Loved the article. One correction though; the first question should have been worded thusly: Every day when Kurt goes to pick up his children at 2 p.m. at Cleveland Elementary, he has to drive past prostitutes on their way to and from the seedy motels along Nebraska Avenue (El Rancho, Haven and the Orange Motel). He reports it time and time again, yet the city officials (police, code enforcement and nuisance abatement board) continue to allow the skin trade to flourish.
My point being that this is not a middle-of-the-night problem. It is an any-time-of-the-day, seven-days-a-week problem. I welcome the candidates' response to the new version of the question, as well as any reply you can get from the city departments mentioned above. Good luck getting any though. I will not hold my breath.
—Kurt Kuechenberg, Tampa
KEEP PEACE ALIVE
We are opposed to the devastation that would be caused by a war with Iraq. Spirituality and morality would be diminished by such an action. We believe that our fellow countrymen join us in our concern about spirituality and morality. There is no justification for a war with Iraq.
Although Saddam Hussein has committed heinous crimes against humanity, this does not mandate war. Citizens and soldiers of many countries, including ours, would be killed. In addition, such action would destabilize the Middle East, thus threatening the security of that region, The United States of America, and probably the entire world. Animosity between people of different faiths would increase.
We implore you to speak out in opposition to war with Iraq for the safety of our country and the world.
— Leslie Bouwman, Clerk
Saint Petersburg Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends Committee for Peace and Community ConcernsShafting the UniversityI think it's pretty obvious that USF President (and Board of Trustees mouthpiece) Judy Crankshaft cares very little about the needs of faculty hired to guide the teaching aspects of the university, based on her attitude toward them in recent months, such as walking out on a certain meeting which took place recently with the faculty union without taking any of their questions — as well as making herself unavailable to that same union.
It's also very apparent from her attitude that her efforts (or shall we say the trustees' efforts since she cannot think for herself) to change the existing rules for the union are nothing more than a ploy to find a way to oust a certain controversial professor from the institution.
I truly believe that her efforts to get rid of the aforementioned individual may (or may not) be somewhat personal, although I'm certain she won't admit it even to herself.
It is my opinion that as long as Crankshaft is president, the very institution that she cares nothing about (except for the very hefty pay raise for being the trustees' yes-person) will suffer in the long run. Where's Betty Castor when you need her?
—Lowell C. Johnson, Tampa
Thank you for an outstanding job on Steve Fennessy's article on identity theft. Thanks to your article, I was able to stop all the credit card offers being sent to my home and ask my parents not to have checks mailed to their home, instead picking them up at the bank.
May I add a few suggestions?
On my credit cards, instead of signing my name on the back, I write, "ask for I.D." This is even on my library card. Also, I use a credit card with my picture on it. It was worth the few dollars of having passport photos made.
Keep up your excellent work of educating consumers!
—Moni-Beth Griesemer, Pinellas Park
The response to the Tampa Area Naturists' campaign for free bumper stickers urging creation of a nude beach at Fort De Soto Park has been encouraging. We are trying to educate both the public and, most importantly, the Pinellas County Commissioners about the economic impact such a beach would have on our flagging tourist industry.
Some commissioners have stated that they believe the public does not wish such a beach, and some have declared that county parks should not cater to "special interest groups." Nonsense! Public opinion polls have shown an overwhelming support for such well-signed beaches where those who wish to avoid seeing naked bodies are forewarned.
We have a brochure available explaining why such a family-oriented, clothing-optional beach makes sense for the Tampa Bay area. If you'd like a copy or a free bumper sticker, please call 727-322-0112, or visit the TAN website at www.tanfl.com.
—Dick Korf, Gulfport
Publisher's note: Our new editor was so busy getting good stories into last week's paper, he forgot to change the masthead (the box where we list our staff members). Let us now correct the oversight.
We introduce with this (and last week's) issue a new editor, longtime Tampa Bay journalist Jim Harper, as well as a slightly revised format for your Weekly Planet.
A new section, Talk of the Town, now leads the newspaper. It will include news and views of political and cultural affairs around Tampa Bay and beyond. Its key features will include new columns by staff members Susan Edwards (Metropolis) and Scott Harrell (Field Trip), as well as the introduction of Don't Panic, a wry look at the world since Sept. 11 written by Andisheh Nouraee of our sister paper in Atlanta. News of the Weird continues in our front section, and we are looking for other voices to include from time to time.
As we noted last week in the Letters column, reports about the death of interesting news and commentary in our paper have been greatly exaggerated. Keep reading, and please let us know what you think.