1. Archive

Funds needed for our streets, not new center

Re: Proposed center garners uneasy support, story, July 18.

Wasn't it just last year that the Palm Harbor Senior Activity Center was asking for tax money to help pay for costs? Yet the leaders of Palm Harbor feel we need another activity center in this town. When will the wasteful spending of taxpayer money stop?

Do you see an activity center in downtown Dunedin? No, you don't. They spent their money on improving the roadways and aesthetics of the downtown area. Then business owners happily invested in the downtown area, and people from all over now come to the downtown area to walk around and spend their money.

What will a downtown activity center provide, other then a nice new office for the Main Street manager and competition for the Senior Activity Center? How many people will this new activity center bring in to downtown Palm Harbor, and what will they do after they leave it _ walk down the same old streets and sidewalks that dearly need rejuvenating?

Spend the $350,000 on the street improvement project. Advertise and promote the heck out the Senior Activity Center, if you want people to come to Palm Harbor for social events. And if you must have your own place for the Main Street manager, rent some office space in the downtown area. Afterward, when the downtown area is thriving and the Senior Activity Center is booked solid most of the time, then start looking for funds to build a second activity center. Palm Harbor does not need two activity centers that are empty most of the time.

Robert Wierzba, Palm Harbor


Blue Jays games worth

the price of a ticket

Re: Team, city leaders irk Dunedin Blue Jays fans, letter, July 16.

Like letter writer Calvin Boaz, I've been to a number of games this year and in years past and have not seen Dunedin Mayor Tom Anderson in attendance nor a car parked in his reserved spot. However, this doesn't necessarily mean Anderson never attends the games as Boaz's letter implies.

Furthermore, Boaz writes of the team's "poor promotion, the lack of senior ticket discounts and an earlier starting time" as reasons for poor attendance. I disagree.

At several of the games I've been to this year, fans have been treated to some sort of promotion, including baseball cards, bumper stickers and $1 tickets. Once inside the park, fans are not only entertained by the game but also by the dizzy-bat races, the frozen T-shirt contest and B.J., the charming if somewhat hokey mascot.

Also, though I'm not a senior citizen, I've noticed that the team does indeed cater to that demographic with the Silver Jays program, in which fans 62 or older get complimentary or discounted tickets for a $25 membership fee. And as for the earlier start times, games that start at 6:30 p.m. instead of 7 tend to be more family-friendly and would seem to only increase attendance.

One point that Boaz misses in his letter about the attendance is the Florida State League's schedule. Of the 70 home dates the two Pinellas teams, Clearwater and Dunedin, each have, 46 overlap. Since the teams' ballparks are virtually in the same neighborhood, this means that for more than half of each team's home season, its potential attendance is split between two ballparks.

Lastly, it should be noted that the Blue Jays' staff is visible, helpful and always friendly. People like Bill Berger, Carrie Short and all of the team's game-day staffers make going to a Jays game well worth the $4 admission.

Frank Ferreri, Clearwater

New name would help team rally community support

Re: Team, city leaders irk Dunedin Blue Jays fans, letter, July 16.

First, it should have been Team, city irk SOME Dunedin Blue Jays fans. I am a Dunedin season ticket holder who looks forward to a new nickname for the team. I have no ties to the Toronto team. The Tampa Bay Devil Rays are my team in that league.

I am not tied to Dunedin either. I live in Tampa, just the other side of Oldsmar. I could just as easily go to the Clearwater games. Dunedin is a little closer so I ended up there, but if it had been a choice between the Clearwater Cockatoos and Dunedin Blue Jays, I would be putting a few more miles on the van and have a Cockatoos game cap.

Not being tied to Dunedin also colors my views on using Dunedin's Scottish heritage in naming the team. Remembering your past is always good, but here, looking to the future is better.

There have been complaints on how this has been handled, and no it has not been handled perfectly. Having more time would have helped in this regard and having more involvement from the community outside the gates would have been preferable _ those are who we need to get in the stands and rally support from.

Much has been made of promoting the current team. Just to put this in perspective, remember this is a class A farm team owned by a big-league team thousands of miles away. A good merchandisable logo and mascot could open some purse strings for promotion and just a new flavor in the local market would be a promotion in itself.

I am ready to buy my Dunedin Diamond Dogs, Wharf Cats, Red Bats, or whatever game cap. Size 7~.

Hunter Harr, Tampa

Up next:Earnings