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    Letters to the Editors

    New library is a 'monument to mediocrity'

    © St. Petersburg Times, published May 25, 2001

    Clearwater continues in its undying quest for mediocrity.

    As a Belleair resident paying for the use of the Clearwater library, I claim my right to comment on the proposed design for the new main library building on Osceola Avenue.

    Have any of the people involved in the design and construction, especially city executives, ever bothered to review contemporaneous buildings being constructed in other cities? Has anyone taken the time to visit the new Sarasota library building -- a building of similar size, constructed at, I believe, less cost than that proposed for Clearwater?

    Compare the structures. Sarasota makes a statement, inviting inspection and participation. It is really a majestic structure which makes full use of the location while considerably contributing to the downtown ambience.

    Clearwater mimics a latter-day carwash. Before it is even built, it is passe and an embarrassment to the city. Can you imagine showing off the new library to your visitors? Can you imagine how depressing this structure will be to all of us who visit it frequently?

    Will someone in charge please reconsider this monument to mediocrity and give us a library building of which we will all be proud?
    -- Nicholas Mathios, Belleair

    Expansive library windows are a problem

    I read the story about the proposed Clearwater main library and particularly noted the pictures. To me, it looks very unlibrarylike. There are too many floor-to-ceiling windows, too much glass and too much glare and light. I think a library should be cozy and comfortable.

    Large windows, especially here in Florida, make it more like a greenhouse. All these windows admitting hot sun make air-conditioning work harder, also. Too much light and glare makes the interior more like Kmart than a library.

    I use the new Dunedin Library and there, too, the large windows and skylights admit too much light and often it is warm among the stacks.

    I hope other plans are being considered.
    -- Dorothy E. Karkheck, Palm Harbor

    Open library space could be a window on the heavens

    After reviewing the plans for the Clearwater Public Library, I thought what they had done was pretty neat. However, I am going back and check it out to see if this suggestion would work:

    With Florida being the center of the space program, why not use the open air space for a planetarium or a place to study the stars? I spoke to a number of folks there who thought the idea was great. For that reason I am passing this idea around to the people of Clearwater.
    -- Joseph W. Tilney, Dunedin

    Spying on people? Is this what Scientology is all about?

    Re: Church critic trailed, arrested, story, May 11.

    Your story on the tactics used by Scientology to discredit an expert witness in the Lisa McPherson civil suit was a real shocker. Isn't this illegal? I had always thought that the only people with a license to invade someone's privacy were the police -- and they have to get a court order to do it.

    Given the large number of private investigators employed by the church to get the lowdown on this one man, Jesse Prince, my next question would be, is this what Scientology is all about -- having people followed? If so, it would explain their preoccupation with secrecy, jamming the Internet, seeking to muzzle critics and so on.

    It is truly frightening that a secret police-type group like this can operate at will in the USA. Your story left me wondering what I or anyone can do about it. Maybe the awareness fostered by stories like this will lead to a check on their spying activities. Or, at least, a decrease in the gullibility of those who buy the religious cover.
    -- Roger T. Watkins, Clearwater

    Green should reign in Largo's Ulmer Park

    First, let me thank you for making it possible for your readers to air their opinions.

    I am an 86-year-old native Floridian. I have spent over 80 of those years in Largo.

    I am very disturbed over the plans for Ulmer Park in downtown Largo. The city has spent a great deal of money widening West Bay Drive. It would be so nice to leave a green section next to Bay Drive. Landscape it and enhance the view.

    If six people were asked the future of Ulmer Park, there would be six different answers. The latest I've heard is, fill it with condos and multiple housing. That we don't need, there is already rationed water and if this keeps up they'll have to revive the old tradition of Saturday night baths.

    Ulmer Park is like a giant chess board: Just about the time we think everything is settled, someone makes a move.

    Thanks again for letting me blow off some steam.
    -- Evelyn H. Williams, Largo

    Sluggish drivers are a problem, too

    Re: Grant sets sights on aggressive drivers, story, May 21.

    I agree completely that the Sheriff's Office should crack down on aggressive drivers. However, I would urge that they also clamp down on the drivers who help cause this aggressiveness: the drivers who insist on using the left passing lane even though they are simply keeping pace with traffic. These drivers should try driving in Europe and doing this -- they would be ticketed or blown off the highway by other drivers.
    -- James Christenson, Clearwater

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