Saturday, February 24, 2018
Editorials

Don't abandon pier project's wider vision

In tough economic times, it's understandable that the St. Petersburg City Council and some residents are focused on building a new pier that can be financed entirely with the $50 million the city has on hand. With a new police headquarters also in the wings, there's an interest in keeping capital projects in check. But that short-term sensibility should not shortchange the city's long-term ambitions for this generational project. As the pier initiative moves forward — hopefully with an agreement today to begin contract negotiations with the winner of the international design competition — council members should not lose sight that this project will require more than one phase. The goal to better integrate a new pier with downtown should remain a long-term priority as more money becomes available.

The Lens design, by Michael Maltzan Architecture of Los Angeles, unanimously won the recommendation of the city's international design competition jury two weeks ago. Part of the design's strength is its phased construction proposal, reflecting the city's limited fiscal means. The first phase would be the over water portion of looping, escalating promenades, with limited development on the upland just west of the pier. Phases 2 and 3 would include dramatically more development, such as retail, a splash park and an amphitheater. Last week, several council members were intent on limiting discussions to the first phase and its $50 million budget. But that should not mean the city abandons the broader vision.

From the advent of a pier citizens' task force in 2009 to the design competition parameters drawn last year, the City Council has championed revitalizing the entire area immediately around the pier. The timing couldn't be better, as voters in November also amended the city charter to require a formal downtown waterfront plan. Maltzan has laid out a compelling vision for the future, and citizens will get ample opportunity to weigh in through the coming months and help refine it. That's a welcome discussion that should continue, and the long-term vision should not be limited by short-term financial constraints.

Comments
Editorial: Improve school security plans with gun controls

Editorial: Improve school security plans with gun controls

Gov. Rick Scott and key members of the Florida Legislature offered ambitious proposals Friday that would plug some holes in the state’s safety net, strengthen school security and spend up to a half-billion dollars in response to last week’s massacre ...
Published: 02/23/18
Editorial: Six proposals for reasonable gun control

Editorial: Six proposals for reasonable gun control

Enough is enough. The mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School has renewed conversations about gun control in Washington and Tallahassee. Young people are demanding action, and there are cracks in the National Rifle Association’s solid w...
Published: 02/23/18
Editorial: The time to act on guns is now

Editorial: The time to act on guns is now

The nation’s conversation on guns took an encouraging step this week in three essential places — South Florida, Tallahassee and Washington — as survivors, victims’ families and elected leaders searched painfully and sincerely for common ground after ...
Published: 02/22/18

Editorial: FDLE probe of state fair fiasco falls short

It should go without saying that Florida law frowns upon public officials who take freebies from vendors and whose agency throws business to their family. But that wasn’t enough to move the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to find that the ex-di...
Published: 02/21/18
Updated: 02/23/18
Editorial: They value guns, not kids

Editorial: They value guns, not kids

They value guns over kidsSix days after 17 were killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High by a teen-ager firing an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, the Florida House refused to even debate a bill banning the sale of assault weapons. The vote, 71 to 36, wasn...
Published: 02/21/18

Editorial: Nursing home rule should be stronger

It shouldn’t take months or another tragedy for Florida — which is hot and full of seniors — to protect its elderly population from heat stroke in the event of an emergency. That’s why Gov. Rick Scott had the right idea last year in calling for nursi...
Published: 02/20/18
Updated: 02/23/18
Editorial: Listen to Marjory Stoneman Douglas students demanding change

Editorial: Listen to Marjory Stoneman Douglas students demanding change

Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School are traveling to the state capital today and declaring "never again.’’ A prominent Florida Republican fundraiser vows he won’t raise another nickel until his party approves new gun controls. Across F...
Published: 02/19/18

Editorial: No more doubt about Russian meddling in election

The latest indictment by the Justice Department special counsel, Robert Mueller, refutes President Donald Trump’s claims that Russian interference in the 2016 election was a Democratic hoax. The indictment details the lengths Russian conspirators too...
Published: 02/19/18

Another voice: Tips should belong to workers, not their bosses

The Trump administration is under fire for proposing a Labor Department regulation that could result in hotel and restaurant employers dipping into the tips customers leave for their employees, depriving the nation’s 14 million hard-working restauran...
Published: 02/18/18
Updated: 02/20/18
Editorial: Trump’s rising deficits and misplaced priorities

Editorial: Trump’s rising deficits and misplaced priorities

It’s 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