The Way I See It
By cj pollick
Re-energize The Gateway? - Clearwater city officials plan to spend about $2 million to "re-energize the once-thriving community" located from Drew Street to Court Street following Highland Avenue to Missouri Avenue.
Some folks have referred to this area as "Little Mexico."
For many years that area had been allowed to deteriorate to the point where some citizens simply avoid driving in that section of town. Let's hope the local Hispanic community sees this as an opportunity to modernize their neighborhood with city assistance.
No More Panhandling In Downtown Clearwater Or Clearwater Beach - It's about time Clearwater officials put an end to panhandling in all of Clearwater. Most every community has a program to help the homeless; however, there is a balance between helping the needy and ensuring a safe environment for citizens. It's time to control citywide panhandling and homeless crime in downtown Clearwater and Clearwater Beach.
BBTV Costs - Belleair Beach television (BBTV) uses Bright House Channel 615 and not 340. Further, and according to a person involved with the city television program, the once mentioned cost of developing the complete audio-visual capabilities of the new BB City Hall/Center was projected to be $100,000 by former city manager Reid Silverboard for the entire audio-visual project allocation (not just the cost of television equipment.)
Currently, the city has spent about $4,800 of the $10,000 Bright House gave the city for BBTV.
Whether more city meetings should be produced for later television publications on Channel 615 is a decision Belleair Beach city officials will decide in light of balancing the city budget with declining city revenues. However, as long as there are city volunteers to man the equipment, the cost of production could be kept to a minimum expense.
Beach Renourishment - There is an issue in Tallahassee that requires our attention: beach renourishment.
With declining state revenues, politicians in Tallahassee are planning to cut beach renourishment funding by some millions of dollars (I refer you to an article written by Nick Fritsch in the Gazette.) That is not good news for beach-front communities along the great barrier island commonly referred to as Sand Key which runs from north Clearwater Beach to Johns Pass.
Why is this an important issue?
It was not long ago that Gulf of Mexico waters beat against concrete seawalls at high tide just feet away from swimming pools of local Sand Key condominium projects. In fact, when tropical storms would hit near the Clearwater area, it was not unusual to notice high water on Gulf Boulevard and first floor parking lots flooded. In places such as Belleair Beach and Indian Rocks Beach, many older first floor units experienced water damage due to high waters. Beach renourishment helped to create a large beach in front of those properties, and, of course, protected them from high water damage.
Of course, Sand Key condominium property values increased greatly due to beach renourishment along the island of Sand Key.
Beach renourishment is more than just a positive for beach-front owners, beach renourishment also helped to increase tax revenue values for every city from Clearwater to Madeira Beach. Thus, the issue of beach renourishment is more than adding sand behind waterfront condominiums and homes.
Call and/or write to your representative in support of beach renourishment.
Tampa Palms Golf Club Diver Attacked - Imagine the horror when an 11-foot long alligator bit down on the shoulder of a 6'-4" diver who was searching for golf balls! The diver stated he had to literally fight for his life since the gator was trying to kill him. With a poke into the gator's eye, the gator released his grip and the diver struggled to walk out of the golf course pond. Later, an 8-foot long gator was caught near the site of the attack, "That was not the gator, there is a larger gator in that pond," replied the injured diver.
There are some folks who believe my views on alligators may be a bit too exotic for places such as Tampa Bay; nevertheless, and if I could, all alligators over 4-feet in length would be removed. It is disheartening to annually read about large alligators attacking and/or killing people and pets due to the manner in which we have protected these predators in ponds and streams behind residential housing and public parks.
There will be more gator attacks until a prominent elected official loses a loved one, then there will be laws controlling alligators over 4-feet in length.
Bad Economic News They Don't Talk About - One financial guru stated that personal tax return payments included about $4,300 to cover only one person's share of the nation's interest payment on $9.4 trillion of public debt owed by the U.S. government. That is only part of the economic news, it gets worse.
There was a $700 billion trade deficit for 2007 since we import more than we export, in great part, thanks to our illustrious encyclopedic tax code and elected folks who believe in increasing U.S. taxes and supporting multi-national corporations with non-U.S. laws.
Then there is the $950 billion in credit card debt as of March 2008 and $1.6 trillion in auto loan debt to consider when reviewing our economic dilemma. We are, therefore, a nation with huge debts. How have our largest financial institutions handled the lending decisions they made with mortgage loans and other bad financial loans? They sold much of their corporate stock holdings to foreign investors. Time will tell how that act of financial desperation may impact U.S. investors.
The U.S. dollar continues to decline in value and U.S. citizens have a lower standard of living. Some young homeowners who bought into adjustable rate mortgages and flexible home equity loans simply can't afford the new rate and banks have begun to foreclose on those properties. Banks have also noticed 30-day bank loan increase in delinquencies from 2.23 percent a year ago to 2.65 percent. Home equity loan balances rose by 8 percent in the first quarter of 2008 and personal credit card balances rose by 10 percent, so state financial reports.
This year 2008 Medicare will pay out more in benefits than it takes in from taxes.
The same thing happens to Social Security in 2017.
Now, which political candidate will stop wasteful spending, balance the national budget and help Americans achieve a better standard of living?
McCain - Clinton or Obama?
Perhaps it is time to elect officials that would act to repair our nation's economic dilemma. Baby-boomers that plan to retire in years after 2010 could be in financial trouble.
"For a nation to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle." - Winston Churchill
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