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North Pinellas letters, Feb. 3

Get creative to fill the Trop's seats

The controversy about the Rays and Tropicana Field has been going on for far too long with no solutions from anyone. The Rays know how to lead and play baseball, but all those around them seem to have forgotten what it takes for all of us in the Tampa Bay area to win.

There's nothing wrong with Tropicana Field or its location. If moved, the same problems will move with it to a new location. All involved in making the Rays and the Tampa Bay area a success need to put their heads together and figure out how to fill seats at Tropicana Field.

A few suggestions come to mind.

How about a game ticket combined with a rapid-transit shuttle bus from Park and Ride locations in both counties? How about buy a Rays ticket and get a free hot dog, or soda, or beer? How about contests for fans who attend games? How about buy three tickets, get one free? How about Rays ticket giveaways on the radio, TV, or social media? How about live music before or after a game once in a while?

The list is as long as the imagination. If fans are given incentives to attend games, they will attend in larger numbers. All parties just need to be creative in how to fill seats and everyone wins.

It's time to stop the rhetoric and work together to make a success in Tampa Bay with the Rays a reality.

Ken Gagliano, Clearwater

Re: Marina full of boats, but doubts persist | story, Jan. 27

Taxpayers have been misled

The reason that doubts persist about the Clearwater Marina is because the voters were misled by their incompetent government about the financial costs of the project.

The city proposed to build the marina for $10 million and the voters approved financing the construction with the understanding that the revenues would pay off the debt, which has proven to be totally false.

Because of incompetence, the cost of the marina escalated to $12.8 million, plus the cost of borrowing.

Not only did it cost more than advertised, but they are having trouble with wear and tear on the pilings because of wave action. Now they want a no-wake zone on both sides of the Memorial Causeway bridge. What did they think would happen when you build a marina in the open water? The answer is, you get waves!

One would wonder how the city could come up with more than $10 million to pay off the debt when they have very difficult budget problems and extensive layoffs of personnel.

Even more disturbing is the statement by the city finance director that it's making a profit. The fact is, the taxpayers were misled and have "given" the boaters a marina when the taxpayers were told the boaters would pay for it. In order to make it appear it makes a profit, they are even excluding the depreciation costs.

In the real world (excluding government), some people would lose their job for misleading the stockholders (the taxpayers ) about the construction of a $12.8 million boondoggle.

Any thinking Clearwater taxpayer should have "doubts" about their government and understand why Clearwater has the second highest property tax rate in the county.

Jim Harpham, Palm Harbor

Re: An island's past story, Jan. 20

Old photo reveals health trends

Staff writer Piper Castillo's story about Indian Bluff Island in Palm Harbor was incredibly fascinating. Most all of us are usually eager to learn the history of our surroundings.

What I also found interesting, though, was the photograph of the students at Wall Springs school.

All of the children are quite slender. Let us not forget that there were no computers, video games, TV or fast food back in the day. "Couch potatoes" didn't exist and folks ate wholesome foods and even grew their own vegetables. Kids entertained themselves by playing outside and no doubt exerted a lot of energy while burning off calories.

Since the school was on the mainland, Evelyn and Joanna Buchanan Sutton, who lived on the island, rowed a boat to get to school.

JoAnn Lee Frank, Clearwater

Re: Clearwater considers letting nonprofit dental clinic use city building

Responsibility of government

If government takes from some persons what belongs to them and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong, is it a just law?

When the county ended fluoride in the drinking water and some in government wanted to take more than $250,000 in taxes to buy a van, stock it with dental equipment and staff it to provide dental services to the poor among us, was that a just law?

Is the city of Clearwater just in financing a free clinic for the poor amongst us at the expense of all taxpaying persons?

Charity is the responsibility of the parents, churches, willing dentists and charities, but is it the responsibility of the city government?

Attilio Corbo, Palm Harbor

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You may submit a letter to the editor for possible publication through our website at, or by faxing it to (727) 445-4119, or by mailing it to Letters, 710 Court St., Clearwater, FL 33756. You must include your name, address and phone number. Letters may be edited for clarity, taste and length.

North Pinellas letters, Feb. 3 02/02/13 [Last modified: Saturday, February 2, 2013 2:33pm]
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