Today's Letters: Put school night before game night

Published September 25, 2007

I applaud the Pinellas County School District's decision not to schedule its high school varsity football games on Friday, Sept. 21, due to Yom Kippur. The decision was a respectful one. But I fail to see why the games were scheduled on Thursday, Sept. 20, a school night, instead of on a different Friday evening.

I observed many problems at the Dunedin vs. Countryside game played at Dunedin High, and they were not all due to the inclement weather.

Countryside High attendance appeared lower than usual at this away game. Could it be that parents did not want their kids out late on a school night? I'm sure that the lower attendance meant lower proceeds were earned from Dunedin's ticket sales and concession stand.

Our volunteer band chaperones have lives after band; many of them had to get up early on Friday to go to work. Our band buses arrived back at Countryside High just after 10:45 p.m.

By the time the instruments were put away and the last student left the parking lot, it was 11:20 p.m.

My daughter got to bed at midnight, only to have to wake up 5 1/2 hours later to start classes on Friday morning.

The message was loud to me. Clearly, football was a more important consideration than academics in this decision.

I would like to urge Pinellas County Schools to continue to be respectful of students' religious beliefs but to use some common sense when setting up its extra-curricular calendar.

Stephanie Brown, Clearwater

Re: Repeal smoking ban for sake of pals,guest column by Jack Bray, Sept. 20

Smoking ban is a blessing to many

Perhaps Mr. Bray will find the folks in Alabama more open-minded about the quality of the air they breathe.

If friends are not able to connect with each other because they cannot sit in a smoke-filled room to do so, I think they have bigger issues than the smoking ban.

My mother was a smoker and she missed a lot of what life had to offer unless she could puff away while she did it.

When her sister fell ill and could not have smoke around her, my mother chose her cigarettes over her sister.

The absence of smoke is a blessing to many in public areas. The absence of Mr. Bray and his comments on the subject in Florida will also be appreciated.

N. Hesselgrave, Palm Harbor

Re: Signs change, will speeders?story, Sept. 7.

This stretch is just a speed trap

I saw your article about the stop signs in downtown Safety Harbor. People are not speeding through downtown.

In almost every city in the world as you leave town, the speed limit increases, but not on Main Street in Safety Harbor.

As you leave town and go up the hill, the speed limit is still 25 mph. As you approach McMullen-Booth Road, it is still 25 mph.

It is a speed trap, plain and simple.

I was heading out at 7:45 a.m. about a month ago. Everybody was on their way to work.

The cops had their laser gun on Park Street and nailed me at Oak Avenue. Mind you, I was going 42 mph - so they said. You should try that route. It is almost impossible to go 25.

They nailed two people in front of me and two behind me. The cop said, "I'm giving away 100 tickets here today."

These are people on their way to work! Why don't they go out at midnight and find some drunk drivers?

You can go faster past the Safety Harbor Library, down Bayshore Boulevard, even down curvy State Road 590. I have seen the speed limit higher past elementary schools in Pinellas County.

I have no problem with 25 mph downtown, but after you hit 13th Street, it should start increasing. If I cross McMullen-Booth Road, the speed limit on the same street is 45 mph.

Yesterday my husband's employee got a ticket in the plumbing truck doing a whopping 40 mph - same spot, where the speed limit should be that or close to that anyway.

Take the drive. You'll see what I mean.

I have considered contacting AAA so they can warn people about the speed trap like they do with Waldo.

Diane Turscak,Safety Harbor

Re: La Nueva 92.5 anniversary concert

Coachman Park noise intolerable

It is 2 o'clock, Sunday afternoon, Sept. 23. We are at home, reading and conversing and trying to block out the yelling and screaming emitted by the entertainers holding forth from Clearwater's Coachman Park bandstand and multiplied a thousandfold by their state of the art electronic equipment.

Our home (in Island Estates) is about 4,480 feet from those humongous speakers - more than eight-tenths of a mile. There is a lovely eastern breeze. Ordinarily, the house would be open, drawing the first cool breath of the coming fall.

But even with all the windows and doors shut tight, we cannot listen to our own puny audio system because the noise is coming right through the glass.

There is no peace here today because a selfish culture chooses to wallow in intellectual vomit writ large on the innocent breeze. All we can do about our problem is fire up the car and go somewhere where we are not being continuously insulted.

Maurice Tritschler,Clearwater

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