Loving the Tampa Theatre My wife Ann and I accepted the honor of touring the Tampa Theatre with about 150 other visitors, students and tourists. What an amazing building — a jewel in our community. John Bell, president and CEO, gave an outstanding presentation of the theatre’s history and background while answering every question offered.
The Motion Picture Association of America was right on to feature this building as the third-best movie theater in the world.
While stationed at MacDill Air Force Base (1954), I met my wife standing in line for a Martin and Lewis movie and haven’t left Tampa since. How great is that!
Lawmakers not above law Was anyone else angered by the article describing “professional courtesies” for state legislators regarding police not giving speeding tickets (“Fired trooper should get his job back, hearing officer says,” Metro, June 13)? Why are legislators exempt from such laws that govern the rest of society?
My daughter received her first speeding ticket for going 82 mph on the interstate. It cost her $250 (as well it should have) and the choice of attending traffic school or losing points on her license. Hopefully, she learned her lesson, and this won’t happen again. That’s the whole point.
Yet when Rep. Charles McBurney and Rep. Mike Clelland get caught doing the same thing, they get away with a measly $10 citation. And they have the gall to complain that it was for the wrong offense!
Apparently the lesson they learned is the laws don’t apply to them. This is a blatant abuse of these (and any) politicians’ so-called authority, and we the people keep letting them get away with it. With power comes responsibility, and they need to be held just as accountable as the common person who breaks the law. That’s how you start reining in corruption.
Getting soaked twice Recent articles in the Tribune have discussed a new stadium for the Tampa Bay Rays in Tampa and ways to pay for one. This is not a new subject. The team’s contract to play at Tropicana Field is for a few more years, so it is very premature.
Tropicana Field is, in my opinion, a quality stadium, which was confirmed to me again last Saturday night, as we enjoyed the game and Martina McBride’s concert, dry and in air-conditioned comfort while the area was being blessed with a thunderstorm.
Since I have arthritis and COPD, which make it very difficult to walk any distance, we’re only able to attend a few games each year to support our team and, as with last Saturday’s game, enjoy the summer concert series. Fortunately, Sun Sports carries most of the Rays games, so I and most other Rays fans don’t miss many games.
We live in Zephyrhills, and driving through Tampa at most any time of day is a frustrating, bumper-to-bumper, stop-and-start experience (this alone makes me question why anyone would want a baseball stadium in Tampa). We have found, however, that by taking I-75 south to the southern junction with I-275, and coming back north to the stadium exit, we miss the terrible Tampa traffic, while adding only a few miles to the trip and experiencing the beautiful view from the Sunshine Skyway.
What I really question, though, is who pays for stadiums. Most are paid for by taxpayers, who not only get soaked for construction costs but also are asked to pay extremely high prices for parking, admission and refreshments. It seems that it would make more sense for team owners and players to pay for the stadiums themselves, since they earn so much money from television contracts in addition to tickets and concessions. Even the lowest-paid players make considerably more money than the average fan.
James D. Blair
Next great county? Hillsborough County has ended the ban on promoting gay pride events. I guess this is another step along the road to becoming the “next great county.” What a laugh. Opponents describe the ban using worn-out buzzwords like intolerance, discrimination, lack of diversity, etc. What’s happened is that the county has endorsed an abnormal and unnatural lifestyle.
Columnist Leonard Pitts recently wrote that 70 percent of young people support gay marriage. By extension, they must support homosexuality. This is no surprise, because they have been indoctrinated by homosexual propaganda through the media for the last 20 or more years. Older people, though they instinctively are opposed to this unnatural behavior, are mostly silent because the new God, “science,” has provided no answers either way, and if they base their opposition on the God of the Bible, they are ridiculed.
A good example is a recent column by the Tribune’s Joe Henderson, who ridicules people like Pastor Travis Smith for believing that homosexuality is a choice. Henderson mocks this idea, as if anyone woke up one day and said, “You know, I think I’ll choose to be gay because I would really enjoy facing discrimination, suspicion and condemnation.”
Sorry, but that example won’t fly. Nobody wakes up and decides to be a drug addict, either, or an alcoholic or a homeless person. They make a number of smaller choices over a period of time, and one day they wake up and they are who they are.
Gerry Stack II