Editor: I had the pleasure of dealing with the fire department on Saturday, April 16, in the parking lot of Walmart Neighborly Market.
I became very weak and could not get in my car. Good citizens tried to help, but I couldn’t stand, rather I sat on the ground. A lady called 911. The fire department did an evaluation on me with gentleness and kindness, reassuring me.
Editor: It’s amazing that while Largo, on the one hand, continues upgrading the city and wanting to make it a pedestrian-friendly place, most of the commission is turning a blind eye to the unsightly donation bins all over the city.
If the for-profit bins can’t be banned they should be tightly regulated; maybe boldly identified with the name of the for-profit company. I personally witnessed a huge semi from Miami loading plastic bags from a for-profit bin.
Hard to believe federal courts have recognized charitable solicitations, in the form of donation bins, constitute free speech protected by the First Amendment. I’d like to see these judges cope with ugly bins in their neighborhoods.
Editor: Following are some of the reasons not to lift the Cuban embargo. It would only help the Castro regime and not the Cuban people.
The United States would be dealing with a deadbeat nation that refuses to honor its commitments. Cuba has not released all the political prisoners Obama said the regime had promised to free during recent Cuban-American discussions.
Lifting the embargo without getting concessions from Cuba would make the United States appear weak. The embargo does not prevent Americans from providing assistance to the Cuban people because American policy allows people to visit family members and send money to relatives in Cuba and over $3.5 billion in remittance are sent to Cuban families each year.
Editor: Treasure Island and Madeira Beach are entertaining developments much larger than previously allowed. They face mounting grassroots opposition to taller, larger buildings, and higher densities.
“Be careful what you wish for,” Mad Beach Mayor Crawford said Tampa Bay Times Jan. 14. “Tall and skinny is better than short and fat,” warning that Mad Beach would get a super-wide building like TI’s newest hotel. His threat is echoed by tall building proponents who hope you believe that a “wide” building is the trade-off for not allowing tall buildings. For the new hotel - the TI Resort - TI’s width rule for Gulf Boulevard was inexplicably ignored, giving tall building proponents a seemingly good example to point to, claiming we must choose between Tall and Wide. Not so.
The TI Resort has 28 feet open on each side of the building. TI’s “Alternate Setback System” dictates that at least 30 percent of the north-south space on a Gulf-front lot must be free of buildings. The purpose of this rule is so the public can see the beach and the “wall-to-wall” effect is avoided. With a lot width of 341 feet, the TI Resort should have 51 feet open per side not 28 feet. What happened?
Editor: The title and the three rights mentioned in our Declaration of Independence, “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness,” is rooted in natural law, as noted by John Locke, physician and English philosopher. The “Pursuit of Happiness” was originally termed as being “property” by Mr. Locke. Political society, in his “Two Treatises of Government” existed for the protection of one’s estate. Thomas Jefferson, in the Declaration of Independence, replaced property with the pursuit of happiness perhaps by which to limit government, or to tax property, as Ben Franklin noted, as a means of financing civil society.
Today, we are seeing a myriad of topics regarding personal “rights.” Our Bill of Rights enumerates them. Many in our society see health care, free education, free housing, and an increased taxation on the top producers as being a “right.” These “rights” are not enumerated in the Constitution. The General Welfare clause was not meant to override states’ rights, as was noted in the Tenth Amendment. I fear that as the federal government increases its stranglehold on the rights of the states and its people to legislate their own laws, that our most important unalienable right, “the right to own property,” could potentially be jeopardized. Former President Ronald Reagan once so eloquently stated, “Freedom is only a generation away from extinction.”
Editor: The importance of undergrounding is essential in Belleair Beach. In a past storm, the electrical wires at Bayshore and 22nd Street blew down. No police, firemen or rescue squads were able to enter Bellevue Island nor could any residents get off the island.
The intersection was totally blocked approximately four hours (22nd Street east from Bayshore, Aleta, Louisa and Donato).
It’s very evident that not only does undergrounding of electrical wires, phone and cable create a much-needed safe environment; it also creates a more aesthetic view and beautifies this area. Property values will increase and also makes the area more desirable, thus citizens will want to enhance their properties by remodeling, landscaping, etc.
Editor: On behalf of Special Olympics Florida-Pinellas chapter management team, we would like to thank the Largo Leader and Tampa Bay Weekly Newspapers for the pre-event notices and day of event coverage of our recent first annual footgolf tournament at the Largo Municipal Golf Course. While the number of participants was lower than we anticipated, everyone who came had a wonderful time and encouraged us to do this again! It was our first Footgolf tournament and a true learning experience. We are definitely considering doing it again and all those who participated said they would return and help us spread the word.
We would especially like to thank the golf course staff - Chip Potts, Jason Wilson, Gordie and the rest of the staff, including George and his Cafe staff for all their support and guidance both prior to the event and on that day. Without their expertise and help it would have not happened.
Our Special Olympics athletes were very well received and treated with respect and you could hear the laughter and see the smiles from all participants on the course during and after the competition on that beautiful day.
Editor: I recently spent six hours attending two town meetings concerning the massive construction proposed for Madeira Beach. From the conversations and letters that I heard it seemed that there was a vast majority of people against these projects.
It seems that this community will go from no hotels to now wanting to have four within walking distance of each other. Why were all the hotels on Gulf Boulevard, including the Holiday Inn leveled for condos? I hope that the Marriott does not turn into the Santa Madeira restaurant with all the new competition and become a pink elephant.
I do not believe the traffic studies that we have been presented by the developers. I feel the public is being duped. It would be nice if the developers could put in two extra traffic lanes on 150th Avenue to accommodate the massive amount of cars that they will be bringing in. The projects seem to have put by the wayside the limit to the number of stories that a building could be. This proposal will double the amount of stories that had been accepted in the past.
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