Editor: Gulf Boulevard use to be a major north-south artery. After center islands were put in the roadway in Indian Rocks Beach, a dear friend who grew up on these beaches told me, “Watch what this road turns into.” She was the local historian, as we drove up and down the beaches, of what was what and where and when in the 1950s and ’60s. Her prediction has come to fruition.
Those center islands are distracting. Service trucks and construction trailers are parked in the middle turn lanes to unload. Flashing crosswalks stop vehicles, sometimes just yards from a stoplight, confusingly flashing long after the pedestrians have vacated the walkway. Other beach goers and restaurant/bar patrons cross anywhere they want anyway.
There are bicycle lanes, trolley stops, bridges opening and closing lost on the barrier island. The fish mile markers, which are a good concept, are too small. The myriad of distracting signs includes for sale, for rent, candidates for office, businesses and municipal buildings. Then there’s Florida’s only resource, tourists from every state of this union, every province in Canada and communities worldwide with obvious different driving patterns. And gawkers!
To top it off, Treasure Island, during this unusually busy tourist season, feels the need to blacktop their portion of Gulf Boulevard. I’m sure this is scheduled now because there is too much snow at other times.
Editor: Human beings are not as dumb as we often seem. We are dumber!
If that statement fails to provoke the reader to explore its implications, then I have proven my point.
To illustrate, we are the only species in the history of the planet gifted with an intellect, yet one must wonder what other members of the animal world would think of us, had any others been so gifted.
Our progress in applying this remarkable talent to make this earth a better place than when we found it is marked by our abject failure to do so.
Editor: The recent syndicated column Debra Saunders published in the Beacon was the first time I have read anyone or either side of the global warming controversy state what the drive force is.
I happen to have a doctor of science degree from Washington University, although that is not necessary to see through this farce. However, having taught at three major universities did put me in position to see how and why these driving forces originate and thrive.
Professor must publish or perish. Therefore, they write proposals based upon what the in-crowd wants to hear. So, if the government propagandists are pushing global warming for their own unrelated political reasons, then of course most of the professors will be singing the same tune, as they laugh behind their backs.
I saw all of this first hand less than 40 years ago, when much of the media were pushing global cooling. Stories exclaiming that we were entering the next ice age were common - so at that time many of the professors’ proposals were written to verify this weather trend. Amazing how we quickly forget.
Editor: I would like to take this opportunity to thank the voters of Belleair for their support during my campaign. I am excited to take on the role of Belleair commissioner and represent the best interests of our town. A special thanks to Commissioner Stephen Fowler for his 18 years of service. It takes a lot of time, energy and a true love of our community to serve. We should also take a moment to thank all those who have served in the past. And let’s not forget our important volunteers. It takes all of us working together to make Belleair a wonderful community.
Editor: Hillary will not run for president because she knows that if she faces Jeb Bush that he has a proven track record as a popular and effective governor of the state of Florida and he has proven to be a proficient fundraiser and will have a vast amount of money to run and defeat Hillary.
Jeb appeals to all Americans and especially to the much needed Hispanic voters.
Hillary’s enormous ego will not allow her another defeat after losing to a practically unknown, rookie Senator with little experience other than a community organizer.
Hillary was secretary of state for what many consider to be the most corrupt administration in history, led by a president who has repeatedly lied to the American people. This would be practically impossible for Hillary to overcome.
Editor: In what was billed as a public forum to discuss the nearly $400 million Gateway Express toll highway project (Feb. 26, PSTA Administration Building), the Florida Department of Transportation accepted only questions and statements, and provided no answers.
When I asked how the answers would be provided, I was told by the event moderator and another staffer that there will be no further public meetings and that questions received will be answered privately to the individuals who submitted them after FDOT had time to evaluate them. They would be available by an open records request.
There were a dozen or so FDOT and MPO representatives present. I have been to such meetings in other states and have not once attended one where questions were not answered then and there. Why attend at all? I suggested they hold another meeting where staffers would engage the attendees in a question/answer format. Though they agreed that was a good idea, I was told this was a done deal and construction will start in 2016.
It has become painfully clear to commuters and local business owners along 118th Street North/Bryan Dairy Road that residents of Pinellas Park, Largo, Seminole, and the beach towns will endure years of construction on an elevated roadway, resulting in 118th Street losing a lane to allow for elevated traffic between I-275 and either Bayside Bridge/airport or U.S. 19 North. The currently clogged 118 Street/Bryan Dairy corridor will likely get worse.
Editor: Sudden cardiac arrest can happen to anyone, at any time. A mere five minutes without cardiopulmonary resuscitation after a sudden cardiac arrest is enough to cause brain damage or death.
Effective bystander CPR can double or triple a cardiac arrest victim’s chance of survival, yet most Americans feel helpless to act during a cardiac emergency because they don’t know how to administer CPR.
In an effort to save more lives in our state, the American Heart Association is working with the Florida Legislature on an important step: creating hundreds of thousands of lifesavers by bringing hands-on CPR training to high schools across our state.
There are 420,000 cases of cardiac arrest per year. If CPR is not performed, then for every minute that passes before the emergency team arrives, the survival rate decreases 10 percent. If a witness to the cardiac arrest performs hands-on CPR, the blood can continue to flow, which allows the oxygen in the bloodstream to be delivered to the vital organs.
Editor: Reading your article about the new left-turn signals has prompted me into finally sitting down and addressing a dangerous situation at the intersection of Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard and Keene Road in Clearwater.
I believe this intersection is under city not county responsibility. Here’s the problem I have encountered. I am heading west on Gulf-to-Bay, enter the left turn lane in order to head south onto Keene Road. Cars turning left first have a green left-turn arrow, which turns amber-flashing (OK to turn left, but oncoming traffic has a green light so proceed yielding to oncoming traffic), but then comes the dangerous trap that has been created.
When the west-bound traffic light turns amber, and I am in the intersection, I am assuming that opposing traffic has an amber light also about to turn red. (It’s been so for many years.) Not so!
Surprise. The oncoming traffic light stays green with me unknowingly about to turn into the path of oncoming traffic. I was fortunate that I had survivable experience the first time this happened to me, and now I know about this dangerous trap that has been created at this intersection.
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