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Letters to the Editors

Pick on signs other than billboards

© St. Petersburg Times, published April 4, 2001

Re: A different view of billboards.

As a property owner in Pinellas County, I think it's time that Pinellas County commissioners directed their time and energy toward something more important than billboards.

I have two parcels of property that have three billboards on them. I depend on the income to defray the property tax.

As I drive around Pinellas County, I have noticed not only billboards with advertising but bus stop benches, Pinellas County buses, businesses with banners (all unlicensed), newspaper and flier vending machines, unregulated real estate signs, developers' signs, homemade garage sale signs ... illegal signs in general.

Sounds like the commissioners are trying to selectively regulate.

I also object to regulating selectively according to location; for example, Ulmerton Road is okay but Park Boulevard is not. What is their objective? Has this become a vendetta against billboard companies?
-- Ronald E. Struthers, Pinellas Park

Turn on car lights in the rain

Once more we see the welcome sight of rain, and once more we see the sight of dumb motorists driving in a downpour without using their headlights. Apparently, they don't know the state law or choose to ignore it.

It would be nice to see the police do something about the problem, but they are busy harassing bingo players and the like.

I make sure that I use my lights, for I want the other motorists to see me. Come on, motorists, use your head for something besides a hat rack.
-- Bert Lindquist, Clearwater

Bravo for Celebrate Music concert

Re: Celebrate Music Hand in Hand.

I had the great pleasure of attending the Celebrate Music Hand in Hand performance last week at the Bayfront Arena. What a show! As a retired music educator from New Hampshire snowbirding it in St. Petersburg for the second winter, I was happy to witness the wonderful work that Pinellas County music educators are doing with local students.

The performances by the students were outstanding and a credit to the county schools and their parents. Please continue to support music education in our public schools. It's the best!

From the elementary students through the high school students, continuing with the Second Time Arounders adult group, congratulations on a wonderful performance. Bravo, and keep up the good work!
-- Stanley W. Bednarz, St. Petersburg

Candidates leave signs behind

I am the pastor of a church that serves the community as a polling precinct. On the day after the St. Petersburg city election, 19 signs littered the church property.

I have since uprooted the visual pollution myself and am curious to know if there is any reason candidates should not be held responsible for the prompt removal of their garbage, otherwise known as campaign signs.
Thomas C. Bridges, pastor, St. Mark's United Methodist Church, St. Petersburg

Kids mirror parents' efforts

Re: Parents can help kids get fit, stay fit, by Mike McGinnis, March 21.

A home is a haven of heritage. Good parents help their children to get physically and mentally fit. They help their kids develop a sense of discipline and patience so they don't go off into destructive directions. Good parents develop social-savvy skills in their children. Good parenting means you don't smother kids, but you don't give them free rein either.

Kids sense when their parents truly care about them or not. Sadly, there are too many bad home environments with disturbed kids. Some parents victimize their own kids or neglect them to the utmost. They don't communicate with their children, are not interested in their thoughts and opinions, and treat them as though they have no importance at all.

In such homes, there is no meaningful connection between parent and child. The result of this is much societal trouble.

Good homes provide positive, loving approval. As a society, we must somehow foster homes that build self-esteem and skills in children.

Physical and psychological fitness in kids always traces back to the quality of the parenting.
Robert B. Fleming, St. Petersburg

Noise, air pollution abounds

I am a strong booster of most aspects of the quality of life in St. Petersburg. Exceptions to this are air and noise pollution.

From where I live in downtown St. Petersburg, I can see the heavy line of pollution on the horizon. And I can hear extreme, avoidable noise.

We are covered continually by an unhealthy film of black smudge. This comes from diesel engines, such as those are employed by Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority buses.

The diesel pollution could be lessened by use of gas-powered buses, which are already used by adjoining communities. The air pollution also is caused by power plant emissions. Enforcement of existing legislation would help.

Support of legislation already introduced into the U.S. Congress would eliminate the problem.

Noise pollution comes from engine braking and extended idling of diesel vehicles. It could be lessened by an ordinance prohibiting engine braking by heavy vehicles and extended idling when the vehicles are parked.

Vehicles that are running with gutted or modified mufflers are another problem that needs to be addressed by an ordinance.

Another source of noise pollution in the University of South Florida and Bayfront area is Albert Whitted Airport. A study is needed of alternatives to the numerous over-flights of the USF campus and Bayfront areas and flying school flights.

These also threaten the safety of people in that part of downtown St. Petersburg. The facility should not be expanded unless current and future noise and safety issues are resolved.

We have a good place to visit and in which to live. Our City Council and other governmental bodies need to take action to make it even better for residents and tourists.
-- Powell Foster, St. Petersburg

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