Blog: Fear and Loathing in Clearwater - 2018-02-20
I found the article fascinating (I have included the full text of it below) for a number of reasons.
First, EVERYONE in Clearwater knows exactly what the biggest problem facing Clearwater is. The downtown is dead. While neighboring Dunedin, Safety Harbor and even St. Petersburg are flourishing and prospering, Clearwater languishes in the empty storefront doldrums.
Yet Clearwater has greater potential for its downtown than any other city around — it sits on a bluff overlooking the Intracoastal waterway, it is home to one of the best beaches in the world and has a beautiful marina and a large park. What could possibly be wrong? Of course, it's also the international spiritual headquarters of an infamous cult. It's the single difference between Clearwater and the other flourishing cities that surround it. Scientology is the elephant in the room that isn't just sitting in the corner. It rampages around, squashing things in its sight and dropping large helpings of dung that stink the place up. People in Clearwater venture downtown with trepidation, if not fear, holding their noses and looking over their shoulders.