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Todays Letters: Mayor Baker out of tune with parking problem

Letters to the Editor
Published November 14, 2007


Saturday Morning Market

Instead of playing guitar down at the Saturday Morning Market, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker should have been seeing what he could do to relieve the parking problem for its patrons. He could have seen how the A-1 Tow company employees watch and wait for citizens to leave their car and walk off the shopping center lot at Third Street S before towing the car. Had I seen the 12- by 14-inch signs with small green letters explaining that my parked car would be towed, there is no way I (or the half dozen other frustrated drivers I spoke with) would have parked there!

I'm sure the owners of the shops just want parking for their patrons. That will be accomplished when drivers know where they can't park. Needless to say, I will not be attending the Saturday Morning Market anymore, not even to see Rick Baker play guitar.

Donna LaDuke, St. Petersburg

'Outsiders' triumph Nov. 7, story

Thanks for votes, trust

I would like to thank all of those citizens of St. Petersburg who voted for me last week. The trust that you placed in me with your vote is inspiring, and I appreciate all of you who cast your ballot.

The results were not in our favor, but I enjoyed being part of the process and will look for other opportunities to serve.

To all of my friends and supporters, I would like to thank you for all of your hard work and dedication. We ran a positive campaign on the issues that we believed need to be addressed in a proactive way to make our great city even better.

St. Petersburg faces some challenges, but our best days are yet to come. I look to the future with hope and promise to brighter days ahead.

Ed Montanari, St. Petersburg

St. Pete Beach 50th birthday fireworks

A model for fireworks

Thank you to everyone involved in arranging the fantastic fireworks display to celebrate St. Pete Beach's 50th birthday.

The show was the best fireworks on the beach I have ever seen.

After enjoying the Fourth of July displays every year and experiencing the mishap at this year's July Fourth show, I feel that all future firework displays should be done in this way (from a barge in the gulf). Then everyone can enjoy the fireworks safely.

Jenny Glossop, St. Pete Beach

St. Petersburg Police Department

Sub deputies for police

Has anyone explored the cost savings of having the Pinellas County sheriff take over police duties in St. Petersburg?

I already hear the cry to keep my favorite policeman, but these are tight times, and getting tighter.

I have got to believe it would be a great cost-saving measure, which could help in reducing taxes or leave more for the schools.

Does the City Council even have the guts to discuss the potential?

Jack E. Price, St. Petersburg

Regulate older drivers

It will soon be that time of year again: snowbird season. I dread the fall and winter every year because of the influx of senior drivers who do not belong on our roads.

I realize this is an unpopular topic, but I believe that the subject bears discussion. A few days ago, my husband and I were almost involved in what could have been a fatal traffic collision in Largo.

I was driving our car northbound in the far right lane of Seminole Boulevard, proceeding through a green light, and going below the posted speed limit, when I nearly got rammed sideways by an elderly woman in a large car making an inappropriate right-hand turn from Ulmerton Road. Luckily, I was able to jam my brakes and prevent us from injury. When I pulled up alongside the perpetrator, she gave no acknowledgment of her mistake or that she had even noticed us there.

Sadly, occurrences like this are far too common. Our roads are cluttered with seniors driving 10 to 20 mph below the speed limit in all lanes, impeding commuters and creating dangerous situations and opportunities for "road rage." That's to say nothing of the elderly drivers who go the wrong way down one-way streets (First avenues N and S in St. Petersburg are excellent examples), make unsafe turns and plow blithely through crosswalks on Gulf Boulevard.

I hate to generalize, as I have met many seniors with excellent driving sense who have no issue "keeping up" with the safe and orderly flow of traffic here in Pinellas County. It would be foolish to say that certain seniors are the only bad drivers around.

However, my thoughts today concern only them. There are laws against speeding and against driving while impaired in any way.

We have a minimum driving age; why should we not have a maximum driving age as well? Or, instead, why are drivers over a certain age (say, 65) not required to submit to annual vision and hearing testing at their own expense if they still want to operate a moving vehicle? The revenue from such an initiative could surely be put to excellent use, such as the ongoing improvement of our roads.

Those of us who make a point of driving safely are entitled to protection from drivers who have no business on the road.

S. Nguyen, Largo

A tip: Show servers some love Nov. 4

Want tips? Do better job

I have a few suggestions for these poor, tipless servers: Next time a guest leaves a tip, say: Thank you! How about saying "Good evening" or "Please, come again" when customers leave.

Servers in this area seem to be unhappy with their jobs (and it shows), rude, unfriendly and not properly trained. I can't remember the last time a server got our entire order correct or remembered to bring drinks or provide refills. And it always seems that several people in the group have "extra" drink charges on their bill. Perhaps if they did their job correctly and with a pleasant attitude, they would make better tips.

I suggest that the next time you encounter an incompetent server, call the manager and the server to the table and tell them both why that server is not getting a 20 percent tip!

Mrs. Ellen Donnelli, St. Petersburg


We invite readers to write to us. Letters for publication should be addressed to Letters to the Editor, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731. They can be sent by fax to (727) 893-8675or through our Web site at: They should be brief and must include the writer's name, address and phone number. Please include a handwritten signature when possible. Letters may be edited for clarity, taste and length. We regret that not all letters can be published.

[Last modified November 13, 2007, 23:40:59]

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