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Letters to the Editors

Pinellas Park made shortsighted decisions

© St. Petersburg Times, published May 16, 2001


Pinellas Park builds its city on "swampland that drains poorly" and now wants the state and county taxpayers to chip in more than $4-million to correct flooding problems?

I don't think so.

Sounds to me like a local problem brought about by politicians in the pockets of greedy developers. It's a situation not unusual in this state, I might add.

I suggest that the city of Pinellas Park belatedly review its rezoning procedures and accept responsibility for shortsighted decisions. Forget the scare tactics. No one around here is buying them.
-- J.J. Garden, Indian Shores

Abusive homes are everyone's problem

Re: Students honored for changing their lives, by Lorri Helfand, May 9.

I was touched by the article about high school students who improved their behavior and grades and who received a Turnaround Achievement Award. I was especially impressed with the case of Ashley Trusso, who was abused by her birth parents and had a really tough go of it. In spite of this, Ashley scrubbed the sadness and hurt out and let the sunshine in.

Abuse in a troubled household pollutes school progress. All kids need love, attention and affection. Without it, they can be withered weeds with great anger and little creative potential. Children in supportive homes tend to be achievers. They key concept here is caring. As a society, we can't retreat into denial of or indifference to children who live in abusive or neglectful home environments.

This I-don't-want-to-get-involved business doesn't cut it. Community care counts. Kids who are hardship cases must have the powerful presence of principled people in their lives to offset uncaring parents. We must declare war on abuse and play a more constructive role in children's development. When we see neglect or abuse, we must notify police, state authorities, etc.

No boy or girl should be trapped in dire circumstances. A community that cares counts, and kids should know where to turn if they have problems.
-- Robert B. Fleming, St. Petersburg

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