Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Saturday's letters: Sell Poe garage to tower developer

Straz Center trustees favor Riverwalk tower in survey | July 19

Sell Poe garage to tower developer

To solve the problem of a tight footprint, aerial dominance and loss of riverfront open space, the city should sell the William F. Poe parking garage to the developer. The 36-floor tower could then be sited on Ashley Drive, where it would fit the fabric of the cityscape much better. A bigger and better parking garage could be built on the east side of the Straz Center, with provision for a future twin tower.

The Straz Center, the new tower, the John F. Germany Library and the Tampa Museum of Art would be connected with new pedestrian bridges, equipped with new people-movers, escalators and elevators to facilitate easy movement. For all future developments, the city would require pedestrian bridges to be tied into this system, eventually connecting all of downtown.

Armand P. Brunet, Tampa

Across bay, officials ready to talk baseball July 25

St. Pete waterfront beckons

As a Pinellas County resident and Tampa Bay Rays season ticket holder, I have sympathy for both sides of the new stadium issue. You have a fantastic team that plays each season before a dismally small crowd. On the other hand, you have the city of St. Petersburg trying to enforce a contractual obligation because it is in the best interest of its residents. Can't we find some common ground somewhere? I strongly disagree with a panel's finding that moving the team to Hillsborough County will solve this problem. If that is true, why are the Tampa's football and hockey teams struggling to fill seats? If Tampa is such a great supporter of sports teams, then someone needs to explain to me why the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, with only eight home games, played to a half-empty stadium last season.

If the Rays move to Tampa, the fans they will gain by being on that side of the bridge will be negated by fans who stop going on this side of the bridge. If improving attendance is the goal, the Rays should move to the downtown waterfront of St. Petersburg, which is teeming with restaurants, museums and nightlife. If the new stadium is in a location that is pedestrian friendly, it should have no problem being in the middle range of attendance compared with other cities of our size. People in this area enjoy going downtown to have fun. By putting the Rays in the center of the action, they will ensure more attendance.

Dr. Marc J. Rogers, Largo

Hagan keeps eyes on Rays | July 19

To poach is not to lead

Message to Hillsborough County Commissioners Ken Hagan and Mark Sharpe: For Tampa to become a really great city, it needs leaders with intelligence, vision, integrity and the diplomatic skills to play well in the Tampa Bay sandbox. Baseball is already here, brought to Tampa Bay by the courageous people of St. Petersburg.

Fortune 1000 corporate headquarters? See Jabil Circuit and Tech Data. Culture? St. Petersburg will be happy to help Tampa. Talking about poaching neighbors' amenities, teams and companies isn't leadership. We already have what it takes to be great, except for regional transportation. Let's start talking together to make your fantasy an achievable goal. St. Pete leaders are ready. Are you?

Scott Wagman, St. Petersburg

Sheriff launches review of jail after inmate killing | July 25

Individual cells are best

I must be missing something. The Tampa Bay Times keeps discussing how Kelly Harding, charged with a misdemeanor, was incorrectly placed in a cell with Scott Greenberg, charged with a felony.

Do you think something similar would have happened that night if another inmate charged with a felony had been placed in the cell with Greenberg?

Perhaps a better solution would be to house murder suspects, sex offenders and other violent criminals in individual cells.

Judith Manowitz, Tampa

Homeless funding too fickle | June 24

HEP is doing great things

Kudos to Sen. Jack Latvala for his efforts to identify funding for homeless needs throughout Pinellas County. This commitment is particularly notable in light of the severity of the problem and the impact it has on men, women and children as well as its reflection on our communities. As reported by the Tampa Bay Times, the need for funding services for the homeless spreads across counties throughout the state, and for the most part services are scarce and greatly varied. Many agencies and charitable organizations work tirelessly to tackle the problem.

A shining star in the consortium of organizations serving the homeless is the Homeless Emergency Project in Clearwater. HEP, a 400-bed facility, provides a three-tier continuum-of-care model of emergency shelter, transitional housing and permanent supportive housing. It is the only homeless facility in Pinellas that also serves children and families. The newest addition to HEP's campus includes a dedicated housing complex for veterans returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The numbers and operating statistics are outstanding: 1,700 clients served in the past year, more than 100,000 meals served, $500,000 of volunteer dental clinic procedures provided, and 87 percent of clients successfully transitioned out of homelessness. As a nonprofit organization, HEP has earned a Charity Navigator 4-star rating for its quality outcomes, organizational transparency and the fact that 88 percent of its fundraising goes directly to programs and services supporting the homeless.

