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© St. Petersburg Times, published March 7, 2001
We recently took the trolley -- one complete loop from Pass-a-Grille to the Sheraton Sand Key and back -- without seeing a single black American rider. For most of the ride the bus was full, often with several standees and once in an overload condition. There were hundreds of riders!
Actually, the only black American we saw throughout the trip appeared to be in a housekeeper's uniform. Perhaps others were working in the fast food and other minimum-wage jobs.
This also seems to confirm the recent supervisor of elections' figures covering Pinellas County. Most or virtually all of the districts along the west coast average 0.18 percent black registration -- less than one couple per thousand voters.
It's hard to use the "A" word -- apartheid -- but the word is not irrelevant and not American. Something is badly amiss. Isn't it hard to see how equal rights and access can be attained without going to court?
-- Lawrence F. Ellery, St. Petersburg
Re: Traffic calming speed bumps in Shore Acres-Venetian Isles area.
After living 25 years and having seven children in our family "home," this issue threatens my ability to reside where we had hoped to be "forever."
Ten years ago, due to an auto accident and three cervical spine surgeries and fusions, it is difficult for me to exit this area of St. Petersburg.
I am not alone with this problem. Many people with arthritic or other disabling restrictions find great discomfort enduring the drainage depressions (reverse speed bumps) already. They, in themselves, should be "traffic calming" if that were the solution to speeding problems.
Appreciating the fact that traffic speed creates risk, I believe alternate solutions must be found for those families who knowingly purchase and live on these roads that give them access to our city's wonderful advantages and to safety during storms.
-- Judith Marshall, St. Petersburg
Why did the powers that be of St. Petersburg decide to plant oak trees throughout the city instead of a semitropical tree like the palm?
I'll bet that many of the people who are suffering from the oak pollen are asking the same question.
And another thing, oak trees are lightning rods because of their long tap roots. And Florida is the lightning capital of the nation.
Because I am surrounded by oak trees, my house has been hit by lightning three times. I had to have lightning rods installed. I can't do anything about the trees because they are on neighbors' property.
When the acorns drop, I cannot see my driveway. Then the squirrels are all over. And when I drive over the acorns and break them, then the pigeons and doves come down and feed on them.
Why, oh, why?
-- Paul Stuble, St. Petersburg