Today's Letters: What motivates yacht club lawsuit?
By LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Published May 13, 2007
Lawsuit delays plans by Pass-a-Grille Yacht Club May 6, story
The story about the dispute between the owner of the Hurricane Restaurant and the Pass-a-Grille Yacht Club might have mentioned that the Pass-a-Grille Yacht Club is a historic beach institution, having been chartered in 1934, and is one of the original founding members of the Florida Council of Yacht Clubs. The age of the building, the need for an updated kitchen and seawall replacement are the driving forces in the plan to build a new building, not some need for a bigger building or to increase membership. The club will be fortunate if it can rebuild membership to historic levels.
One must question Bruno Falkenstein's motives in filing a lawsuit. If it were based on his proximity to the yacht club, he should be happy the new structure will be more than a hundred feet further from the house the family owns down the street.
Parking is likewise a dead issue. As the Times points out, there would be an increase in parking spaces. An old house that the club uses for an office would be torn down once the new club building was constructed.
The Hurricane Restaurant has the advantage of using city spaces after 6 p.m. as its unpaved lot behind the restaurant is hardly enough parking for a three-story restaurant. And let's not overlook the noise pollution from the rooftop outdoor bar on that much-modified building.
Falkenstein has previously filed unsuccessful suits against the yacht club before filing his present suit against the city of St. Pete Beach and has protested improvements in other enterprises. The yacht club, of which I am a member, has bent over backward trying to appease the man, but there is apparently no end to his intent to force the closure of this venerable institution.
Richard E. Oliver, St. Pete Beach
Bike lane lunacy
The two-wheel commute May 6, story
What great news that the 50 miles of bicycle lanes in St. Petersburg are being expanded to 93 miles by the end of next year. And here we thought those huge increases in property taxes were an indication of government waste.
It is perhaps true that these new bicycle lanes crowd motor vehicle traffic more tightly together in some places. And they can lead to confusion at busy intersections. But we need to support those who use bikes to commute to work in the heat (and soon, thunderstorms).
Indeed, I saw a bicyclist using one of those lanes one recent evening on my commute home from work. True, he's the only one I've seen using one of the new bike lanes, but I did see him. Really. Before you say there just aren't that many bicycle commuters, I have also seen a few of them on the sidewalks. Why they would want to use the sidewalk when there's a bike lane, I have no idea. One would think the wind from vehicles roaring by at 50 to 60 mph 2 feet away would make for an easier pedal.
Andy Durey, Gulfport
Focus on driving
It seems no one has noticed, but driving in Pinellas has been horrible lately, and getting worse. There are too many drivers trying to do three things at once. While multitasking is commendable, it is not a wise thing to do while driving. Too many people are reading books, finishing their toilette and talking on the phone while attempting to make a left turn. We need a law that states no cell phone use while the vehicle is moving.
Don Simcoe, Dunedin
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[Last modified May 13, 2007, 08:09:33]
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