How to mess up next time, too | July 1, Howard Troxler column
Gateway stadium would be good for all
Now that the Rays have wisely withdrawn their waterfront stadium proposal, they can relax and thoroughly formulate a proposal that would benefit not only their franchise but also the surrounding communities.
One suggestion would be to explore building a domed stadium on the vacant land along the interstate between St. Petersburg and Tampa en route to the Howard Frankland Bridge. There is plenty of room for the Rays to build a facility that would be the envy of professional sports.
This area is also centrally located to St. Petersburg and Tampa residents and just minutes from Tampa International Airport. Hotels and other businesses would be attracted to the area as the domed stadium can be used for other sports and major revenue-generating events. Parking and in-city traffic congestion would not be major issues.
Tropicana Field could then be redeveloped to serve St. Petersburg and surrounding communities with careful, voter-backed planning, as well as Al Lang Field. A win-win situation for everyone!
Jack Burlakos, Kenneth City
Be frank on finances
Howard Troxler got it! Let the taxpayers hope their leaders do, too. Maybe this time around, the Times will inform these taxpayers what it will cost them to build a new stadium.
If more of the owners of professional sports and their players were more "down to earth" on salaries and could assure the taxpayers that the only cost for them would be the price of admission to see their teams play, they would receive greater support.
Forget about sportswriters advocating any new stadium without the vote of these taxpayers. "So what about that open-air waterfront stadium?" read the article Tuesday in the Sports section (Catwalk-aided double riles up Percival).
Maybe the Times should talk to those who enjoyed the Rays' win Monday night against the Red Sox in the Trop after they learned of the storm overhead in the "lightning capital" of this country!
Russell Lee Johnson, St. Petersburg Tampa Bay Rays need to expand support base | June 29, editorial
Let the Rays pay for a new stadium
Your editorials and "news" articles supporting the Rays' quest for a taxpayer-subsidized stadium suggest that the waterfront location is the main cause of opposition. This is misleading. There's already a stadium there. Other than condo owners and manatee lovers, many folks would support a waterfront location. It's not about the location; it's all about the money.
People and businesses are leaving this area because of high property taxes, rents and insurance. Foreclosures and bankruptcies are spiraling. Many of us view a new stadium as yet another form of corporate welfare, picking up the tab for millionaire athletes and an ownership group with an aggregate personal net worth of more than a billion dollars. The Rays' owners made their fortunes by raising and investing other people's money. Why can't they raise sufficient funds in the private sector to build a new stadium? Is it because it's a bad investment?
If the Rays are really serious about building public support, they should announce that they intend to build a new stadium entirely with private funding. The business leaders on the Chamber of Commerce and the St. Petersburg Times can show their support by pulling out their own personal and corporate checkbooks.
Marshall Reissman, St. Petersburg
St. Petersburg's waterfront
City needs a vision
The delay in the Rays' stadium proposal should generate a demand from the citizens on just what to do with the waterfront in St. Petersburg. This requires a long-range vision on behalf of St. Petersburg, something that has been conspicuously lacking and is sorely needed.
St. Petersburg should formulate a long-range plan for the next 20 years in which Al Lang Field, Albert Whitted Airport and other properties should be acquired for expanded public waterfront park purposes. Private aircraft could easily be accommodated at the St. Petersburg-Clearwater airport.
The lack of vision about the St. Petersburg waterfront and its future has placed St. Petersburg in a position of being reactive instead of proactive. The Rays' waterfront stadium proposal is a perfect example of the city being placed in a reactive position with no vision concerning the waterfront.
Richard Selleg, Palm Harbor
Medicare cuts to physicians
Pain will be widespread
If someone came up to you and said, "We are going to cut your pay by 10.6 percent," your response would probably be, "I don't think so!"
I don't understand why our government feels that reducing payments to physicians will solve Medicare's overspending problem.
Everyone talks about how this is going to impact our senior citizens. It's not just our seniors. It is everyone with health insurance! Almost all insurance contracts the physicians have are based on the Medicare allowable rate, and it is most often lower than that rate.
When you add it up, the physicians are not just getting a cut on their Medicare reimbursement, they are getting a cut pretty much across the board — a 10.6 percent cut!
Teresa Carevic, St. Petersburg
Nearly naked came the sushi | June 28, story
As a grandmother of three, two girls and one boy, all close to being teenagers, I am very upset over this article.
I know that when I went to school part of our homework was to find a news article to bring to share with the class as a whole. I realize that young people are exposed to almost everything nowadays and this might not shock them.
As a subscriber of your paper, I feel you should be able to print something much more newsworthy. How about finding some young people who have done something good for their neighbors or family and print that? I guess that wouldn't be newsworthy enough. Maybe if news like that was printed, we wouldn't have to read about all the guns, fights, etc.
Carol Morrison, Dunedin
Nearly naked came the sushi | June 28, story
A sick promotion
The sentence in this story that bothered me (and hopefully many others) the most was: "Two women dressed in skimpy schoolgirl outfits dance on either side of the model, gyrating with serpentine skill."
What's the purpose of that? Looking at the Dirty Martini Web site, I see that they also have a "Naughty Tuesday" night where women dressed in schoolgirl outfits can drink free all night.
Seems to me there are many other themes a bar can come up with that don't cater to the sick desires of pedophiles.
Scott Cannon, St. Petersburg