Editor: It saddens me to read the distorted view of the Republican Party by Robert A. Shaw in recent issues of Tampa Bay Newspapers. Mr. Shaw generalizes that the GOP has a “monochromic” agenda, which exists “by invitation only.”
He provides no evidence of why conservative principles - of individual freedom and responsibility of the rule of law of control closer to the people is monochromatic.
If he could objectively observe the debt and destruction wrought upon people of all colors in Democrat-controlled cities, from Detroit to Chicago, to Newark, to Oakland, he might understand how conservative principles can help all people. If he could witness the frustration of poor parents trapped in a failed public school system while Democrats protect entrenched teachers unions from charter and private schools, he might understand the value to all people of conservative principles of personal choice.
If he could understand the great variation between Republican and Democrat states in statistics such as unemployment (much lower in Republican states) and unfunded mandates and debt (much higher in Democrat-controlled states), he would know why most governors and state legislatures are now Republican, and how people of all colors are benefitted by them.
Editor: I wanted to take the time to say thank you to all of those who came out to show their respects and honor my brother. Not only at the public viewing and the service.
As my family and I drove from the Indian Rocks church to Bay Pines we couldn’t help but to notice your presence. My heart was deeply touched by all those who stood on the side of the rode waving the flags, saluting and sharing a piece of history with families and friends.
Thank you, to all those who were waiting at intersections and in parking lots while the funeral procession went past. Thank you to all the businesses that have put signs out thanking and honoring Bill.
My brother will be sorely missed not only locally and nationally but as well as in out family’s hearts. As most of you know my brother and I came from humble beginnings together and I am proud of my brother and all that he has done for this country.
Editor: The Oct. 17 Beach Beacon contained an article concerning the plan of St. Pete Beach to contract with the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office for a deputy to be dedicated to code enforcement as has been done in Madeira Beach.
I have little doubt that action on reported violations has improved and likely incentive for compliance, particularly as pertains to the new chronic nuisance code. By my observation, initiative for enforcement in other code areas, not so much. It should be noted that the city contract for law enforcement services, initiated in 1995, contained the provision “the sheriff shall bring appropriate charges for violations of all laws and ordinances” and “accordingly, such sworn officers of the sheriff are hereby vested with the power to enforce ordinances of the city.” It would seem that this has never been effectively applied except perhaps for the occasional noise complaint.
The point of this letter is to express the view that use of an expensively trained law enforcement officer for code enforcement activity is a serious misapplication of talent. At over $90,000 per year, this would fund at least two full-time city employees.
Editor: Admission to the Grand Old Party has for far too long been extended by “invitation only.” This has resulted in a myopic, monochromatic agenda, one authored and driven by a narrow and select minority.
Because of this they now find themselves increasingly isolated from Main Street America and the concerns of ordinary citizens, including many of their own constituents. Worse they continue to plod forward on this path in spite of the fact it is obvious, even to outsiders, that their inwardly focused views have the potential to alter the future of their party and the dynamics of American politics in a way that will prove irreversible.
It is their collective reluctance to change that has left them floundering in desperation, a circumstance entirely of their own making. To illustrate this point, for openers their legislative record and their political agenda for the past 50 or so years have served to solidify in the minds of millions of Americans the Republican Party is the party of white male Americans, the wealthy and the influential. Rather than taking steps to alter this perception, they forge ahead “Plan,” a plan that was dictated by their far right extreme element. The need for a fall back “Plan B” seems never to have occurred to them.
In the long run all that this will accomplish is to drive a wedge between Republican rank and file and their dissonant element, something both divisive and destructive. At the same time it alienates that new and ever expanding social and political demographic outside their party at a time many of them are searching for political affiliation and are being aggressively courted by the Democrats.
Editor: Most everyone loves the story of Winter, and most everyone appreciates the rehabilitative efforts provided by the (Clearwater Marine Aquarium).
However, many question the wisdom of a Charter Amendment that would relinquish control and use of publicly owned land for a sole specified use, i.e. a marine aquarium. The CMA even has the audacity in its promotional efforts to claim that the amendment will safeguard the city’s public land for public use, while at the same time reserving it for itself, a commercial venture, albeit a nonprofit venture. It further states that "it will ensure no condos or other commercial property can be built on this valuable property.” Well, most likely that couldn't be done without a public referendum anyway.
