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Today's Letters: Along the road of incompetence

Published May 25, 2007


Re: McMullen-Booth Road railroad crossing repair

Since the project to repair the railroad tracks on McMullen-Booth Road had been put off for years already, why couldn't it have waited until the construction on U.S. 19 was completed? Once again, somebody in charge isn't thinking.

The working people of Pinellas County will have to pay the price for government's incompetence.

Cheryl Karpinecz, Largo


Any other option would be better  

Re: Detour: Road closed ahead story, May 20

Seriously! Does Mahshid Arasteh, Pinellas County's director of transportation, expect us to feel sorry for her because she has to detour around the construction at the McMullen-Booth Road railroad crossing?

Her plan to add "10 to 15 minutes" to her commute (because of the detour) is laughable. Obviously, she and her colleagues haven't driven on U.S. 19 in a while.

U.S. 19 (which, by the way, is still under construction) can't handle the traffic it has. And you want to throw 70, 000 more cars onto it?

Did she happen to notice the massive logjam of traffic last week when McMullen-Booth was closed for just a few hours due to a gas leak? Would Hillsborough County allow Interstate 275 to be closed for three weeks?

I'm still not clear why this couldn't have waited until U.S. 19 was completed, or why they couldn't close just one direction at a time or close one lane at a time. Or only work at night.

It seems there were lots of alternatives rather than detour an entire section of the county in the hopes the railroad crossing will be completed by the "anticipated" finish date.

Already frustrated commuters may not want to call the county's McMullen-Booth hotline (727-453-3320), because when they do, they will discover that the three weeks scheduled is only for Phase 1 of the construction. Phase 2 will involve creating new temporary lanes, and traffic flow will be reduced for several more weeks.

J. Shine, Palm Harbor


Let railroad pay, not the rest of us

Re: Detour: Road closed ahead story, May 20

I have learned from experience that to be effective, a letter should be short and to the point. I will do my best.

I have several questions I would like to have answered by both your newspaper and Pinellas County commissioners.

I like the term "estimated cost."

Explain that term to all of us uneducated people in Pinellas County.

As I understand your explanation, the estimated cost will be $490, 000 for Pinellas County and $270, 000 for the railroad. If this is to repair the railroad property, why must the county pay for the repair of private property?

Two freight trains travel this route every 24 hours. What are the earth-shaking commodities these trains carry? Where do they travel to and from? Why is it not possible for the trucking industry to move this freight?

My opinion: Let the railroad pay for its own repairs. At a slight increase in the cost of repairs, this work could be done one directional lane at a time, with only slight inconvenience to the public.

Henry Berolzheimer, Tarpon Springs


Mail carriers deliver for shelter

Every year on May 12, the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) holds the nation's largest food drive.

As the largest homeless shelter in Pinellas County, we are grateful for this endeavor.

Our shelter, Homeless Emergency Project Inc., houses 270 individuals every day, and we serve three meals a day.

We wouldn't be able to offer this amount of daily meals if not for the NALC food drive and the local letter carriers.

The event is extremely well timed.

Every year in May, we find our kitchen lacking an adequate supply of dry goods, because most people in the community donate food during the holidays, leaving us with a shortage for the remainder of the year.

The NALC food drive brings our food inventory back to normal levels until the holidays come again.

This year, we worked with Steve Halkias and Joe Spencer from the Belcher Road Post Office in Clearwater.

We want to thank them and all of the individual mail carriers who continuously dropped off food the day of the drive.

It was an incredible sight to see, and we are very thankful for their efforts.

Barbara Green, president and CEO, Homeless Emergency Project Inc., 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 May 25, 2007, 07:11:35]

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