Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Former St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster sought Jannus exception to proposed noise ordinance


St. Petersburg Fl
Opinion
By author: Robert Neff 

Timeline for former Mayor Bill Foster's emails seeking Jannus Live exception to proposed noise ordinance and other relevant events:


January 3, 2018 

City emailed Foster and other Jannus employees. 
Dave Goodwin and I would like to meet with you to discuss the proposed Noise Ordinance. At this meeting we are interested in receiving your feedback regarding our findings and proposals before we conduct our final stakeholder meeting in the Sunshine Center.
Since we last met with the representatives of Jannus Live we have conducted two additional noise studies, completed additional outreach and research, met with the Chamber of Commerce, and finalized ordinance concepts and language. We anticipate conducting a final informal noise study with the chamber on the 19th of January.
Ideally we would like to meet between the 22nd and 24th of January. Please let me know if these days work for you. 

January 5, 2018 

Foster replied, 
Many thanks. We would love the opportunity to sit down to discuss the proposed noise ordinance.  Is there any way we can do this on January 10, 11 or 12?  Please let me know. 



January 11, 2018


Foster/Jannus Live met with the City at Municipal Service Center building, 8th Floor, Bayview Conference Room. Attendees were Bill Foster, Dave Goodwin, Jeff Knight, Ana Cruz, Luis Teba and Derrill McAteer, Assistant City Attorney. 

February 7, 2018


Former Mayor Bill Foster emailed the City seeking a Jannus exception in new noise ordinance. 

From: FOSTER
Sent: Wednesday, February 07, 2018 5:46 PM
To: Teba (City); Beckey Barnes (Jannus Live) ; Ana Cruz (Ballard Parnters (Governmental and public affairs, including legislative and executive agency advocacy in Washington, DC and Florida); Jeff Knight (Knight Enterprises) 
Cc: Dave S Goodwin (City) 
Subject: Re: Jannus Live Noise Ordinance Meeting

I believe that the study has been completed, and we will be happy to share the results before the PS&I meeting. I would also like to obtain a copy of the final report (sound study, backup material to be provided to Council, etc.) prior to the meeting.

Is there any chance we can sit down prior to the PS&I presentation to discuss the specifics of a Jannus exception?

I am not concerned with Beach Drive, The Edge, Vinoy Park, etc., but I do believe that consideration for Jannus is warranted, and a final meeting would be appreciated. Please let us know your availability.

Many thanks,

Bill

February 8, 2018


City replies, "We would be happy to sit down and discuss your noise study and the specifics of the variance process." The City responded to my Public Records Request for documents relating to the meeting and the exception, "We have reviewed the files and can not find any documents or notes related to this."  

February 20, 2018


According to Public Records Request, City and Jannus meet. While there are no documents, there may have been a discussion and the City may have not taken any notes. 

Had this meeting been shared, residents would have attended and made notes or recorded the meeting. Thus, there is no record of the discussion in the meeting located at Municipal Service Center building, 8th Floor, Bayview Conference Room. Attendees were Bill Foster, Dave Goodwin, Jeff Knight, Ana Cruz, Luis Teba and Derrill McAteer, Assistant City Attorney. 

February 22, 2018


(a) Public Service & Infrastructure (PS&I) meeting Council Member Ed Montanari recommended former Mayor Foster, representing Jannus Live, be allowed to speak. I have submitted a Public Records Request for emails and communications between Council Member M Montanari and former Mayor Bill Foster. The email thread between former Mayor Foster and the City is at the end of the article.

(b) City Council Member Kornell whispered to poke fun at the noise ordinance. For residents who have suffered because the Mayor and Police are not enforcing the noise ordinance for bars, this was in poor taste. This also demonstrates a complete disregard or lack of comprehension for research on both the medical issues associated with noise, and a lack of understanding of audible music and bass behavior. City Council Member Kornell was Committee Chair for PS&I responsible for the noise ordinance. This was not appropriate.


