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Al Lang Field must be preserved

Letters to the Editor
Published September 10, 2006

As a Devil Rays fan, I find it very disappointing that the team is all but assured of moving its spring training games from St. Petersburg to Charlotte County. Whatever you think of the move, the time has come to wish the team the best down there, and enjoy the last two years of the Rays' spring training at Al Lang Field.

However, we must look to the future and make sure that this historic St. Petersburg institution remains standing. While the actual facility dates back just 30 years, the concept of spring training in St. Petersburg is not a new one. In fact, the city has hosted games for more than 90 years. The existence of a stadium structure where Al Lang stands dates back more than six decades, and it is important to keep that history alive.

In its current form, Al Lang needs upgrades, yes, but we must look to luring another team to the facility, even if it means spending a little to make Al Lang look great again. As one of the most beautiful ballparks in baseball, its must be preserved for future generations so they, too, can enjoy a St. Petersburg institution that helped put this city on the national map.

Patrick Kennedy, St. Petersburg


Mobile home park buyers don't care

I am currently a resident of Bay Pines Mobile Home Park. I am one of the fortunate ones who, although I don't have money, was eligible to move to a new location. I sold my home to the new owners and received $1,500 and two months' free rent. I must be out by the 30th of this month. Some of the others got until Oct. 30, and those who haven't sold have an eviction notice that they have to be out by Nov. 30.

I received a call from my new place saying they had an apartment for me, but I couldn't move in until about Oct. 15. I pleaded with the Bay Pines manager to let me stay just another two weeks. I offered to pay rent for it. I was flatly turned down. I explained that it was going to cost me a lot of money if I had to move my stuff into storage, paying rent on the storeroom, and a mover twice. I might as well have saved my breath.

Up until that moment, I had given the new owners the benefit of the doubt and felt they were trying to help us, but I realize now they don't care. Money talks, and poverty walks!

Also, they are going around painting big red Vs on the vacant homes. Strange people have been seen in the park at night. There is no security, and we seniors are vulnerable. I have been sleeping at a friend's house because I don't feel safe here anymore.

Margaret Berrill, St. Petersburg


Be on the lookout for motorcycles

I've owned and ridden a motorcycle for many years. Most of the time I don't find the problem with other motorcycle riders; it's the drivers of the other vehicles that share the roads with us.

Instead of writing about how so many people have been injured or died on motorcycles, how about using the paper to bring attention to the fact that we share the road with them and that they need to be on the lookout for us. They either don't see us or don't choose to see us. Motorcycles are everywhere.

I won't give up riding because of other drivers, but I am more aware and drive on the defensive when riding my motorcycle. I attended the motorcycle safety class to get licensed, and it was the best thing I ever did. Be aware, look before you turn, look before you change lanes, listen (most of the time you can hear us; loud pipes save lives). Ride safe and ride free.

Kim McMullin, St. Petersburg

[Last modified September 8, 2006, 10:36:32]

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