A new site for sculpture | July 26
Keep parks green and pristine
St. Petersburg is a treasure. The city has grown with its focus on the arts, its walk-ability, its bike-sharing program, its dog friendliness, the Saturday market and the number of home-grown breweries, local restaurants and festivals.
The park system is another enviable, award-winning attribute. Our forefathers thought this through and fought the good fight for years against development in our parks — and for good reason. The tranquility of our parks gives one that feeling of serenity in a world where it is needed more than ever.
I was the director of marketing for the Pier for 12 years, beginning in 2001. The management team of the Pier and I lived and breathed the Pier, and I loved (almost) every minute. We met with many tenants who wanted to bring commercial ventures to the Pier. The only ones approved were those on the Pier — bicycle rental, bait house, fishing poles and Segways. Kayak rental, canoes and paddle boards were proposed from Spa Beach, but never approved as a commercial venture that might have had a small structure anywhere in that area. There was a tenant at the Pier who had a restaurant and was allowed to provide paddle boards, if they were brought in by a vehicle, unloaded in the parking lot and packed up and taken away at the end of the evening event.
I haven’t even touched on the subject of the Echelman sculpture, which I feel isn’t in keeping with the rest of the area and is out of place on our waterfront. We need to keep all of our parks passive in nature.
We can’t allow development to start taking over and destroying the natural beauty of our parks.
Susan M. Robertson, St. Petersburg
Stage is set for Trump show | July 30
Count this voter out
I am still more than perplexed by so many supporters of President Donald Trump, when to so many, he comes across as an egotistical, narcissistic bully. However, the comments by one supporter who planned to attend Tuesday’s rally in Tampa were beyond belief. He said that as a Christian, he feels that Trump was God-sent for the moment. How can a Christian — or anyone who is at all spiritual — support a man who is alleged to have slept with numerous women while married, whose "locker-room" language was outright filthy, and who, overall, speaks as if he never made it out of middle school? Trump is an embarrassment; America, sadly, has become the laughingstock of the world. I look forward to his retirement — the sooner the better.
Ronald Medvin, Tampa
2018 primary election
A different election idea
During election season, instead of candidates wasting time and money on television ads and mail fliers, why not just submit a list of candidates to the NRA and Big Sugar, since they run Tallahassee anyway?
Harry White, Spring Hill
Our political spectrum suffersa drought of purple | July 29, column
Vote for the adults
Hugh Hewitt claims that between red and blue politics there is a "drought" of purple. That seems true of politicians motivating their devotees and pundits entertaining their fans: Red vs. blue is what sells.
But there may be a lot more purple among the voters. Pew reports that when they surveyed voters last year, 26 percent identified themselves as Republican, 33 percent as Democratic, and 37 percent as independent (leaving a few percent among other parties). As for Florida, according to the Florida Division of Elections, 35 percent of registered Florida voters are Republican, 37 percent are Democratic, and 27 percent are independent (less than 1 percent being members of other parties).
Perhaps some independent voters are purple, but others may be disengaged and/or disgusted with politicians and pundits (and, ahem, some fellow voters) acting like squabbling toddlers. But the only thing we voters can do about this is to be registered to vote as a party member (either one) in the primary election, and then in that election, vote for the grown-ups.
Gregory McColm, Temple Terrace
Still time to be a voter | July 28
Why are primaries closed?
I have never read in our Constitution that any voter needs to belong to a particular political party in order to vote.
If the two major parties want closed primaries, then they should fund the primary themselves. If public tax dollars are spent for primaries, then everyone should get to vote.
How would it be better for me to register as a Republican only for the primary, vote in the primary, then switch back to being independent? How silly. If each party doesn’t learn to act maturely and civilly, more voters will become independent.
Another thing, "none of the above" should be offered in the general election. The highest vote getter wins but it sends a message that many people care about voting, do vote and are still disgusted with the lack of quality candidates.
Thomas Moschner, Port Richey
Florida lawmakers blast Trump for not calling out Putin | July 16
Stick up for journalists
Few Americans expected to witness a president of the United States attacking journalists routinely. Therefore, in the same way we stand behind our military and first responders, we must now support all the professional print and media journalists in our community with our voice, our vote, and/or our financial support. Years ago, I witnessed the birth of the University of South Florida St. Petersburg Department of Journalism and Media Studies. Under the stellar leadership of Michael Killenberg and Robert Dardenne, a program was created that graduates first-rate journalists who, now more than ever, need our support. All Americans have an obligation to protect our First Amendment.
Deanna Bishop, St. Petersburg
Mass transit solution
Let seniors ride free
To alleviate city parking for residents and tourists, why not allow seniors to ride public transportation free during the daytime? It would be a help for those with limited income who want to just be out and about for a while.
Sandra Groover, St. Petersburg