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Monday letters: St. Petersburg's Pier deserves to be preserved

Council favors new Pier | Aug. 19, story

Pier deserves to be preserved

I think it is tragic that the St. Petersburg City Council allowed Mayor Bill Foster to bully them into voting to demolish an iconic city landmark. What would St. Petersburg be like today if officials had decided to demolish the Vinoy or the Don CeSar when they were in decline?

The Pier is a terrific example of 20th century postmodern architecture and should be preserved. Mayor Foster is wrong when he says the Pier should come closer to shore. Part of the beauty of visiting the Pier is the long promenade out into the bay. One almost feels as if they have set sail once they arrive at the end of the Pier with those beautiful views of downtown, Snell Isle and the Tampa skyline.

Mayor Foster is naive to think that shortening the Pier by 400 feet is going to encourage more people to take that walk. What the Pier needs is family fun to draw local residents: a Ferris wheel, bumper cars and perhaps a Chuck E. Cheese's.

And the vendors quoted are correct. All this talk of the Pier being obsolete, underutilized, and ignored by locals does more harm than good. Let's promote a wonderful downtown asset. Thank you to council members Bill Dudley, Jim Kennedy and Wengay Newton for voting to preserve St. Petersburg's history and legacy.

Dennis Shelt, St. Petersburg

Build a better one

This Pier definitely needs to go. It has been 10 years since I came to Florida and first settled in beautiful Pinellas County, where I have biked the Pinellas Trail, and enjoyed what I believe are this state's most beautiful beaches.

In all that time we have visited the Pier just once, and I did not expect the reaction I had. First, I found it to be one of the prettiest spots, right on the water, with a lovely park setting; second, to my dismay, it had one of the ugliest, most unfriendly (and not terribly functional) structures I have ever seen; and third, no one under 50 was in sight, but plenty of homeless folks laying about.

It sounds like the St. Petersburg City Council has begun a process which is long overdue, understanding that they must be forward- thinking, and give people a reason to experience this beautiful site. Tourists and locals alike will surely come — if you build it.

Patricia DAmbrosio, Seffner

Council favors new Pier | Aug. 19, story

Better uses for the money

There was absolutely nothing wrong with the structure on the Pier back around 1960. I have fond memories of the Captain Mack show produced at the Pier. Although the current structure is, in my opinion, a monstrosity, it is serving current purposes.

Spending $50 million for yet another structure in today's economy is irresponsible. Would the money be better spent on our teachers and for school resources? For our kids? How far would $50 million go in assisting our homeless and the needy souls of our city? $50 million is a lot of money to spend on yet another facility that few can afford to visit.

A citywide contest would generate ideas for the perfect purpose for this piece of real estate. We are talking about $50 million! Let's be practical.

Judy Lavaron, St. Petersburg

Council favors new Pier | Aug. 19, story

Learn to make do

I was amazed at the decision of St. Petersburg's mayor and City Council to demolish the Pier and start over, especially since we are supposed to be in a recession at this time.

Let's see, we have people without jobs, who have lost homes and have to depend on welfare for support. Many have to resort to food banks to feed their families, but the city of St. Petersburg has funds to build a brand new pier. Unemployment is at its highest rate in years, but a new pier is a necessity.

Yes, it will create a few jobs, but not enough to make a difference in the economy. The people do not know the difference between needs and wants. A new pier is a want. Whatever happened to "make over, make do, or do without?" Maybe, "money grows on trees in St. Pete."

Fran Glaros-Sharp, Clearwater

Council favors new Pier | Aug. 19, story

First have a plan

Does St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster honestly believe that he would have been elected if the people of our city had been aware that one of his first mayoral decisions was to support demolishing the Pier?.

I say that this decision is far too premature without a game plan that gives the city a bigger and better waterfront facility that could contain a casino and berth a large cruise liner.

Only after this new facility is totally agreed upon should our city leaders vote on destroying what now exists. Of course this is the way things are done in the real world, and certainly not in our City Hall.

Guy U. Nash, St. Petersburg

Fed up with voting | Aug. 19, letter

Accept the responsibility

It is unfortunate but typical for people like this letter writer, who says "I … have mine — health insurance, retirement benefits, etc.," to not care anymore.

He is apparently willing to throw his hands in the air and walk away from any involvement in the democratic process that provided the good fortune of his retirement.

By all means, burn your election ballot. It's simply easier than making informed choices. Too many people in our society are unwilling to take responsibility. You are giving yours to someone else.

An inherent responsibility to citizenship in any democracy should be to voice your personal opinion at election time. Please don't take this misguided dropout's lead. Use your ballot and vote.

Dave Loeffert, Dunedin

Weep for our country | Aug. 19, letter

Are we catching on?

The number of people who are absolutely fed up with the current state of politics in our representative democracy, as reflected by the letters you publish, the polls you cite, and rebel groups such as the tea party, gives me hope that maybe, at long last, the U.S. citizenry has finally caught on to what the agenda of the Greedy Old Pooh-bahs is really all about: decimation of the middle class at any cost!

When I was stationed in Britain (1957 to 1960 and 1965 to 1967) I recall their political campaigns: limited to four weeks, no electronic ads, financed out of the public purse, and focused on issues not personalities.

Forty years hence I do not know how they do it in Britain, but I suspect it's nothing like the uncivil negative attacks we endure here.

I yearn for civility and issue-oriented politicians who will lead the United States out of the morass created by the Greedy Old Pooh-bahs.

As the letter writer opined: "Instead I suggest finding a quiet spot to remember what our country used to represent, and weep for our future." Hear, hear!

Mike MacDonald, Clearwater

Nuisance campaigning

Drowning in excess

I would like to know why a candidate feels it is necessary to call me daily via robocall, generally not even 24 hours between robocalls. His own mother recorded one of the robocalls, all asking for my vote. And to top it all off, he sends a piece of campaign literature daily to my home.

I am absolutely dumbfounded by this campaign strategy. This isn't "saturation" in advertising, it's more like a "drowning." Please, candidate (and you know who you are), this is totally excessive and truly nuisance campaigning.

I appreciate the importance of the primary election on Tuesday, but I already voted by mail and this makes your calls that much more irritating.

Angie Angel, Valrico

Dr. Laura, heal thy self-delusion | Aug. 19

A deserved lashing

Kudos to media critic Eric Deggans for his comments on Dr. Laura Schlessinger. For far too long she has spewed hate, venom and prejudice toward any group she does not identify with or approve of. Her disgraceful attack on a recent caller was uncalled for, not to mention her use of racial epithets.

In the past she has insulted gays as a mistake of nature. It pains me that there are so many like her in positions of influence. I am pleased that she has been finally taken to task. What chutzpah for her to play the victim card.

Kevin O'Brien, Dade City

Monday letters: St. Petersburg's Pier deserves to be preserved 08/22/10 [Last modified: Sunday, August 22, 2010 6:34pm]
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