It doesn't pay to be a good citizen. Or at least that's the message the St. Pete police department seems to be sending out. In a story that broke last week on CL's blog, blurbex.com, we reported that the department had rejected the Citizens' Police Academy application of Palmetto Park resident and crime watcher Matthew Culp. The reasons for the rejection were dubious at best — especially since Culp has been an outspoken critic of the department. Comments, excerpted below, took his side with a vengeance. Equally vehement were some of the responses to Alex's sardonic field guide, "When panhandlers attack." Wayne Garcia's critique of the new Rays stadium plan missed one important point, said kdel, but Wayne's Gasparilla blog post was right on the mark, said an equally jaded reader of thepoliticalwhore.com. And one satisfied CL customer sent us the news that Jaden Hair's Spam Fried Rice is pretty damn tasty.
Re "Did St. Pete police blackball a crime watch leader?" by Alex Pickett (blurbex.com): The St. Petersburg Police leadership should be ashamed, and Harmon and Proffitt should be fired. This is not only blatant discrimination. It's trying to silence victims of the police department's ineptitude and inability to do their jobs. Understand, it's not line cops. This is a case where administrators are promoted for being good "yes" men. St. Pete police "leaders" should be supporting people who follow the law and help rebuild neighborhoods. Instead, they are only out to cover their butts. Go Matthew!
Maybe Matthew Culp is being discriminated against due to homophobia. Always a possibility here in Hoot & Holler Country. I'm just sayin', is all.
I hope Culp gets a front row seat in the academy after the next election. We are all behind him and are fed up with being terrorized by criminals.
Are you tired of this old-school Police Department yet? Here we are in a "developing" city that is attempting to modernize. Yet our Police Department still clutches to the archaic, redneck practices of the 20th century.
Sick n Tired
Re "When panhandlers attack," by Alex Pickett (Jan. 16): Here is the solution. ... Provide the resources necessary for those who are living on the streets that have mental illness, including affordable housing and work placements to get them back into the community working a job learning new skills that will make our communities a much better places to live.
It doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure this out.
These people should be off the streets. Either they work to do it or be in a facility that takes care of them. If they "need" help, they should get it. If they just "want" help, too freakin' bad. I'll pay to help put them away.
OK. I also have a problem with these gypsies. And these mentally deficient people who crowd the streets, and hey, let's talk about those Jews! If you beanbags want to sanitize your streets, why not go all the way? Come to think on it, locking 'em up is kind of expensive, ain't it? Why not just pop 'em at night like they do in Brazil?
Re "Thrown out at first," by Wayne Garcia (Jan. 16): You forgot the big reason I'll never vote for this — a poor use of public waterfront. Those of us in St. Pete love the fact there are so many open spaces downtown — a publicly funded but restricted use of waterfront is a terrible idea no matter how beautiful or cutting edge the structure might be.
Re "The Big Story: Get ready for the worst day of the year," by Wayne Garcia (thepoliticalwhore.com): Gasparilla is Tampa. It succinctly captures the very essence of the Bay area. At heart, we are a hick Florida town, for better or for worse. My family has lived in Port Tampa for four generations. Sure, new money has put some lipstick on the sow, but she'll always roll in the mud at the first chance she gets.
Re "Wham bam, thank you Spam," by Jaden Hair (Dec. 26, 2007): Made Spam FR to accompany char-grilled chicken breast marinated in fish sauce, garlic and ginger. Awesome! My son took leftover rice in his school lunch at HHS and reports it was a big hit there too! Kudos!
Evelyn Hale ("The Influencers: 'They want something fresh,' Jan. 23) is a founding member of Hispanic Young Professionals and Entrepreneurs, but is not the group's founder. The "Influencers" column was unclear on this point.
In the update on Pinellas County's paraphernalia ordinance (Urban Explorer, Jan. 2), Leo Calzadilla, the owner of Purple Haze, was quoted as saying he had changed nothing in his store, except that customers are now asked to sign waivers declaring they are not going to use certain products illegally. In the portion of the text following the quote, the reporter, Alex Pickett, used the word "bongs" to describe some of these products; this was Pickett's word, not Calzadilla's, who called Creative Loafing to clarify that he does not sell bongs but "water pipes." He also objected to Pickett's earlier reference in the story to "headshops." Calzadilla stressed that his shop is a "tobacco accessory store" and not a "head shop," a word he never uses to describe his business.