Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Time to speak out is early

A signature moment and waiting to exhale June 29 editorial and column

Time to speak out is early

Both the editorial board and Sandra Gadsden simplified all arguments for and against the Pier and, by extension, BayWalk and a new stadium for the Rays. Whatever is done, someone will be unhappy and squeal that there was not enough opportunity for citizen input.

The time for citizen input is before the final plans are close to fruition. Pay attention, people, and speak out early in the process. It is inconvenient to ferret out information and sit through City Council meetings or read report of what was discussed at public meetings. It is far easier to ignore the early work and then chime in.

Why should any elected official pay attention to anyone who does not get involved when his opinions would actually make a difference? It's like not exercising your right to vote and then complaining about the results of the election.

Willi Rudowsky, St. Petersburg

A signature moment for St. Petersburg

What about droppings?

Bird poop.

No, that's not a criticism of the Times' endorsement of the "Lens." It's a cautionary tale from the baseball park in San Francisco Bay.

I'm keen on supporting the Lens, having witnessed its presentation at the Coliseum. The iconic image in last Sunday's Times merely triggered an unhappy association between that pristine, expansive and spotless "sail" and the guiltless seagulls' fly-by. Please tell us more about how the odious avian excrement threat will be mitigated to ensure St. Pete's "Signature" is impeccable.

Gary Harrington, St. Petersburg

Space Needle is different

You have mentioned several icons, including the Space Needle in Seattle. I lived in Seattle for 15 years and it is indeed the iconic symbol of the city. But it was privately financed for the World's Fair. It is still privately owned. I believe there is a lease with the city for the property it is built on. The man who designed it was the father of a friend of mine. Yep, it was on a cocktail napkin conceptually. How fun is that?

It has a great restaurant and gift shop, wonderful large meeting rooms, and a scary elevator to the top observation deck. So it has a lot of usage, even fireworks off the top. Do the locals go? Never! Do the tourists go? First stop! It is packed. The locals do the local stuff: theater, markets, sports, etc.

Mary Lee Hanley, St. Petersburg

BayWalk may get foodie favorites | July 27

Grand hotel makes sense

While it is great to have a dynamic group led by Bill Edwards restyle BayWalk, the direction doesn't really seem much different than the failed attempts of the past. I just don't know where all the people and customers are in downtown St. Pete once the snowbirds leave for the summer and fall and the colleges take their summer breaks.

Beach Drive is mainly busy on weekend nights now, the hot cafes sparse during the day. The party district centered at Central Avenue and Third Street is also a lot less crowded. Just look at the dark apartments in most of the high-rises during this season. St. Pete is still a small city trying to hit the big leagues.

We are still an amazingly beautiful destination, though, and to me converting BayWalk into a great destination hotel could have more success. Installing a world-class pool and spa in the huge courtyard would be really great along with converting the excess capacity of movie theaters at Muvico. That structure could be part of a grand boutique hotel, too. Mainstream movies would probably excel at Tyrone Square Mall, an increasingly upbeat place with the opening of H&M department store. Besides, we need an art house cinema downtown.

The efforts to attract upscale patrons to a plaza next to a megaplex cinema strike me as contradictory. Last I checked, the upscale demographic has installed home theaters and has video on demand at their fingertips.

Jeannie Cline, St. Petersburg

Closures, detours not just for Tampa | July 24

Light rail sure would be nice

I believe that the convention is a good thing for both cities by bringing the eyes of the world to Tampa and St. Pete. Nothing screams louder about the need for a light-rail system than the people who will be working during the RNC visit.

I live in St. Pete and work in Brandon. I'm not sure exactly how I will get to work with the Lee Roy Selmon closed for four days. I may have to reroute over the Skyway and back up Interstate 75. What is now a 30-mile, 45-minute drive will become a 60-mile drive one way and will probably take double the time. But it will sure beat trying to do I-275 to I-4 to I-75. With the Platt Street bridge and expressway closed, you're adding 80,000 cars to all the other east-west corridors. Now add all the buses and closures of I-275 at various times and that route would probably be a three-hour run each way.

As it is, I fill up twice a week. That week may be four times at $60 per tank. Add my additional time, and it's going to be costly. I hope and pray that it's a good and smooth event and that we are rewarded for all of this.

AJ Broome, St. Petersburg


Tuesday’s letters: Keep programs that fight AIDS

For author Biden, it’s a father’s gift | June 6Keep programs that fight AIDSAfter former Vice President Joe Biden’s recent visit to St. Petersburg, I noticed an article that he co-wrote with former Sen. Bill Frist. It reminded everyone about the ...
Updated: 9 hours ago

Is anyone watching the money?Hernando County’s budget shortfall is ever changing going from $6 million to $11.5 million to $14 million to what is assumed a final number of $12.6 million. Who knows the budget shortfall could change again.Who’s watchi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Re: County OKs solar zones | June 8Plea ignored at solar plant hearingThe Pasco County Commission on June 5 voted to identify a utility-sized solar electric plant as a "special exception" use on agricultural-zoned land in Pasco County. What thi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Monday’s letters: Skip those plastic bags and save the environment

To save our seas, overcome congressional apathy | Column, June 16Do your part and skip plastic bagsEvery day we read about the shame of our landfills and oceans filling up with plastic bags, yet most people don’t care. My wife and I always carry ...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

White House defends splitting up families as ‘biblical’ | June 15The suffering of the childrenI am a mother and attorney with more than 20 years of practice living in Tampa. For the past three years, I worked as a magistrate in a Unified Family C...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Saturday’s letters: Community-based care requires community involvement

Fix foster care, and do it quickly | Editorial, June 15Involve the community itselfWhile the detailed article about the scathing state review of Hillsborough County’s foster care problems touched on leadership, a critical point was not addressed....
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Friday’s letters: Freight trains are infrastructure that works in Tampa Bay

Railroads are infrastructure that worksFreight trains carry the loadCentral Florida is our state’s fastest-growing region. We’re on track to outpace South Florida’s growth 2-to-1 over the next several years. Great news for our local economy, but it n...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Thursday’s letters: Charter schools aren’t the enemy

Don’t plug your ears when schools ask for tax | May 20, columnCharter schools aren’t the enemyAs an educator, I am astounded when I hear claims from school board members that charter schools take away funding from the local public school system. ...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/14/18

Wednesday’s letters: Trump’s words insult our Canadian visitors

Trade disputes torpedo G-7 summit | June 10Canadian visitors are owed apologyLike many Pinellas County residents, I’m pleased that we receive thousands of Canadian "snow birds" as part-year residents. Not only do they enhance our economy, but by ...
Published: 06/11/18
Updated: 06/13/18

Hernando Letters to the Editor for June 15

Opinion: Commissioners arrogant and incompetentMy wife and I live in Hernando County. As such, we are represented by a Board of County Commissioners where all the members manifest two common traits. Those traits are arrogance and incompetence.The arr...
Published: 06/11/18
Updated: 06/12/18