April 12. PS&I Committee Meeting


Public Services & Infrastructure is a City Council committee responsibility for the noise ordinance revision recommendation to City Council. The meeting is a closed meeting. The public is not allowed to speak. CM Montanari provided former Foster special consideration and CM Kornell seconded the motion. No resident or organization was offered special consideration until there were requests after the former Mayor Foster presented. 



(a) Chair Kornell seconded the motion for former Mayor Bill Foster to speak Foster stated that he is representing the Jannus Block. Council Member Kornell allotted 36 seconds introducing former Mayor Foster for his presentation to Council. Then Chair Kornell followed with 57 seconds on an impassioned speech for the music industry



(b) According the meeting minutes, "Bill Foster spoke on behalf of his client, Jannus Live, and the impact that a decibel based system could have on the venue. Mr. Foster spoke in support of the current noise ordinance, which is the plainly audible system. Mr. Foster also stated that the main concern for his client is that a new noise ordinance could affect the venue's ability to host musical acts." 



(c) When Foster spoke, for 8 minutes, when he was allotted 5.

(d) At Foster's 33 second mark, the former Mayor stated that the City Attorney is working with Jannus Live. Why isn't the city Attorney working with residents? 

According to Public Records Request on April 25, 2018 for "all communication (to include correspondence, documents, meetings, text messages) between former Mayor Foster (with all his emails and phones used) and or 1. City Attorney's Office,"produced no responsive communications with the City Attorney. However, according to Public Records Request on May 2, 2018, Derrill McAteer, Assistant City Attorney attending a meeting with Jannus,
I don’t know Mr. Foster. We certainly were not “working closely” together on anything, including the noise issue. ~ Derrill McAteer, Assistant City Attorney
per an email to Ms. Hibbard,"
In response to the May 2, 2018 public records request, I received no documents at either of the two stakeholder meetings I attended with representatives of Jannus Live. Staff sent out the attached materials via the email below in preparation for the January meeting, and I was copied, but I received no documents from Jannus Live representatives prior to or during the meetings. Luis Teba sent me a copy of Jannus Live’s subsequent noise study which I will provide. However, everything attached (and anything else staff sent to or received from Mr. Foster, including Jannus Live’s noise study provided after the second meeting) should be included in staff’s response to the public records request.  Dave Goodwin and Luis Teba dealt with stakeholders and residents directly regarding noise, not City Legal.
Again I must reiterate I have never corresponded with or spoken to Mr. Foster outside the confines of the two Jannus Live stakeholder meetings, and in those meetings I kept my comments to a minimum and took no notes. The meetings took place on January 11, 2018 and February 20, 2018 in the Municipal Service Center building, 8th Floor, Bayview Conference Room. Attendees were Bill Foster, Dave Goodwin, Jeff Knight, Ana Cruz, Luis Teba and me.

I asked, during the second meeting, that the Jannus Representatives share their noise study results and noise mitigation plans with City staff. I will pass the study on in response to this request.

I don’t know Mr. Foster. We certainly were not “working closely” together on anything, including the noise issue.


Sincerely,

Derrill McAteer 
At 9:02 A.M., Mr. McAteer added. "In response to the May 2, 2018 public records request. Again, this should be included in staff’s response to his public records request. To supplement my earlier email, I believe that Mr. Kotch was present at the February 20, 2018 stakeholder meeting along with the other noted Jannus Live representatives."

(e) At 11:44 A.M, which was after the PS&I meeting ended, according to a Public Records Request, Foster texted Kornell, "No apology necessary. Thank you for allowing me to speak." 

(f) Also attending the PS&I meeting were representatives from Downtown Residential Civic Association (DRCA), whose residents had filed multiple noise complaints.  The 2009-2010 DRCA Mission statement speaks to the noise issue on page 9, 
...For years now, over-amplified sound from restaurants, parks, concerts and festivals have bombarded residents as far as a mile away from the source! The new ordinance, while better than the old, is still far from perfect, and the DRCA is working to get rid of its seriously troublesome loopholes. The initial effort to get the City to do something about noise pollution has kept us busy for three full years. No other group assisted us, because other neighborhood associations don’t consider it to be their problem. But our persistence has paid off, and we will continue to persist until we rid the new ordinance of its faults. 

