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Vote yes, to benefit all of the county

Letters to the Editor
Published October 18, 2006

Re: Proposed Pinellas County Charter amendments.

The issue of the seven charter amendments on the Nov. 7 ballot pits 21 cities against the County Commission over who controls what.

More importantly, it portrays democracy in action in that opinions of the people of Pinellas have been heard on several occasions by the 13 volunteer members of the Charter Review Commission (CRC). With a previous majority vote, the people of this county respected the wish of the CRC to extend its work for an additional 18 months.

The 21 cities currently oppose not one, not two, but all of the seven proposed amendments. They hold no regard for public opinion from the entire county as they focus their interests exclusively on their urban residents.

On the other hand, the county's interests are directed not only toward the residents of the unincorporated areas but also toward those living in our 24 municipalities.

A "no" vote on the amendments harms the residents of the unincorporated areas, while a "yes" vote benefits all the residents of the county.

Arthur Hebert, Largo

We've been down this path before 

Re: Developer offers beach parking, story, Sept. 29.

How interesting. Last Jan. 26, when real estate speculation was spinning out of control, an article by St. Petersburg Times staff writer Aaron Sharockman said, "For some, a Roland Rogers development is the symbol of what's wrong with Clearwater Beach. Skeptics question the designs of his buildings and the results of his work. They point inparticular to one street, Brightwater Drive. Alex Plisko, a member of the Community Development Board, has called the redevelopment of Brightwater Drive 'a disaster.' City planners themselves label the street a mistake. They're working on changes across other parts of the beach so there's not another Brightwater Drive."

Now today, with Clearwater Beach looking like an abandoned tract of urban blight, the latest offering from Rogers (a beach parking garage) is welcomed with open arms. Assistant City Manager Garry Brumback says Rogers "is real and has the background of putting things together." And "Roland has ... a good track record of getting together things he starts."

Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Brumback is doomed!

Dave Spath, Clearwater

Postal Service? Not much service

Re: Cutting post offices could cut services, letter, Oct. 3.

I agree with the writer about hollering about the continual reduction in services and increases in rates.

The U.S. Postal Service, in an attempt to further limit its patrons' use at the Clearwater main post office, reduced its counter hours once again, this time to a mere eight and a half hours five days week and five and a half hours on Saturday.

As the letter writer noted, they decided to ship all Clearwater mail to St. Petersburg for cancellation, showing mail from Clearwater as having been mailed from St. Pete. Now, they want to ship all mail from Clearwater and St. Petersburg to Tampa and tell the world that it was mailed from Tampa -- not Clearwater or St. Petersburg, where it was in fact mailed.

Something that hasn't been mentioned is the disappearance of all of our collection boxes. The collection boxes at the main post office are very difficult to get to at any time of day because of overcrowded traffic conditions on Belcher Road north of Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard. But I guess we should be glad to have them because all the others have been removed.

The collection box in the strip center on the west side of Belcher just north of Nursery Road was easy to get to and convenient, one you could access without having to get out of the car, and was picked up frequently during the day. That was reduced to once a day and only on work days. And then, it was quietly removed. When, I don't know. Why, I don't know either.

The writer says we should call. I did call and after a very long process, I was able to speak to a human being on the USPS 800 number. I asked where the collection boxes for 33764 were located. She told me other than the ones down on East Bay and U.S. 19, there were three, all just south of the main post office. When I went to those locations, I discovered they had all been quietly removed.

Since first class mail is the only real monopoly for the USPS, I must wonder if they are trying to put themselves out of business by discouraging its use.

Do the postal patrons really have no voice or say in such matters? If it is a monopoly and we can't go to the competition, then how are we to request, if not demand, better service and treatment?

Dave Campbell, Clearwater

Library's cafe is a real find

There is a gem in our midst that a lot of you may not be aware of. It is the Book Worm Cafe located in the new Clearwater Main Library in downtown Clearwater. They have a great menu at very reasonable prices. I recently discovered this gem and was delighted with the quality of both the food and the service and felt that I must share this pleasant experience.

The cafe is located in the back of the first floor of the library, and it's easy to miss if you don't realize that it is there. Visit the BookWorm Cafe on your next trip to the library or make the cafe your destination and browse the library while you're there.

Let's keep this great little bistro alive and well in our neighborhood.

Jeanne Bukovich, Clearwater

[Last modified October 17, 2006, 22:54:36]

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