"A ribbon of silver" | Nov. 20
Rail as a way to unclog roads
The picture of the first Gandy Bridge in Friday's paper clearly shows the trolley tracks that were in the center of the bridge. The Fuller and Gandy families formed the Tampa & St. Petersburg Railway Co. in 1916 to run trolleys out Fourth Street and across a new bridge to Tampa. They included two paved automobile lanes as a source of additional profit.
Wartime shortages of material delayed construction until 1924, but by that time, motorcars had become the vehicle of choice and electric trolleys were no longer considered. Few remember that the first bridge across the bay was designed as a trolley bridge.
Light rail along that same route, stopping at the Amtrak station and Tampa airport, might someday be a very convenient alternative to our crowded highways.
Robert A. Stanton, Seminole
Visit to the Pier
Loud music ruins peaceful evening
I recently visited St. Petersburg for the first time in several years. I don't get the chance very often and I like to visit whenever I can.
One of the places I decided to see was the Pier. However, there was an event going on in a nearby park and the Pier was bombarded with loud music that ruined my visit there. This also happened one night three years ago when I was there with an old friend.
While I have nothing against concerts and events and the like, I don't think I should be forced to hear loud music when I want a peaceful, enjoyable evening at the Pier. Aside from that, I did enjoy my visit, although I was disappointed that the two fun centers at the beach were now closed.
Robert Woody, Jacksonville
No quick fix for BayWalk Nov. 13
City officials don't heed their own talk
In St. Petersburg Mayor-elect Bill Foster's remarks on the BayWalk plan, the Pier, downtown, etc., he stressed that "the city is going to have to market the heck out of it" to remind people to go downtown.
Well, my question to Foster is this: Why were he and the mayor and all their cronies celebrating their election win at Ferg's Bar across from the police station? Why weren't they celebrating down at one of the bars at the Pier? Also, if he wants to get the people downtown, eliminate the parking meters. Who wants to be bothered when they go downtown to shop or eat dinner? There are plenty of other places to go without the hassle.
Anyway, I just thought the cavorting at Ferg's was a slap in the face to the downtown establishments and the people of St. Petersburg.
Patricia Persbacker, St. Petersburg
PSTA rewards lawyer, not workers
The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority board of directors has, once again, shown no appreciation or respect to the drivers and mechanics of PSTA, by not offering any pay raise through its continuous unnecessary pattern of dragging out contract negotiations, throughout the years.
PSTA drivers and mechanics do a magnificent job keeping the fleet maintained, and the drivers continue to work primitive continuously shrinking schedules that do not allow proper running, recovery or break time, placing additional unnecessary stress on an already highly stressful occupation.
PSTA has reaped many awards due to the quality performance and millions of miles of safe driving by its operators. We have also given sacrifices to this company through wage freezes and a peanut shell increase last year! However, the PSTA board of directors is choosing not to reward us. Instead it used taxpayer funds to increase the company lawyer's wages by $20 an hour. To the best of my knowledge, none of us have ever seen him driving a bus on Pinellas County roads or in the garage replacing a diesel engine. It's time for the PSTA board of directors to view their workers as an asset instead of a liability and reward them properly.
Danny Di Nicolantonio, St. Petersburg
City Hall brawl ends in a draw Nov. 11
Doing nothing is not the best policy
Assistant State Attorney Richard Ripplinger says, "We have better things to do than prosecute a couple of old men who got angry in the heat of the moment."
You've got to be kidding me! Does being "old men" have anything to do with it? Is he saying because they're "old men," that it's okay?
I was told by a police officer that even if you so much as spit at someone, that's assault. They teach my 6-year-old son in school that words are one thing but put your hand on someone else and you have crossed the line. Why don't we let the schoolchildren decide these men's fate the same way their school principal would deal with them?
So it just goes to show you, it's all "who you know."
S.S. Lykes, Dunedin
Pet population is SPOT's cause Nov. 18, story
Help SPOT stop pet overpopulation
I am grateful for your Neighborhood Times article highlighting SPOT (Stop Pet Overpopulation Together) and the Times' continued coverage of our unwanted animals.
There are so many dedicated animal lovers in Pinellas County, I truly believe that we have the capacity, goodwill and resources to ultimately stop killing our cats and dogs. SPOT offers the lowest cost spay/neuter service available for people receiving no public assistance, averaging 6,000 sterilizations annually.
This wonderful work is the creation of SPOT's founder, who has never collected a salary and could use a reliable and consistent fund base to continue a dream of no unwanted animals. Please help this dedicated organization where the welfare of animals is foremost.
Alana Boyce, Indian Shores