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    Letters to the Editors

    McDonald's uses double standard on testing stance

    © St. Petersburg Times, published May 16, 2001

    Re: Woman says burger has put her life on hold, story, May 13.

    The call for the right of privacy is used selectively and often wrongly. McDonald's claims its worker, because of his right to privacy, shouldn't have to submit to a blood test to let a person who could be infected by him know if he has certain communicable diseases.

    But McDonald's would not feel it is invading a person's privacy to have him submit to a urine test to see if he had ingested certain substances.

    The state encourages urine testing to prohibit hiring people who use certain substances on their own time, even though it does not affect their work performance. But they would likely prohibit using a blood test to cull potential employees who have communicable diseases, such as AIDS and hepatitis, that could infect the customers.

    Who has the greater right to privacy, someone whose actions affect no one but themselves, or someone whose condition may be harmful to, or threaten the life of, others?

    Which testing of employees makes more sense, one that is used to see what they do in their spare time, or one that identifies potential health threats to customers?

    The answers are easy. McDonald's should test the employee for diseases to put Jackie Wollenberg's mind at ease, and it should use tests to prevent hiring workers who are a potential danger to the public. It should also quit drug testing its employees. It either really believes in privacy or it doesn't. Its actions prove it doesn't or only does on a selective basis when it makes the least sense.
    -- J. B. Pruitt Jr., Clearwater

    Planner is a voice of reason on issue of beach congestion

    Re: Density may be too high for beach's revival plan, story, May 12.

    Finally, after writing to this paper over and over again about the congestion problem on Clearwater Beach, I hear a voice of reason singing my tune . . . and a powerful voice it is too. It belongs to Dave Healey, executive director of the Pinellas Planning Council, who notes that the Beach by Design plan would pack too many people in too small a space.

    This is the opinion of one of the area's most powerful planners. After countless self-serving words spoken ad nauseam by several commercial developers, isn't it time we listened to a man who has no ax to grind -- just a beach to save?
    -- Fred Nassif, Clearwater

    Beach by Design plan offers big plus for city's infrastructure

    When is enough going to be enough? As a resident and business owner on Clearwater Beach for the past 16 years, I have sadly watched our beautiful community slowly deteriorate -- not our white sand or the nice people who live, work and visit here, but our infrastructure.

    Past administrations have been content to continually pull money off the beach without putting money back into the beach. This beach generates close to one-third of the tax base of the city of Clearwater and helps to keep our taxes in check and provides a beautiful area for Clearwater residents to enjoy. This is fact.

    Yet every time something positive to our infrastructure comes up, there is a certain faction of the beach and the city of Clearwater that tries to shut it down. If this were the 1950s and everything were new, I would agree with that. It's not, and we are in dire need of a face lift.

    Once again we have something positive on our plate for our beach, Beach by Design, this time brought about by our current administration. Kudos.

    Once again it is about to meet opposition. Before opposing something just to oppose it, get the real facts and make your own decision. Do not oppose it because the group you associate with opposes it. Be yourself and make your own decision.

    Beach by Design takes huge strides in bringing our beach back to its prominent stature. Please don't let the voices of a select few ruin it for all of us. Get involved and make yourself heard.
    -- Louis Piano, president, Clearwater Beach Chamber of Commerce

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