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You can have the city, - and new lingerie shop

Letters to the Editor
Published February 18, 2007


Shop lays foundation for romance Feb. 7, story

Well, thank goodness St. Petersburg now has an upscale lingerie store downtown for the glamorous.

Unfortunately, with the increased property tax bills and property insurance costs, most people living in St. Petersburg will not be able to afford such luxuries.

Mayor Rick Baker may be a "popular" city leader to some. However, I am very disappointed over how tax dollars are spent, how the city has handled our homeless, the rising costs to live in St. Petersburg, the unacceptable level of crime in our neighborhoods, the harassment homeowners receive from the Codes Enforcement Office, and excuses we get from the mayor, the police chief and most of the elected officials whenever citizens of St. Petersburg express their concerns.

My house is being put on the market this month because I do not want to live in St. Petersburg any longer after 10 years of watching the local government make decisions that leave the citizens living in shambles.

Time to take back the city? Nah, you can have it.

Richard E. Ackerman, St. Petersburg


Thanks for nothing, Leo 

Mobile park intrigue recorded Feb. 11

I have read and reread your article about Leo Plenski, president of the homeowners association at Bay Pines Mobile Home Park and his shady dealings with John Loder, buyer of the land where the more-than-500-unit park stood. They talked about making a lawsuit "go away" for the tidy sum of $50,000 in cash.

I feel numb. My mind travels back. Today it seems so long ago, but it wasn't really. Leo would address the meetings of the Bay Pines Homeowners Association and tell the frantic elderly residents that all they had to do was "stick together" and "we could win this fight, if only we stick together."

The park Web site was ablaze with news of our plight, our fight and those of other parks in the same situation. There was more encouragement from Leo, our president, our friend. Letters asking residents to contribute to the lawyers fund. Send money, more money, he wrote. All for the "cause."

All a sham. All lies. He was looking out for Leo - the heck with everyone else.

What a shame that Assistant State Attorney Bob Lewis says there is not enough evidence to prosecute. What a shame the deputies didn't wait until he actually accepted the money.

Oh, well, I knew from the start we couldn't fight "big money," but Leo convinced many like me that we could win this battle. I didn't realize how low some people would stoop, until now.

Enjoy the rest of your life, Leo. Think about the faces in the clubhouse at the meetings you held. They all listened to you, looked to you for help. You promised so much. You delivered so little. You disappointed so many.

Every time I say that "nothing will surprise me," something does!

Karen Gordon, Ellenton


Time for action on bayou

Some years ago, millions of dollars were spent to create what is now known as Clam Bayou Nature Park. The dream was for this to be a gateway showcasing Clam Bayou in a restored and pristine state - one of the region's last remaining freshwater estuaries and a natural treasure in the midst of a densely populated urban area.

Sadly, what we have today is a virtually ignored bayou restoration project whose prospects for completion have dimmed considerably, either through indifference or benign neglect. The current state of Clam Bayou is disturbing to anyone with any sense of environmental concern. Situated around the trash-choked roots of rapidly spreading mangroves is a vast plain of stark black muck littered with beached and half-covered garbage. This is not a natural, healthy mud flat; it is a noxious, smelly stew of sediments many feet thick, scoured from St. Petersburg's streets, sidewalks and gutters.

Large amounts of floating rubbish - cans, bottles, construction materials, plastic bags, oil slicks, garbage of every description - travel out to Boca Ciega Bay and the gulf with every tide. Shore birds that were previously abundant are becoming increasingly scarce.

This estuary is a natural jewel in the middle of one of America's most densely populated counties and needs to be saved. Where are the responsible governmental agencies? St. Petersburg and Gulfport need to take action before it's too late:

-Clean the bayou of accumulated garbage.

-Dredge to the original sand bottom to remove long-buried trash and restore an ecologically sound aquatic environment.

-Commit to stormwater treatment to prevent renewed silting and garbage deposits. Include the construction of properly maintained settling ponds, removal of floating debris, provision of fence protection for feeder canals, and enforcement of strict antilittering ordinances.

Failure to take action will ultimately destroy this paradise.

David D. Stotz, Gulfport


Homelessness won't end

St. Petersburg is an integrated, diverse and progressive city. The homeless are also threads in our fabric. All communities are faced with hobos, panhandlers, bums, grifters and homeless people. I think it is time for us to stop studying "fixes" and understand that coexistence is the reality of the situation.

Homelessness doesn't need a fix. The numbers of the homeless locally and nationally fluctuate with economic swings, wars, seasons and the continuing changes of our nation's demography.

There will never be an end to homelessness. What is necessary then is an ongoing viable community infrastructure that reacts to these fluctuations to assure that the basics of life are provided along with the opportunity to make the transition out of homelessness for those who are willing and capable.

I visited the Wednesday Market "experiment" in Williams Park recently, and it was a great success for our community. The homeless did their thing, and everyone else went on with their business. Sure this is a success so far, and I'm sure there will be some incidents that will need to be tended to as the event prospers. Our commitment now must be to coexist. A seed was planted in Williams Park.

Sheldon Schwartz, St. Petersburg


[Last modified February 17, 2007, 19:08:51]

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