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Letters to the Editors

Blood donors needed all year long

© St. Petersburg Times,
published September 23, 2001


The volunteers who lined up in the bay area to donate blood were much appreciated and are to be commended.

But where were all of these people when blood was needed, sometimes desperately, during the last year in our area?

Now that these people realize how simple and gratifying it is to donate blood, they should join those who are regular donors and help out all year long.
-- Geraldine Heeb, St. Petersburg

There are good people and bad

Who will console us?, by Waveney Ann Moore, Sept. 16.

It will take a long time for the general rage to diminish. The horrible and terrifying terrorist attacks will remain burned in the memory of Americans forever. The worst of humans, with criminal mentalities, are responsible.

Regardless of one's faith or mind set, the correct objective conclusion in life is that there are good and bad people. From the thievish mentality to the profoundly decent, people differ. Rotten and degenerate people and fanatical extremists are realities.

Customs and traditions vary worldwide also. Not everyone lives in a free and open society as we do in America. And though not everyone has high religious faith, many have high sense of reason and ethics. What has a lock on a person's attention is what he believes in.

All decent people view the recent horrors and life loss with pure contempt.
-- Robert B. Fleming, St. Petersburg

Keep independent shops afloat

This is a difficult time for the entire nation. So many are hurting, so many are frightened, and so many lives of wonderful Americans have passed on before us. We all grieve for what has happened in this great land of ours. There is a small group of business people who do not qualify for the government bailout that big companies such as the airlines will be granted, which they so deserve and need to keep our country moving. We are the few who have no employees to lay off. Many of us have no health insurance; we work long hours and rely heavily on the tourist trade here in Florida. What will become of us? We are usually the first to fall and mostly go unnoticed. We have bills to pay, and with no business, we are financially broken.

We implore the people of our great state to visit the little independent shops. We need your help. The great stores of our country will go on. People will always find their way to the Wal-Marts, Kmarts and Target stores, but we "little people" need your assistance and your support now!

Please think of us when considering your next purchase.
-- Ginny Zapatka, Madeira Beach

Support an elevated monorail

A few years ago, I wrote in the Times guest column advocating the use of a trolley system to connect the beaches and St. Petersburg while also connecting the beach communities. It has occurred.

For the past 10 years I have been a proponent of an elevated rail (monorail) with two tracks (going and coming) for Florida. I now have read that interest is starting up in this type of transportation here in Pinellas County.

The advantages of a lifted system supported on pylons make it far superior to ground-hugging methods. The cost is initially more, but over a five-year period that would level off.

Pylon-supported rails are the best for Florida with its swamps, sinkholes, lakes, sand, streams and ponds. Pylons are more practically and efficiently inserted in any terrain than land-type techniques.

Also consider the storms, high winds and flooding that are prevalent throughout our area. Nearly half the land area of Florida is floodable; all of it is susceptible to high winds. But flooding has little effect on elevated rails. An elevated-pylon dual-rail system would be highly immune to the other disruptions of storms. Evacuations of population centers would be greatly assisted, since an elevated system could move thousands of people within an acceptable time without the concern of washed-out bridges and roadways.

There are also virtues in having passengers whizzing along 30 feet above the ground. Such a system could draw tourists from around the world to view, unhampered, the beauty of tropical Florida. This state would become one big theme park -- the largest in the world.

Such a complex would not obviate terrorism, but the spacing of the pylons would present great frustrations. Even if several pylons were damaged, replacement piers could be quickly reset and movement regained within a short time.

How comfortable it would be. It would be a pleasure to travel again.
-- Gene Davis, Seminole

Belleair mayor should have behaved

Re: Belleair mayor charged with DUI. Sept. 19.

It really makes me feel sorry for the residents of Belleair. They obviously elected George Mariani as their mayor, and he can't give them the common courtesy of behaving himself while holding a public office. If he wasn't drunk, he should have had no problem submitting to a breath test. But no, he hired an attorney to fight the charge.

Officer Anthony Portman had better look out. His integrity will have to be challenged in order for the mayor to save face.

My license says operation of a motor vehicle constitutes consent to any sobriety test required by law. So this applies to all the rest of us and not Mayor Mariani? Right.
-- Peggy Duncan, Pinellas Park

Belleair officer was doing his job

Re: Belleair mayor charged with DUI.

Kudos to the young police officer from Belleair for doing his job. He probably saved the mayor's life and those of his passengers, as well as the life of anyone on the road at the time.

He was doing his job.
-- Lucille Brim, Largo

Live-aboards protect the water

Re: On the waterfront, Sept. 9.

Thank you for giving everyone the chance to express their opinions about downtown St. Petersburg's waterfront. I felt I had to respond to Mary B. Clark's comment about live-aboards. Those of us who live on boats are especially protective of Tampa Bay and the gulf. We do not pollute the waters. In fact, we go out of our way to pick up trash and notify authorities in cases of intentional pollution.

Please do not label live-aboards as polluters. It is our home.
-- Rosemary Barbour, St. Petersburg Municipal Marina

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