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© St. Petersburg Times, published February 27, 2001
Re: Stadium project amounts to attack on neighborhood, letter, Feb. 15.
Some local residents have attacked Clearwater Mayor Brian Aungst with regard to the location of the new Phillies stadium.
The mayor, along with the entire City Commission, County Commission and the Convention and Visitors Bureau voted unanimously to finance this project, validating its importance to the community at large. Are they all wrong, or do a few people have insufficient information?
To single out and chastise our mayor is unfair. Our mayor has done more for neighborhoods than anyone in recent history, including starting the neighborhood services department, neighborhood visioning process, the CAN DO neighborhood matching grant program, and creating district teams to better serve area neighborhoods with issues that arise.
All of this happened after the mayor was elected two years ago. Fortunately, he and the commission have been able to balance the needs of our neighborhoods with other important citywide programs. Each of these programs has been an improvement to the neighborhood where it has been implemented.
The new Phillies stadium location will prove to be a positive improvement to its neighborhood.
-- C.R. Gregorcic, Clearwater
No amount of paint, railings, stucco or landscaping will disguise the fact that Shepherd's parking garage on Clearwater Beach is much too close to the road and far too big, dwarfing the otherwise attractive resort. It does, however, serve one useful purpose: to remind the citizens of Clearwater Beach just how hideous a parking garage is. No other such structure should be allowed on the beach. If you doubt this, go look and be warned.
And to the letter writer who extolled (justifiably) the beauties of Sand Key, we have only one question: Where's the gulf? The crown jewel of Clearwater Beach is the open stretch of land between the Adam's Mark and Pier 60. No developer should be allowed to plan any structure whatsoever on this land. Keep this open stretch -- don't lose the "view" from Gulfview Boulevard!
-- Alison K. Hugel, Clearwater
Re: BayWalk shows what Clearwater needs, Feb. 20 letter.
Letter writer Mark Reinheimer of Safety Harbor writes that Safety Harbor is another sleepy town in need of some redevelopment. So what's the matter with a sleepy town?
That's the main reason we moved to Safety Harbor almost 18 years ago and in those years a lot of other people have moved here. Maybe they like a sleepy town also.
Because we have lived in many areas of Florida during the past 50 years, we have seen all the development and redevelopment. Please keep it out of Safety Harbor. If you want some excitement, go to BayWalk. Yes, we have been there too and loved it and but are glad it is in St. Petersburg and not Safety Harbor.
-- Marilyn Bevan, Safety Harbor
Re: If they're followed, speed limits protect everyone, letter, Feb. 18.
Yes, it would be much easier if the letter writer could be in charge of everyone on the road and how fast they travel. We all appreciate his concern and thank him from the bottom of our hearts for his instructions on driving and reminding us of the law.
However, it is not his job to try to police the rest of us while driving. It is not his job to try to make the rest of us drive the speed limit. We have a fully capable police force that gets paid to do that.
His job is to stay in the right-hand lane if he chooses to go slower than the flow of traffic. This also is the law.
We salute him for the decent and considerate human being that he is. All we ask is that he stop trying to control the road and everyone on it and stay in the right-hand lane, out of the way. Also, please, for God's sake, stay off U.S. 19.
-- J. Ryan, Palm Harbor
Here is another example of how crazy this world has become.
I recently attended a Tampa Bay Lightning hockey game in Tampa. During the second period of the game, a boy approximately 10 years old began running around the aisle, cutting between the rows of seats, acting foolish and disrupting the fans in our area. He would jump up and down between the rows of seats, making people get up and let him through.
He continued to do this until he attempted to run down my row. I had the first seat on the aisle and I stuck my arm out to stop him from entering my row. I told him, "Behave yourself and sit in your seat." He went to his seat, sat down and didn't do anything else.
A little later, a crowd control manager came over to me and said they would like to see me upstairs. I asked what it was about and he said it was about the incident with the young boy. Someone sitting behind me offered to go with me, but I said no, it was all right. I followed the manager to an upstairs office where there were two Tampa police officers waiting to talk to me. They told me that one of the parents complained about child molestation. They proceeded to ask me for my name and address.
The police officers, as well as the crowd control manager, were all very nice. I am a 63-year-old man, and it was very embarrassing to be called out of the game over this. It is a pretty sad state of affairs when the people responsible can't take care of their own children and then let an incident like this happen. Instead of calling me upstairs to talk to me, they should have called the parents up and told them to keep their son under control.
I'm so disgusted I don't even want to go near a stadium or arena where people gather again.
-- Fred L. Colombo, Oldsmar