St. Petersburg's proposed ban on solicitation
Without roadside efforts, fight against muscular dystrophy would suffer
On behalf of the Muscular Dystrophy Association, and the families that we serve, I am writing regarding the St. Petersburg ordinance that would ban solicitation.
The proposed ordinance would greatly affect the tremendous fundraising efforts the St. Petersburg professional firefighters do on behalf of our local MDA families. The firefighter Fill-the-Boot collection campaign to benefit MDA shows our families, year after year, the generous support not only from our firefighters, but from the community at large.
The loss of this campaign would impact funding of crucial research that is making dramatic progress in the search for treatments and cures for neuromuscular disease. The money raised supports our MDA-sponsored clinics at St. Anthony's Neurology Clinic and St. Joseph's Children's Hospital of Tampa, where families receive diagnostic and medical care for their disease at no charge. Funds also go to help provide a weeklong summer camp program held for the children of this community. Additionally, the association funds and coordinates local support groups to give families living with neuromuscular disease an opportunity to meet with one another.
Modifying the proposed ban on roadside solicitations could have a far-reaching positive impact on MDA's ability to support our families right here in our community. We hope that a compromise can be developed that will allow qualified nonprofit organizations to benefit from roadside campaigns.
Paula S. Orandash, health care service coordinator, Muscular Dystrophy Association, St. Petersburg
Aquarium intends to leave Pier
May 23, story
Aquarium at old Dalí, other ideas
The best place to relocate St. Petersburg's Pier Aquarium is to the site of the old Dalí Museum. Not only is this a waterfront location on an often overlooked beautiful part of our city, it is also adjacent to USF's Marine Science Center. Now that's synergy and a great reuse of land.
Visitors to the area could spend a whole day in downtown St. Petersburg by "making tracks" all along the waterfront. They could start by visiting and enjoying a revitalized pyramid Pier, renting a four-seater bike jalopy to get around town, stopping at the eco cove and marina proposed by Green Endeavours, visiting the Dalí Museum and other cultural attractions, wheeling up to a revitalized BayWalk and the new bird aviary that could be installed on the promenade there.
After that, they could hire the Green Taxi to whisk the family down to the Aquarium/USF Marine Science Center and have a true local seafood dinner and then get back to the Pier in time for the sunset to be viewed from the truly magnificent plaza on the top of the inverted pyramid.
The skyline of St. Petersburg provides a great silhouette and a view that people of all incomes can enjoy without having to own a condo on Beach Drive or work in a high-rise glass tower in town.
After taking in the magnificence of the sunset, our visitors will decree that they will return as there is such a diversity of things to see and do in downtown St. Petersburg.
Who knows, perhaps they'll even stay for a Rays game at the new stadium with a retractable roof that is located at the present site of Tropicana Field or they'll take a water taxi across the bay to have a nightcap and dessert at Tampa's Channelside or Ybor City.
Rand Moorhead, St. Petersburg
Losing Pier would cost our downtown
If they don't leave the Pier as it is and just improve it, St. Petersburg will lose the most outstanding feature of our downtown!
In the '80s when we first arrived and walked out to the Pier, we were very impressed, and it's one reason we made this area our home!
I am sure we and many others would donate time and money to preserve the Pier as it is, with modernization of course.
Let's have a series of fundraisers and start with a plan of restoration and proceed one step at a time!
If the store owners see a future, they will be motivated to improve their posture and we will see a great deal of zeal and new ideas to bring in customers.
Dr. John Sanderson, Tierra Verde
Intersection finally gets left turn signal
Finally, after many years of accidents and at least one fatality (a family member), the traffic light at Central Avenue and Pasadena Avenue now has a left turn signal. This is overdue but certainly welcome to all of us who have had to use that intersection and make a left turn.
I hope that there will be more interest in making other dangerous intersections safer as well.
Gus Goncalves, St. Pete Beach
Foster volunteer suddenly
is a St. Petersburg fixture
May 23, story
In defense of
I am compelled to comment on Michael Van Sickler's article in regard to Jeff Copeland.
What is the point? Copeland is active, and that is enough! If a person is of good moral character, is interested in the community, and wants to take part for the good of all, more power to him.
Opinions and political representation should come from all walks of life. This article, with its "friend or foe" baseless insinuations of mistrust, was way out of line.
In the article, Ray Tampa, president of the St. Petersburg NAACP chapter, talked about how he respected Copeland's father but then asked, "Jeff? What does he do? Good question." This was as irrelevant as the whole article.
Jeff Copeland is exactly where we all should be, trying to have a positive influence in what we believe in. Hooray for Jeff Copeland.
Dan Sivers, St. Petersburg
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