April 23, 2018

I emailed CM Kornell, "As you are both Chair of the Public Services and Infrastructure Committee and my district representative, I request to speak for 8 minutes at the next PSI meeting on the noise issue..."

September 20, 2018

(a) PS&I Committee Chair Kornell did respond that other had requested to speak, because Mayor Foster was allowed to address April 20th's PS&I meeting for Jannus Live. Kornell mentioned downtown residents wanted to speak and would only allow one. Yet, Kornell did not mention that a resident, who did not live downtown, had emailed him and had requested to speak. Kornell only mentioned downtown residents. 
The City has continually focused on the downtown noise issue and not admitted and or knew there was a noise issue outside downtown. 
Kornell failed to mentioned that I had made a request to speak. Why had PS&I Committee Chair Kornell allowed former Mayor Ulrich to speak for Downtown Residents Civic Association and no one outside downtown?

(b) I had conducted data analysis and trend analysis on the City noise calls, and associated crime and presented the finding to City Council. Public Records Requests and subsequent analysis showed there were no citations issued for noise. However, the Police provided the incorrect data to one of my Public Records Requests. Later, Police Chief Holloway addressed the Chamber of Commerce in a meeting, stating there were citations. 

Subsequent Public Records Requests provided the number of citations, bars, residences, vehicles and the number of citations. From 2013-2018, the number of Citations was extremely low and even lower than the number for vehicles.

    
(c) Conversations with other residents at the City's Pubic Noise Ordinance Revision meetings revealed bars had filed lawsuits against residents for calling the police to report noise. On arch 18, 2016, the Flamingo Resort had filed a lawsuit against me for calling the police to report noise and for my use of social media.

In May 2014, Council Member Kornell had worked with Flamingo Owner and Skyway Marina Board President Jack Dougherty, and Community Service Officer Kelly to develop a strategy to deal with a resident who complained about the noise. I am that constituent and resident, see the email is in the article. 

My requests to City Council in Open Forum and email for the strategy have produced no response. On March 18, 2016, Flamingo Resort had filed a lawsuit against me.


From August 2009 to 2018, residents made 208 noise-related calls to Emergency Communications Division’s police operators to report noise at the Flamingo Resort and 1058 crime and non-crime calls. Police did not issue one noise citation but made 62 arrests for crime-related calls from 2009-2018. For example, Calls For Service Report 2018137698, the notes state, 
HAD A MALE CALLER ON THE LINE WHO ADVS THERE WAS A FEMALE WHO WAS INVOLVED IN HUMAN TRAFFICKING D/C LINE BEFORE NC COULD TRANSFER. 
The Flamingo Resort's crime and non-crime calls include narcotics, overdoses, deaths, robbery, theft and more. 

For the 208 noise-related calls, police officers explained the noise ordinance 10 times to the responsible Flamingo Resort personnel, had issued multiple stern warning to the Flamingo Resort personnel, and had asked the Flamingo Resort to turn down the music 75 times. 

Residents stated approximately 42 times the music was either turned down before officer arrived, had just stopped, or was back up after the officer left. Residents reported hearing the music 1, 4 and 5 blocks away.  Some residents reported windows shaking. Bass and thumping were a common theme. 

(c) PDF of the Slide Presentations for Noise Ordinance Update PS&I on Sep 20 is on page 10 in the PDF document and April 12 Presentation is on page 16 in the PDF document.

UNKNOWN DATE

(a) City as yet to respond with the date for this message from Foster to Goodwin, "Thanks for the invite. I will be there to speak." The unanswered question is, Who invited question Foster to speak, Goodwin or Council Member Montanari? 

