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Wednesday, Jun 20, 2018
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Letters To The Editor

Letters to the editor: Costly change

Costly change Tampa City Councilwoman Yvonne Yolie Capin thinks Nebraska Avenue should be renamed Pedro Menendez de Aviles Avenue. The estimated costs just to change 162 intersection signs is $75,000. I expect the "real" cost will be double that or more. This does not even include the cost to the businesses along Nebraska Avenue, which your article estimates to be "hundreds of thousands of dollars" for signs, stationery, business cards and the like.
The train wreck called Obamacare is already forcing small businesses to either lay off staff or cut employee hours. Why in the world would anyone suggest dumping more fees on the small businesses in this city that are struggling to survive? If there is that much available money floating around out there, how about adding police officers, firefighters, teachers or librarians, instead of wasting it on such a foolish, self-serving, meaningless and costly endeavor? Frederick T. Plumb TampaA plaque would do Reading "Nebraska proposal ignites firestorm" (June 22) and "City may rename Nebraska Ave." (June 21) has my blood boiling and my stomach wretching. With all the important issues of the day confronting our elected leaders, is this what Councilwoman Capin thinks she was elected to confront? We are being overwhelmed by special interest groups demanding this special attention and that special consideration. Our local, state and federal governments are spending huge amounts of their time in sessions debating such mundane issues as the renaming of a road. If it were within my power and she were in my district, I would demand a recall of her. Never mind the cost to local businesses along Nebraska Avenue, the confusion for the first several years would be enormous. Everyone knows Tampa has a huge Hispanic heritage and local flavor. We get it. We have to endure the bilingual challenge every day. I immigrated from Germany in 1960 with my mother, and my stepfather insisted I learn and speak English. Now, we are bigots and insensitive if we expect those around us to speak our own language. Capin seems to be insistent on this issue to her own glorification. I doubt Menedez de Aviles could care less since he died hundreds of years ago. Put his name on a plaque somewhere. That will have about as much of an impact as his name on a street sign. Harald Stone TampaAlternatives available So Yvonne Yolie Capin has proposed renaming Nebraska Avenue for a Spaniard whose name few can pronounce, who landed on the East Coast back in the 1500s, founded St. Augustine and then went to the Jacksonville area and slaughtered a bunch of Protestant Christians but never got over to Tampa. Her stated reason is she wants to honor Florida's 500th anniversary by preserving something historical - not that Nebraska Avenue doesn't already have a history. So to help preserve something historical regarding Nebraska Avenue, and stay within Tampa's history, I propose the following list for council's consideration: Prostitute Row, Pimp Place and Drug Drive . If these aren't acceptable, I have a few more suggestions - all they have to do is ask. Lester E. Scates Plant City Wrong focus Of improvements needed in the City of Tampa based on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest, changing the name of Nebraska Avenue to one that few could even pronounce or financially afford to alter borders on a minus-3. There's no doubt this longtime thoroughfare that runs up the heart of our great city has suffered for the past few decades from a public relations challenge. For those who are unaware, this stretch of Tampa was for many years a vibrant gem in our city's rich history and development. With recent improvements in our economy, a quiet metamorphosis has been occurring. New businesses, including successful restaurants, are popping up everywhere. However, we must give Councilwoman Yolie Capin a little leeway, as she is fairly new to the political arena and is sometimes overzealous in her new public role. With the continued cooperation and support of the city, county and the private sectors, Nebraska Ave. can once again be a shining star in our city`s growth and future. I suggest Capin start diverting her attention from Cuban sandwich contests and renaming streets and start focusing more on actual improvements to our city, and then she may have a chance at a second term. Mike Merino TampaInglorious 'hero' I cannot believe that anyone would even consider naming anything for the butcherer Pedro Menedez. Your article simply states he conquered a French protestant settlement on the site of present-day Jacksonville. That does not give Menedez his due. What you left out was that he marched 500 soldiers and attacked the French Huguenot settlement of Fort Caroline after their protector, Jean Ribault, left, taking most of the military with him and leaving the religious refugees virtually defenseless. Menedez then proceeded to massacre approximately 140 settlers, sparing only about 40 women and children who were left to starve to death. After that, he found the shipwrecked Ribault near St. Augustine, and they begged for mercy. Menedez killed about 350 men there, sparing only a few Catholics. The place is still known as Matanzas, which means "slaughter." What he and his fellow Spaniards did to the local natives is another ugly story. What a glorious hero! Jack C. Bolen Brandon
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