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Car race, concerts deserve support

It is time each and every one of us who is working for a vibrant andwonderful city to live, work and retire in speak out in support of the events, leaders and promoters of these events.

The Grand Prix is largely responsible for bringing new people into our city and showing them we have one of the best places in the country in which to live and work. In addition, we have formed one of the largest volunteer groups anywhere, which spells out the enthusiasm and support we feel for the race in spite of the letters and comments of the opposite view.

Jannus Landing has proven St. Petersburg to be a city in step (and tune) with the '80s and '90s, with music and entertainment that defies the reputation of the green benches. Only with the support of all of us can St. Petersburg continue to grow and thrive as a vibrant and economically healthy city.

It's time to let the positive take over the negative and let your voice be heard. We don't want a total retirement community . . . but a community where retirees, families and singles can all live in harmony with cultural satisfaction for all. Don't let the opinion of a few take away our Grand Prix and Jannus Landing. Speak out in support of your city now.

Joan G. Kelly, St. Petersburg Great cities are open to everyone

It's about time the musical persecution in Jannus Landing got some ink. The people need to know that the City Council is pulling out all the stops in a Draconian assault on a thriving, exciting downtown entertainment business. I support Bay Plaza and many of the broad brush, bricks and mortar projects under way in downtown St. Petersburg, but I cannot support or tolerate the prejudiced political harassment of free businessmen and artistic expression enjoyed by tens of thousands of decent citizens.

In our society, downtown cultural activities are neither centrally planned by the City Council nor dictated by a few noisy, nasty tempered "influential citizens." This is no way to build a great city. Great cities are built on cultural diversity and the character expressed in their stadiums, parks, plazas and historic squares. Most importantly, great cities are open to everyone.

I've attended shows at Jannus Landing and generally the patrons are well behaved, concert security is excellent, the police are ever-present and welcome and the historic venue is well suited to the offbeat character of the shows.

So why is the City Council out to silence Jannus Landing? Is it because they truly hate the young people and their music? Is it because it's culturally different and not bland? Is it because the particular private entertainment business doesn't fit the plastic sidewalks of their narrow, scale-model vision of downtown St. Petersburg? The answer is all of the above but mostly it's the music.

The City Council just can't stand the music at Jannus Landing.

Indeed, some have even referred to it as "Noriega torture music." So with courage, foresight, a little help from the city attorney and a vague, old ordinance, they are mounting their great white steeds to drive it and the young people who enjoy it from "their" downtown.

Jannus Landing and its shows are being held unrealistically accountable to an at-best selectively enforced, dated ordinance.

I would remind the City Council about recent articles and studies that show the age curve of our city turning sharply down. Soon ill humor, intolerance, unequal accommodation and selective enforcement are going to be very sour political baggage. Have we forgotten who we are building a city for? It's for all of the people. As a third generation resident and businessman, I appeal to the good sense and democratic responsibility of the City Council.

Tolerate and support these young people and their music. Give them a place in the "heartbeat" of downtown St. Petersburg. It will give us all character and cultural diversity.

The solution is easy: City Council - change the ordinance.

City attorney - chase crime, not music.

Downtown residents - if downtown is too loud, move to the burbs, it's quiet there.

Remember what the song says . . . "Downtown, where the lights are

bright/Downtown, where the music's playin' . . ."

All together now . . . Let's build a great city.

Michael J. Blowers, Pinellas Park