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Monday, Jun 18, 2018
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Letters to the editor: Dreamers and ‘Tampa Live’

Dreamers and ‘Tampa Live’

To Jeff Vinik: Here we go again. For the past 30 years the movers and shakers have been trying to jam a downtown “festival marketplace” down the public’s throat. The public has rejected them. It started with the shops at Harbor Island. When that failed, it moved to Channelside. When that failed, it ended up with you, or Liberty, or some bank in Ireland or the trustees of the Ottoman Empire or who knows what? This wouldn’t be so bad if only the politicians who have steadfastly snapped to attention and saluted whoever wanted to put a new coat of lipstick on the latest pig had not been marketing the daylights out of these preordained-to-fail ventures to the detriment of the real neighborhoods that could surely have used the help all these years. I’m thinking Ybor City. I’m thinking Seminole Heights. I’m thinking Tampa Heights and West Tampa. I’m thinking any place where hard-working Tampa residents bust their butts to build a better Tampa one red brick at a time. Instead, the power structure backs the losing horse every time while asking us grunts to make the rich guys richer with patronage of their ventures and with our tax dollars in their infrastructure.

I have nothing against the rich guy. It would be swell to be one someday. I, however, prefer to work for mine. The Mrs. and I have been grinding away on Seventh Avenue for almost 30 years, and we are still considered the newcomers down here. None of your lessees will match that dedication. Point is, Mr. Vinik, with the return you expect on this real estate and the rents you’ll be charging to get that return, your tenants will not be able to make enough money to justify the hours they’ll have to put in to compete with me and my 16-hour days. As a result, you will be into your own pocket to float this thing, or the Irish bank or its successor will be getting a chance to sell it all over again to the next guy.

With the brutal competition put up by us silly dreamers over here, it’s going to be a rough go for “Tampa Live” — unless you want to put in a supermarket, a dry cleaner, a hardware store, a drugstore, a Goodwill, some antique shops and some things that the residents there actually need.

Anyway, good luck.

Eric Schiller


The writer is the proprietor of Gaspar’s Grotto.

A coach who cares

Regarding “Group wants Pasco schools to end football team prayers” (July 10):

I was curious how many of the Pasco County high school football players were injured, had overdosed, gotten drunk or were arrested while attending those pregame meals and prayers at those churches.

I am glad they have a coach who cares about them as persons and not just property. My hat is off to coach Reggie Roberts of Zephyrhills High School.

Why can’t people leave other people alone?

I hear about tolerance all the time but never see that side show any tolerance for our side. What a shame!

Ken Booth

Land O’ Lakes

Health and happiness

I read with sadness, and happiness for Steve Otto, the announcement of his retirement. I’m a longtime subscriber of The Tampa Tribune and have enjoyed his columns throughout the years.

I’ve also been fortunate enough to know Steve for many years. His parents and mine attended the same church when we were young. As often happens, we haven’t kept in contact as often as we should have while leading our own lives.

Over the years my sisters and I have enjoyed reading his columns.

It’s hard to imagine the Tribune without his humor and insight. As many do in the Tampa Bay area, we wish him great health and happiness as he retires.

Thank you, Steve. God bless!

John Bottomley


War, not civil unrest

Regarding “Painful video shows the other side of Israeli-Palestinian conflict” (Other Views, July 10):

Emerson Brito’s comments fail to show that the knife cuts both ways, as he asks others to try and do.

The video shows the actions of the Israeli policemen but fails to address the possibility that the 15-year-old U.S. citizen was throwing stones and Molotov cocktails, as others were doing and the Israeli police claim. But we do not know for sure, as the video only shows one side of the knife.

This conflict is not civil unrest — but war.

Brito fails to mention at all that so far over 550 rockets have been shot by Hamas into Israel, with citizens only having 15 seconds to seek shelter.

I see plenty of pictures of bloodied and occasionally dead Palestinian children — again, showing one side of the knife — but people fail to realize that while Israel uses its weapons to protect its citizens,

Hamas uses it citizens to protect its weapons.

To Hamas, the end always justifies the means.

Perfecto M. Leon


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