(b) PS&I abandons consideration for the decibel standard, which would hold the bars more accountable for noise at any time and distance.

Why was not I allowed to speak?  

You need to ask CM Kornell, Chair PS&I committee. He never responded to my request to speak to the citywide noise issues at the PS&I meeting. I had also asked for time to speak at a City Council Meeting, not the Council's Open Forum. There was no response.

City's lack of transparency

Other examples of the City's lack of transparency in the noise revision process. 

Residents who signed up for updates on the Noise Ordinance Revision activities were not notified how many business stakeholder meetings there were, when and who attended, or the outcome. In City's presentations to the PS&I the business stakeholders meeting's times, dates, attendees, and locations are not listed. The City did not maintain a list of documents on the web site, nor were residents advised past documents existed.

For example, on November 8, 2016, City made a request for two documents that were presented at 2016 Florida Chapter of the American Planning Association annual conference: 
  • OUTDOOR MUSIC, ANGRY NEIGHBORS AND TOOTHLESS NOISE ORDINANCES — Why Noise is difficult to regulate. (This was distributed to 79 stakeholders from the first Pubic Noise Meetings and through other dealings with the City. This was not distributed to future attendees to public noise ordinance meetings. Stakeholders, who are interested partied, such as residents,  businesses, public relations firm, may sign up for information. There was a list at the Cit's Public Noise Ordinance Revision Meetings, 
  • AN OVERVIEW OF NOISE REGULATION IN FLORIDA — Mark Bentley, Esq., B.C.S., AICP was not distributed to stakeholders. This should have been shared to educate the City residents and business owners. 

Additional articles of interest

I have extensively covered the noise issue and used research and Public Records Requests.  

Public Records 


(a) City Council meetings and agenda are available online. PS&I meetings are available via the search.



(d) St. Petersburg City Council Agendas

(e) St. Petersburg City Council Committee Agendas and Documents

(f) Numerous Public Records Requests were made.  

(g) Email exchange between former Mayor Bill Foster and David Goodwin, City's Project Manager for the Noise Ordinance Revision.






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Sunday, October 13, 2019

Say a Prayer for Bernie – We Need Him


Tampa Bay, Fl
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD
Author: In Search of Robin, So You Want to Blog.


LISTEN TO THIS POST

When I heard the news about Bernie Sanders’ heart attack, my heart skipped a beat also.
In this election cycle, we need Bernie Sanders. Bernie is a true socialist. His position as a socialist has been steady and consistent for decades.

photo: thestate.com 
Not sure what socialism is here is a good definition from Wikipedia: Socialism.
In an election cycle where candidates have been rushing to the left and embracing some form of socialism only Sanders stands true to the socialist agenda.
Sanders form of socialism is more accurately defined as democratic socialism.
The point is Bernie Sanders is the real deal.
The problem with socialism is over the long haul it simply does not work. History is replete with societies and governments that embraced socialism and its purported leveling of social and economic prosperity only to descend into concentrated power, corruption and a denial of civil rights as the “democratic” part of democratic socialism slowly erodes.
Elizabeth Warren flirts with socialism but only to attract votes. She seems to have limited understanding of socialistic government but says just enough of the right things to attract some of Sanders's followers, mostly female to her camp.
Listen and watch carefully ladies, Warren is far from what she would have you believe.
Kamala Harris who sees the world through the lens of a tough prosecutor, seems somewhat fascinated with the power a left-leaning government might be able to yield and also covets those votes of Bernie Sanders followers.
Joe Biden gets the socialistic leaning of his party but also realizes that socialism, democratic or otherwise is far from the solution to the problems that plague our country. He also recognizes that themes like reparations for slavery, free healthcare for everyone and the rapid redistribution of wealth through invasive taxes could, in fact, allow this country to descend into the chaos we have seen in South America.
We need Bernie Sanders to stay in the hunt and stand there as a lighthouse and yardstick for the socialistic position while we as a country search for answers. The yardstick we need is not the perverted socialistic view of Warren or Harris it is the view of Bernie Sanders the Statesman, who has devoted most of his adult life to trying to level the playing field for have-nots and the middle class.
If you read or listen carefully to the Sanders positions and proposals, there are a lot of good and workable ideas.
Joe Biden should not make a rush to the left but embrace the thoughts and ideas of Bernie Sanders as a true Statesman and respect Bernie as someone who is not just about winning an election but about making a difference.
While Biden battles with Warren and Harris, he might be well advised to draw Bernie a bit closer to him.
E-mail Doc at mail to: dr.gwebb@yahoo.com or send me a Facebook (E. Eugene Webb) Friend request. Like or share on Facebook and follow me on TWITTER  @DOC ON THE BAY.
See Doc's Photo Gallery at 
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Friday, October 11, 2019

