Aerial art to billow at Pier | Aug. 3
Pier art: boon or boondoggle?
Well, finally! The Janet Echelman sculpture project has been approved. The dust has settled and now, at the cost of $2.8 million an over-priced, glorified flag will be flapping over the new Pier District.
You can now rest easy, St. Petersburg residents and taxpayers. Evidently, this piece of art is going to have quite an impact on the community, according to Mayor Rick Kriseman. The advent of this floating piece of fabric will certainly lower property taxes, enhance education, repair infrastructure, lower the crime rate and help the affordable housing issues in your city — right?
Council member Ed Montanari, my hat is off to you, the sole vote against this decision. While I’m not aware of all of Mr. Montanari’s reasons for his vote, many of us could come up with just short of three millions reasons to vote against the project.
Philip Penrose, Gulfport
Putnam’s charmed lifehits a few bumps | Aug. 3, column
Off-base portrayal of Putnam
Daniel Ruth is a talented and clever writer, but he clearly does not know Adam Putnam. Ruth’s farcical take on Putnam did a disservice to them both.
Putnam is a fifth-generation Floridian. His family is known in Central Florida and throughout the state for their work ethic and integrity. Adam grew up on the family farm, learning the value of both from an early age.
Adam has dedicated his life to the betterment of his home state. He knows Florida as few others do. He understands our opportunities and our challenges. He recognizes the importance of our economy and our environment, and he has created and enacted policies that are good for both. He has the support of some of the toughest law enforcement leaders in the state.
Putnam is a proven leader, an innovative thinker and an honorable man. To me, those are the qualities that will move Florida forward in a positive direction, qualities that should be applauded, not mocked.
Jack Vogel, San Antonio
Blame the law, not the lawman | Aug. 3, column
Self-defense law got us here
Sue Carlton is spot-on pointing out that it’s the "stand your ground" law that’s guilty in the recent killing incident in Clearwater, not those tasked with the impossible job of enforcing the hypocritical law.
Unfortunately, many of the public responses to this tragic incident focus on taking sides. Whose fault is it? It’s either that Mr. Drejka had no business confronting someone illegally parking in a handicap zone, or it’s that Mr. McGlockton was being overly physical in defense of his girlfriend and family. Both bear responsibility. But this incident turned violent and deadly by adding a gun and the stand your ground law to the confrontation, and the result was a shooting, a death, and children left without a father.
Jon Crawfurd, Gulfport
Savings in session | Aug. 3
School safety for a bargain
When reading the list of items included in the tax-free back-to-school holiday, I was surprised by several items that are included. However I was amazed at seeing "fishing and hunting vests" on the list. At first I figured it was a giveaway by our legislators to a select group of voters, but then I saw the wisdom of including these items. Parents can now buy their children bullet-proof vests tax-free along with pencils and paper to get them ready for the school year.
Maybe some gun-control legislation would have helped, but as that is unlikely tax-free flak jackets are possibly the best we can hope for from Tallahassee.
Sam Levine, Tampa