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Today's Letters: Put museum, not stadium, at Al Lang

Letters to the Editor
Published February 17, 2008


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Recycling Al Lang Field

Baseball should be played outdoors and never in an enclosed arena like Tropicana Field. It is simply not a baseball venue and never will be.

I give the Rays' ownership a lot of credit for recognizing the severity of their current situation and proposing such a bold program to move the team downtown to the waterfront. I'm sure they weighed a lot of alternatives before going public with the plan. I'm sure they also knew their plan would face a considerable amount of criticism from the bureaucrats who are entitled to rule on such decisions. Apparently their road to approval will cross many speed bumps along the way.

While I laud the concept, I seriously question whether the site is appropriate for the stadium. I frankly feel the proposed structure is too massive for the site and will negatively impact the value of real estate nearby. Gov. Charlie Crist and his neighbors might see the value of their condominiums decrease in value as a result of the stadium construction. Add to this the fact that parking has been excluded from the design. For the downtown area to easily absorb 10,000 cars on a night the Yankees are playing is ludicrous.

That being said, I would like to propose an alternative solution for Al Lang Field. The other day Times staff writer Marc Topkin wrote an excellent article entitled Farewell to spring training in St. Pete. The article clearly illustrated the role the community as a whole has played in baseball's celebrated history.

To celebrate our notable and important contribution to the game, I would like to suggest the construction of a museum on the Al Lang site. This museum would be dedicated to the role the community has played in the history of America's greatest pastime.

Photographs, historic bats, balls, jerseys, shoes and other memorabilia could be contributed to establish a worthwhile permanent collection that would draw considerable interest. It would be a year-round tourist attraction that the community could advertise. Architecturally the building could make an inspiring statement. Functionally the city could handle the traffic.

I believe this idea has serious merit. I hope others agree.

Bill Baldwin, Land O'Lakes

Village is a lifeline

We want everyone to know about our home, Pinellas Village, a not-for-profit apartment community and self-sufficiency program for single parents. Pinellas Village provides a support system of 100 other single parents who understand the strife we face daily, and on-site case managers who help us through hard times and cheer our victories.

Our home is not on "Easy Street," nor do we receive handouts, only a hand up. We pay our rent and bills, work or attend school full time, attend parenting and life skills classes, donate community service hours, and visit on-site case managers regularly.

We came to Pinellas Village because of a life crisis and realized that we needed guidance in order to improve our families' lives. We love our home and want to be there to complete the five-year program.

But will Pinellas Village as we know it still be here to help make our dreams come true? We are worried about the future of our home. A proposal has been presented by our major funding source that would dramatically change our community. This proposal would eliminate the on-site case managers that are the core of our community. Instead, off-site case managers would visit us monthly and not be readily available for us during crises. We would lose many other benefits that the on-site case managers organize.

Our Pinellas Village family would disintegrate, just as many of our own families already have.

In the past 15 years, 320 residents have earned a certificate or degree, 164 have found full-time employment in their fields, 98 have continued their education and 84 have purchased homes. We invite you to learn more about Pinellas Village by visiting our community or our Web site at www.pinellasvillage.org. We hope you believe in us as much as the Pinellas Village staff does so that we, too, can attain our dreams.

Angel DeLong, Largo

Pedestrians, be alert

In recent weeks, I have read several letters to the editor about pedestrian safety suggestions. All well and good, but first it's up to us to protect ourselves from an accident.

Even if the light is with us, we need to check traffic in every direction before moving. We have drivers on our roads who are intoxicated, on medication, on drugs, on a cell phone. Just the other day a driver drove through a red light and T-boned a vehicle. He said he was changing a compact disc and didn't notice the light had changed.

In combat, when "all clear" is sounded, we move out carefully, zigzag and look for the glint of a rifle barrel in the trees because we want to get home safely. Pedestrians need to be keenly alert to survive Tampa Bay area streets.

Charles Slater, Largo

Reams of renters face ticking bomb Feb. 10, editorial

Lawmakers fail us

This Times editorial points out that the approval of Amendment 1 failed to assist these "reams of renters" in Florida. Lately, with their legislation, too many of Florida's legislators have failed the majority of their constituency in most instances.

Likewise, too many of those who have been beneficiaries of preferential tax measures were not concerned with these renters when they approved additional benefits for themselves in Amendment 1. The reality here is, irrespective of one's socioeconomic status, there still remains too few in society who are truly their "brother's keeper."

Russell Lee Johnson, St. Petersburg

Barbecue that's good for you? Feb. 10, story

High on this 'Hog'

The article on Boss Hog Ribs was right on. It's a pleasure seeing good news on new locally owned small businesses.

The food is excellent here. Try it once, and you'll be back for more!

Shannon Simpson, St. Pete Beach

Share your views

We invite readers to write to us. Letters for publication should be addressed to Letters to the Editor, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731. They can be sent by fax to (727) 893-8675or through our Web site at www.sptimes.com/letters/. They should be brief and must include the writer's name, address and phone number. Please include a handwritten signature when possible. Letters may be edited for clarity, taste and length. We regret that not all letters can be published.

[Last modified February 17, 2008, 00:08:01]


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