© St. Petersburg Times, published March 22, 2001
Re: Fort Harrison Avenue badly needs work, Feb. 16 letter.
It's indeed refreshing when an elected official takes the bull by the horns to help get a job done for his constituents. State Rep. John Carassas of District 54 did just that a few weeks ago.
After reading a letter to the editor on this page relative to the discontent of many in our community, Mr. Carassas wrote a letter to Kenneth A. Hartmann, secretary of the Florida Department of Transportation District 7, regarding the deplorable condition of Alt. U.S. 19 and Fort Harrison Avenue.
Hartmann responded with a letter to Carassas, dated Feb. 27, with the following information:
"The resurfacing of the section of Alternate U.S. 19 from West Bay Drive (in Largo) to Drew Street (in Clearwater) is currently programmed for construction in fiscal year 2001/2002 of our 5-Year Work Program. The section of Alternate U.S. 19 from Drew Street to Main Street in Dunedin is programmed for resurfacing in fiscal year 2002/2003."
I do not recall reading or hearing anything about this planned rejuvenation of this stretch of road. However, at least we all know now that a resurfacing project is under way for Alt. U.S. 19 and Fort Harrison Avenue, and, best of all, it will be started this year.
Many thanks to Rep. Carassas for taking the time to follow through to gain this information that many of us were anxiously awaiting.
-- Jack Keller Sr., Belleair Bluffs
I am a handicapped person like so many others I see at the Philadelphia Phillies ball games in Clearwater, and I think the city should provide a parking section for those of us who are handicapped and do not have season tickets.
At the present time Jack Russell Stadium has a seating capacity of over 6,000 people and only marked handicapped parking for those with season tickets, and you must pay $45 for a parking spot near the entrance.
I and others go in another entrance, pay an entrance fee of $3 and they park you as close to the reserved parking section as possible, but not in the reserved section.
There are laws for malls, shopping centers, beaches, etc., where handicapped sections near the entrance must be marked and provided without charge.
I could accept this method if they would provide us transportation in extended golf carts like they do at the Veterans Administration hospital.
-- Bruce W. Reitz, Dunedin
Re: Incident with disruptive kid at stadium leaves sour taste, Feb. 27.
As I read the letter by Fred L. Colombo, Oldsmar, my blood pressure began to rise. This situation brings to mind several questions.
Where was the person responsible for this child when he was disturbing others? A child left unattended is one of the classic causes for prosecution of neglect. Obviously, when he was disturbing others, the child's conduct was being neglected, and just as obviously, the child was not in his assigned seat and therefore not being supervised. Was the child at fault, or was the parent the real culprit?
What is the result of making a statement bringing disrepute to another? Is this libel and can this not result in compensation being awarded? When someone makes a statement charging molestation of a child by an adult the whole world reacts with an attitude of, "If there is smoke there must be fire." I think anyone contemplating making this assertion should also think of the result of action for slander being taken against them when the accusation is false. Anyone making this charge because your child was told to behave should be castigated for making what appears to be a malicious and unwarranted charge.
Where was the crowd control manager when this obstreperous child was disturbing the patrons of the game? Should the patrons not have protection from an unattended child's disruptive behavior?
It is suggested it is not too late for the management of both the Tampa Bay Lightning and the stadium to publicly offer their regret for the lack of crowd control and the resulting situation it produced that can at best be described as an unnecessary embarrassment to Mr. Colombo. I might add, in my opinion, there should be at least a couple of tickets for future games included with the apologies.
-- R.M. Book, Palm Harbor
In reference to the letter regarding the disruptive kid at the stadium.
In defense of Mr. Colombo, if his side of the story is correct, I cannot believe a crowd control manager plus two police officers would call this man out of the game over stopping the child from entering his row and advising him to behave and sit down.
Were his parents also in the office? If either parent was aware of this child's behavior and did nothing and then had Mr. Colombo accused of child molestation, they needed to be reprimanded by the control manager, and if the child's behavior was not corrected, they should have been requested to leave the game.
Where was the control manager when all this was going on? Also where were the concerned parents during his bad behavior? If a child cannot behave in public, leave him or her at home with a sitter.
-- Helen Scaringe, Seminole