Today's Letters: Reckless drivers must face charges

Published May 8, 2007

A recent incident at a major Clearwater intersection compelled me to write in response to the April 24 editorial, Sending the right signal to pedestrians.

While I was in a pedestrian crosswalk with the traffic light in my favor, a motorist traveling south on Belcher Road turned left onto Nursery Road traveling full speed into my path, nearly hitting me. Fortunately, my dog guide did her job and saved my skin.

This is just one example of the kind of activity occurring daily throughout the Tampa Bay area imperiling the lives of citizens who by choice and/or circumstance travel our streets on foot.

The truth is that many motorists are always in a hurry to get to their destination and lack patience about any obstacles, including pedestrians, which impede their progress. Thus, a pedestrian is defenseless with this type of overwhelming circumstance.

The notion that education about the use of pedestrian signals will aid them is ludicrous. Pedestrian signals that cannot easily be interpreted by all pedestrians are worthless and must be replaced with user-friendly devices easily interpreted without the confusion mentioned in the editorial.

Although motorists may not be driving their vehicles irresponsibly with the intent to harm, it is incumbent upon law enforcement to impose charges for their recklessness with a potentially dangerous instrument: their vehicle. Allowing excuses diminishes any deterrent.

Paul Morline, Clearwater


Ripples continue to rock Largo 

Re: Embattled fire chief to retire, story, May 2, and City's lawyer taking heat, story, May 3

Could it be perceived that some Largo commissioners and overzealous staff members are intent on making life difficult for staff who may have been positive in regard to former City Manager Steve Stanton's situation?

Ann Bole, Largo


Bad example set in firing Stanton

I just have to say that I still cannot believe that the city of Largo fired Steve Stanton. My first thought when it was announced was, "What are we teaching our children?"

I believe that the firing of Stanton was due to unfair judgment and intolerance. How can we teach our children to be fair and tolerant if we as adults cannot take the lead and set a good example?

My feelings were further confirmed after watching Barbara Walters interview children going through the gender reassignment process. If 5-year-old children can accept the change of gender of a friend, then why can't we as adults accept that, especially when it does not directly affect or harm us?

Wow, what an example Largo has set!

Although I have loved living in Largo, I am embarrassed and appalled by their actions and am happy to say that I will soon be moving and will no longer be a Largo resident.

Jami Moss, Largo


What were state centers?  

Re: Mental health system's gaps pose threat to us all, guest column by Dr. Marc Yacht, April 30.

My wife and I together have more than 50 years' experience in the delivery and administration of mental health and social services in the public and the nonprofit sectors, going all the way back to the state Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services.

Dr. Yacht writes about "state reception centers" and the need to reopen them.

We have never heard of state reception centers, much less the need to reopen them.

Dr. Yacht and/or the St. Petersburg Times would do your readers a genuine service by writing a follow-up article describing what state reception centers were and why they were closed.

Bill and Barbara Hodges, Tarpon Springs