I found the article “Westshore Dick’s brings big game to Tampa Bay area” by Richard Mullins (Business, April 23) most interesting. It certainly blows the bugles “that Tampa is on the move!” I’d say no, but maybe there is a yes.
Let’s look at the record. First, it was Amazon, with its 1,000-worker force in Ruskin. Then it was Bass Pro Shops in Brandon, followed by Gander Mountain and, finally, Sports Authority. Also, just over the horizon is REI, Academy Sports and Cabella, all scouting for spots. All these outfits will attract sports-minded customers and hire sports-minded employees, who will locate close to the work places.
What will they find: not much. Most of the boat-ramp access to the water is in Manatee and Pinellas counties and in Clearwater. Hillsborough County has E.G. Simmons Park and Williams Park ramps, but they could not handle the launching crowds we had a few years ago.
But wait. I forgot there is Ed Turanchik, a former Hillsborough County commissioner who is helping HMS Global Maritime secure a terminal for ferries back and forth to MacDill Airfield Base. The proposed location is the undeveloped Fred and Idah Schultz Preserve at the southern tip of Hillsborough County in the Kitchen area with a 3-acre proposed boat basin. Once the four boat launch ramps are added, the 1,000-plus-space parking lot could easily be used whenever car parking for the ferries is light, most likely on weekends. A perfect parking fit — along with a nominal parking fee to ensure the lot remains clean and has an organized appearance. The answer is yes, yes, yes!
You have to hand it to Turanchik. He has now made South Shore the best homing spot in this part of the county for the water sports-minded population. The county should approve the HMS Global Maritime project and add a nominal grant to cover the boat ramp design and construction costs.
Sun City Center
Northern relief needed
Regarding “A dubious State Road 60 plan” (Our Views, April 21): As stated in your editorial, “there are far more pressing needs than developing” a rural section of State Road 60 in Hillsborough County. One of those pressing needs is the widening of County Line Road (CR 578) on the Pasco-Hernando county line.
Although portions of County Line Road have been widened, the widening of the remaining portions should be moved up in priority. Just from casual observation, it is evident that daily traffic volumes have increased the past several years. In the final preliminary engineering report completed by the Florida Department of Transportation’s District 7 in April 2003, the need for improvement along the CR 578 corridor was outlined.
Now in 2014, those needs are even more obvious. They include the current substandard traffic operations, the increasing traffic demands as a result of the socioeconomic growth in northwest Pasco and southwest Hernando, inadequate capacity as a designated evacuation route, and the importance of a continuous route between U.S. 19 and U.S. 41.
Even in 2003, the traffic analysis documented that a large portion of County Line Road was operating at a level of service well below acceptable levels, particularly in a.m. and p.m. peak hours. To that now can be added the noon hours.
Hopefully, FDOT will step forward and work with Pasco and Hernando counties to achieve a mutually agreeable priority level in what is already going on in a more populated area. As your editorial quoted one resident regarding the State Road 60 plan, “Let’s handle things where it’s hot, where the population is.”
What a waste of paper your article about the Shroud of Turin was (“The Passion of the Shroud,” front page, April 20). Even Wayne Phillips admitted it couldn’t be proven, but he has faith in it. Wow! He has faith. The Bible says, “For faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1). Mark Twain said it better: “Faith is believing what you know ain’t so.”
If it is a linen that was wrapped around Jesus, we need a clean chain of custody from the time it was wrapped around him until today. Otherwise, it cannot be used as evidence. So who has had it these last 2,000 years, and how much can we rely upon them? And why was part of it rewoven in the 13th or 14th centuries? And isn’t that tampering with evidence? More samples must be carbon-tested, so we can know how old it is. But the church probably won’t allow that because that might negate its value and might just prove it’s a fraud. Why waste your paper and ink on these unproven superstitions?
Aubry D. Pope