Letters to the editor deadline for November 8 election Oct. 7 is the deadline for submitting letters to the editor pertaining to candidates in the Nov. 8 election. No letters will be printed after Oct. 20, unless they are in direct rebuttal to a previously published letter.
Re: “To survive, Madeira Beach must change,” letter by Rees Noren, Oct. 13. Editor: First I want to thank and commend Mr. Noren’s many years of military service.
We all enjoy and appreciate what Madeira Beach has to offer. Mr. Noren praises the local government for advertising their meetings and permitting residents to attend. I hope he doesn’t think this is unusual, when in fact it’s the law.
Concerning his position that he believes our local government and businesses have sought to improve the community and enhance the quality of life is his right, but many residents disagree and see no anticipated improvement in our quality of life with this $200 million project, adding hundreds of hotel rooms and condos in the center of our city.
For Mr. Noren to call citizens whom disagree or want minor changes to this major project “naysayers, mean-spirited, narrow-minded and vindictive” is troublesome since many of these residents have lived here for many years and certainly have every right to their opinion concerning this project.
Editor: Treasure Island voters face a historic vote in November. It’s the residents versus the developers, plain and simple. The developers want you to vote to almost triple density in some areas and increase height by 40 percent. Why? The hotel owners told the city that they can’t make enough money without the increases. Really? During the last 15 years, at least 10 condo hotels have been built under current height and density regulations. An architect told the St. Pete Beach commission that his Treasure Island projects built under those standards are his best performing in Pinellas County.
Most of us moved to Treasure Island for the small beach community ambiance we love. If we wanted to live in a congested snarl of traffic and tall buildings, we would have moved to Clearwater or Sand Key.
Now, however, our city and the developers have another vision for us, it’s called Planned Development (PD) districts. PD is just another name for a virus transmitted by developers as they move from one beachfront community to another, putting down concrete for cash and then moving on to the next beach. It started in St. Pete Beach, then moved to Madeira and now they’re trying to infect Treasure Island.
And, please, please don’t be misled by the city and developers when they tell you that the PD virus is limited to just a few neighborhoods. The way the PD ordinance in Treasure Island is written, it takes only two commission meetings to include any neighborhood in the city. The city manager admitted to the Beacon that “the commission could expand the boundaries of the PD it would depend on the mood of the City Commission.”
Editor: The headline “Music festival a dream come true for Jazz Lovers” should read nightmare for jazz lovers.
Jazz has left the building, or more to the point, has left the Clearwater Jazz Holiday. Look at the lineups in the past few years. Jazz has taken a back seat to profits and salaries for the top staff. Jazz has been a minority in acts. Commodores, Kool and the Gang, really!
They should take the word jazz out of the title as it is most certainly not a jazz fest and hasn’t been for several years.
Editor: With a packed Town Hall, September 21, Redington Beach, I requested Mayor Nick Simmons to extend an apology to his constituents for failing to enforce R-1 zoning. The town is now rife with short-term vacation rentals.
The character of residential beach life will never be the same. He fails to take ownership, serving as a hollow figure-head enabling the dysfunction of our once, charming, delightful community.
Re: “Dumb and Dumber - the choices,” by Steven Kurlander, Sept. 29. Editor: I found it interesting to read Steven Kurlander’s editorial about our presidential choices this November. He called Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton “Dumb and Dumber.”
One thing for sure is neither one of them is dumb. They both have proven that they are intelligent in their chosen fields. They may not be the choice we would have wanted to be on the ballot, but the majority of those who voted in the primaries chose these two candidates.
Kurlander says, “I might shoot that voting blank - and it will count for something other than a vote for a presidential candidate. It may be the only way of sending my message that I’m tired of Dumb and Dumber compassing Washington and American politics and governance.”
However, at the end of the day on Nov. 8 we will still have Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton as our next president, and you will not have had any part of that major decision, and no one in Washington will know or care that you decided to cast a protest vote by not voting for any of the presidential candidates.
Editor: I grew up in Dunedin, and went to church at First United Methodist. So I’ve watched the city change a lot in three decades, particularly with respect to downtown.
Almost all of it has been for the better, but every year I return once or twice to visit family, and I’m always confronted with the ridiculous sign downtown above the intersection of Main Street and Alternate U.S. 19.
Let’s please be honest with ourselves - our armed forces are not “defending our freedom.” In the years since the attacks of Sept. 11, our government has disregarded the constitution utterly and invaded our privacy to an extent never even imagined by George Orwell.
Every time I board a plane (in this country, at least - interestingly, other countries seem to value the freedom from illegal search and seizure more than we do) my Fourth Amendment rights are violated. So if their job is to defend our freedoms, they’re failing at it. In many important ways, we’re less free than we were before.
Editor: Like many things in our life, we discovered Madeira Beach quite by accident. Our youngest son was attending a large major university in the Midwest and wished to attend a smaller college and selected the University of Tampa.
We were looking for a place to live in the local area and searched Tampa. We did not find anything in Tampa and were staying in a condo in Redington Beach when my wife saw an ad for a condo for sale in Madeira Beach Yacht Club.
We purchased the condo, which gave us a place to visit in the winters and utilize our boat. The time was 1985 and we were living in northern Indiana. In 1993, we elected to retire from industry as an automotive engineer.
I had spent more than 20 years in the military flying off and on aircraft carriers. Upon retirement from the military, I took a job as an automotive engineer for 18 years. We elected to leave the manufacturing of vehicles and started a small consulting business of our own.
Editor: On the Nov. 8 ballot, Pinellas Suncoast Fire & Rescue District voters will decide whether to grant the fire district a funding increase. The additional money would upgrade aging infrastructure/stations, pay for necessary equipment and support overall operations.
The Fire and Rescue District wants to be sure every voter has all the facts on our district’s funding. Therefore, we are going to extraordinary lengths to provide information in as many venues as possible. We have presented at the public meetings of every city in the district and spoken to civic groups, charitable organizations and homeowners’ associations. In fact, if you would like a presentation to your group, just give us a call at 727-282-5274. We’re eager to be out in the community.
Additionally, your firefighters are answering questions door-to-door in their off hours, providing residents with personalized information about what the change would mean to each homeowner.
Information will also arrive by mail and you can take part in a telephone “town hall” meeting from the comfort of your own home.
Editor: Thank you to your publication for informing our community and residents of the Pinellas Suncoast Fire District of a good deed recently done by a city commissioner. You recognized that when a local official does something so awesome, it deserves your ink.
Indian Rocks Beach Commissioner Ed Hoofnagle recently hired a lawyer in an attempt to safeguard our voters from being duped by misleading ballot wording on the upcoming fire tax referendum. And, he did so with his own personal funds. Kudos to this commissioner for recognizing that a significant tax increase (over double, in some cases!) is being positioned using language that includes the word “decrease” - not just once - but twice. Unless residents vote no, they also will be giving up part of the power they now have to vote on future increases ... another point not made clear by the wording.
PSFRD Fire Chief Salvatore D’Angelo’s response to requests to revisit the wording pretty much tells the story. The chief insists it’s “too late” to make a change now. And, he’s correct it is. But, it was not too late months ago when a room full of concerned citizens attended multiple PSFRD Fire Commission meetings and pleaded with him to do so.
The real irony is that we, the fire district taxpayers, are basically paying to deceive ourselves. We are not only footing the bill for the attorneys Chief D’Angelo hired to craft the “crafty” language, we are also paying the chief’s salary to head up the effort.
Letters do not necessarily reflect the views of Tampa Bay Newspapers.
Letters to the Editor Policy
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