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Today's Letters: Association's actions unfair

Published April 9, 2007


Re: Grandparents sued for keeping girl story, April 1

I am appalled that the Lakes Homeowners Association has taken legal action against grandparents who have suffered the consequences of their daughter's drug abuse by having to raise their granddaughter. Shame on the association! These grandparents have gone beyond the call of duty.

I guess the people in the association believe they will never have to be in the same position. Believe me when I say that every family has an alcoholic or drug addict in it. And if you were asked to care for a child because of it, would you honestly turn your backs on that child? I guess we now know you would.

Has the association ever thought that there are some things an older generation can teach a child? How many times have you heard something about a child or teen hurting an older person? This child may one day be an advocate for the elderly or an attorney for those of you who may have your homes, pensions or finances stolen.

Association, you are missing out on a wonderful opportunity to help raise a dedicated child and to teach this child compassion for the elderly.

To the grandparents, I applaud you for the courage to take on a child and believe me when I say that this is not a community that you want to raise your granddaughter in.

They will answer to their God for their inability to be compassionate to your situation.

Marylou Serna, Pico Rivera, Calif.

Re: Grandparents sued for keeping girl

Change rules, let grandchild stay

I was utterly appalled when I read the article on Kimberly Broffman, the 3-year-old girl living with her grandparents at the Lakes subdivision.

If the homeowners association where she lives gets its way and the rule of no permanent residents under 18 is enforced, it will likely result in either a homeless family consisting of a toddler and two aging people - one with multiple health issues - or a helpless and innocent child living with either her drug-addicted mother, who wouldn't care for her properly, or a foster family, who she wouldn't know and who may or may not treat her with the love she already receives from her devoted grandparents.

Imagine! A whole community of people too self-centered to care about the fate of a small child, trying to ruin her life and break her heart and those of her grandparents, simply because she isn't old enough to live there!

I realize that rules are rules, and the rule in this community states that no persons under the age of 18 may live there, but the only reason this little girl does is because she has no other safe and loving place to go. I know kids, and I know that 3-year-old girls tend to be far sweeter, mild-mannered and quiet than most 18-year-old people, who, I must add, generally have friends who want to visit and create much more noise and mayhem than one child this age could possibly imagine making.

The grandparents moved into this community without realizing they'd ever have to care for their grandchild, therefore they did not violate the contract with premeditation. Rules created for peace of mind should have bending room for cases such as this, or the peace of mind and basic well-being of three people will vanish completely.

This community wants to see toy-free lawns wherever they look, and they're willing to take a child from her loving guardians to have it that way.

If this rule simply cannot have an exception made for such a worthy cause, then the Lakes should at least allow the family to remain indefinitely under the stipulation that they continue to diligently try to sell the house and move out within a certain time period of making said sale.

I, for one, am ashamed of the total lack of integrity, compassion and empathy in this community. If I were a resident, I would move out as soon as possible. Please keep readers posted about this story!

Coreen Dwyer- Lee, Woodbine, Maryland

Re: Pastor's comment was irresponsible letter by Joann Lee Frank, April 3

Stanton coverage was adulatory

Both Ms. Frank and Pastor Charlie Martin get it wrong on the St. Petersburg Times' coverage of the Steve Stanton saga.

The word "cahoots" is not the right word to describe how the paper covered the Stanton debacle.

I think both the pastor and Ms. Frank would admit what we really saw was an almost awestruck hero worship of Stanton by the reporter. I have seen rock stars get covered in a less idolized manner.

The paper and its staff love the kind of social engineering this case offers. They were like personal press agents for Stanton. I don't think the word "cahoots" does the coverage justice.

Michelle Keller, Largo

Re: In range of the roar story, March 31

Noise? Come try Safety Harbor

After reading your coverage of the noise levels from the Grand Prix, I had to chuckle. Here in Safety Harbor, we live between a firehouse and a hospital. We know about noise.

We are also next to McMullen-Booth Road. Your own graphic shows noise levels of 90 dB on a busy city street - that's noisy. We knew that.

Then there's our St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport. It seems that UPS can find an address anywhere, but its pilots can't ever find the "noise abatement route" to the airport.

And we all love those old MD-80s.

So now we can all rest assured that when the 300 school buses, their drivers and maintenance people start adding to our noise, we shouldn't even notice.

Just how much more should folks have to take?

Be thankful, St. Petersburg. Your noise was over quickly. We're in this for the long haul.

Tom Dickinson, Safety Harbor

Re: Please, people, don't live like pigs letter, April 3

Comparison was insulting to pigs

Though we agree about the behavior of certain people, your letter writer obviously knows nothing about pigs or he would not compare those sloppy, thoughtless people to pigs.

Pigs, perhaps the most intelligent of animals (except for many of us), are treated disgracefully by those who turn them into money. Pigs love nothing more than to be fastidiously clean. They are forest animals which, when wild, live in deep shade most of the time. They never developed fur cover to resist the sun's harmful rays. We, too, were forest animals, so neither did we.

People more interested in pork than in the well-being of pigs place them in shadeless pens and feed them revolting slops instead of the acorns, fruits, fungi, tubers and subterranean critters they are used to. Consequently, if water is available, a pig will construct a wallow within its pen so it can cover its sun-tender skin with mud and avoid painful sunburn. We invented clothes and sunblock.

Commercial pigs look dirty and eat disgusting food because they have no alternative. Turn a dirty old pig loose in its original environment and in a generation or two there will be no shred of the domestic shape or personality in its offspring. They'll have almost magically turned into wild swine indistinguishable from their friends and relations.

Bud Tritschler, Clearwater

Your voice counts

You may submit a letter to the editor for possible publication through our Web site at, or by faxing it to (727) 445-4119, or by mailing it to Letters, 710 Court St., Clearwater, FL 33756. You must include your name, address and phone number. Letters may be edited for clarity, taste and length.

[Last modified April 9, 2007, 07:26:49]

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