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Tuesday, July 28
Being a resident of the Seminole area in the heart of Pinellas County for over 40 years, I would like to remind everyone where we were and where we are as a community now!

Over 20 years ago, the city of Seminole decided to switch from an elected mayor-run city to hire a professional city manager to run the city day to day. They went out and hired a professional executive to do this job.

Lest we forget: Twenty years ago we used a bankrupt church building, fashioned it into a recreation center, and some sandy potholed fields next door that functioned as soccer fields for the youth of our area.

We had a small library with a few books on the shelves; we also had some re-purposed buildings that functioned as our city hall and municipal offices, and some outdated fire emergency facilities. We had a city park with its old city hall maintenance area situated around a stagnant pond. We had smaller city limits and a limited program to annex and expand our city borders. But Seminole had a bright future and had just installed a good manager to take the till to guide us through whatever was to come.
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In 1979 the mall was a happening place, stores for every age group, restaurant in front, bakery for folks to frequent in the morning, donuts and coffee, school children performing, seats for those who waited for shoppers surrounded the open area of the mall and then all that worked was phased out.

The parking was reconfigured, making it difficult for those that wanted to simply park, the benches were done away with, the ice cream place gone, no more ice cream after the movie, the food court was put in with no good reason, and no customers.

Telly’s was moved to the back and the action, music, folks gone, the stores were not well thought out, providing little that the community needed. McCrory’s was gone and then the gas station, nothing was done to give incentive to merchants to open stores, in fact the opposite was true. We wanted to shop there! Only two anchors remained and they were busy!

It did not take much to know what folks really wanted, poll your community, find out what they wanted. The management was rude and the office in the mall was unattainable only one person in at a time, no interest in hearing concerns.
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Re: “Why is everyone so easily offended,” Thomas Michalski’s column, July 16
Thank you so much for writing this article I am so tired of everyone being so politically correct all the time.

Geeez people! I think it is ridiculous that they are taking the Confederate flag down everywhere. No one had a problem with it until the Charleston shooting. The flag didn’t shoot anyone. Give me a break.

I guess I just feel like you can’t do or say anything anymore without getting some kind of backlash or offending someone. I’m tired of it. People just need something to complain about, I guess.

Andrea Wellendorf
Redington Shores
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Having cancer is hard. Finding help shouldn’t be. That’s why the American Cancer Society offers a number of services to help people with cancer and their families overcome obstacles in their personal cancer fight so they can focus on getting well.

One of the toughest challenges people face is getting to and from much-needed cancer treatments. They may be too sick to drive themselves, may not have a car or someone to drive them, or may not be able to afford gas or other transportation costs. The American Cancer Society Road To Recovery® program provides patients with free rides to treatment centers, and that’s where you can help.

Your American Cancer Society is looking for people who can use their own vehicles to drive patients who are undergoing cancer treatment to and from their appointments. Interested volunteers can call us at 813-319-5917 to find out more about this important program and how to get involved. By giving a little of your time, you can help save lives while fulfilling your own.

Michelle Stemler
Program Manager, Mission Delivery
American Cancer Society-Pinellas Park
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Tuesday, July 21
I’m not sure how anyone could come to the conclusion that the ambiance of downtown Dunedin won’t change because of paid parking. Mayor, you mentioned (at the July 23 City Commission workshop) a study on the unintended consequences of paid parking. After paid parking was implemented, people came and did only their business and left. They didn’t linger and visit any other places. What else would you expect when you’re on the clock? I hope all of the businesses have a sufficient number of regular customers because it’s not likely that people will just be walking around window shopping and popping into a place. After we moved here it took us months of walking the downtown before we really discovered all of the great places that we now regularly visit. I guess you can scratch that from the list of downtown activities.

The mayor mentioned an email from a concerned mother about Edgewater Park since the marina parking lot will become a paid lot. If you turn the marina parking lot into paid parking, you might as well demolish Edgewater Park. Then you’ll have even more parking spaces. I doubt that a lot of mothers are going to pay to go there when they can drive just over a half mile to Weaver Park. And it’s free for now.

