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© St. Petersburg Times, published December 5, 2000
Re: Clearwater residents have serious "varmint' problem, Nov. 20 letter.
Is this what our public discourse has come to? Name-calling? Calling our city commissioners and mayor "varmints"? Haven't we had enough of name-calling and negative campaigning in politics?
That letter is just another effort by the College Hill neighborhood to thwart the will of the rest of the city by using the ruse of their already existing sinkhole problem to shut down what will be a tremendous stadium for the Philadelphia Phillies, high school ballplayers and other groups that will no doubt use this community facility.
Although the story referred to by the letter writer is actually about Clearwater Beach, the College Hill name-callers will use any excuse to fire in another complaint about their "treatment" at the hands of city officials. If memory serves me right, the city has probably spent more time with College Hill trying to alleviate their (already existing) problem than any other neighborhood in the city.
Let's talk real issues and real facts and stop the name-calling, please. The Times can do its part by insisting that letter writers respond to the facts of an article and not deflect the issue to an unrelated situation. And Times editors, please don't allow the name-calling to go on any further.
-- Frank O'Brien, Clearwater
Maybe I am very misinformed concerning the new Largo library. I still haven't heard from frequent library users that the current library is old and obsolete.
I understand the mayor and City Commission have voted for a new library already. There is still time to vote it down if the mayor and commission give it a second thought. Think of the money you are going to spend on a project that, I believe, could be used to lower taxes in the city of Largo.
And the big question is, what are you going to do with the existing library? Have a demolition derby like you did with the old police building?
People of Largo, wake up and stop this reckless spending. Also, remember these projects at election time.
-- August F. Holderried, Largo
I've written many letters to the Times about the management of Clearwater city government -- mostly critical. Letters about speedy decisions, costly mistakes and attempts to commercialize Clearwater Beach, among other things.
After reading the Dec. 3 editorial, Change is in the air at Clearwater City Hall, about the good start of Interim City Manager Bill Horne, I look forward to writing more positive letters. It's your move, Bill.
-- Fred Nassif, Clearwater
Re: Silent nights, days at Clearwater Mall, Dec. 3 story.
Forget the anchor stores, look at the possibilities! What an opportunity to develop an upscale express bus hub for the citizens of the bay area and the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority.
Folks would utilize the mall food court and other small shops while waiting for one of the express buses leaving every 10 minutes, heading out to major areas in Pinellas and/or Hillsborough counties. There's plenty of parking and it would be a giant step in dealing with the traffic.
The key to the success of mass transit is accessibility and frequency. If an express bus arrived and departed every 10 minutes, people would soon become secure knowing they could get to their car in a few minutes via an express bus, therefore more people would take the bus.
Imagine driving from Tampa, parking and taking an express bus to the beach or downtown. Or car pooling from East Lake and boarding an express bus to the gateway area and points beyond, such as the airport.
Or hopping a bus to downtown St. Petersburg to see a Devil Rays game or the new waterfront. Or catching a bus to Ybor City or downtown Tampa.
It just makes sense. Every major city in the United States has a functioning mass transit system; where's ours? What an opportunity! Think about it.
-- Pam Traas, Safety Harbor
Re: Build a stadium-style theater downtown, Dec. 1 letter.
I, too, think Clearwater needs a state-of-the-art movie theater like the one that just opened in St. Petersburg, and the perfect place for it would be at Clearwater Mall.
There is plenty of parking and easy access from all directions. Clearwater needs a new movie theater.
Shirley Borcsane, Clearwater
I am a Clearwater native. In fact, my entire family has lived here since the roads were mere cockleshell. While I appreciate the improvements to the roads, I am left to ponder the timing.
It seems that the powers that decide to make these improvements always decide to make these splendid changes right in time for the influx of the snowbirds! Do these great thinkers not realize that our population increases during the winter? Or do they not have the resources to figure this out, or even care to do so?
Instead of making it more convenient to get from A to B, they are creating a logjam of irritated locals and sweaty snowbirds.
Here's an idea: Do some research! Find the peaks and valleys of our seasons and begin these illustrious projects when there won't be a mire of traffic clogging our already heavily traveled roads.
-- Steven R. Eigenmann, Clearwater