Community redevelopment agencies
Redevelopment works if you let it
Legislation proposed in the Florida House and Senate is threatening the revitalization of communities across the state of Florida. HB 9 and SB 1054 aim to impose crippling limitations in an attempt to impede the creation of new community redevelopment agencies (CRAs) and eventually eliminate existing CRAs completely. CRAs are created by local governments to revitalize neglected or forgotten areas within a community, and exist solely to improve these areas. These proposed limitations would have a severe negative impact on our local areas, including St. Petersburg, where the CRA has supported major planning initiatives in four community redevelopment areas, including Intown, Intown West, Bayboro Harbor and South St. Petersburg. These redevelopment initiatives were established to promote reinvestment in residential and non-residential development and positively transform the community.
CRAs exist to serve their communities in a transparent way using a process called tax-increment financing, eliminating the need to use any state or federal dollars. Their work is critical to bringing economic vitality and jobs to our areas, and without them, communities will suffer. We know that redevelopment works, and it's time to call on lawmakers to protect our CRAs to ensure continued progress.
Philip Garrett, St. Petersburg
Pork industry to get power over inspections | April 4
A pattern of power vs. people
Cutting the number of inspectors in pork-processing plants is a typical fox/henhouse scenario favored by the profit-seekers. The Republican Party preaches personal responsibility to the poor, sick and elderly but is hellbent to give a wink and a smile to business responsibility. The GOP cannot be trusted. "Students thwarted in March for Our Lives" and "Despite danger, no recall" are headlines in Thursday's paper. If you don't see the pattern, you are part of the problem.
John Chico, St. Petersburg
Students thwarted in March for Our Lives | April 4
Students make a difference
The problem with gun control begins with the NRA and its allies. To use the excuse that the bill, which would allow classroom teachers to be armed, was postponed because of a technical disagreement is ludicrous. The students are not gullible and see who and what occupies the seat of power. This is the second time students were blindsided by those who were elected to serve. To the young people: Keep marching and when it is time to vote, make a difference.
Ronald Morrow, Apollo Beach
Bumper sticker slogans
Armed and dangerous
I saw a bumper sticker depicting the barrel of a pistol pointing at me and the words, "Think twice, because I won't." I suppose it's anyone's guess what it's referring to, but it is certainly a desperate attempt to boost someone's self-esteem. I thought about the 1.4 million Floridians with concealed-carry permits, maybe carrying loaded guns strapped to their legs or in their pockets.
While we wait for the next slaughter of innocent people to occur, we have some soul-searching to do. How did we, as a nation, create such people and do we really want them to be armed?
Scott Cochran, Tampa