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    Letters to the Editors

    East Lake's address isn't a big deal to all

    © St. Petersburg Times, published May 9, 2001

    Re: Conflict in East Lake, FL, May 6 story.

    I would like to remind your readers, including any in authority to make a decision concerning this subject, that giving the East Lake area a new name is not the desire of all members of the East Lake area.

    Although Dan Bobel and Don Flynn, both prominent members of our wonderful community, are championing this cause, I for one do not agree that I would be better off with an East Lake address than a Palm Harbor address.

    Aside from the sensible and practical reasons that the postal service provided for declining this request, I find the East Lake name, which carries with it no especially positive image, much less desirable than Palm Harbor, which is intrinsically pleasant and tropical.

    Furthermore, Palm Harbor already has a well-established identity and an image as a very desirable neighborhood, which East Lake would have to spend time, effort and money to develop if the name change was to be meaningful.

    The benefits of establishing a new identity are dubious and would not come without cost, so in my opinion we should drop the idea.
    -- Chuck Dudek, East Lake, (Palm Harbor mailing address)

    Quoted speakers don't represent everyone in the community

    Re: Conflict in East Lake, FL, May 6 story.

    I have read the story with interest and would like to add a word of caution. Staff writer Robert Farley mentions certain individuals, including Don Flynn and Dan Bobel, inferring that these gentlemen are community leaders and speak with the voice of the community.

    Leaders of their own groups or organizations they are, without question, but before the St. Petersburg Times, or any one else, holds the opinions and words of these two gentlemen up as speaking for the 30,000 residents of East Lake, somebody ought to run a plebiscite and see what the community as a whole really thinks and wants. An objective look at the whole situation is really called for.

    It would be a mistake to establish (and pay for) another local postal facility and put the residents through the inconvenience and cost of address changes simply to satisfy a desire for posturing and self-aggrandizement on the part of a few residents. The St. Petersburg Times would perform a great public service if it would print a ballot in the North Pinellas Times and ask for the opinions of its readers on the matter, responding by mail or e-mail. Then Mr. Flynn and Mr. Bobel will know whether they are favoring a popular cause or their own cause. And don't just run it once. Run it three or four weeks in succession. There is no hurry.
    -- Howard W. Brody, East Lake, (Palm Harbor mailing address)

    Clearwater still doesn't have good vision of its downtown plan

    Re: Downtown Clearwater development.

    This is an open letter to the Clearwater commissioners. You guys still don't get it, do you?

    Why do fewer people than Coachman Park can hold attend the concerts? Why do you have no foot traffic along Cleveland Street? Could it be that there is not much, other than the occasional concert, to interest people enough to come downtown? I have nothing against Stein Mart, but let's get real here. Perchance, there is not enough parking downtown to attract immense crowds to the park?

    I'm not one to complain unless I can offer a solution, so here goes. First, turn Calvary Baptist Church into a gorgeous new library. It would be a sin to tear it down with its unusual architecture.

    Second, raze the Harborview Center (nothing exquisite about that architecture). In its place, build a beautiful, quaint hotel with a European motif. That way, it would be natural to have a fun cafe outside, fronting Osceola Avenue.

    Build a parking garage with one story underground on the west side of the building that could have an elegant restaurant overlooking the causeway and the beach above it. The old Maas Brothers restaurant had a gorgeous view, good food and moderate prices. Ever wonder why it attracted so many customers for so long? The hotel could be smaller than the big chains, like a European inn, but still have meeting rooms for conventions. That is what is needed to provide foot traffic in the area, to my way of thinking.

    Finally, think of two other locations -- Tallahassee and Dunedin (are you getting sick of hearing that one?). Both cities have quaint little "downtown" areas with varied types of eating establishments (many of the outdoor variety), a major hotel/motel to anchor the area, and lots of foot traffic. Dunedin, of course, has fabulous antique stores whereas Tallahassee has the Capitol.

    Did I forget to mention that Tallahassee even has a huge parking garage that only charges $5 for the entire day and is only a two-minute walk from all of these activities? Dunedin has numerous, albeit small, lots for parking, many more than Clearwater.

    Now, does this start anyone thinking? Plan the program. Trust me, you will find developers who will be more than happy to build what you want and need. Local talent, more often than not, sees the big picture more clearly.
    -- Cindy Gamblin, Dunedin

    Tax collectors get it right, down to the last dollar

    Who says our income tax people aren't right on the ball? I just received a letter from them that the tax payment I sent them was incorrect, and to avoid penalties and interest charges I should send them a check before May 5.

    And what do you think the amount was? One dollar!
    -- Martha Crowell, Clearwater

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