Are Diamonds Really Forever?

Right now, the “recommended” amount you should spend on an engagement ring is two months’ salary.



St. Petersburg, Fl
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD
Author: In Search of RobinSo You Want to Blog.


Reposted from April 2018

It is that time of the year when relationships bloom, heart's flutter and bride to be eyes light up with vision's of things, that sparkle.

In the print media, electronic media, the Internet and just about everywhere else you look, there are ads promising the best deal on that much needed and desired engagement ring.

Before you plunk down a significant portion of your annual salary for an engagement ring here are a few things to check out.

First take a look at the number of engagement rings for sale on line.

I am not suggesting you buy one on line, although what she does not know probably won’t hurt her, but the real question is: where did all those rings come from? The answer is they were bought by idiots who got caught up in the "Diamonds are forever" marketing ploy, and things did not go well. They are now for sale and usually NOT by the original buyer.

As one who has had a number of engagement and wedding rings end up in a pawn shop case, the return on your investment is really poor. Example: a lovely blonde who pawned her(our) engagement rings (worth several thousand dollars) to make a $200 car payment. I know she was upset the wedding was off, but if she had called I would have probably made the car payment for her.

The whole engagement ring thing started in the late 1930’s as a marketing effort to kick start diamond sales. Since nothing says "I love you like a diamond" and "diamonds are forever" resonate, guys have been on the hook for ever larger upfront investments in their matrimonial future.

That is kind of interesting given that fact that according to the American Psychological Association 50% of marriages end up in divorce, and subsequent marriages are more likely to fail even if the engagement ring is bigger.
  

So, if she is sending you all those signals about getting married and suggesting an engagement (read that I want a ring) set down and have a long serious talk.

Right now, the “recommended” amount you should spend on an engagement ring is two months’ salary.

If you make $60,000 dollars per year that’s $5,000/per month or about $10,000 for a ring.

If you make $100,000 per year that is about $8333/month or about $16,700 for the ring.

These days you can finance that amount for up to eight years, and that number is interesting because the average marriage in the United States lasts about 8.2 years.

Think about your student loan. If that upsets you, think about how you will feel five or six years into a marriage that is slipping away, and you still have few years to go pay off what got you into all of this.

So, remember all this engagement and to some degree wedding ring stuff is a marketing creation of people who dig crap up out of the ground, polish it up, claim it is their own, establish outlandish prices in a closed market and take advantage of your situation.

The bottom line on all of this engagement ring hoopla, is it gives your beloved a symbol to wave about in the faces of her less fortunate friends who are still looking forward to reeling in a “ring” of their own.

See From BRIDES by Elizabeth Mitchel, 18 Things to Do as Soon as You Get Engaged

If a ring costing 20% or more of your annual salary is a required pre-commitment of endearing love do a little research, have a serious conversation with your partner and remember this: diamonds are not forever: they're just expensive.

