Monday, December 11, 2017
Editorials

Editorial: St. Petersburg plan revitalizes corridor

For any city to thrive economically, all of its neighborhoods and residents need to prosper. Yet for too long, the 34th Street S corridor has languished as St. Petersburg's forgotten gateway from the south. It has failed to receive the attention of more prosperous areas north of Central Avenue or of more disadvantaged areas in the heart of Midtown. Now a new, ambitious master plan dubbed the Skyway Marina District plan offers promise for residents who for too long have had to drive far from their neighborhoods for amenities common in other areas of the city.

The plan hopes to revitalize the 1.5 miles along 34th Street S between 30th Avenue S and 54th Avenue S. The corridor is a nondescript hodgepodge of forlorn strip malls, shuttered businesses, convenience stores, fast-food restaurants and a Publix supermarket. After years of fits and starts to revitalize the 34th Street S corridor, the Skyway Marina District project would take advantage of the area's proximity to the Gulf of Mexico to attract better restaurants, retail stores and recreational opportunities. City Council members Steve Kornell, Wengay Newton and Karl Nurse support the Skyway Marina District, which the council will consider early next year.

Area residents and businesses who have reviewed the proposal are enthusiastic, but others are understandably skeptical of the promises being made to transform the 34th Street S corridor. Previous highly touted efforts all withered on the vine. And as Kornell noted, the area is still unfairly characterized and misunderstood as a south St. Petersburg neighborhood with disproportionate crime problems. Kornell and Newton say the chances for success of the Skyway Marina District proposal are vastly improved because of unprecedented community support from neighborhood and condominium groups and business associations.

Although the Skyway Marina District is a long way from becoming a reality, the proposal is a promising first step toward revitalizing the 34th Street S corridor. St. Petersburg's success depends on the success of all of its neighborhoods, and it's time to move forward.

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Editorial: U.S. House sides with NRA over stateís rights on concealed weapons permits

With the horror of the mass shootings at a Las Vegas country music concert and a small Texas church still fresh, the U.S. House finally has taken action on guns. But the bill it passed last week wonít make Americans safer from gun violence. It is an ...
Published: 12/07/17
Editorial: Hillsborough cannot afford pay raises for teachers

Editorial: Hillsborough cannot afford pay raises for teachers

There is no satisfaction for anyone in the standoff over pay raises between the Hillsborough County School District and its teachers. Most teachers across the nation already are underpaid, but this district simply cannot afford the raises teachers ex...
Published: 12/07/17
Editorial: Impact of Water Street project extends beyond buildings

Editorial: Impact of Water Street project extends beyond buildings

With a buildout of $3 billion encompassing entire city blocks, itís obvious that Jeff Vinikís plans will change the look and feel of downtown Tampa. But the Tampa Bay Lightning owner unveiled a broader vision last week that reflects how far the impac...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/08/17
Editorial: Make texting while driving a primary offense

Editorial: Make texting while driving a primary offense

It is dangerous and illegal to text while driving in Florida, and police should be able to pull over and ticket those lawbreakers without witnessing another violation first. House Speaker Richard Corcoran has lent his powerful voice to legislation th...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/07/17

Editorial: Outsourcing common sense on St. Petersburg Pier naming rights

St. Petersburg officials predict that selling the naming rights to parts of the new Pier could generate $100,000 in annual revenue. But first the city wants to pay a consultant to tell it how and to whom to sell the rights. Why do city officials need...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/07/17

Another voice: Trumpís risky move

President Donald Trumpís decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israelís capital has a certain amount of common sense on its side. As a practical matter, West Jerusalem has been the seat of Israeli government since 1949, and no conceivable formula for Pa...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/07/17
Editorial: Tampaís MOSI reinvents itself

Editorial: Tampaís MOSI reinvents itself

A tactical retreat and regrouping seems to be paying off for Hillsborough Countyís Museum of Science and Industry. After paring back its operations, the museum posted a small profit over the past year, enabling the attraction to keep its doors open a...
Published: 12/05/17
Updated: 12/07/17
Times recommends: McClure for Florida House District 58

Times recommends: McClure for Florida House District 58

Voters in Temple Terrace, Plant City and Thonotosassa have an easy choice in the Dec. 19 special election to replace state Rep. Dan Raulerson, who resigned for health reasons. Republican Lawrence McClure is the only credible candidate.McClure, 30, ow...
Published: 12/05/17
Updated: 12/07/17
Editorial: Still waiting for flood insurance fix

Editorial: Still waiting for flood insurance fix

It has been 1,979 days since all heck broke loose in the flood insurance industry. Apparently, that just wasnít enough time for Washington to react. So with the National Flood Insurance Program set to expire on Friday, itís looking increasingly likel...
Published: 12/05/17
Updated: 12/06/17

Editorial: St. Petersburg should raise rates for reclaimed water

Raising rates on reclaimed water in St. Petersburg is an equitable way to spread the pain of paying for millions in fixes to the cityís dilapidated sewer system. The city has no choice but to start charging utility customers more as the sewer bills c...
Published: 12/05/17
Updated: 12/06/17