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All You Need to Know to Vote On The LENS

There is no air conditioned Restaurant in the $50 Million dollar design

The LENS is not functional

The LENS does not fit with the nature of the waterfront

The LENS is not practical

The LENS is just plain ugly

No matter where you live in St. Pete you will be paying for it

How do you stop all of this madness?

Just VOTE YES on the only question on the Ballot.

A YES VOTE cancels the contract to design and build the LENS.

e-mail Doc at: dr.webb@verizon.net, or send me a Facebook Friend request.

Campaign Disclosures: Contributor to Kathleen Ford Campaign, Darden Rice Campaign, Concern Citizens of St. Petersburg

Have your say.  VOTE YES TO Stop The Lens

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Dennis Raymond August 22, 2013 at 08:25 AM
Obviously, there is more that you need to know before voting on the new pier. Visit www.pierfacts.com Visit www.thenewstpetepier.com Read the editorials in the Tampa Bay Times that endorse the new design and talk to local businesses and the St Pete Chamber of Commerce. The reasons to Vote No so we can move forward with the new design are many and real.
Bill H. August 22, 2013 at 10:08 AM
Once again Dennis Raymond, some of what pierfacts.com say is true, but that only tells half of the story. When you only tell one side of the story then you leave much out. When you only tell the things you can do and leave out all the things you can’t, than that is only a partial truth. The Lens can do some things. I just believe the current pier and really a refurbished pier can do more things for more people. It is Iconic. It is history. If you take the building and put in say 30 million more, you end up with a building that is worth much more than invested. A building that can do everything the Lens does and has heat and a.c. and is a safe plce to go in a storm. Here is a point by point break down of the pierfacts assertations. 1. Charlie Gerdes said at the last info meeting that no large event can be held on the Lens Promontory that is larger than the 285 you can provide for on the learning steps. Then you must sit on the steps or stand. This will be all in western afternoon sunshine. You want to attend an event where you're looking into the sun??? 2. The pier task force said there should be a building at the end that has a.c. and retail. 3. Yes 4. There were limited(3) meeting where the public could speak. 5. Yes, all in a confined 12ft. wide path. Oh, and don’t forget the pets. This is all something you can do now at the current pier, but no one does. Maybe because there is no a.c. at the end or a place to get a cheap drink. Oh, and don’t get me started with the bike path that you can’t ride your bike on. 6. Basically yes as this money would be spent on anything built. However, if not spent on a pier it would go back to the general fund and could be spent on other projects. 7. Yes. 8. Yes. 9. Did the water clear up all of a sudden? Now there is talk of a light show. Interesting, but could be done on the current pier. 10. Yes. 11. Do not know, but will say Yes. 12. As best as an engineer can say. Still not sure of the wind tunnel effect on people below the canopy. 13. Everything, new and old, needs to be cleaned, so yes. 14. With no a.c. and not as many restaurants, probably, but maybe we should all give those up on Beach Drive too? 15. A refurbished pier will have a subsidy much closer to the proposed Lens. You can’t keep comparing the new Lens to an old pier. You must look at a new Lens vs. a new Pier. 16. Again, no enclosed space for comfort or safety on the Lens. What retail? The current pier offered 15 different places to eat at all different price points. Oh yeah, inside or out. 17. At noontime, that may be an accurate figure. But the shade will be always moving and the learning steps face West, in the afternoon,…………………………………. Misters don’t help in a high humidity climate like ours.
Howard Taylor August 22, 2013 at 12:22 PM
Number 1 Dumbest Lens Thing - The architect’s plan for safety in the event of sudden storms. http://youtu.be/e7-EIWj5cXU “If it looks … if I look up in the sky and it looks to me like a thunderstorm is approaching, I go inside – or I don’t go outside.” (August 18, 2013 Pier Debate on The Current). This may be the “47% comment’ of the Build The Lens campaign.
Hal Freedman August 22, 2013 at 09:07 PM
