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Reader's Forum
Tuesday, April 22
Editor:
As a nation we find ourselves blessed with an abundance of that element that has eluded mankind since civilization first emerged. I refer here to security from those who would harm us. With the vast expanse of the great oceans separating us from potential enemies, our shores seem inviolable. On and below the seas, in the air and even in space we have created a seemingly impenetrable umbrella of protection. Combined with our unparalleled ability to retaliate, in kind, only the foolish would consider engaging us militarily. In spite of this shield, we continue focusing our attention outwardly when searching for danger, when it should be apparent the imminent threat to America lies from within.

I refer here to the fact many of those freedoms and rights we cherished in the past are today merely an illusion. The prime and most significant example of this is the belief the citizens of this nation elect those who will represent them in congress, and that it is these same citizens those elected intend to serve. In reality from the moment our representatives step off the plane and onto the tarmac in Washington, and in most cases long before, they and their vote have already been co-opted by those with the financial wherewithal to pay the asking price for their allegiance. In truth, their election was not a result of conscious support from the electorate, it came about because of the vast sums of money funneled into their campaigns by the ultra-wealthy, and anyone naive enough to think these people didn’t expect a return on their investment would do well to seek permanent residency in Fantasy Land.

As if this was not bad enough, it is about to get worse. Three recent decisions by the conservative led John Roberts Court have seen to that. Consider the ramifications of their rulings regarding the intrusion of money into politics. I refer specifically to the decisions that ruled in effect, Corporations are people, PACs could not be limited in political spending and now their most recent ruling, that individuals could not be limited in what they donate to campaigns. That the court feels money is entitled to a vote is a given.

Sadly, no one from the right is on record questioning these decisions. It gives one reason to speculate as to the attitude of conservatives had the court ruled that in future elections each eligible voter would be entitled to one vote for every $1 of their net worth. While on the surface this proposal may seem farfetched this is exactly what the court has implied as a result of the three decisions they rendered.
 ... Read More 
Re: Obamacare: Just magical thinking, April 10
Editor:
Once again, TBN newspapers show their true colors: anything to discredit a black man in the White House!

Had the TBN done its due diligence as responsible journalists, you would have discovered that this article by Debra Saunders ignores the facts and the truth regarding the Affordable Care Act. Worse, the article goes on to distort the realities of both the ACA and healthcare in the U.S.A., the most expensive for-profit healthcare system in the world!

Any attempt to right the wrongs of the U.S. healthcare debacle results in floods of money to create lies and distorted opinions from the insurance industry, the healthcare industry, and ultra-right politicos, whose siren songs lure the gullible.

Here is one link, out of a host of links, that afford responsible journalists with the facts and the truth: www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2014/mar/18/john-boehner/john-boehner-says-more-people-are-uninsured-obamac.
 ... Read More 
Editor:
Although I am sorry to see that planned transportation improvements, if approved by voters in November, will increase the sales tax, hurting some folks, they also will help them by providing inexpensive rides to distant jobs. When I was entering high school in 1944, I lived on the west side of Cleveland, Ohio.

I chose to attend an all boys Catholic High School on the far east side of Cleveland.

No problem: I took a bus to downtown and then light rail to the school area. Many years later, I returned to Cleveland, having retired from the U.S. Marine Corps (1968). My job required much air travel. Fortunately, I could drive to the light rail station a few blocks from my home, leave the car there without charge and speed to the airport. I travel for pleasure now, but have a friend to ride with me to Tampa Airport and take my car home to avoid large parking fees. I take the shuttle home, but light rail would be preferred.

Bob McEwen
Indian Shores
 ... Read More 
Editor:
Two articles in the Beach Beacon struck a nerve with me this week.

1. Park Boulevard bridge repairs delayed

Last October the county announced the bridge would be closed in June 2014.

