Today's Letters: Beach paradise now a hell hole

Published May 16, 2007

After an absence of several months, I recently had the occasion to take visiting family to Clearwater Beach for the day.

Shame on the city for the results of its unadulterated greed. Shame on the people who sold out for greed. What once was a paradise is now a hell hole.

I am appalled and ashamed to be a part of this community. Spitefully, I almost hope this building bust holds on and bankrupts the people responsible for the devastation of this once beautiful beach community.

If one has only followed the news of this debacle in the media, then you really need to drive there and attempt to park somewhere. Then try to take a walk around the litter and construction trash without breaking your leg while trying to recognize once familiar landmarks.

Lynn Kraft, Clearwater

Re: Dunedin Gateway project

Project must fit with flavor of city

I attended the citizens input meeting concerning the proposed Gateway project. This construction, when complete, will define the entranceway to downtown Dunedin.

We will not get a second chance to do it right. The Dunedin commissioners have made the right choice. The developer, Pizzuti Companies, is different from most developers. They are truly interested in creating a project that fits with the flavor of Dunedin.

The citizens' input sessions were more than just fake smiles and nodding heads. Their team came across as really wanting to know what the residents thought, and Pizzuti will be incorporating many of their ideas and suggestions.

Like any big development project, it has its difficulties and obstacles: The purchase of two adjoining properties. One is in negotiations, the other a holdout.

There will be a mix of professional office space, mostly for the medical profession. The project is right across from Mease Dunedin Hospital. The anchor will be some type of fresh market.

The plan is to incorporate two condominium buildings on the southwest side of Skinner Boulevard or State Road 580. I would rather see a bohemian-type hotel than more condominiums. Hotels bring the tourists. Pinellas has so much to offer. If travelers have no place to stay they are going somewhere else.

They need to connect this Gateway project with our downtown area. I suggest having a free open-air trolley run from Gateway West down Main Street to the marina, turn south to the new proposed Fenway by the Bay Hotel, and circle back to Gateway. Run two trolleys 20 minutes apart.

Turn Main Street into a pedestrian friendly street, with al fresco-style dining, brick-paved walkways, and roaming artists and musicians.

This will be a wonderful addition to our city. Development is here; we cannot stop it, but let us make sure it is done tastefully and in harmony with the unique village we call Dunedin.

Bill Coleman, Dunedin

Thieves put doubt on food drive

The Letter Carriers Food Drive to "Stamp Out Hunger" was May 12, and I really have to wonder how much of the food actually reaches the needy people for whom it was intended.

The reason for my doubt is this: On Friday afternoon, May 11, I put two bags of various food items in the lobby of my condominium building, where our mail carrier would be picking them up on Saturday. Each bag was tied up in a knot at the top.

It was early on Saturday morning when I thought of a few more items to put in a bag and brought it down to the lobby. Well, to my surprise, I noticed that one of my other two bags was opened and two items were missing. What had vanished were two 14-ounce bags of dark chocolate M&M's. Whoever the culprit was couldn't have really been hungry. Someone was just looking for a tasty snack.

Now, if the individual(s) had been shrewd enough and re-tied the bag, I never would have noticed. But instead, the thief left a telltale sign. People will be people. And so it goes.

JoAnn Lee Frank, Clearwater

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