Monday, December 18, 2017
Letters To The Editor

Take a closer look at Pier proponents

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


Monday’s letters: Tax plan bad for the country

Trump, GOP make good on tax cuts Dec. 14Tax plan is bad for the countryUnless senators such as Susan Collins, R-Maine, and our own Marco Rubio develop some backbone, the Republican tax bill could well pass.The bill would inflict harm on the people wh...
Published: 12/15/17
Sunday’s letters: Rule of law at stake in Mueller inquiry

Sunday’s letters: Rule of law at stake in Mueller inquiry

Justice official parries attacks | Dec. 14Rule of law at stake in inquiryConservative media outlets and a number of Republicans in both chambers of Congress have launched an all-out assault on special counsel Robert Mueller and his team in an eff...
Published: 12/14/17
Updated: 12/15/17

Saturday’s letters: Project silent on rising sea levels

Published: 12/13/17
Updated: 12/15/17

Friday’s letters: Put yourself in a business owner’s shoes

GOP plan favors owners | Dec. 11Perils of small business ownersI wonder if the author of this article has even a clue about owning a business. Businessmen — especially small business owners — risk it all. They risk their savings, their car, their...
Published: 12/13/17
Updated: 12/14/17

Thursday’s letters: Trump’s values hardly admirable

Finally, a president who cares | Dec. 13, letterTrump’s values hardly admirableThe letter writer is happy to have someone in the White House who "truly cares about our country’s business" and is "unafraid … of mentioning God and religious values....
Published: 12/13/17

Wednesday’s letters: Proposal would restore Florida Forever funding

Florida ForeverPlan boosts land protectionMost of us thought funding for land conservation in Florida would be restored when we voted the Water and Land Conservation Amendment (Amendment 1) into law in 2014. It passed easily, with 75 percent of voter...
Published: 12/11/17
Updated: 12/12/17

Tuesday’s letters: Writer should look to his own mistakes

Is anyone ever wrong anymore? | Dec. 8Writer should look to own errorsIn Mitch Daniels’ article about people who have been wrong, he finishes with the statement that our lives would be greatly improved with more people saying, "I was wrong."He mi...
Published: 12/08/17
Updated: 12/11/17

Monday’s letters: Don’t drill in Arctic refuge

Arctic National Wildlife RefugeStop plan to drill for oil in refugeOur nation faces yet another effort to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge reserve to oil and gas drilling. Drilling in the Arctic simply doesn’t make sound financial sense. W...
Published: 12/08/17

Sunday’s letters: Tax bill puts U.S. on right course

The GOP’s regressive tax plans | Dec. 5, editorialTax bill puts U.S. on right courseThe Times is already crying wolf over the new tax cuts, claiming that the new laws "could" result an increase in the national debt of $1.5 trillion over the next ...
Published: 12/07/17

Pasco letters to the editor for Dec. 15

Re: Helping Others Fulfills our purpose here on Earth | Nov. 17 guest columnThe good doctor acknowledges a CreatorThank you for publishing Dr. Rao Musunuru’s guest column. As Congressman Gus Bilirakis said in the Congressional Record, this good d...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/13/17