© St. Petersburg Times, published June 29, 2000
Every once in a while, we get a chance to do what's right in relation to the environment.
It's time Tarpon Springs takes that stand, does the right thing and reverses Ordinance 2000-20 regarding the 64-acre tract of land on the corner of Carlton Road and Curlew Place.
Put back the 11 acres of preservation upland you redesignated to residential low-medium by amending Schedule "A" of your Comprehensive Plan. The Comprehensive Plan was originally instituted to protect the land and environment, not destroy it.
Please think through what you are doing at the expense of this tract of land and the wildlife that live there. With 487 units permitted on 64 acres of land that contain "an internalized saltwater wetland and two small lakes," one can only imagine the density in the upland section that possibly could be built -- construction of what we can only guess, since city officials refuse to disclose to the public who the contingent developer is and what he is planning to build on this beautiful site.
We are all looking up to you, Tarpon Springs, to do the right thing.
Interested parties, please meet with the Alliance for Land Preservation on July 11 at 7 p.m. at the Tarpon Springs Community Center, 400 S Walton Ave.
-- Patricia J. Stazick, Tarpon Springs
Eager New York Realtors are anxious to pave the way to develop choice Florida land.
Tarpon Springs residents are going to make their voices heard on July 11 at a meeting of the Alliance for Land Preservation. They will have information to share with the public. Most residents do not know about the interest in this prime property at Carlton Road and Curlew Place, just north of Klosterman Road.
The public meeting at the Community Center of Tarpon Springs, 400 S Walton Ave. (at Lime Street), begins at 7 p.m. in the community room. Speakers will provide information about the historic value of this 64-acre tract, 17 acres of which is wetlands, two tidal basins and uplands teeming with birds, egrets, ospreys and a bald eagle nest. This land is rich in Indian lore, as it was a campground for historic tribes frequenting this area.
We respect the rich heritage of Florida and have a wish to preserve the precious little we have left in Pinellas County. Developers' eyes are blinded by dollar signs and they have little regard for the havoc they leave behind. We have environmental concerns about this property.
-- Elsie S. Brown, Tarpon Springs
This is in response to the June 27 article describing the city's possible cut in funding for the CHIP shelter, in which I may not have properly reflected our continued support for this social services program.
We have always said that we would fund CHIP if it did not receive adequate funding from other sources. Therefore, we recommended City Commission approval to fund the CHIP budget shortfall in next year's proposed budget.
This will be done with the understanding that the city should not be the only major source of funding for this social services organization. We see support for CHIP coming from a variety of community funding sources, including the private sector, who should take some responsibility for addressing the area's homeless situation.
City staff regrets any misunderstanding of our continued commitment to the CHIP program. We sincerely apologize to the Phillies organization for any implication that support for our joint projects somehow affects our support for the CHIP program. This is clearly not the case.
Our commitment to both organizations remains strong and not at the expense of each other. I would also like to point out that we have recommended funding social services organizations within the city at the same level in next year's budget.
If I failed to convey the city's continued commitment to CHIPS, I wish to express my sincerest apology to its board of directors.
-- William Horne, assistant city manager, city of Clearwater
Re: Clearwater Beach sign needs to be finished as requested, letter, June 21.
I want to thank the writer for his letter to the St. Petersburg Times. The addition of the word "Beach" to the tile sign at the entrance to Clearwater Beach will be completed by July 17.
We appreciate the citizens who took the time to write letters about this subject, and we encourage all of our citizens to provide us with their input as often as possible.
-- Gary A. Johnson, public services director, city of Clearwater
I was appalled as I attended a meeting of Citizens for a Better Clearwater at our church hall. One of the persons on the Save the Bayfront side walked right up front and rudely started trying to express his views on the subject of redevelopment. He didn't even say excuse me or may I have the floor, and yet every other person who spoke raised their hand and when recognized, said what they had to say and sat down.
The whole audience got upset and he finally sat down and waited to speak until developer David Frisbie was finished.
I guess he never heard the expression "You get more flies with honey than with vinegar." Even if I agreed with anything he said (which I don't), I wouldn't want such a rude person in my corner for any project.
-- Fran Glaros, Clearwater
Re: Save the Bayfront group.
Why must a group of angry, negative naysayers ruin our chance for a beautiful, thriving downtown Clearwater?
Isn't this the same group that got us the downtown we have now? They're being funded with more than $30,000 by former commissioner Fred Thomas and comprised of at least 11 other former commissioners, some of whom brought us the Harborview Center fiasco.
Doesn't their resistance to change reflect big egos and power-hungry hidden agendas? The downtown became a failure under their leadership and they don't want it to succeed with others at the helm.
They ruin things, then retreat back into their dens, never being part of the solution.
It is a joke to hear we are rushing into things concerning redevelopment, considering that city leaders have been talking about hiring consultants and drawing plans for over 20 years. Just how long do the "Save the Bayfronters" think we should wait?
They fear change and use whatever deceptive fear tactics they choose to scare others. I know what is here now, thanks to many of them. It certainly is not a city to be proud of. It is sad to think that for their own selfish motives they could succeed in depriving all of us from having a jewel of a downtown we all would be proud of.
Vote yes, yes, yes on July 11.
-- Cheryl Pantages, Palm Harbor
I just spent 10 minutes waiting to turn south on Belcher Road from Tampa Road while trying to get to work. Until a few weeks ago, you could make this turn whenever the light was green and there was no one approaching from the west.
Now there is a left-turn arrow that cycles red after every fourth car. At 7:15 this morning, the traffic was backed up on Tampa Road almost to U.S. 19, completely blocking one lane of Tampa Road.
I don't know what idiot placed and timed this light, but it is creating a hazard to traffic and needs to be removed or re-timed to coincide with the flow of traffic.
-- Harold Mitnick, Palm Harbor
The city of Seminole's recent annexation and rezoning of the Keswick Christian School and its properties has effectively nullified future neighborhood involvement in Keswick's grand plans.
I urge all residents of the surrounding area to remember the city's disregard and disdain for our needs and wishes the next time an annexation vote is put to us.
-- Karen L. Watts, St. Petersburg