Letters to the Editor March 10

This week’s letters to the editor.
John of June

No dogs to save

As another Gulfport resident and someone looking to give an adult Miniature Dachshund a home, carrying a leash and a checkbook in my pockets, and apps on file, I visited every stall with “rescue” on its sign. . I completely agree with your other writer, Karen Medve, in her letter (March 3). Not only were there no adoptable dachshunds to rescue at “Get Rescued,” there were few adoptable dogs to see. Where were all the dogs that needed homes? Where was DARE [Dachshund Adoption and Rescue]? Wasn’t “Get Rescued” named the biggest dog rescue event in all of Florida? Ms. Medve may be right: this event should be renamed. May I suggest “The Market for Everything for the Dog You Can’t Save”. Very disappointing. -The Dogless Susan Masztak


Mayor Welch proposes a new approach Mandarin Square

Last month marked five years since the Walmart neighborhood market in Tangerine Plaza closed, leaving much of St. Petersburg without groceries. Mayor Ken Welch pledges to find a solution. “For too long, residents of this neighborhood have lacked access and proximity to healthy food options,” Welch said. “That’s why I’m working with city staff to learn more about the Tangerine Plaza proposals established under the previous administration to make informed choices about how best to proceed.” These USDA-designated low-income/low-access areas have more than tripled over the same five-year period, as evidenced by 2020 census data that shows seven adjacent census tracts compared to two in 2015. Former Mayor Rick Kriseman and current District Six Councilman Gina Driscoll perfected the art of signaling virtue by giving residents a food policy tip and a proclamation affirming that food is a human right. Every action has good optics attached to it. None of these actions put food in the stomachs of those who need it. Our city has had five years to solve this problem. It’s not five years with a stubborn landlord who won’t move, but five years with no movement on a property. the city has. Let us reject aspirational change and virtue signals that confuse doing something with doing the right thing. Let’s hope our new administration gives nutritional insecurity the attention it deserves. –Wendy Wesley, RDN, St. Petersburg


Dissatisfaction with board comments

This week, Gulfport City Council presented a proposal to fund an infrastructure study that would assess additional mid-range housing within city limits to help address the housing crisis. The study included a review of the expected growth in infrastructure demand from ADU’s constructions as part of the initial phase of a broader affordable housing strategy.

Gulfport’s median household income is $52,700, below the state average of $63,000. The workforce is made up of many service workers who face significant rent increases. ADUs would be a step towards increasing the supply of housing with lower rents due to their smaller size.

Councilman Paul Ray flushed red as he angrily interrupted, “You’re going to destroy the character of Gulfport… I bought my house a long time ago because all houses were one story….[muffled] that would lead to Section 8 housing.” Ray’s neighborhood includes Stetson University, itself struggling with students, staff and faculty in need of housing options.

Councilor Christine Brown, also opposed, remarked: “If my neighbor had this in my garden, I feel like I don’t live in a neighborhood, I live in a commune…I disagree. ” When it was later noticed that she had an ADU rental herself in her backyard, she nodded yes.

All opposing council members had approved the city’s most recent comprehensive plan from 2018 which agreed to “allow flexibility for the provision of garage apartments in single-family neighborhoods” (Policy 1.4.3) showing a marked reversal of policy that delays affordable housing initiatives in a community. who needs it. Video (starts at 2:10:45) –Greg Simek, Gulfport


Gratitude in Pink

On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Gulfport Merchants Chamber of Commerce, I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to everyone who contributed to the success of the Pink Flamingo Home & Garden Tour 2022. In particular, we would like to thank the owners who shared their houses and their gardens with the tour, enthusiastically and without hesitation. I heard so many positive comments about the houses and how wonderful people thought they were; the tour truly reflects the best of Gulfport! The GMC would also like to thank the City of Gulfport for co-sponsoring the tour; we feel the city’s support as we show what’s great about Gulfport. Thanks also to Stacey Purcell and Gulfport Realty for providing transportation to the preview party, the Boca Ciega Yacht Club for hosting the preview party and check-in, and the restaurants (including the North End Taphouse) for donating food for party preview. We’ll see you at GeckoFest! –Barbara Banno, President of the Gulfport Merchants Chamber of Commerce

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