A fun ride
Regarding “Immortalizing the passion of wrestling” (front page, Oct. 12):
The article by Paul Guzzo was a nice trip down memory lane for me. Back in the 1960s and ’70s I could almost always be found occupying a ringside seat at that sweaty old Fort Homer Hesterly Armory cheering or booing my favorite wrestlers.
I guess you could say I was a fanatic in my youth, to the point that I tried out for my wrestling team in high school, until my wrestling coach told me that I couldn’t do what I was doing at the amateur level.
My fondest recollection at the armory one night was when the ring announcer asked anyone who thought the sleeper hold was fake to enter the ring. Without hesitation, I jumped from my ringside seat and was promptly put to sleep by Don Curtis, who put his signature hold on me. I was a believer after that.
I’d be amiss not to mention my favorite wrestler: Boris Malenko, aka The Great Malenko and Professor Malenko — my alter ego all the way through junior and senior high school. Although I didn’t pursue my dream of becoming a professional wrestler, the fantasy was a fun ride at that time in my youth.
Ready for a winner
The Tampa Bay Rays have a relatively new downtown stadium ready to go right now. It is on Dale Mabry Highway — a prime location, plenty of parking, lighted field and ready for a winning team. And it is close to all our friends in St. Petersburg who have supported the Rays over the years. There is easy access and no big financing plan necessary other than perhaps a dome, which would be a plus.
It is time to back a winner. And perhaps they could share it with the Bucs.
Paying the price
Regarding “Broken contracts burden county, city, officials say” (front page, Oct. 13): Tampa’s purchasing director, Gregory Spearman, lays the blame on inexperienced bidders. I suggest the problem rests squarely on the shoulders of those preparing the project scope and those conducting the bids. Clearly, they have allowed unqualified companies to bid on work, have not thoroughly leveled the bids, and have made poor choices in awarding contracts.
Selecting the low bidder is not necessarily the right (or wise) thing to do, especially when years of historical data exists that would indicate what the reasonable and true cost of such work is. The low bidder has usually left something out. There is no need to look any further than the mirror for someone to blame.
Accepting responsibility for creating the problem in the first place would be a great step in the right direction to resolving the problem. In the meantime, the taxpayers of Tampa and Hillsborough County are paying the price for poor procurement decisions, literally and figuratively. Stop passing the buck.
Doing their job
Regarding the letter “Dump tea party” (Your Views, Oct. 10): If Nora Wilhide did not read Pat Buchanan’s column in the same issue, she should. Pat points out that the tea party did not cause all the things that are going wrong right now. They came to try to change the status quo.
The tea party representatives and senators are representing the constituents who sent them to Washington, as they should. Too bad some of the others don’t do the same.
Sun City Center
I was happy to see our president become involved in the pressing problem of the name of the Washington football team. “Redskins” is far too honorable a name for any team from Washington. More appropriate names would be “The Scandals,” “Unmanned Drones,” “Fiscal Idiots,” “Now Who Cares,” “What War?,” “No Borders,” “Fast and Furious,” and many more!
I hope they approve “No Debt Limit” soon so he can solve this important problem.
New Tampa neglected
I read that city officials have approved spending $1.56 million to buy land in the Channel District for another park. We can be assured this will be only a small part of the total cost to build and maintain the park. While it will be a great thing for a few downtown, where’s the same interest and support for New Tampa — the largest property tax haven the city has?
Neither city interests, support nor benefits are commensurate with our tax contribution. What’s up with this?
Michael Barone’s ignorance about health care reform shocks the conscience (“If only Obamacare had been passed with careful deliberation,” Other Views, Oct. 8). As an unemployed American with a pre-existing condition, I take great offense at his comment that President Obama’s speech writers invented this crisis as an applause line. American presidents all the way back to Richard Nixon have expressed concern about uninsured and underinsured Americans.
A civilized society doesn’t allow people to go hungry or without health care or live in the street, because it has a conscience, unlike Barone.