Wouldn’t all these documented delays in the article had been in the process already at the time they announced the anticipated closure? The Project Engineer is just now finalizing a contract and getting it out for bids? Seems like that would have been almost completed when they announced the initial closure dates.
 ... Read More 
Thursday, April 17
Editor:
We vacationed in Dunedin for several years before deciding to retire here a few months ago. We chose Dunedin as our new home for many reasons, its dog-friendly reputation being one of the primary ones. We especially loved taking our beagle out to eat with us.

Once we moved here, we started researching pet-friendly restaurants in Dunedin where we could dine with our dog. Although we discovered several websites that list pet-friendly restaurants, we could not find one that offered a comprehensive listing of all of them so we developed our own: www.dogeatin.weebly.com.

We love living in and loving Dunedin but feel that the community could become even more of a “Dogedin” and build an even stronger reputation as a place that is welcoming to dog owners, both tourists and permanent residents, and their canine kids. One strategy would be for all of Dunedin’s restaurants that have outdoor eating areas to become pet friendly. Pet-friendly restaurants have to meet certain standards, such as having dog water bowls and outside entrance to the pet-friendly area, and acquiring an annual permit.

We would like to urge all Dunedin restaurants that have outdoor eating areas to apply for a permit and take the necessary steps to become pet-friendly. We would also urge Dunedin residents and visitors with dogs to patronize the 20 restaurants in our community that are pet-friendly and thank them for allowing our furry friends to dine with their owners.
 ... Read More 
Editor:
I would like to take this opportunity to thank U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 11-1 for having a coastal cleanup at Bay Park on Sand Key March 2.

My husband, neighbors and several other Sand Key residents who utilize the park had noticed quite a collection of trash collecting in the mangrove area. After finding out the city’s jurisdiction ended at the seawall, we learned that the USCGAux, a volunteer organization, is involved with island and coastal cleanups. After being told about the issue at Bay Park on Sand Key, they immediately (within two days) organized a crew and spent three hours early Sunday morning cleaning out the trash. I was told they gathered three pickup truck loads of trash - approximately 600 pounds of garbage removed from the mangroves.

Again, a huge thank you goes out to this volunteer organization from the residents of Sand Key.

Debbie Ryan
Clearwater
 ... Read More 
Tuesday, April 15
Editor:
How many pedestrians need to be killed on Gulf Boulevard before we stop the illusion that a pedestrian is safer in a crosswalk?

North Redington Beach completed a $3.2 million project which included: “to enhance safety to the existing Gulf Boulevard crosswalks - changes will improve pedestrian safety,” February 2014. The following month three pedestrians were killed trying to cross Gulf Boulevard, March 2014.

The Department of Transportation concluded a seven-year study May 1, 2010, and reached this conclusion: “6 to 1 ratio a pedestrian is more likely to have an accident inside versus outside crosswalk.” “Mid-block crosswalks are dangerous” (Franklin County Traffic Safety Board) advises “four lane roads with 10,000 traffic or more mid-block crosswalks should not be considered even if a pedestrian safety median separates opposing traffic lanes.”

The North Redington Beach Gulf Boulevard traffic count is 14,551+/- (Pinellas County records) All being mid-block crosswalks. North Redington Beach has more crosswalks per linear feet on Gulf Boulevard in .9 mile of a 13.5-mile segment of BIG-C beach towns stretching from St. Pete Beach to Clearwater.
 ... Read More 
Editor:
We wife and I have lived in Harbor Bluffs/Belleair for 35 years. We have enjoyed the Belleair Bee for many years.

I cannot remember the Bee having a nationally syndicated opinion writer in the past. I respectfully suggest that Debra Saunders does not enhance your publication one iota. Her recent piece on the Affordable Care Act is just plain not correct. I strongly suggest you reconsider the need for a national columnist.

Alan E. James Jr.
Belleair
 ... Read More 
Tuesday, April 8
•  Prevent a tragic accident from happening
Tuesday, March 25
•  Too much commercialism on the beach
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Tampa Bay Newspapers
9911 Seminole Blvd.,
Seminole, FL 33772
Phone: (727) 397-5563
Fax: (727) 397-5900
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