I understand concerns that eventually a garage must be built and we need a way to finance it. Having a wonderful and vibrant downtown where people feel welcome must be a priority in the decisions that the City Commission makes. Don’t kid yourself that paid parking won’t change the ambiance of downtown. It may solve the parking problem, but it definitely will change the ambiance. We vote with our wallets and when we don’t feel welcome downtown any more, we’ll stop going. There are plenty of other places around that want our business and we won’t have the hassle of paid parking.

Jim Riley
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With all the horrible things going on in the world this issue seems like a trivial irritate but an irritate nonetheless. I try to walk the Belleair Causeway Bridge as often as I can, both for exercise and to enjoy the beautiful scenery we are blessed with here in Pinellas County. Why some people feel the need to dispose of the glass alcohol containers on the walkway is beyond me, other than maybe being worried about being pulled over by the police. News to you people: there are other ways to determine if you’ve been drinking and driving. My heart goes out to the pets of walkers who have to walk through the broken glass and risk glass-inflicted bloody paws and flat tires on bikes.

I wish there was a way to catch these law-breakers, but I’m sure this is not a priority.

If nothing else, bottle throwers, please take heart and think about the poor dogs walking through your garbage since I can’t pick up all of the slivers of glass myself.

Patti Sullivan
Indian Rocks Beach
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As a resident of Madeira Beach for the past 16 years, I want to thank the city of Madeira Beach staff for a fabulous Fourth of July celebration. I know it took a lot of work to prepare and carry out all the activities that were available to all citizens on one day.

The festivities included live music all day, food and drink vendors on site, a pizza-eating contest, and of course a spectacular fireworks finale. The music was great and the fireworks were over the top; a perfect ending to a day of sun and fun at Madeira Beach.

Again, I just want to give a big “Thank You” for a terrific Fourth of July for the city and all the people that helped put on this wonderful event!

Judy Shotwell
Madeira Beach
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Tuesday, July 14
Re: ‘Seminole’s actions don’t pass the smell test,’ Tom Germond’s column, June 11.
Great editorial in the June 11 edition of the Seminole Beacon, with regards to the dysfunctional Seminole City Council. Nice job identifying the problems over there that have been going on for far too long, and it hurts our city. This behavior tarnishes our already less then illustrious image both within the city and outside of our city. Why are some councilors acting like children, rather then public servants?

Perhaps part of the answer lies in a letter posted alongside this excellent editorial. In the very same edition that the paper calls for some civility from these folks, the mad letter writer on the council submits another angry personal attack on the lone councilor that they apparently love to pick on over there. Of course, such an attack piece as this is certainly immoral, unethical, and very likely in violation of the oath of office. To say nothing of anti-social. There is no place in a civilized society for this kind of anti-social behavior. Yet there it was. Pointing the finger of blame.

Then there is the question of attendance at council meetings. For years this resident attended council meetings rarely missing a single one. Exchanging views with various councils. Always in a civil way. The exchanges may not always have been embraced, but we could have a civil discussion. Until a few years ago when a career politician joined the fray and the tone forever changed. Not for the better. The following year the angry old guy joined the council and it was downhill from there. Now with their recent appointee running interference. Well, it is not pleasant there.

That is why we hold elections in November now so more folks can cast their ballots. In a little over a year we can replace these bad apples. Replace their appointee this November. Next year three seats will be open, mayor and two council seats. We can replace them all if we are so inclined. By the way, would like to see more diversity on our City Council - as in a few more females. We have a year. Perhaps then we can have the kind of kinder, gentler, and more professional City Council we deserve here in our city of Seminole. That shining city on the hill.
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Despite the multitude of crosswalks that grace Gulf Boulevard, today I witnessed what easily could have been a multiple pedestrian suicide.

I call it that because it could have easily been avoided occurring less than one block from a crosswalk.

Oh, it was the perfect storm: A large beer truck blocking the right lane to deliver to a local establishment. A family of seven knuckleheads crossing Gulf Boulevard illegally. A large truck stopping in the left lane for these morons and finally, the vehicles in the right lane (who can’t see the pedestrians) speeding up to get in front of the truck that stopped in the left lane before getting blocked by the legally stopped truck in the right lane.

If the unthinkable (or perhaps inevitable) had happened, I admit I would feel little sympathy for those who perished by their lack of common sense or perhaps laziness. However, my heart would go out to the innocent vehicle drivers for the lifetime of guilt or litigation through no fault of their own.
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