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    Letters to the Editors

    New stadium site has warning signs, too

    © St. Petersburg Times,
    published June 7, 2001


    Re: Plunge at stadium exposes problems, story, June 1.

    May I first offer my sincere condolences to Clearwater City Commissioner Hoyt Hamilton for his unfortunate fall through the safety barricade at Jack Russell Stadium. I thought this regrettable incident could be turned into a positive example for all of us involved in the stadium controversy.

    This fall personifies the result of not heeding warning signs and red flags. The weakness of the structure (Jack Russell Stadium) was known and measures were taken to warn people and avoid a needless accident, just as the vast majority of the residents affected by the proposed new stadium have warned of safety issues at the old garbage site and reports confirming the potential of sinkholes and instability of the ground.

    In spite of adding to that list greatly increased traffic hazards for area residents and a resulting reduction of the quality of life in our neighborhood, the City Commission has paid little or no attention to the large and obvious hazards signs. They choose, just as Mr. Hamilton did, to continue past the yellow warning tape and meet with disastrous results.

    Another accident does not have to happen. There is an alternate solution to the stadium site that is not riddled with land mines. Have the Clearwater Commission and the Phillies considered the already city-owned site at the Carpenter Complex?

    It is a three-way win. The Phillies get their new stadium and complex in a more visual and accessible area only two blocks away from the proposed site. The residents and taxpayers of Clearwater win in avoiding all the additional costs that have been projected to occur at this environmentally unsound proposed site.

    And the city commissioners win for stepping back from the warning barricades and making the choice to avert another avoidable accident.
    -- Deanna Rogers, Clearwater

    Injured city commissioner should not receive benefits

    Re: Plunge at stadium exposes problems, story, June 1.

    My, my, how timely for Clearwater Commissioner Hoyt Hamilton's ridiculous accident. With so many citizens opposed to the new stadium location, Mr. Hamilton treaded where an intelligent child wouldn't have. Yellow caution tape is rather self-explanatory, in my opinion.

    Something reeks in Clearwater, and it's not the sewer system or a garbage dump either. To top it all off, they are going to look into paying benefits for this guy. I think NOT. Was he performing his civic duty by picking up his son there? I don't think so. Benefits are for employees hurt on the job. He ventured into an area where he shouldn't have been in the first place.

    I think as we draw to a close of the old ballpark, we should name the first base side there as Hoyt's Holy Hell Hole.
    -- Jack J. Gammon, Clearwater

    Was commissioner's fall just a coincidence?

    Re: Plunge at stadium exposes problems, story, June 1.

    Since Commissioner Hoyt Hamilton is one of the biggest proponents of the taxpayers' new stadium for the millionaire ballplayers and team owners, was it just coincidental that he was at the scene when the slab fell?
    -- Bill Hoth, Clearwater

    New library's design lacks support of a "vast majority'

    Re: Response to library is far from hushed, story, June 4.

    According to your article on the new Clearwater library design, you counted 35 negative comments and 18 positive comments from citizens. That's 2 to 1 opposed to the new design. Yet Interim City Manager Bill Horne states, "The vast majority of our registered voters will be happy with whatever we do." That's quite an assumption!

    Your article goes on to say what various city officials think of the design. They all say they like it, and Commissioner Ed Hart says he has complete trust in architect Robert A.M. Stern, dean of architecture at Yale University. I don't understand what trust has to do with it, Mr. Hart. Take a look at the thing!

    Ex-Mayor Rita Garvey, another big Stern fan, says, "Look at it from the flow of wind and the flow of water and it blends in and makes sense." City officials are most assuredly entitled to their opinions, but they were not elected on their knowledge of or taste in architecture. Shouldn't the opinion of the vast majority be what matters when granting approval of a major public building?

    If a large number of residents think the building is an eyesore, if they think the design is offensive, tasteless, inappropriate, ridiculous, outrageously ugly or whatever, then don't elected officials have an obligation to request a new, more traditional, less controversial plan?
    -- Aileen Shoaff, Clearwater

    Hooking up to reclaimed water should not be mandatory

    Re: Reclaimed water use won't be optional, story, May 19.

    The only reason Largo wants to force residents to hook up to the reclaimed water system is to make them pay for installing the reclaimed water in areas that do not yet have it.

    It is wrong to force people to pay for something they do not want. What will be next? Will they tell us when and what color to paint our homes?
    -- Jim Jobson, Largo

    Largo continues to make reclaimed water issue difficult

    Re: Reclaimed water use won't be optional, story, May 19.

    Perhaps Largo City Manager Steve Stanton should join former Clearwater City Manager Mike Roberto in the galaxy of screw-up city managers.

    Our neighborhood has been trying to access Largo's reclaimed water for five years. Every time, the program has a different agenda. The city sent me a package to be distributed by me to neighbors to gain 60 percent approval for installation. After the brochures arrived I had major surgery and cannot go door to door in a neighborhood of working people to explain the program and get people to sign up.

    All we get from City Hall is "potty." We would just like to have it in a usable form for a change.
    -- Marie F. Hoke-Singer, Largo

    East Lake signs don't make designation welcome

    Re: Will signs welcome incorporation to East Lake? story, May 26.

    I have lived in Tarpon Woods off East Lake Road for 22 years. I am outraged at the audacity of both Dan Bobel and County Commissioner Susan Latvala to presume they have unilateral authority to speak for the citizens of this area.

    This is Palm Harbor to long-term residents and our visitors as well as correspondents. There have been many attempts to designate the area "East Lake," including a formal referendum which was defeated. What part of "NO" do these proponents not understand?

    For them to have gone so far as to have the county order five signs to be placed at arbitrary borders of what they see as "East Lake" begs the question of oversight authority within the County Commission. Who's minding the store?

    Commissioner Latvala's statement that she was aware of the history of the controversy over East Lake entrance signs but that was more than a decade ago and the group that opposed it "just doesn't have the strength it used to" bothers me even more. The citizens who belonged to the Citizens Action League probably still do not wish this change to be imposed, whether they belong to an organization or not.

    I do not believe the expense and divisiveness of another voter referendum is in the best interests of the community. I am livid that Dan Bobel thinks the opposition is coming from "older residents who are resistant to any change." One's age is not necessarily correlated to the ability to analyze facts and decide actions.

    Just because there is a major thoroughfare named East Lake does not mean an entire surrounding area should be redesignated.

    Will they next want to call everything near McMullen-Booth Road by that name or other areas of like circumstance?

    I hope the "young" leaders start thinking of things that will improve the community and not constantly divide it!
    -- Niecie Halfon, Palm Harbor

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