Re: Therapy bike taken, but not girl's spirit, story, Sept. 30, and Girl's therapy bike recovered, story Oct. 2
Overwhelming generosity is appreciated
We sometimes hear it said, "Out of bad comes good." What better example of a bad situation bringing out the good in so many people? The outpouring of generosity and concern has been overwhelming, not only to the Garner family but those of us who are part of the Morning Star School community.
It was difficult to explain to the students of Morning Star School that someone would steal Christine Garner's trike. That's because Morning Star is unique, since it educates students with special learning needs.
Christine Garner's attitude is just an example of how these very incredible minds work. There is no hate or criticism in their world. As Christine said, "It makes me feel wonderful, happy, and loved." She only sees the kindness being extended to her by so many people she has never met.
Thank you to the Pinellas Park Police Department for making the discovery at Wagon Wheel Flea Market. You have made a special child very happy.
Lastly, thank you to all who offered the funds to replace the trike as well as those who offered prayers for finding it. There is a lot to be said about strength in numbers.
Rosanne Leandri Ryan, director of Advancement & Community Relations, Morning Star School, Pinellas Park
Re: Tampa Bay Rays
Longtime supporter comes full circle
I understand Stu Sternberg's frustration with the Rays attendance. Unfortunately I don't think the latest columns in the St. Petersburg Times made the issue clear enough for most people. Pro baseball teams are a civic asset, as such the community gains national and often world attention, we rally around them, we have pride in their victories, and commiserate their defeats. But professional sports are businesses and a major flaw is that they are not required to submit annual reports that would allow communities to see that without profit, without a return on investment, something must change.
As a longtime Rays supporter and season ticket holder, I've gone full circle on the Rays. At first I blamed attendance on residents who don't see the value of a ticket, then I thought it was the stadium with its dungeon atmosphere and catwalks, then I realized how bad the economy has hit our region. But the real story is Tampa Bay is fractured by three city and two county governments and the bay. And perhaps the biggest problem is nothing has been done to bring mass transit, light rail, to Tampa Bay.
As Gary Shelton stated, Mr. Sternberg brought us a winning team, and he invested in making Tropicana more livable, and he has tried all kinds of pricing and marketing approaches to bringing fans to the game. Maybe it's Mr. Sternberg's fault for ever thinking baseball could be profitable here.
So I've begun to appreciate Mayor (Bill) Foster's hard line stance on the stadium. While he may not know it, I think he is saving the Rays from sinking good money after bad. Let St. Petersburg continue its focus on arts and parks, and let the Rays move on.
Wayne Szczepanski, St. Pete Beach
No fans? Drop prices
This is an open letter to the owners of all pro sports teams. It is tough to watch these players who each make millions of dollars per year while the economy is so bad. Want to do some good? Pay the players from TV revenue only. So what if instead of making $5 million a year they make $ 3.5 million? You see the owners complain about attendance while charging outrageous parking, food and seat prices. Want to pack your stadiums? Lower seat prices to $5 each, hot dogs, soda to $1, beer to $2 and free parking.
Adam Kolojay, St Petersburg
Shifting the blame
Stuart Sternberg, owner of the Rays, says their pitchers can hold their own with anyone and their defense will take your breath away. Hence their only need is a high priced hitter or two or three, which he can't afford due to low attendance and a bad ballpark. In the playoffs against Texas, the Rays outhit the Rangers, had more doubles, more home runs, scored more runs and had a higher team batting average. Look elsewhere to blame for your desire to leave St. Petersburg. Concerning attendance during the season, if Tampa won't support a team in St. Petersburg, as many observers have said, I'm sure we will reciprocate in kind if they move there.
Henry Lapinski, St.Petersburg
Re: Death of Professor Robert Hall
He changed lives
I remember the first time I heard The Man with the Blue Guitar recited and to this day it remains emblazoned in my memories.
Professor Hall was, as he coined, "Singing for his Supper," that night in class.
It was the beautiful words of Wallace Stevens, yes! But, moreover, it was Hall's incredible interpretation of the artist that remains one of my fondest memories.
That was many years ago, but Professor Hall will always live on in my heart and the hearts of his students whose worlds would never be the same after the experience of one or more of his classes. He changed my life and appreciation of what it means and how essential it is to be authentic. What a gift he was and the world was a better place that he lived.
Cynthia Young Lambert, Largo