Monday, June 25, 2018
Editorials

Editorial: Two downtowns; two waterfronts

The coming year will be a significant one for Tampa Bay's two biggest downtown waterfronts. In St. Petersburg, the city will lay the groundwork for a new waterfront master plan that voters demanded. And in Tampa, two projects aimed at reconnecting the Hillsborough River to surrounding neighborhoods are expected. All are a testament to the value of public green spaces and the role local governments can take in making Tampa Bay a nicer place to live.

St. Petersburg

A century after city leaders preserved public access to Tampa Bay by establishing a string of parks that now stretch 7 miles long, voters are demanding a new commitment to stewardship of the asset. Amid questions about the future of the Pier, voters in 2012 amended the city charter to require a master plan for the downtown waterfront by July 1, 2015.

Business and city leaders are awaiting the final report from the Urban Land Institute, and the city will launch a series of public forums early next year to discuss the findings. Among the highlights of ULI's preliminary report: The city has a remarkable asset but it can be improved, from better marketing of the city's enviable landscape to better connecting the southern portion where Albert Whitted Airport, Al Lang Stadium and various marine enterprises interrupt pedestrian access, including to neighborhoods to the south.

Also on the table is how to better connect the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with the hospital district to the west and how to develop public event spaces on the waterfront's southern half to alleviate pressure on the northern end. And sure to be a controversial discussion is what is next for the underutilized Al Lang Stadium with a storied past?

Tampa

The northern part of Tampa's downtown riverfront is set for a major face-lift in 2014.

The city is remaking Water Works Park, turning the historic spring into the backdrop for a new park and restaurant. Set on a gentle slope on the eastern bank of the Hillsborough River, Water Works Park will connect downtown with a new, mixed-use neighborhood to the north.

Across on the western bank, the city is looking to redevelop Riverfront Park, opening and expanding this vast, underused green space with sweeping views of the city center. Riverfront will be a new draw unto itself, and serve as a magnet to remake the upland neighborhoods to the north, which now sport aging public housing projects and a city truck yard.

These park renovations will expand downtown's urban feel into the nearby neighborhoods, creating pedestrian gateways in and out of downtown, and new places to lounge, eat and play. They also could lead to a revival of old West Tampa and Tampa Heights as enviable places to live and work.

Comments
Editorial: Handing out gift cards like candy at CareerSource

Editorial: Handing out gift cards like candy at CareerSource

Itís hard to pick the biggest outrage in the financial and ethical swamp that has swallowed Tampa Bayís two primary job placement agencies, CareerSource Pinellas and CareerSource Tampa Bay. Is it the boiler room atmosphere where CareerSource recruite...
Published: 06/21/18
Updated: 06/22/18

Family separation crisis is not over

The family-separation crisis that President Donald Trump created is not over. The executive order Trump signed Wednesday purporting to end the routine tearing of children from their undocumented parents stands on uncertain legal ground. U.S. border a...
Published: 06/21/18
Updated: 06/22/18
Editorial: State help needed to staff hotlines with veterans helping veterans

Editorial: State help needed to staff hotlines with veterans helping veterans

Veterans can help veterans deal with trauma resulting from military service in a way no one else can. Thatís the theory behind a special hotline set up in the Tampa Bay area that proponents are hoping to take statewide.The expansion would cost some $...
Published: 06/21/18
Updated: 06/22/18
Editorial: With Supreme Court ruling, Florida should collect sales tax from online retailers

Editorial: With Supreme Court ruling, Florida should collect sales tax from online retailers

It turns out the U.S. Supreme Court has a better grasp of the economic realities of the 21st century than Congress or the Florida Legislature. The court ruled Thursday that states can require online retailers to collect sales taxes even if the retail...
Published: 06/21/18
Updated: 06/22/18
Editorial: Congress should ban splitting kids, parents

Editorial: Congress should ban splitting kids, parents

The shocking scenes of immigrant children crying after being taken from their parents at the border exposed a new level of cruelty by the Trump administration, and though the president reversed course Wednesday, Congress needs to end the shameful pra...
Published: 06/21/18

Editorial: Florida needs to explain its own price gouging

In the wake of Hurricane Irma last fall, Attorney General Pam Bondi vowed to scour Florida to prevent businesses from exploiting consumers by price gouging. It turns out she could have just looked down the hall in the state capitol. Based on reportin...
Updated: 6 minutes ago
Sessions kickstarts action on marijuana

Sessions kickstarts action on marijuana

Good job, Jeff Sessions! It seems the attorney generalís misguided attempts to revive the unpopular and unjust federal war on marijuana may be having the exact opposite effect ó prompting a new bipartisan effort in Congress to allow states to legaliz...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/21/18
Editorial: A court victory for protecting Floridaís environment

Editorial: A court victory for protecting Floridaís environment

A Tallahassee judge has affirmed the overwhelming intent of Florida voters by ruling that state lawmakers have failed to comply with a constitutional amendment that is supposed to provide a specific pot of money to buy and preserve endangered lands. ...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/20/18
Editorial: Trump should stop taking children away from parents at the border

Editorial: Trump should stop taking children away from parents at the border

Innocent children should not be used as political pawns. That is exactly what the Trump administration is doing by cruelly prying young children away from their parents as these desperate families cross the Mexican border in search of a safer, better...
Published: 06/17/18
Updated: 06/19/18

Editorial: ATF should get tougher on gun dealers who violate the law

Gun dealers who break the law by turning a blind eye to federal licensing rules are as dangerous to society as people who have no right to a possess a firearm in the first place. Yet a recent report shows that the federal agency responsible for polic...
Published: 06/17/18
Updated: 06/18/18