A signature moment for St. Petersburg | July 29
New rendering, same problems
The Times is not only wrong but wrongheaded.
The signature of St. Petersburg is its waterfront parks, not (as so often pointed out) a walkway to nowhere. No amount of "rethinking" can disguise the obvious answer.
Every one of the examples you used in Sunday's editorial offers a valid destination: the Space Needle's restaurant and 360-degree views; the Gateway Arch's observation deck 630 feet high; and Millennium Park's art gallery, interactive fountain with video display, and a music and dance theater.
Now compare that with the updated (read "spin") rendering. All the people at the tables are about where the parking lot is currently situated. Humor me and stroll uphill in our hot, humid weather and when you go as far as you can, start the walk back. Feel sweaty yet? If a refreshment stand is planned, it might be better to install a first-aid station. I am sure our disabled and senior citizens would appreciate it.
Stratis Simon, St. Petersburg
Study: Afghan goals for projects unmet July 30
Use the money at home
Millions are appropriated to rebuild the Afghan infrastructure, yet the Afghans do not have the funds or the expertise to maintain the system. Are we to send private (paid) contractors over to run things after we bring home our troops?
President Barack Obama wants U.S. forces in the country till 2014. Yet Afghans continue to take our money and fight among themselves. We should bring the cash back to the United States and rebuild our infrastructure.
Fred Coughlin, Safety Harbor
Against traffic | July 29
Joys of walking
I really enjoyed this story about walking the bay area and what a wonderful experience Ben Montgomery had. I will not be walking 10 or more miles a day, but I will get out and enjoy on foot the beautiful town, Indian Rocks Beach, that I am blessed to live in. Walking not only brings us to new discoveries in our area but also helps us both mentally and physically.
Thank you, Ben, for showing me again what we can see and discover on foot. Keep up the good work; I hope to see more stories about walking the bay area.
Jean Scott, Indian Rocks Beach
Puppets in the winds of protest | July 30
My Monday morning begins with your front-page story and large picture of protesters making puppets to use during their demonstrations at the Republican National Convention. You make them sound like they're heroes doing noble things instead of people trying to stir up more anger and dissatisfaction with our country than we already have.
Do they work for a living, or do the taxpayers (us) support them so that they are free to make puppets and demonstrate? Why don't they use their artistic talents to do some good for neglected children or the forgotten elderly in nursing homes instead of rabble-rousing?
Jane Kline, St. Petersburg
Back to original intent
The rabid supporters of gun rights like to talk about the original intent of the Founding Fathers that the Second Amendment allows all of us to be well-armed. What they fail to realize is that the weapon the founders had in mind was a single-shot, muzzle-loading gun. Whether pistol or long gun, it was loaded by putting a single bullet down the barrel, shoving it down tight with a rod and then igniting the gunpowder. This procedure had to be repeated for each shot.
"Original intent" certainly did not apply to weapons with the ability to spray 50 or 100 bullets into a crowd. So, therefore, all automatic and semiautomatic weapons, including assault rifles, could be banned without violating the words or intent of the Second Amendment.
Lewis Lederer, Clearwater
Close the loopholes
Although I'm a law-abiding gun owner, I firmly believe that assault weapons do not belong in the hands of the general public. I know several people who own these weapons, and not one of them uses one for hunting. It's more of a macho toy.
One of the biggest problems is that if they are stolen, they can be easily converted from semiautomatic to fully automatic by purchasing a few parts online. That's why simply banning the sale of these weapons the first time didn't work. The parts needed to build an assault rifle were not made illegal, so people simply built their own.
Even high-capacity magazines, also illegal, could be assembled from parts available online. Unless the government can find a way to fill all the loopholes, a new ban on these weapons won't work any better than it did the first time.
Bob Dalzell, St. Petersburg
Thank you for the tips that you share with your readers on the first page of BayLink.
They are short and interesting enough that when I mail them to my college student granddaughter, she actually reads them, files them in her "future" file, calls me to discuss the subject and then spends the $5 that was tucked inside the article.
A future article on the best ways for a young intern to present ideas to the boss would be a nice addition to the file.
Kay Griffiths, Redington Beach
Patriotism, strategy meld | July 29
Getting behind the rhetoric
It was a breath of fresh air to read this article, which fairly and clearly analyzed the political intent behind the words of the candidates.
One thing missing from most of the schools I have seen is a course about advertising propaganda. Remember The Hidden Persuaders? That taught a generation about what Madison Avenue was up to. It's the same thing today — all the rhetorical devices in use — but with the addition of electronic tools.
Thank you for real reporting.
Belinda Dumont, Tampa
The Bring Jobs Home Act is Senate Bill 3364. A letter Thursday had an incorrect bill number.