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Today's Letters: Charities feeling everyone's pain

Letters to the Editor
Published November 30, 2007


Re: The season for givingeditorial, Nov. 25

Pinellas charities are underfunded and hurting because average people are being decimated by debt and don't have the money to help lance the boil of want this Christmas season. Frustrated families are trying to subsist on wages that are being reduced by exorbitant expenses and mounting inflation. The blue-collar blues are omnipresent and the working class core finds it almost impossible to be charitable.

And what is also sad is that the blight of beggary by penniless people is rampant. I take walks daily and have been constantly accosted by poor folks asking for money and spare change.

It would be super if the affluent, such as Stuart Sternberg with his multimillions, would help fund charities, as the public has helped to finance his Tampa Bay Rays team. Average folks simply have been submerged by tidal waves of financial troubles and have little spare change for the homeless and impoverished this holiday season.

Robert B. Fleming, St. Petersburg

How to save: Get it right first time

Since this so-called real estate tax reform has been addressed - ha, ha - all I have been hearing is that Pinellas County is going to have to cut back on services. Well, if the county would do things right the first time they would not have to do it again.

I have been a resident of Palm Harbor for the past 22 years and have worked in construction management for 18 years, so I do know something about construction cost and practices.

I have seen new roads installed and a few years later torn up to extend the deceleration lanes or to install underground utilities. I have seen deceleration lanes changed more than once on Tampa Road, Belcher Road between Tampa Road and Curlew Road torn up to install pipe, and more orange road signs than I care to see.

So before they start talking about budget cuts, they should address this waste of taxpayers' money and do it right the first time.

Frank Dalessandro,Palm Harbor

Disorganization mars Turkey Trot

Iparticipated in the 5K run and the 1-mile walk at the Turkey Trot in Clearwater on Thanksgiving Day.

This was my first time at this event, and I found it to be a disorganized affair. I doubt I will be participating again.

I saw no attempt to organize the 5K runners into speed groups. I would guess my 5K was more like 6K if you include the zig-zag distance required to avoid the walkers. I am not a fast runner, but my 9 minute per mile pace required me to run on lawns and sidewalks and veer in and out of the packed street. I experienced numerous near misses as faster runners passed me and as I dodged walkers and dogs.

I felt it was chaos on the football field at Clearwater High School as well. I heard an announcement that lost parents or lost children should meet at the Lost and Found booth at the red and white tent. I looked around and saw four red and white tents arrayed across the field. Gee, which one should I go to?

The refreshment line for race finishers was unmarked, not roped off and very slow moving. I gave up after 10 minutes at the back of the line watching people jump in ahead of me. After the 5K, only one of the two lines was open. Why?

It was a disappointing experience. I expected better from this event.

Paul Benton,Largo

Re: Some drivers need to retire letter, Nov. 7

Younger than 65 drivers a problem

I have news for the letter writer. Since I've been living here for 10 years from up north, I have never seen such crazy drivers "younger than 65" on the road. No one uses their directional signals. All I do is jam on my brakes every day. Sooner or later, I'll need a brake job.

I'm 83 years old and have been driving for 63 years. I've never been in an accident nor have I ever gotten a ticket. I sound like Red Buttons.

When I was 35 years old, some teenager called me an old bat and told me to get off the road. I wonder where he is now, so I can call him an old goat.

Helen Colligan,Belleair

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 November 29, 2007, 22:57:25]

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