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Ho Ho Humbug Re: “Dis the Season” by Michael I. Niman, Julie Garisto and Kelli Kwiatkowski (Nov. 20-26)

"Dis the Season!" was a much-needed reminder to shop — and not shop — wisely and deliberately this holiday season. In an age of democratic dysfunction, guerilla capitalism is one of the few tools we have left for creating positive change. It's good to know that other people are thinking along these lines.

Inspired by your article (and by the political climate), I wrote the following holiday buying list: copies of The Green Pages, a subscription to The Nation, ceramic-tile art, handmade place mats, Heifer International (for the nieces and nephews). Whatever is left in our budget will go to Commercial Alert, the ACLU or the Sierra Club. (Alas, it won't be enough to pay for solar panels.)

And then there's the rest of the year, which will be more challenging. I'd love to see a comprehensive list of socially/environmentally responsible businesses in the Tampa Bay area. (And, of course, a list of businesses to avoid.)

— Sarah Carleton, Via e-mail

I didn't really know who else to write about this article, but I feel that "Dis the Season!" is one of the best articles I've read from your paper yet. It is very informative and very true. I especially like the follow-ups about alternative places to patronize and creative present ideas. Terrific article! Tell your paper to keep up the good work! Thanks for keeping our community aware of what really goes on in the news and in our area.

— Holly Shupe, Via e-mail

I could not believe the animal charities you listed this week in the Weekly Planet. The zoo! Is this the same zoo that just killed the wallabies and the same zoo that just kidnapped elephants from Africa? Hello! Why do you choose to give them charitable gifts and support organizations that are cruel to animals? The Heifer Foundation slaughters animals! What possessed you to promote a glorified slaughterhouse? Before you ask us to "give" money to groups that pretend to help animals, do some research and find out where the money goes because much of the time the money does not help animals. It pads the pockets of people who profit from the suffering of animals and that is the sickest abuse of all!

— Louise Kahle

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

Assault on the Bungalows
Re: “Fifth Avenue Freeze Out” by Trevor Aaronson (Nov. 20-26)

I read your article on the 5th Avenue Lofts project and found that it presented a reasonably well-balanced picture of the project. I would like to point out two things, though, just for future reference:

1. While there were a number of people in the neighborhood who objected to the project, there were also those who supported it. I know that several individuals wrote letters of support to the City Council. In addition, the board of directors of the North Downtown Neighborhood Association voted unanimously to support the project and wrote a letter to the CRA (Community Redevelopment Agency) to this effect. (Tim Clemmons was president of NoDo at the time, but he had nothing whatsoever to do with this vote. We took a position even though we were concerned that our support might backfire, if people thought that Mr. Clemmons was involved. But, we thought it more important that we speak up on some important issues that we outlined in the CRA letter. )

2. The article mentioned that the project would be in the same neighborhood as some 1920s bungalows, which is perfectly true. There was no mention of the fact that it would be in the same neighborhood as the Townview Condominiums (five stories tall and much larger than 5th Avenue Lofts), the Flori di Leon cooperative (eight stories); the proposed Beach Drive Villas (way, way larger than the Lofts!); etc., etc.

— Timothy J. Baker

President, North Downtown

Neighborhood Association

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