Regarding “St. Petersburg’s distinct identity” (Pam Iorio, Views, Jan. 19):
I was born here some 78-plus years ago, and reading your wonderful, newsy headline article about St. Pete’s “chic” designation — and all the amenities being enjoyed by visitors and our residents alike — I feel the omission of one of the best things lost to all of us at this moment is our eclectic Pier.
How wonderful it would have been to include: photos of folks dining in the “no-seat- without-a-view” Columbia; standing on the roof at Cha Cha Coconuts taking pictures while watching up close and personal the sailboat races so often happening in the bay; feeding the pelicans; buying candles made fresh for you as you waited; enjoying food and the view in the surfing restaurant called Reno Beach; buying hats, beach clothes and crystal souvenirs; and renting bikes, etc., to further explore and tour our waterfront and downtown.
What were our mayor and city council thinking? Leave our Pier alone! It is not for sale.
Repair the existing approach if you must, but do as little renovation to the building as necessary. Try to lure back the businesses that were working, and the 450-plus folks who lost their livelihoods during this bleak time in our economy. Build a much-needed new police station with the money left over from whatever funds have not been squandered from the original $50 million trying to force a minority’s will on the tax-paying majority.
I cringe at the reminder that all the folks who have visited our waterfront since May had to witness armed guards, the chain-link fence and the closed building, where we home folks and visitors once enjoyed as an integral destination when going “downtown.”
At least our new mayor has taken the first baby step in “Mother, may I?” have our Pier back. For the sake of reinforcing our “hip” designation as a city, put our open and operating Pier back before it deteriorates beyond repair.