E-mail Doc at 
mail to: dr.gwebb@yahoo.com or send me a Facebook (E. Eugene Webb) Friend request. Like or share on Facebook and follow me on TWITTER  @DOC ON THE BAY.
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Wednesday, October 9, 2019

With 2 of 3 Municipalities Opposed to PSTA's Proposed BRT, Feds Must Reject Grant Request


Tampa, Fl
From: Eye On Tampa Bay
Posted by: Sharon Calvert

PSTA, Pinellas County's transit agency, submitted a request in 2017 for a Federal Transit Administration (FTA) grant to fund their proposed Central Avenue Bus Rapid Transit Project (CA BRT). PSTA has requested about $22 million of federal tax dollars to fund this proposed$45 million BRT.

But it is time for PSTA's federal grant request to be dead in the water and the FTA reject their grant.

Two of the three municipalities along the CA BRT route oppose the BRT project. S. Pasadena and St. Pete Beach passed formal Resolutions earlier this year opposing the CA BRT 

S Pasadena city commissionResolution
(click to enlarge)
We understand these Resolutions were sent to the FTA and to the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT). The Resolution passed by St. Pete Beach requests the FTA take no further action on PSTA's grant request.


Those Resolutions, in addition to Resolutions passed by condo associations and homeowner associations in S. Pasadena and St. Pete Beach, can be found here.

Such strong opposition to the CA BRT should sink PSTA from receiving any federal grant for this project.

PSTA enabled this mess because they failed to properly engage those who reside or have businesses in S. Pasadena and St. Pete Beach and properly engage those who will be impacted daily by the BRT. PSTA submitted their grant request to the FTA in September 2017 without ever holding one public meeting about the BRT project in S. Pasadena or St. Pete Beach. 


PSTA never properly informed the public, especially those most impacted, what this project was actually doing. The proposed CA BRT project uses road diets to remove valuable parking and valuable general lanes of vehicle traffic for bus only lanes. The proposed CA BRT project uses the road diets to force bus only lanes on 1st Avenue North and 1st Avenue South in St. Petersburg and road diets on Pasadena Avenue in S. Pasadena.
St. Pete Beach city commission
Resolution (click to enlarge)



First Avenues North and South are local roads under the jurisdiction of St. Petersburg. But Pasadena Avenue is State Road 693 under the jurisdiction of FDOT.

FDOT requires proposed road diets on any State road to go through their "lane elimination" process. PSTA found out very late in February 2019 they must go through FDOT's lane elimination process regarding removing a general lane of traffic from SR 693 aka Pasadena Avenue.

PSTA decided their proposed CA BRT route was from downtown St. Petersburg to St. Pete Beach in 2017. But they made such decision with only holding public meetings about the proposed BRT project in St. Petersburg, only one of the three municipalities along the route.

When PSTA finally held an "Open House" meeting on September 11, 2019 in S. Pasadena where they plan to put Pasadena Avenue on a road diet, the Eye was there. We posted interviews we captured here. We now have the Comment Forms submitted from that meeting. They are overwhelmingly (80%) in opposition to the CA BRT project, especially from any resident who lives in S. Pasadena.

And as we previously posted here, in January 2017 the PSTA Board only approved a route from downtown St. Petersburg to 75th Avenue in St. Pete Beach. The route to continue from 75th Avenue in St. Pete Beach down Gulf Blvd was only an option that required St. Pete Beach to both support and help fund the BRT.

PSTA misled the FTA when they submitted their federal transit grant request in 2017. Not only did PSTA include in their FTA grant request the optional route down Gulf Blvd in St. Pete Beach, PSTA falsely included St. Pete Beach as a funding partner.

None of that was ever true because St. Pete Beach never agreed to fund or support the project. A Times reporter did initially cover that story but then she disappeared never to be heard from again.

PSTA received a $500K grant from FDOT in December 2015 to study a BRT project that was originally estimated to cost $16.5 million. In 5 years, the cost of the CA BRT has ballooned to over $45 million.

PSTA's overall financial position is questionable. PSTA's Chief Financial Officer has presented many different financial numbers that vary from month to month with little to no explanation for the changes. PSTA's financial information presented at their Board meetings in the public domain is incoherent.

