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    Letters to the Editors

    Donations can help ensure future of child care centers

    © St. Petersburg Times, published December 13, 2000

    Community Pride Child Care Center, which is on Holt Avenue in Clearwater's North Greenwood, was founded in 1959. Community Pride Child Care Center has been given an opportunity of a lifetime -- the opportunity to establish a $100,000 endowment fund.

    For many years Frances Breeden followed in the footsteps of her father, Ralph Richards, by her dedication and support of the children and families at Community Pride Child Care. She has moved to Virginia to be near her children, but even with leaving the area she wants to help secure the future of Community Pride.

    She wants to establish a Community Pride Endowment Fund. She has committed $50,000 for the endowment and has challenged the Community Pride Child Care Center Board of Directors to find the match for that $50,000. To date we have raised $13,065 with a pledge of another $1,000. I have personally given $500 and my time and effort because I feel it is so important.

    Community Pride operates three child care centers, the original one on Holt Avenue, the Gateway Center on Missouri Avenue and the newest center, the Mosich Center on Drew Street. These centers offer child care at an affordable price for low-income families in North Pinellas. Community Pride provides a nurturing environment for children from birth to school age, laying the foundation for self-esteem, independence and a desire to learn.

    Will you help by being a donor in this important endeavor to give our youngest and most vulnerable citizens the care and educational foundation they so desperately need?
    -- Rita Garvey, Clearwater

    Parents and dog owners both have responsibilities

    Re: Attorneys study options to spare Beethoven's life, Dec. 8 story.

    I was outraged after reading the story about the unfortunate dog, Beethoven. It was very sad indeed that the child was bitten by the dog. Who was watching the 4-year-old when she ventured into a neighbor's garage? Since when is it okay for a young child to go wandering alone? Doesn't any responsibility lie with the mother of Julia Allen? Animals are unpredictable, especially when chained in a confined area.

    This poor animal will hopefully not be put to death. However, the life he has now is no life and by the time this case is resolved, the dog will die of old age.

    By the way, pet owners have responsibilities too. If you want a pet, why keep it chained up in a garage? What pleasure is derived from that type of situation?
    -- Judith Petendree, Holiday

    Clearwater stadium deal is no bargain for neighbors

    Re: Stadium deal outweighs strikes against it, Dec. 3 letter.

    Just how much are the homes and quality of life for 200 families worth? And would you feel differently if it were your neighborhood in which they want to build an 8,000-seat sports complex?

    The city says it cannot control motorists that cut through our residential area, yet you say this can be fixed. Please tell us how.

    The letter writer states, "The vast majority of Clearwater residents want to keep their longstanding relationship with the Phillies." Oh? If that is the case, let us allow the vast majority to have a voice in the matter; put the issue to referendum! I don't think the vast majority of Clearwater residents believe in corporate welfare, which is exactly what the deal between the city and the Phillies amounts to.

    The letter writer obviously has not been keeping track of the deal, as the person stated, "Our city leaders negotiate a deal that gives us, essentially, a more than $20-million stadium for only about $3-million in city funds." The truth is this: The city pays $5-million in cash, the county pays $7-million from Penny for Pinellas (our tax dollars, not just the tourists'), and the state pays $7-million, again our tax dollars. The Phillies toss in $3-million.

    Still sound like a good deal? Wait, it gets even better! The Phillies get approximately 72 percent of all profits derived from the complex but contribute less than 14 percent to building it.

    As for the ridiculous statements about our sinkhole problems in the area and insurance, I can't justify those with a response, other than read Sinkholes in Florida, available at the public library.

    So, I say to the letter writer, I believe you have been misled, deceived or you just don't care about the truth. We have the facts that are available to any citizen, you just have to persist when dealing with the city and the Phillies.
    -- Debbie Roper, Clearwater

    City will pay, no matter how deep the money pit

    Re: Phillies spring-training site.

    Will the stadium become a big money pit? Sorry, but that's a stupid question. Of course it will and anyone who thinks otherwise is as stupid as the question.

    However, the cost of baseball to the community is irrelevant, for there is no price (financially or environmentally) that the Clearwater City Commission will not pay to keep the Phillies in Clearwater. Unfortunately, the Phillies are well aware of that fact, so the taxpayers have no choice but to open their wallets.

    I'm sure all of us will enjoy the new stadium as much as we enjoy the traffic circle at the beach.
    -- Bob Coffey, Clearwater

    Thanks to all who made boat parade a success

    I would like to thank Terry Schmidt of the Clearwater Parks and Recreation Department, the Clearwater Chorus, the bridge tenders and the captains and their decorated boats for a spectacular Millennium Memorial Holiday Boat Parade.

    The Memorial Boat Parade has been sponsored for the past 26 years by the Island Estates Yacht Club, and this year's parade was one of the best. We couldn't have asked for better weather, and the city of Clearwater outdid itself with the chorus and finally a spectacular display of fireworks.

    Again, I would like to thank everyone concerned for a great evening of fun.
    -- Jim Steenson, fleet captain, Island Estates Yacht Club

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