In response to the editorial, "Time for Pier foes to tip their hand," I think it is appropriate to take a step back and consider not only what the inverted pyramid is to be replaced with, but who will be doing the replacement, who wants it replaced the most, and what benefits there really are.
Anthony Sullivan, the well known TV pitchman responsible for the "WOW Our Waterfront St. Petersburg" Facebook page, is the most visible proponent of the new Lens design. For a man who purportedly believes so strongly in our city, it is disconcerting that his company, Sullivan Productions, is based in Tampa.
Michael Maltzan Architecture, the firm responsible for the Lens design and construction, has changed its plans a number of times. Let's not forget one of the selling points of the original winning design: their picturesque view of a clearly visible reef that would attract manatees, dolphins and other sea life to graze and play in plain view of the public. It was only later, after a number of local scientists and marine biologists pointed out the impossibility of such a plan due to murky waters of Tampa Bay, that Maltzan quietly apologized and promised to look further into the matter. Their official website currently lists the concept as "still under study and review." Additionally, the original plan had no restaurant whatsoever on the water; that has now been changed to a small area on the promontory at the behest of the Columbia (and wisely so). Couple that with the current troubles of the plan potentially not passing county permitting, and it begets the question: Why wasn't the plan fact-checked, and was Maltzan simply telling people what they wanted to hear to get the job?
Those pulling for the new Lens design are quick to point out the cost of keeping the current Pier open; figures between $500,000 and $1.5 million (per a recent article) have been tossed out. But that is to maintain a structure that was built in 1973, and is now 40 years old. Doesn't it stand to figure that when the difference between the $50 million budget for the new Lens and the $1.5 million per year to keep the current Pier maintained come together( a minimum of 33½ years from now), the Lens might need some upkeep costs, as well? And that's assuming no upkeep for the Lens in the interim.
Robert Blackmon, St. Petersburg
Why not two piers?
Since a fairly good number of citizens seem prepared to defend one or the other pier choice, why not two piers?
The old Pier requires almost as much to demolish as to repair, I'm told. The new pier could be built near Vinoy Park, or near Al Lang Field. We have multiple highways from St. Petersburg to Tampa and to other cities in our area. Why not two piers?
Homer Savige, Sun City Center
Believe it when you see it
I don't need to see any more artist's renderings of what the Lens might look like until the design is final and construction is completed. Does anyone else remember the green laser that was projected to be one of the defining features of the pier, never operated with any consistency, and was abandoned?
Palmer O. Hanson Jr., Largo
Re: Pinellas lake pollution to cost unincorporated areas
Paying for another's mistakes
Why in the heck should I have to pay for problems that I neither caused nor contribute to? Why must citizens pay for the failure of government to do its job? They have known for five or six years that something needed to be done and failed to act so now we must pay exorbitant fees to correct their failure to act. My stormwater does not enter Lake Seminole but I am going to be billed for its cleanup! Please wake me from my nightmare!
Don Mott, Largo
Re: County Looks at Tax for Cleanup
A better solution
I just read the article about stormwater runoff problems, especially in unincorporated areas. County Administrator Bob LaSala said, "We don't have a lot of land that's capable of absorbing our rainfall and runoff." I have an intelligent solution: don't allow homes to be built at the Tides Golf Course in Seminole. Another suggestion would be if stormwater fees are imposed only on unincorporated communities. All of the money received must be used only where it is collected.
Dennis Doodan, Seminole
Say no to school uniforms
Hi my name is Austin Hollis and I am a student of Osceola Middle School. This is about how I and many other kids say school uniforms should be prohibited. I say this because without uniforms kids can express themselves in their own unique ways. Ways that we can show our own personality. So I and many other kids say no to school uniforms.
Austin Hollis, Largo