David W. Dunbar, HEP board member, Palm Harbor

What is America? | July 21, column

White male perspective

I'm not sure what a scholar does at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, but Aaron David Miller's view of American history is somewhat skewed. This sentence shows a certain ignorance or naivete: "Freed from the religious and ethnic conflicts of the Old World, America emerged as a world power relatively free of the heavy burdens of ideology." That is certainly true if you weren't an American Indian or African-American. I suppose he gives himself some leeway with the convenient use of "relatively," but his next sentence belies even a hint of contrition: "In the New World, Americans created a creed based on the centrality of the individual and protection of rights and liberties." Once again that's all well and good if you were a white male landowner. Otherwise it's absurd.

James Suvoy, Indian Rocks Beach


Tuesday’s letters: If you don’t like the Electoral College, then amend the Constitution

The popular vote | May 20, letterIf you don’t like it, amend ConstitutionA recent letter supports the idea that a state should be able to change its Electoral College vote to match that of the national popular vote winner as opposed to the result...
Updated: 11 hours ago

Pasco Letters to the Editor for May 25

Re: Proposed TECO Solar Plant As a 21-year resident and property owner, I am writing in opposition to the proposed Tampa Electric Company solar plant tin rural northeast Pasco County.The solar plant will be .2 miles from my home. It will run 1.4 mile...
Updated: 11 hours ago

Monday’s letters: Focusing on the mental state of shooters misses the point

Texas high school shooting | May 18Criminals, angry people kill peopleSchool shootings are a distinctly American phenomenon. But shootings by people with serious mental illness represent less than 1 percent of all yearly gun-related homicides in ...
Published: 05/19/18
Updated: 05/21/18

Friday’s letters: Putnam and Publix, two P’s lose my nod

Publix pours cash to Putnam | May 17A pleasure to shop elsewhereMy family and I moved to Tampa in 1974, and have made Publix our favorite grocery store ever since. Forty-four years! That is why it makes me a little sad to have to say goodbye.Firs...
Published: 05/18/18

Saturday’s letters: For Florida to move forward, focus on a healthy and sustainable environment

Tampa’s future is bright | May 12Protect Florida, boost economyThis past year, Florida set another record-breaking year for tourism, welcoming more than 116 million visitors. While Florida boasts a unique quality of life and more than 1,300 miles...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/18/18

Sunday’s letters: What conservatives stand for

How can conservatism survive after Trump | May 13, Nickens columnhed#6324 I think it obvious that traditional conservatism was squeezed out of the 2016 campaign narrative and has become a niche thesis owned by a small group of intellectuals. A gr...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/18/18

Friday's letters: Putnam and Publix, two P's lose my nod

Publix pours cash to Putnam | May 17 A pleasure to shop elsewhere My family and I moved to Tampa in 1974, and have made Publix our favorite grocery store ever since. Forty-four years! That is why it makes me a little sad to have to say goodbye. F...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/18/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for May 18

Re: Pasco panel okays Tampa Electric solar farm after five-hour meeting | April 9 storySolar farm offers many positivesThere has been much publicity regarding the proposed TECO Mountain View solar project slated for 350 acres in East Pasco that was r...
Published: 05/14/18

Thursday’s letters: Florida has arguably become the autonomous vehicle capital of North America

Autonomous vehicles in FloridaThe state for self-driving carsAlmost overnight, Florida has arguably become the autonomous vehicle capital of North America. In the last three months, Voyage, a self-driving taxi service, has begun service in the Villag...
Published: 05/12/18
Updated: 05/17/18

Wednesday’s letters: Florida’s Community Health Centers save $1.78 for every dollar spent

Florida’s Community Health CentersHealth centers are a great dealIf you gave someone a dollar and they gave you back $1.78, wouldn’t you consider that a fantastic deal? That’s the deal Florida’s Community Health Centers provide for the state’s citize...
Published: 05/12/18
Updated: 05/16/18