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Yes, St. Petersburg needs an arts pass

Re: Arts pass/St. Pete

Big-city competition requires art of the deal

Not only was Sandra Gadsden right about BayWalk, she is absolutely astute in calling for an arts pass for St. Pete. The adult admissions to the three main galleries, Dalí, Chihuly and Fine Arts Museum, total $53. That's pretty staggering considering that all three, if put together under one roof, would only equal, in size, one wing of any major city's art museum. Admission to a much larger museum, with new exhibits occurring all the time, is much less than $53, and much more art can be viewed.

The challenge is daunting, considering that Miami alone is so dynamic culturally and artistically. As reported on the front page of the Times Monday, Jan. 24, a parking garage in Miami Beach is more exciting architecturally than virtually anything we have in St. Pete!

The one exception to that is our Pier. It is truly a unique structure, one that defines our city on the global scene. Even the great new Dalí Museum lacks this originality and pales in comparison to the brilliant Gehry-designed Guggenheims in Los Angeles and Bilbao, Spain.

Take heed of Ms. Gadsden's advice on the St. Pete arts pass. The competition with Miami and other global art communities is real. Miami alone has an event called Art Basel in which 40,000 people attend in three days.

Rand Moorhead, St. Petersburg

Police, neighborhood have CONA's support

The family of CONA neighborhoods grieves with the city and our Police Department over the loss of Officer Yaslowitz and Sgt. Baitinger in the tragic events of Jan. 24. Our members are working hard to reach out to the community to show our support. We have the utmost respect for the St. Petersburg Police Department's efforts in keeping our city a safe place for families to live, work and play, and we honor the fallen officers and all those who continue to serve.

We stand in solidarity with the residents of the Perry Bayview neighborhood where this horrific event occurred. Our members are ready and willing to assist them in their efforts to revive their shattered sense of community. We have reached out to the president of the Perry Bayview Neighborhood Association to offer our assistance. While we appreciate Ms. Gadsden's thoughts regarding a memorial garden, we strongly believe that decisions about the best way for Perry Bayview to go forward must come from the neighborhood itself rather than from those outside. Mayor Foster has extended the offer to make Mrs. Lacy whole, and we feel that we should allow sufficient time for the city of St. Petersburg and Mrs. Lacy to come to a solution. Her needs must be respected and considered before any moves can be made to rebuild her home or construct a memorial garden on the now-empty lot in Perry Bayview.

CONA is an all-volunteer organization devoted to the welfare and enhancement of neighborhoods throughout our city. Once Mrs. Lacy and the leaders and residents of Perry Bayview have decided on their course of action, our members are prepared to help them achieve their goals.

J. Michael Gulley, president, Council of Neighborhood Associations of South Pinellas County

Yes, St. Petersburg needs an arts pass 02/05/11 [Last modified: Saturday, February 5, 2011 3:30am]
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