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Today's Letters: Officials field another fiasco

Published September 13, 2007


I attended the recent open house put on by the Pinellas County Commission (yes, that Pinellas County Commission) and the Pinellas County School Board to present the proposed plans for the Keystone Recreational Fields. This project is the brainchild of County Commissioner Susan Latvala and others as an answer to the problem of the overcrowded East Lake Youth Sports Association facility off Old Keystone Road.

The selected location, at the corner of East Lake Road and Keystone Road, is 40 acres owned by the School Board that was purchased for future use as a middle school site.

I listened to the representatives, asked many questions and waited to hear something that made sense.

They had no idea of the impact of several hundred cars on an already overburdened section of road.

The answer to the noise problem that would be created by four soccer fields, a practice field, a parking area, restroom and concession stand was to say, "We're going to put in landscape berms on the south end of the property." Small comfort to the homes that will be 150 feet from the fields, and no answer for how residents on the north, east and west sides would be affected by the noise.

Then we come to lighting. We were told it would be "directional lighting" that would not be intrusive. How do they figure that?

Increased traffic (wait till our winter visitors add to our congested roads), noise and stadium-style lighting, all courtesy of our Pinellas County Commission.

One of the senior representatives present asked that we sit down with a court reporter at a nearby table so our "thoughts and suggestions" could be recorded for the commissioners. A court reporter? While I have no problem expressing myself when it comes to how my tax money is spent, the thought of sitting down with a court reporter was a bit intimidating and heavy-handed. Who paid her bill? By the way, no one was sitting at her table the entire hour that I was present.

So, basically, we have another fiasco planned by our inept County Commission. A small group, the East Lake Youth Sports Association, receives the benefit and we, the taxpayers, foot the bill for something most of us don't want.

This is a time of fiscal responsibility in which we spend tax money on needs, not wants.

Their fiduciary irresponsibility is trumped only by their arrogance. I can't wait to vote every one of them out of office.

Denise Browsky, Tarpon Springs

Re: Connections in the Kingdom, story, Sept. 8

Religious group has a dark side

When I read the article, I felt compelled to follow up with a point of view (reality) quite different from that suggested by the writer. Apparently the writer has done very little research on this religious cult. Jehovah's Witnesses are thought to be the second largest religious cult in the United States.

I was a member of the Jehovah's Witnesses from age 4 till age 38. Fortunately, my daughter and I were able to escape from this cult with the help of my current husband of eight years. However, my son (who was baptized at age 14) is still a member. My mother and father are still members also.

When a Jehovah's Witness is baptized and later decides to leave, they are at that point considered an apostate and thought to be evil. Those in the family who formerly were very close to the ones who leave are no longer allowed to associate or talk to former members. This practice is called "shunning," a tactic used by Jehovah's Witnesses to control those that remain. This is similar to treatment that Scientologists (the third largest cult in the nation) apply to their former members.

I feel this article makes this religious group sound legitimate and that is so far from the truth. So many families have been destroyed by becoming a part of this "organization." If you would like to hear the other side to this so-called religion, I would be more than happy to be interviewed.

Tina Newhouse,Seminole

Harley dealers misuse 9/11 ride

I am very disappointed by the way the local Harley dealerships have treated the annual 9/11 Remembrance Ride. I have attended every one of them previously, yet this year the Harley dealers turned it into a sales day. This is very disappointing.

I did not go to Tampa or Brandon Harley for the sales pitch. They are trying to turn a buck on the anniversary of one of the most tragic days in American history.

Let us remind ourselves of the lives that were lost that day and not turn it into a shopping day. The Remembrance Ride was started as a show of support for our troops and first responders and to remember the innocent people that were killed that day. It is not to be treated as Columbus Day with sales from stores. Do we have special sales on Dec. 7th? No, we do not and should never treat days like that as a sales pitch.

As for the local Harley dealers that are doing this, good-bye, I will never darken the doors of your dealerships again.

John Roth,Clearwater

Red light runners endanger lives

I just made a short trip to the grocery store. The trip involved three red lights. While on the way and sitting at Tampa Road and U.S. 19 heading east, I witnessed two cars running the red light.

On the way back, I was first in line to go west on Tampa Road and just as my light turned green, a car came racing through the red light from the opposite turn lane.

My question is: Who are you that you can put my life in danger by running the red light? Does two to three minutes more of your time to wait inconvenience you so much that you could put me in the hospital or kill me?

Do you not think about the consequences when you run the red lights? Is this some new God-given right that you don't have to stop for red lights anymore?

It seems to happen more frequently than infrequently these days and I am tired of watching you endanger everyone's life out there. Please stop.

Marsha Burner, Palm Harbor

Where have all the flags gone?

I've noticed over the last couple of months a number of empty flagpoles around, numbering in the dozens. This is just in the Belleair, Largo, Redington beaches and surrounding areas that I frequent. They are at businesses, schools, government buildings, etc.

Are we out of flags? Something's strange here. Is there a quiet protest going on, perhaps against the government or the war, or have we just lost our patriotism in this area?

Jake Barthorpe,Largo

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 September 12, 2007, 21:20:35]

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