Saturday, February 17, 2018
Opinion

Williams Park question seems to defy answers in St. Petersburg

Williams Park, a passive green space in the heart of St. Petersburg's central business district, has been a gathering place for the homeless for quite some time. A decade ago, when all eyes were fixated on the developing skyline along tony Beach Drive, they moved in, with little or no protests. After all this time, they've been there long enough to claim squatters rights.

They've survived the 2010 pan-handling ban and suspensions from the park. In 2011, the city removed some park benches to prevent the homeless from sleeping in public spaces. They endured being shipped off to Pinellas Hope. But each time, they seem to find their way back home, to the park.

Now comes a revealing report from Times reporter John Woodrow Cox, and city officials are jostling to be the first to stake a claim on saving the park — again.

It has gotten to the point where the homeless seem to flock to the park in season, like snowbirds.

The city continues to come up with solutions to the problem, but each time it seems as if they're putting a bandage on a gaping hole.

Why is the city having such a hard time taking control of Williams Park? Officials have tried before.

There was the Wednesday Market in the Park, Art in Park and another outfit hosted concerts in the park. The Saturday Morning Market folks held a couple of summer markets there, too.

Like it or not, it has become the people's park. And it appears that no set of laws or ordinances seem to be able to stem the flow of people from gathering there.

Creating in new spaces

Some of the Salt Creek artists are finding new digs.

Back in May, we learned that the owners of Salt Creek Artworks at 1600 Fourth St. S had sold the building and it would soon be razed for a parking lot for a neighboring fish processing plant.

The building sits empty today, but some of the 42 displaced artists are finding new creative spaces in the Grand Central Business District. Four of those artists, including Herb Snitzer and Carol Dameron, are moving into 2109 Central Ave. and are hosting an open house March 9.

Lance Rodgers, artist and former curator at Salt Creek, is sharing space with the Opera Company on First Avenue S. For the most part, artists are finding space throughout the city.

Picture this promotion

Sacino's is looking for a few good shots.

To celebrate 100 years in business, Sacino's Formalwear in St. Petersburg is looking for old prom, black-tie and wedding photographs.

The company, with headquarters at 3430 Fairfield Ave. S, spans four generations and is especially interested in photos featuring two or more generations in Sacino's formal wear. Send your photos to [email protected]

Contact Sandra J. Gadsden at [email protected] or at (727) 893-8874 and on Twitter at @StPeteSandi.

Comments
Editorial: Trumpís rising deficits and misplaced priorities

Editorial: Trumpís rising deficits and misplaced priorities

Itís not popular in Washington or virtually anywhere else these days to express concern about the rising federal deficit. Congressional Republicans who used to be deficit hawks first voted to cut taxes by $1.5 trillion over the next decade, then rais...
Published: 02/17/18
Editorial: Buckhorn should not appeal verdict in firefighterís case

Editorial: Buckhorn should not appeal verdict in firefighterís case

The city of Tampa should have taken Tanja Vidovic seriously from the start when the Tampa firefighter complained about her treatment in the workplace. Now that a jury and judge have spoken, itís time for City Hall to cut its losses, learn from its mi...
Published: 02/15/18
Updated: 02/16/18
Editorial: CareerSource troubles mount as public trust drops

Editorial: CareerSource troubles mount as public trust drops

The dark cloud enveloping Tampa Bayís job placement centers keeps growing. There are accusations of forged documents, evidence of nepotism and concerns about grossly inflated performance numbers that could be tied to receiving more public money and b...
Published: 02/15/18
Updated: 02/16/18
Editorials: Prayers and platitudes after shootings arenít enough

Editorials: Prayers and platitudes after shootings arenít enough

Even before the victims of another mass shooting at another public school were identified, Gov. Rick Scott, Attorney General Pam Bondi, state legislators and members of Congress rushed to South Florida or to social media to offer their thoughts and p...
Published: 02/15/18
Editorial: DCF review should get to the bottom of Hillsborough foster care issues

Editorial: DCF review should get to the bottom of Hillsborough foster care issues

The Florida Department of Children and Families is right to call for a timely and "comprehensive" review of Hillsborough Countyís foster care system. Though the probe is a reaction to a recent case involving a child who was left unattended, the revie...
Published: 02/14/18

A Washington Post editorial: Modernize 911 calling before it becomes an emergency

This Friday marks the 50th anniversary of the first 911 emergency call placed in the United States. Since then, uncounted lives have been saved and people helped. It has been a great accomplishment of government.But even as an estimated 240 million 9...
Published: 02/13/18
Updated: 02/14/18
Editorial: Scott, Cabinet cannot be trusted on felonsí voting rights

Editorial: Scott, Cabinet cannot be trusted on felonsí voting rights

Gov. Rick Scott always has been grudging and imperious about restoring the voting rights of felons, requiring them to wait for years before begging the governor and Cabinet to be recognized again as citizens. That arrogance is on full display in a le...
Published: 02/13/18
Another voice: ĎDreamersí donít know whom to trust on immigration

Another voice: ĎDreamersí donít know whom to trust on immigration

Immigrants brought into this country illegally as children by their parents may be wondering whom to trust. The political theater being played out in Washington hasnít settled the status of either the "Dreamers" or the estimated 11 million other undo...
Published: 02/13/18
Editorial: Promising Tampa stadium site for Rays

Editorial: Promising Tampa stadium site for Rays

While it came as little surprise, the Tampa Bay Raysí selection of an Ybor City site near Tampaís Channel District as the best spot for a new stadium is an important milestone in the effort to keep Major League Baseball. Now comes the hard work of de...
Published: 02/09/18
Editorial: Senate should reject Houseís attack on public schools

Editorial: Senate should reject Houseís attack on public schools

After pummeling public education so soundly last year, itís little surprise Republican state legislators are mounting another attack on public schools, teachers and local districts. The mammoth education bill passed by the House last week is loaded w...
Published: 02/08/18
Updated: 02/13/18