But we do know PSTA's farebox recovery has tanked to 14% and they are using their capital reserves just to keep operating. For years PSTA has ignored their own promises to address their declining financial position.

PSTA will have to use between $8 and 10 million of their Reserves for their "local" capital funding match to receive the FTA transit grant for the CA BRT. This $45 million boondoggle will only speed up PSTA's insolvency.

Below is a chart that PSTA's CFO Debbie Leous presented at the May 29, 2019 PSTA Board meeting.
From May 2019 PSTA Meeting
According to the Minutes  of that May PSTA meeting, PSTA CFO Ms. Leous stated:
She [Leous] said by the end of FY 2021, there will be less than $1 million in available reserves for capital and operating costs. She [Leous] also reviewed what is currently being funded and what capital is not being funded. Ms. Leous noted that within five years, an estimated $18 million of local funding is needed with a total need of up to $26 million over ten years to maintain a state of good repair.
PSTA wants a bailout from the FTA and we doubt a bank would give PSTA a loan.

But what PSTA really wants is to put another transit tax hike on the 2020 or 2022 ballot. PSTA is using the CA BRT project as their ticket to seeking a new funding source for the financial mess they are currently creating.

The FTA transit grant process is competitive. We bet there are other transit projects in the FTA grant funding que with much less controversy, much more support than PSTA's CA BRT and led by transit agencies much more fiscally sound and responsible than PSTA.

The FTA should know PSTA's history of misusing federal funds. In 2014 PSTA was forced to return back to the feds over $300K of a federal transit security grant when they got caught misusing those funds on their Greenlight Pinellas rail tax campaign.

The fact that two of the three municipalities along the route oppose the CA BRT is cause for the FTA to reject PSTA's grant request.

Add in PSTA's use of misleading information about the project, PSTA's lack of honesty about the project, PSTA's lack of proper public engagement about the project and PSTA's vulnerable financial position.

And any federal grant for PSTA's CA BRT should be dead in the water!

Posted by Sharon Calvert at 7:00 AM 


This post is contributed by EYE ON TAMPA BAY. The views expressed in this post are the blog publisher's and do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher of Bay Post Internet.

Cross Posted with permission from: Eye On Tampa Bay



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Sunday, October 6, 2019

The St. Petersburg Pier

From the old pier deck

















Tampa Bay, Fl
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD
Author: In Search of Robin, So You Want to Blog.


As we draw near to the conclusion of the new St. Pete Pier Project here is a look back almost a decade to when it all started.

Re-posted from: 

Thursday, September 2, 2010
With updates



I like the Pier. I go their a lot. I go by on my boat, I ride by on my motorcycle, I drive out there at night and enjoy the lights. It dawned on me, I never stop.
 
I never go in and buy anything, I just sort of pass by. Take it all in and head out to Treasure Island for one of the Beach hangouts.
 I was upset when the Council brain trust voted to tear it down. How dare they put the old wrecking ball to my one place of mental solitude, the old inverted pyramid? I’ll miss it.
Maybe I am part of the problem. I go, I look, it makes me feel good but I never really support the place by spending any money there. Well, maybe the occasional ice cream cone, but I doubt that counts for much in the great scheme of things. A lot of people are yelling about the Pier but I wonder how many of them are like me. Taken by the structural appearance, comforted by the view but rarely truly supportive. It’s true that the place is primarily a tourist draw, but anyone in the tourist industry will tell you that you need the locals to be really successful.

Whatever they build it just won’t be the same.


I’ll miss the old upside down pyramid and the opportunity to make up some wild story when a tourist asks me, why did they build it that way? 

Flipped over when we were bringing it up the Bay and we just left it that way. They actually buy that!

Maybe I’ll stop by and buy a hat or something.
E-mail Doc at mail to: dr.gwebb@yahoo.com or send me a Facebook (E. Eugene Webb) Friend request. Like or share on Facebook and follow me on TWITTER  @DOC ON THE BAY.
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