. In this article, the guild asked for homes to take their place. A requirement was that the homes must be valued at at least $250,000.

We are insulted by this blatant snobbery. Why can't a home valued at less than that be considered? Do they think that if your home is not worth that, it's not worth looking at? Lyndee Dolan, director of the Youth Guild project, told me that people would not pay to see a home valued at less than this figure. What nonsense!

Two years ago my husband and I were invited to participate in the Youth Guild's Christmas Tour of Homes. We are artists; our home is modest. I made the Youth Guild aware that we did not live in a mansion on the water and was assured that they wanted to represent different kinds of homes and we were more than welcome. Several hundred people came through our home that day. Comments indicated that they enjoyed our home, our art and the way we live. People commented that they could take this or that idea home to fit their needs.

No one cared how many bedrooms or bathrooms we had. They related to us more because we are in a similar socioeconomic group. Many people live on fixed incomes and they wish to see what people do with homes that are similar to their own.

We are familiar with participating in house tours. Each year we open our home and studio during the artists' Studio Waltz. About 200 visitors recently came to our home.

We are insulted by the Youth Guild's request for higher-priced homes to show at Christmas, and feel this also hurts many of the people whom they profess to help, as well as the many visitors they attract on this tour.


-- Carol Sackman and Blake White, Dunedin

Give readers the whole story on supervisor of church teens

Re: Church hired man before seeing record, story, Sept. 27, and Church is easily misled, despite the evidence, editorial, Sept. 28.

Allegations like this can ruin lives, and oftentimes they are done for revenge, for whatever reason. Because so much emphasis has been placed on the 1992 Polk County charges against William Forte and the six months' probation that emanated from some of those charges, why not put in print what all of the charges were, which charges were dismissed, the reasons, which charges Mr. Forte pleaded guilty to and the reasons?

Don't simply give readers part of the puzzle. Don't be so vague, and don't beat around the bush. Don't refer to something unless you plan on giving the facts to substantiate what you're printing. This reader would like to see the facts in print.


-- Dee Hannum, Dunedin

Largo Library is a spectacular place that deserves much use

As a two-term vice mayor and a 10-year Largo city commissioner, I have had many opportunities to participate in the plans for Largo Central Park, the Cultural Arts Center, the Military Court of Honor and all other features of the development.

Because of several continuous years of hospitalization, therapy and confinement to a wheelchair and walker, I am not as active as I would like.

After another trip to the doctors and while I had the benefit of a caregiver and car driver, I recently made a trip to see the new library for the first time. What a classic work of art. I was flabbergasted by what met my eyes. Not only the planning but the attention to detail and a separation of features made the view more spectacular.

Among the reasons for my visit was to work out the details for a personal contribution in the form of money to have my name placed on the donors' list of patrons supporting the new library. Much to my pleasant surprise, I found that my dear friend and former colleague on the commission, Martin Shelby, had already seen to my name being placed at an appropriate spot on the wall inside the library. Thank you, Marty!

The attention to detail, the unparalleled interior design and planning certainly did everything possible to create an atmosphere for learning and a love for reading.

The children's wing and all of its aspects were created by the generosity of a friend of mine, a resident of Royal Palms. The technology and advanced equipment for intense study and creation of ideas were reflected throughout the edifice. The Genealogical Center is one without parallel in that area. The Local History room and quiet reading and study facilities were a pleasure to behold.

Yes, dear citizens of the Largo area, we do indeed have something of which we should be intensely proud now and in the years to come. Support the Largo Library and its foundation in every way you can. It deserves your participation and full use. Once again the city of Largo, for its size, has exceeded the surrounding facilities of other communities.


-- Edwin I. "Ned" Ford, Largo

Wait a minute - some Hispanics are white, too

Re: Businesses reach across the bay: high hopes for Hispanic gathering, story, Sept. 25.

As a recent Hispanic immigrant from South America, I must take umbrage with staff writer Jose Cardenas' injection of racial prejudice into a story by use of the statement "the presence of chamber members who were white." What does skin color have to do with being Hispanic or non-Hispanic? The color of one's skin has little bearing on one's heritage, as we Hispanics are white, yellow, brown, black and all blends in between.


-- Gianna Leon-Kotovsky, Dunedin