I do not know nor have I ever met St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman, but his choice of Clearwater Police Chief Anthony Holloway to lead his department should be applauded.
St. Pete Assistant Chief Melanie Bevan is an excellent law enforcement official and can lead a department, but change was needed. We have met on several occasions, especially under very difficult circumstances when three St. Petersburg police officers were killed in the line of duty all within one month in 2011. Additionally, I have had meetings with Chief Holloway and his staff to review the Gold Shield Foundation’s history and mission. Both are a credit to their profession and for their loyalty to our community.
Bevan can be a strong ally for the new chief, and I feel confident they will work together and correct any deficiencies simmering within the department.
St. Petersburg has much to be proud of, and with all the new and exciting venues being developed, a cohesive and smooth-running police department is paramount.
The writer is the executive director of Gold Shield Foundation Inc.
I read the article about renovating the Tampa Convention Center. I’d like to suggest that the handicapped ramp connecting the Platt Street Bridge to the Riverwalk be widened so that people with strollers, bicyclists and the disabled may use it without fear of running into someone coming from the opposite direction.
If John Wayne, the Western hero, ever served on the Hillsbourgh County Commission, he would have been called “Big Jim Selvey.” I served with him in the early 1990s. I will always admire his wonderful ability to be “Mr. Respectful” on all issues, even if he disagreed. He was always a consummate gentleman, with a bear hug and a big smile.
Hillsborough County is a better place because of his service.
Thank you, Big Jim.
Stop the attacks
Regarding “Vote on fireworks” (Your Views, July 17): This is something that should have been done long ago. I know there are many people, such as myself and my neighbors, wondering why we are still under attack with firebombs on each holiday, weeks before and after the celebration.
Also, let’s consider the fact that there is a law on the books in Florida against the use of illegal fireworks in neighborhoods. As soon as the tents goes up, Hillsborough Country becomes a war zone. Since there is a law against it, but our Legislature refuses to enforce it, we should either vote on a ban against illegal fireworks or vote out the current Legislature or our commissioners. I, for one, plan to work on it.
A constitutional right
Regarding “Name names” (Your Views, July 19): The NRA has no intention of arming everyone. The NRA is preserving the Second Amendment. I am a veteran who enjoys the shooting sports. I do not have to be punished for someone who commits a crime with a firearm. I do not need the military to protect me. I can protect myself.
The issue here is enforcing the firearms laws already on the books, firearm safety, safe storage and the safe handling of firearms — meaning telling people from an early age that you don’t shoot someone because you don’t like them or because you lost your job or any other pathetic excuse.
If you choose not to have anything to do with firearms, that is your opinion and right under the First Amendment, but don’t blame the NRA or chastise me for my guaranteed right under the Second Amendment. Political candidates will take money from everyone, and no political candidate can do everything they promise once they are in office.
After reading your Letter of the Day on July 20 (“Stop the best government money can buy,” Views), I am afraid our country is, indeed, in real trouble. But not for the reasons cited. The author and others like him do not seem able to think for themselves. They prefer to blame the nation’s ills on “Big Money” used in elections rather than on their own inability to think for themselves.
When our nation was founded, the assumption was that an informed electorate would prevent the kinds of problems we are now experiencing. Over the past 50 years or so our education system and journalism outlets have done a tremendous job of not teaching voters how to think for themselves. They tell students and readers what to believe. The result is people voting for the candidate who promises the most, and they vote for the candidate they think will give them the most benefits.
Without independent thought as voters, we are just a bunch of lemmings being taken down a rosy path that will end in the ruin of this country. A change to the Constitution won’t matter.
Stephen C. Zakrzewski