Letters to the Editors
Let's build a first-class public library
© St. Petersburg Times, published May 22, 2001
Clearwater is long overdue for a new library. However, many would agree that architect Robert A.M. Stern's design is not what we were waiting for.
Two years ago I wrote a guest column for the St. Petersburg Times suggesting that the Clearwater Library could do worse than copy Sarasota Library architect Eugene Aubry's design and build a beautiful building in Clearwater -- a suggestion that fell on deaf ears. I urged other interested library patrons to travel the 55 miles to downtown Sarasota and experience the joy of a first-class library, then return and attend City Commission meetings and voice their opinions.
Mr. Stern wants "a chance to make a library for the 21st century," but looking at his model, it resembles a warehouse from early in the 20th century. Comments from others range from, "Looks like a big shed with outbuildings," to "Reminds me of a large mobile home with its awning unfurled."
Let's hope this design is not set in concrete and our bluff will house a building we can all walk into and not wonder what the architect and builder could have been thinking.
Library project gets off to a good start
The latest news about Clearwater's main library is most encouraging. We're going to have a handsome, well-built facility that will do justice to its beautiful location. The amount of space planned for children is a compliment to the fine work of children's librarians in the Clearwater system.
Although hard work for staff and the Library Foundation and occasional inconvenience for patrons lie ahead, tenacious planning and extraordinary generosity have provided an excellent beginning. With the whole community behind it, the new Main will be more than worth all the effort.
New library does not deserve prime location
Why does a library have to have a prime location? Don't people go to a library to read? I don't know the reason for someone to want to stand in a window and see the view.
Let those in the need of a view go to the beach and enjoy the scenery and sunsets. Prime areas should be used for shops, restaurants, walkways and benches. Other states use their water area for beautiful river walks.
The mayor and staff are above mudslinging
Re: Guest list invites political suspicion, story, May 15.
When will we ever learn that negative words help no one? They only hurt and ruin relationships. This includes the public's relationship with our city leaders.
So just who's trying to cause discord and for what purpose? Whether it was an oversight or a deliberate snub, I'm sure no one will ever admit it.
If it was a snub, then the ones responsible will have to one day answer for their deliberate act, as nothing escapes God's all-seeing eye. The Good Book says to forgive our brother, not seven times, but 70 times seven, so I'm hoping maybe the city officials can prove they are bigger than the perpetrator by ignoring the words as well as the dastardly deed itself, if that's what it was.
And from the words in the paper, I'd say the mayor and his staff are above and beyond mudslinging and are only interested in maintaining a good working relationship with the staff, as well as the citizens of our beautiful Clearwater.
Who benefits from negativism? No one.
Trouble for Tarpon is casino boats' cargo
Re: Casino boat moors at Tarpon, story, May 10.
What is wrong with this picture?
The husband of a Tarpon Springs city commissioner is sidestepping the rules by bringing a casino boat to his property. And the statement he makes is that "casino boats have long been a part of the business community of Tarpon Springs." My question is, Whose business?
The Sponge Docks are an integral part of Tarpon Springs. Let's keep it that way. Being exposed to these elements does not help longstanding business here, nor does it interface with the ethnic demographics of this beautiful area.
Tarpon Springs' Sponge Docks are known for their beautiful dockside, great restaurants and perpetuation of its culture. The city of Tarpon Springs has worked hard to improve this area and make it what tourists call today "a beautiful little seaside village."
These casino boats do not bring business, they bring trouble.
Gambling boats bring no good to Sponge Docks
Re: Casino boat moors at Tarpon, story, May 10.
Gambling once again rears its head in Tarpon Springs. A local businessman with close ties to Tarpon Springs government is introducing gambling to the Sponge Docks.
In previous quotes this businessman indicated that gambling boats were good for the Sponge Docks. He said the gamblers would spend time at the restaurants and shops along Dodecanese Boulevard. I guess after the gamblers have won a ton of money on the gambling boat, enjoyed a sumptuous breakfast or dinner, and enjoyed live entertainment, they just can't wait to get off and spend their fortunes on more food and entertainment at the Sponge Docks.
As I recall, the citizens of Florida have said no to gambling through various referendums and amendments. I think it would be safe to assume that gambling is not a welcome enterprise to the majority of Floridians.
Tarpon Springs does not deserve to be the doormat for itinerant gamblers. Until the city government can project the will of the people in regards to gambling and just say no, I think the following quote from the Tarpon Springs city government Web page maybe should be changed to include, "Oh, by the way, gambling is a part of our caring, thriving and attractive city."
Pinellas Park should pay tab for flood problems
Re: City muscles support for work, story, May 14.
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 pocket of greedy developers -- 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 the shortsighted decisions of its past. Forget the scare tactics. No one around here is buying it.
Lighting at the beach reduces turtle nesting
Re: Closing road could be lifesaver for turtles, letter, May 17.
I am biologist Glenn Harman and the person responsible for monitoring and protecting sea turtles from Clearwater to Treasure Island. I have been monitoring sea turtle activity in Pinellas County for 13 years.
It disturbs me when individuals try to use sea turtles or any other species to further a cause, which in the case of development does more harm than good to sea turtles. The increased artificial lighting from development such as that seen on Clearwater Beach is one of the most detrimental causes for the decline of sea turtles worldwide.
In Pinellas, only one city has made any progress in improving the artificial lighting situation: Indian Rocks Beach. Indian Rocks has worked extensively with me and Pinellas County to make good lighting changes that improve the habitat for sea turtles.
I don't know what data was analyzed for the letter on May 17, since most of the data is in my office, but any increase in sea turtle nesting is due to the diligent effort of volunteers and biologists to improve habitat and protect nesting females and their nests on the beach. Removing a road to replace it with a different source of artificial lighting is a totally false statement.
Clearwater Beach has such a severe lighting problem that the level of nesting there is severely reduced, and the hatchlings would surely die if not for their transfer to a safer area after emerging.
Sunsets Beach Fest gives a boost to our community
I had out-of-town guests who visited us recently. After hearing about the Sunsets Beach Fest on television, we decided to take them to Clearwater Beach for the Parrothead Night. It was the place to be, with all the live music, entertainers, food and artisans. We decided to return on Sunday for Reggae Day. We did struggle to find a parking spot, but eventually found one, and were glad that we did.
While my family was making plans to return to Maryland, we searched your newspaper, mainly the Clearwater section, to see any pictures or write-up you would report about this event for our guests to take home as a souvenir of their visit to Clearwater Beach. Much to our surprise, we could not find any reviews or pictures.
Your newspaper missed a perfectly good opportunity to report on a family-oriented festival that was well attended and was a positive for the community. Next time, picture this: people smiling, dancing in the sand to great music. It sells.
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