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Letters to the Editors

Cold-blooded killers don't see red

© St. Petersburg Times, published April 18, 2001

Re: Cameras may police red-light violators, by Andrew Meacham, April 8.

This article would have you believe that red lights are simply an inconvenience. It is this kind of mentality that is killing many people each day.

His article should have started out by saying: "It's Monday morning; you are late for work and in a bad mood. The light in front of you turns red. As you plow through the inconvenience, you slam into the side of a station wagon full of children on their way to the park. How dare they get in your way when you are in a hurry? You curse your luck as you now realize that you will now be delayed even more today by this "accident."'

I am sorry, but anyone who willfully runs a red light is nothing short of a cold-blooded killer just waiting for a victim to make the mistake of getting in his way. Giving these drivers the tickets they deserve will only be another inconvenience, but at least it is a start.

Using cameras is better then endangering the lives of our police officers to catch these mindless idiots. The next time you go out, count how many people you see blowing through red lights. Then imagine that this is happening at every intersection in our county, state and country. The sooner we start prosecuting these people, the sooner we can all stop holding our breath before we drive through intersections on the green light.
-- John Hamilton, Gulfport

Cameras at intersections: Yes!

Hooray! Yes! Cameras are coming to town.

The number of people who run red lights has dramatically increased over the years. Now it seems that when a traffic light turns yellow, it is a signal for many people to step on the gas, even though they are a block away. It is not unusual for me to brake for a light that is changing, only to see three or four cars pass me from behind in order to avoid stopping. Anyone foolish enough to start moving when the light turns green without counting to 10 first is asking for an accident.

The idea of putting cameras at major intersections to catch, fine and put points on the records of "red-light runners" is applaudable. Over time, the cameras will pay for themselves and, with hope, save lives.

Why is it that I never see hearses running red lights? Perhaps they know better.
-- Denis M. de Vlaming, Clearwater

Bermudians appreciate water

Re: Take a cure from California, Bermuda.

As a Bermudian now living in St. Petersburg, I felt the need to clarify a misconception that appeared in a letter April 11.

Saltwater is not used in Bermuda for washing, shaving or showering; nor do we have a desalination plant on the island. However, each household does collect rainwater on its roof, which is then stored in a tank below the house. Each household is responsible for conserving its water supply, which can be especially difficult in times of drought. If the water runs out, it must be purchased from a supplier at a high price. Needless to say, Bermudians are experts at water conservation!
-- Meredith Wakefield, St. Petersburg

Beach theory is invalid

Re: Real color of discrimination is green, letter, April 11.

Kudos to the letter writer for rebutting your inflammatory wording regarding race in your piece about beach neighborhoods (Beach towns younger but still very white, April 4).

Perhaps if you and your staff reviewed your own paper, you would have seen that in the same Neighborhood Times section, under House Values, that a 1-bedroom, 1-bath house on Sunset Beach sold after being on the market for one day -- for $142,000! You have to be a serious beach lover to cough up that kind of money for minimal housing -- or have plenty more to spend to tear it down and rebuild.

Not all people are doled out exactly the same intelligence, desire to achieve, abilities, personality and interests. Example: Not all people want to live on or near the beach. Therefore your statistics and supposed reasoning are invalid and mean nothing. Your innuendoes are just that ... innuendoes. Temper your enthusiasm to stir up problems, please.
-- E. Keith, St. Petersburg

Neighborhood "banana republics'

Re: Plan for cross-shaped cell tower withdrawn, April 8.

Shame on you, St. Petersburg Times, for burying this news article inside the Sunday Neighborhood Times. The rights of St. Petersburg residents to representative government are infringed upon by little banana republic neighborhood associations, and the Times hasn't the courage to report these facts on the front pages of the city news.

Isn't it just the slightest bit irregular that 30 individuals can vote to approve a cross-shaped cell tower in a neighborhood association representing 8,500 residences, and the city formally recognizes and routinely accepts the vote of that insignificant group as representative of a huge neighborhood? Personal experience would suggest that several of the "aye" votes were probably cast by proponents and spouses voting in tandem. That probably means that little more than one quarter of 1 percent of the 8,500 residences voted for "unanimous" approval of an always controversial cell tower.

Why did this happen? How and why were so many directly affected residents blind-sided? Are city residents to assume that this is a glowing example of democracy in action?

Formal neighborhood association involvement in the process of local government stinks to high heaven. It is time that the neighborhood association layer of pseudo-government be thoroughly investigated by the media. Our elected officials have a responsibility to clean up this preposterous and unrepresentative mess. Let us hope they put their heads together and do something about the problem before details of more ugly neighborhood association situations surface in the bowels of the Sunday Neighborhood Times.
-- John Schatmeyer, St. Petersburg

Society needs more people like her

Re: Shelter provides a way off streets, by Jon Wilson, April 8.

A community thank-you should be rendered to Lynn Rogers for opening a new women and children's shelter in north St. Petersburg. This will help so many who are homeless and low on money. Love and kindness are never wasted. They always make a difference. Life's true treasure consists not in gold-laden chests found beneath the sea but in the love and mercy found in you and me. Folks go to college and major in psychology, business administration, etc., but what society really needs are more people like Lynn Rogers, who majors in mercy. Care-driven people, like Lynn, provide support for society's most needy folks.

People should get motivated as fundraisers to help people like Lynn Rogers do a more complete job in her helping-other-people quest. Energies put into these kind of endeavors represent true brotherhood.
-- Robert B. Fleming, St. Petersburg

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