Teamwork needed on Rays' options | July 29, editorial
Reason for a new stadium still not clear
In the thousands and thousands of words the Times has published in the last year or so, where have we read why a new stadium is needed? I take it from your editorial staff's rhetoric that the Rays' wanting a new stadium is reason enough. They want it on the waterfront no less!
Is the city of St. Petersburg supposed to provide hand-out after hand-out to the Rays to keep baseball here? Those objecting to a waterfront stadium may or may not be baseball fans. I think many in this city will promise to do all they can to prevent a second effort by the Rays to take over downtown from coming to fruition.
There is just nothing sensible about destroying Tropicana Field, an air-conditioned, rain-protected venue.
Gloria Mastell, St. Petersburg
Try a community team
I am optimistic that Progress Energy chief executive Jeff Lyash will see the value in appointing board members to the ABC Coalition who are reflective of the entire community. It is vital to the mission of this coalition for the citizens to feel that their interests are well represented and that the proceedings are conducted in a transparent fashion in order for the community to have a buy-in to whatever the ultimate recommendations of the coalition may be.
I further believe that the goals of the ABC Coalition can be achieved while taking into consideration St. Petersburg's long history of waterfront preservation as well as the community's need for fiscal responsibility if it is determined that the use of public funds is appropriate.
I am hopeful that the ABC Coalition will seize this opportunity to involve the citizens in ensuring that the Rays can build upon their on-field success, to become a long term and valuable member of this community.
Niel U. Allen, POWW (Preserve Our Wallets and Waterfront) Steering Committee, St. Petersburg
No easy wins for stadium panel | July 27, story
Stadium not best use
for our tax dollars
The second-to-last paragraph in this story struck a nerve: "… public tax dollars likely will be involved."
During these difficult times with ever-rising inflation, insurance and still too-high taxes, it is incomprehensible to me that the new stadium promoters would have the temerity to continue to forge ahead with this grandiose stadium project.
I have never heard of any promoters of this stadium movement suggest that the players — most of whom earn millions — fill in for the taxpaying citizens. These athletes need a grandiose stage for their performances? Fine. Let them and their management, who also rake in millions, pay for it. Taxpayers need more relief, not more tax burden.
I have been in the bay area for 30 years. I have had many friends from around the country visit me over the years, and not one has ever asked me where and when they can go to the ballpark. Not once! What my visitors always do ask is: How far is the beach?
The $100-million that has been suggested might be the county's cost for a new stadium is the last straw for me. It would be far better to spend just one-tenth of that amount to clean our beaches of trash once a week and install refrigerated drinking fountains in the beach restrooms. Do that and I guarantee you that far greater numbers of tourists will flock to our beaches than would ever want to go to a ball game. Our neglected beaches are by far our greatest asset and tourist attraction.
Edward M. Blau, St. Petersburg
These are hard times
Who has given a valid reason for building a new stadium for the Rays — other than the owners finding Tropicana Field inadequate for whatever reason; other than "Gee whiz, wouldn't it be nice to have a new stadium"? We already have a stadium.
As far as I am concerned the Rays should pay for the complete costs of a new venue if they do indeed want one. I am opposed to using our taxpayer money for private enterprises such as this and especially more so in these tough economic times.
Our country is deep in debt and in a seemingly endless war in the Middle East. Local, county and state budgets have been cut. Foreclosures are at an all-time high. We have job losses and the mortgage debacle. We have high school students failing to graduate, and if they do graduate they are unable to find employment.
Someone please tell me what a new stadium is going to do for me and the other citizens of Pinellas County besides raise our taxes.
Robert Schenkel, Seminole
Luxury hotel in the Green Zone
I was surprised at the lack of reader response concerning your article about the new 300-room luxury hotel being planned for the famous Green Zone in Iraq. The place will cost $100-million (per your info), but who is going to avail themselves of these luxurious accommodations and how?
With the lack of electricity and clean running water for the average Iraqi, it seems a little pompous of whoever is building this monstrosity. I think their main concern would be to assist in obtaining the essentials of living for the many families who are without before venturing on such a project.
Who is behind this anyway and how much of our tax money is going into this investment? Your article stated that the hotel was being built by both American and Iraqi investors.
Ellen Bemes, Palm Harbor
In Iraq, journalists, U.S. forces at odds | July 26, story
Regarding the journalist who claims the military is controlling graphic images of the war: If you are a parent, can you imagine going on the Internet and viewing photos of your son or daughter lying dead? Is there no respect for the dead?
Our troops are there defending our freedom and have to worry that a photographer, whom the Marines are protecting, is going to paste pictures of them everywhere?
Many military personnel do not want to be there, but we need to support them and bring them home with honor. What Marine or soldier would want an embedded journalist with his/her troop, knowing there are not rules limiting these photos? Or perhaps as you lie there taking your last breath, a photo journalist is in your face. It could be your daughter or your son. Maybe someone will send it to you by e-mail before someone knocks at your door.
The person who posted the pictures needs to get a life, one where he can hold his head up high and be proud of what he does.
C. Miller, Pinellas Park
Art gallery owner says he's being railroaded July 29, story
Art under assault
Shame on the city of St. Petersburg. The 2501 Gallery should be left alone. This man owns an art gallery. I have seen nakedness at the Mahaffey Theater (in the name of art), and I have seen nakedness at the American Stage theater (in the name of art).
And both of those venues served and sold alcohol during their artistic events.
Gail Randle, Clearwater