The most troubling aspect of it all, however, is the prospect of a very costly, unique, intricate multi-level aquarium being built that ultimately could serve no other purpose. In the event the aquarium is not successful, or went bankrupt, CMA claims that creditors or the City could "replace management and operate the aquarium.” I'm sure no creditors or the city would relish that idea. Alternatively, those same creditors or the City could "disassemble the building, sell the assets and give the land back to the city.” Again, no mention is made of who would pay for such costly demolition. Even though CMA promotional material states "Taxpayers will have no obligation for CMA's debt,” what else would one do with an unprofitable $160 million aquarium building sitting on public land? Too pessimistic? Well, just check the financials of the Florida Aquarium in Tampa, and Mote Marine Aquarium in Sarasota, and you will find that they are not profitable and being supported by taxpayer dollars.
As far as CMA's other claims, please do yourself a favor and review them carefully. Most likely you will come up with the same conclusion that a "no" vote for the Charter Amendment is the best preventative measure for this very risky reservation of Public Land for a commercial enterprise.
Editor: I feel compelled to again implore the commission not to let our treasure, the Belleview Biltmore Hotel, be destroyed. There will never be another like it and your efforts to save her or your lack of efforts to do so will be remembered throughout the history of this remarkable city.
I want to again respectfully request that you consider investing some of the monies that was bequeathed to the town of Belleair to supply the last bit of funds needed to see that the hotel gets restored. You all saw fit to save and protect the golf course, which no one would ever fault you for.
Your duty through the town charter and the will of the residents of the town of Belleair, as so frequently and passionately demonstrated to the commission, is to likewise protect and save our beloved hotel.
As a resident of the Biltmore property I am not just selfishly seeking your assistance, even though it will destroy our unique property should the developer cover it up with concrete as they so desire, I am pointing out to you what your people have voiced to you over and over and over again.
Editor: I have lived near the Tides Golf Course for about 25 years and I am very upset about the possibility of losing this beautiful open space in a county that has very little open space at all. Please listen to the thousands of people who oppose the rezoning of this lovely area. Vote no to rezoning the Tides.
Editor: Clearwater voters should be alert to a very serious flaw in the proposed long-term lease of our valuable City Hall property before our Nov. 5 referendum vote.
We should note carefully that the $250,000 annual fee to be paid by the CMA has no inflation clause. Many of us are old enough to remember 60 years ago when a new sedan cost about $3,000 rather than $25,000, when gasoline sold for 29 cents a gallon rather than $3.25, and when a postage stamp cost 3 cents rather than 45 cents.
Like it or not, inflation is a way of life, and we can only imagine how much the purchasing power of $250,000 will shrivel over the next 60 years. So, to avoid leaving an unfair legacy to future Clearwater citizens, I urge you to vote no on the referendum ballot.
Letters do not necessarily reflect the views of Tampa Bay Newspapers.
Letters to the Editor Policy
We are proud to offer a forum to our readers. Please type letters to the editor (or print legibly) and include your name, town of residence, phone number and signature. Phone numbers will not be printed.
Letters can be mailed to Tampa Bay Newspapers, 9911 Seminole Blvd., Seminole, FL 33772, or send a letter by e-mail to email@example.com. Letters to the editor also can be submitted online, click here. Letters submitted online or by e-mail must include the writer's name, town of residence and phone number.
Guidelines for submitting letters to the editor, include:
• Letters are printed on a first-come, first-served basis. Letters may be edited to correct grammar, spelling and factual errors. They also may be edited for clarity.
• Please keep letters to editor to 700 words. Longer letters may be cut due to space limitations.
• Letters should address issues or current events. Please refrain from making unsubstantiated allegations. The newspaper will not print letters that contain slanderous or racial statements.
• Please don't use profanity.
• We don't publish poetry or songs in letters to the editor.
• We cannot return letters to the editor to the author.
• We do not print letters that are submitted anonymously.
• Writers may submit a letter every 30 days.
• Priority will be given to letters that deal with local issues by local writers.