Thursday, February 22, 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


Wednesday’s letters:

House Bill 21Opioid proposal merits supportIn 2016, Florida recorded 952 heroin-related and 1,390 fentanyl-related deaths. Four in five new heroin users began by misusing prescription pain medications, also known as opioids. Despite the widespread op...
Published: 02/20/18

Hernando Letter to the Editor for Feb. 23

Re: Hernando business leaders push to loosen development rules | Feb. 9; Re: Deny Brooksville mine expansion, planning commissioners say | Feb. 16Wish to register my opposition to both the draft of the new Hernando County Comprehensive Plan that elim...
Published: 02/20/18

Tuesday’s letters: Making politics personal is one way toward reasonable gun control

The Parkland shootingMake gun politics personalAs an educator of 32 years, it encourages me to see our young people engaged after the horror at Stoneman Douglas High School. The tragedy at Parkland has awakened the sleeping giant that is the millenni...
Published: 02/19/18

Sunday’s letters: Congress must act on firearms

Deadly toll: 17 | Feb. 15Congress must act on firearmsIt’s time for Congress to be counted.The failure of Congress to act to: (1) limit access to assault rifles and (2) require meaningful background checks for all gun purchases is appalling.Surel...
Published: 02/17/18

Monday’s letters: Call it by its name: terrorism

Deadly toll: 17 | Feb. 15Call it whatit is: terrorismLet’s just call it what it is. It’s terrorism. No school in the country is immune. They all have procedures for sheltering in place or emergency evacuation from a shooter. It’s prudent to be pr...
Published: 02/16/18

Saturday’s letters: Payoff to porn star not front-page news?

Lawyer: I personally paid porn star | Feb. 14Where we’re at: This is 4A newsOnly under the Trump presidency does a story about the president’s lawyer paying off a porn star to cover up an affair with the president show up on page 4A. Never mind t...
Published: 02/16/18

Friday’s letters: Water quality too important to gamble on

State to update water rules | Feb. 10Don’t gamble with water safetyI wondered whether this front-page article was an early April Fool’s joke. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection "updated" its pollution regulations in 2016, with str...
Published: 02/15/18

Thursday’s letters: Bill protects pharmacy customers

House Bill 351Bill protects pharmacy customersWe all need the protections provided in Florida House Bill 351 to ensure pharmacy benefit managers, or PBMs, are transparently operating with patients. Currently, PBMs are not regulated by the state and o...
Published: 02/14/18

Wednesday’s letters: The ocean is no place for amateurs

Youthful dream sinks in two days | Feb. 12Ocean is no place for amateursFirst of all, let me say I am sorry this couple lost their boat and I do applaud their adventurous spirit. However, I have spent over 20 years at sea and would like to commen...
Published: 02/13/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for Feb. 16

A vote against Pasco’s jail bond issueThere are two stories on the front page of the Feb. 9 Pasco Times that drew my attention.The top headline reports that the Pasco County commissioners are discussing submitting a $185 million bond issue to the vot...
Published: 02/13/18