Monday, March 19, 2018
Letters To The Editor

South Pinellas letters: New waterfront stadium for Rowdies is a no-go

Edwards kicks around his next ideas | story, July 2

Don't cram cars onto waterfront

Did I read that right that Bill Edwards, owner of the Tampa Bay Rowdies, is aggressively making a push to build a new stadium on the waterfront? Really? Is he really going to put this community through another battle? Doesn't he understand that, even though he has had some notable accomplishments in St. Pete, the waterfront is not the place to cram countless cars and loud, screaming fans in an otherwise pastoral location?

Why can't Mr. Edwards be a team player in St. Pete and embrace the changes that Mayor Rick Kriseman and the city have promised to upgrade Al Lang Stadium? Have the Rowdies ruled out taking over the Tropicana Field site since the Tampa Bay Rays are probably going to move?

It seems that the $250,000 that the city has devoted to Al Lang is more than enough, considering that Mr. Edwards stated that $130,000 was needed for upgrades.

Considering that we have been fighting over the pier for the last few years, due to the last administration pushing their ideas down our throats and disregarding the locals, is Mr. Edwards really going to put us through another contentious fight that could take years?

Ivylyn Harrell, St. Petersburg

Aim toward more realistic goal

Bill Edwards is an big-idea entrepreneur. We need that in St. Pete. I love what he's doing with Sundial, and the Mahaffey Theatre is jamming. But we've already had the Tampa Bay Rays take a run at a waterfront stadium at Al Lang and it was soundly defeated.

I attended the Waterfront Planning Commission public input meeting at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with about 300 other locals in 2013, and the overwhelming consensus from surveys done at each table was that Al Lang and its parking lots should be turned into active park space — i.e., tennis, volleyball, exercise circuit, etc. The runnerup opinion, and well in the minority, was to leave it intact as is. No one, to my knowledge, endorsed a new stadium. It's a nonstarter.

I think Mr. Edwards is tilting at windmills at this point. I'm a Rowdies fan, but his interest in an enlarged waterfront stadium for them sounds like Don Quixote on an ego trip.

There's tremendous residential development going in on the south side of St. Pete. The area is well underserved with access to park space in comparison to the north side. I wish he'd put his energy into a realistic goal of a new stadium in a more appropriate place, where I'll happily go and cheer the Rowdies on!

Brian McNeela, St. Petersburg

Grateful for what St. Pete offers

My partner and I live in Tampa, but we carefully spend most of our entertainment budget in St. Petersburg. A trip across a bridge is a small price to pay for the wonderful range of restaurants, galleries, studios, theaters, opera and welcoming ambiance of the Sunshine City. We feel that our expenditures are reinvested by locals who are not content to rest on their laurels, making life even better for both visitors and permanent residents.

On a recent Friday night, we were overwhelmed with the world-class production of West Side Story by the St. Petersburg Opera. The production was propelled by a 20-piece orchestra which would have pleased even the demanding Leonard Bernstein. The professional level of acting, dance and singing raised the excitement of the evening to an emotional and memorable experience. The casting for this show even included a super performance by an honest-to-goodness Broadway star who most recently played Spider-Man on Broadway. This opera company somehow manages to step up its level of performance with each production.

On Saturday night, we lined up with the huge crowd of people for Pride festivities along Central Avenue and marveled at the variety everywhere we looked. In the parade, floats and cars held representatives from government, bars, social services and many churches, with precision marching groups on foot and even some huge machines taking over the role of the men who used to walk behind the horses with brooms and buckets.

The audience was just as diverse as the parade. We stood next to some apparently straight families with kids whose primary interest seemed to be catching beads or glow sticks. Nobody seemed to be in the least shocked by fabulously outrageous drag or an infrequent view of considerable skin. Although Pride is owned and driven by the LGBTQ community, it's rapidly becoming something resembling a citywide celebration of the diversity and generosity of this gracious and cosmopolitan community.

On Saturday, July 12, we'll be in town for the monthly Arts Walk during the full moon. In the meantime, we can choose between the Museum of Fine Arts, American Stage or Freefall Theater and have meals ranging from Chattaway's to the spiffy Beach Drive venues. And all of this is in the off-season.

We're grateful to the artists and merchants and city leaders of St. Pete who provide those amenities that make the Tampa Bay area an enviable place to live.

Jim Patrick, Tampa

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Pasco Letters to the Editor for March 23

Re: Residents object to solar farm | March 16, storyLakeland Electric has shown that residential customers can be incentivized to allow placement of utility-owned solar panels on their roofs. Likewise, business owners can be incentivized to allow...
Updated: 10 hours ago

Tuesday’s letters: It shouldn’t be this hard to fly

Tampa International AirportIt shouldn’t be this hard to flyI’ve given the train two tries now from economy parking at Tampa airport. It’s a lot of work. How silly to go down one bank of elevators, then take a good walk to the next set of elevators to...
Updated: 11 hours ago

Monday’s letters: Protect Floridians’ right to privacy

People push for changes at Constitution hearing | March 14Protect Florida’s right to privacyI attended the Constitution Revision Commission’s public hearing at USF St. Petersburg last week. I was there because I thought it was important to have m...
Published: 03/18/18

Sunday’s letters: Effort to stem pet cruelty pays off

Puppy millsEffort to stem cruelty pays offThank you to everyone who contacted their legislators, and a huge shout-out to the Tampa Bay Times for letting us know that state legislators were considering a bill to eliminate the hard-achieved gains on lo...
Published: 03/17/18

Saturday’s letters: Insurer focused on repairs, not fees

Citizens hit with $12.7M verdict | March 15Insurer’s focus: repairs, not feesCitizens Property Insurance Corp. has spent the past several years making sure that insurance proceeds for sinkhole repairs are used to restore a home and make it whole....
Published: 03/16/18

Friday’s letters: Put young people to work rebuilding infrastructure

Smart way to pay for infrastructure | March 13, commentaryMake rebuilding a youth project Raising gas taxes to pay for infrastructure may not be the best way to go. I suggest we re-invent the old WPA (Works Progress Administration) and draft high...
Published: 03/13/18
Updated: 03/15/18

Thursday’s letters: An alternative for giving: Breadcoin

Panhandling paradox | March 11Innovation in giving: BreadcoinPanhandling is destructive to the donor, panhandler and our community — a guilt trip that erodes personal dignity, respect and self-worth, making the recipient more beholden and entitle...
Published: 03/13/18
Updated: 03/14/18
Wednesday’s letters: Daylight bill is bad for business

Wednesday’s letters: Daylight bill is bad for business

Daylight saving timeDaylight bill is bad for businessI encourage Gov. Rick Scott to veto the daylight saving time extension bill. It makes no sense. It puts Florida out of sync with the rest of the country. Commerce will be affected. The entire Easte...
Published: 03/13/18

Pasco Letter to the Editor for March 16

Re: Pasco to test roadside recycling | March 9 column Pasco County (and its residents) have financial incentives to recycle, but the participation rate is low. Clearly, Pasco County either needs to make recycling mandatory — by making residents r...
Published: 03/13/18
Tuesday’s letters: Billionaire’s personal agenda

Tuesday’s letters: Billionaire’s personal agenda

Billionaire targeting young voters | March 7Using youths in personal agendaIs anyone surprised that Tom Steyer is using his extreme wealth to support his personal agenda and the liberal agenda of the Democratic Party? His real motive, hidden in h...
Published: 03/12/18
Updated: 03/13/18