Rays' big dream is small ballpark | July 11
The new stadium will be gorgeous
I had the pleasure of attending the unveiling of the Tampa Bay Rays "next-generation, neighborhood ballpark." I was blown away. As an 18-year resident of Tampa Bay, and married to a Tampa native who is a Day One Rays loyalist, I can say with certainty that bringing the Rays to Ybor will be an incredible opportunity for our city.
I've done my "growing up" here, and I've seen the city grow alongside me. Moving the Rays to Ybor will continue to build on the momentous development we are currently experiencing, while giving our families an opportunity to create memories and take pride in how Tampa has evolved over the years.
Personally, I love that my family and I will be able to hop on our bikes and ride down to the ballpark to enjoy the games and camaraderie together. I think it's wonderful that the new field will be open to the public to enjoy during the off-season for yoga, dining, local events and even as a collaborative co-work space. This is more than just a stadium; this will be a way of life.
I encourage our residents to support this effort and rally behind our home team so we can continue to enjoy the Rays here in Tampa Bay for decades to come.
Erin C. Elser, Tampa
The writer is a member of the Rays 100.
Mayor gets funds for sculpture | July 7
The waterfront legacy
The St. Petersburg waterfront was protected from an industrial fate and over-development by the foresight of early visionaries over a century ago. Establishing the waterfront parks and preserving a more natural Tampa Bay vista made St. Petersburg what it is today. The massive, out-of-context scale and spirit of the Echelman art project doesn't fit in on so many levels. Opposing this project isn't living in the past — it is an affirmative action to preserve our waterfront's natural beauty for generations to come.
We are the beneficiaries of this astounding legacy. Putting in some effort now to safeguard this legacy is a very small price to pay in reminding City Hall that stewardship, not special interests, is their duty in protecting the natural beauty that is the St. Petersburg waterfront and certainly Spa Beach at the epicenter of this proposed project.
William Dahl, St. Petersburg
The sculpture is brilliant
Bravo to Mayor Rick Kriseman and the private donors who have come together to bring Janet Echelman's work to Spa Beach. This beautiful sculpture will win over all naysayers once it is installed. I wish that Tampa would also install a work of Echelman's, but I will have to content myself with regular trips to Spa Beach.
Gabriel Chohaney, Tampa
Sure, fireworks are illegal. Who cares? | July 3
Crack down where it matters
We have a government that is tough on abortions, which are legal, as well as medical marijuana, which is also legal. Yet we have illegal fireworks being sold in stores and tents that flagrantly advertise the merchandise. And every year people are killed and maimed due to faulty fireworks. So why hasn't our government shut down every store that sells the hazardous devices? It makes absolutely no sense that they already haven't.
JoAnn Lee Frank, Clearwater