There is no air conditioned Restaurant in the $50 Million dollar design; THERE IS AN A/C RESTAURANT AT THE HUB. THE GRILL AT THE PROMONTORY MAY BE A/C OR NOT, AT DISCRETION OF RESTAURANTEUR WHO BUILDS IT OUT. The LENS is not functional; WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE FAILED RETAIL (THAT ONLY EXISTED, THANKS TO RENT CONCESSIONS BY THE CITY), YOU CAN DO EVERYTHING AT THE LENS YOU CAN DO AT THE PYRAMID...AND MORE...IN FAR MORE BEAUTIFUL SURROUNDINGS. THERE WILL BE PLENTY OF RETAIL AT THE SHOPS AT ST. PETERSBURG (THE OLD BAYWALK), WHEN ITS $30M RENOVATION IS COMPLETED EARLY IN 2014. PROBABLY NO CANDLES OR CRYSTALS...SORRY. The LENS does not fit with the nature of the waterfront; LIKE THE DALI, SIGNATURE AND OVATION DO NOT FIT THE "NATURE OF THE WATERFRONT"?? WHAT EXACTLY IS THE "NATURE OF THE WATERFRONT"? The LENS is not practical; THE LENS WILL BE CONSTRUCTED AS A NEW, STATE-OF-THE-ART STRUCTURE FOR FAR LESS THAN IT WOULD TAKE TO REFURBISH THE PYRAMID. The LENS is just plain ugly; EYE OF THE BEHOLDER?? No matter where you live in St. Pete you will be paying for it; WHILE THIS IS QUESTIONABLE, IT IS NOT QUESTIONABLE THAT THE TOURISM THE LENS WILL GENERATE WILL BENEFIT YOU "NO MATTER WHERE YOU LIVE IN ST. PETE" Gene, get your facts straight. Stop spreading mis-information. go to www.pierfacts.com and educate yourself. VOTE NO!! BUILD THE NEW PIER!!
Hal Freedman August 22, 2013 at 09:11 PM
Howard Taylor, visit the Canopy at the new Birchwood Inn. Take a peek at what they are doing around the perimeter of the bar to protect against a sudden storm and provide shelter quickly. Certainly not advanced engineering, but an inexpensive and effective solution. I'm surprised none of the stoppers' engineering geniuses had suggested this approach. Could it be they just want to stop progress, not contribute to it??
arthur finegold August 23, 2013 at 06:17 AM
Yes, the LENS fits well with the nature of the waterfront. It is an extension of our park system which provides a path with beatiful views of Tampa Bay on both sides. It highlights our bay and provides many other vantage points to enjoy the view. It provides a protected marina for recreational boaters. Compare that with the inverted pyramid which definitely does NOT fit in with our waterfront and our parks system. It is a dirty wide road with allows automobile fluid and tire residue to spill into the bay. When walking on the inverted pyramid approach, the view on the opposite side is obscured by parked cars. It does not provide for protected docking for recreational boats.
Bill H. August 23, 2013 at 07:18 AM
The current pier can be refurbished for the same money it will cost to build the Lens. It was the number one tourist attraction in the County. It generated 70 million to the city each year. Maybe the Lens could be a draw. It would be for a while, but why go back twice? No matter what else you say, the pier is a safe haven in a storm. The Lens can never be.
Dennis Raymond August 23, 2013 at 10:27 AM
Bill H, no the existing pier and inverted pyramid can not be refurbished for what it will cost to build the new pier. http://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=relmfu&v=DayHvA-xrAk
Bill H. August 23, 2013 at 03:47 PM
Dennis, where oh where do you think the number 50 million came from??? Do you think somebody just made it up or that it came from space or something? No, that was the amount they said it would cost after they went in and looked at the pier. Why a 50 million dollar project? Because that's the original estimate.
Bill H. August 23, 2013 at 05:37 PM
So Dennis, rather than a link to a commercial, while these are not my words, here are some facts: Parsons Brinkerhoff analyzed the Pier. In 2005, the City Council amended the Intown Redevelopment Plan to include the Pier project: replacement of Pier approach ($22.2 million); replacement of Pier head structure ($12 million); replacement of Pier head retail ($6.1 million); restoration of structurally sound inverted pyramid structure ($4.3 million); and design/permitting administration of $5.4 million, totaling $50 million. This is where the $50 million Pier project originated. (The 2011 council deleted the specific line-items from the redevelopment plan.) The Pier Task Force suggested widening the bridge from 100 feet to 150 feet. Neither the Southwest Florida Water Management District nor the Army Corps of Engineers would approve of this because they limit reconstruction to the footprint to protect the Tampa Bay Aquatic Preserve. The city's $87 million estimate was derived from this never-to-be-allowed widening of the bridge. ... The inverted pyramid is a significant city real estate asset. It is structurally sound. Furthermore, independent engineers have estimated that the bridge can be replaced and the inverted pyramid building renovated within the $50 million budget. Moreover, a newly replaced bridge and renovated building would reduce or eliminate the subsidy. City staff had advised the City Council that the city made a profit from the Pier leases when the costs associated with maintaining the bridge were removed. Facts should be the basis for all city decision making. Here, the citizens of St. Petersburg have a significant investment in their Pier. They should have all the facts and have a vote on whether their Pier should be demolished or renovated. Of course, I thought it would be fiscally prudent to obtain voter approval prior to spending millions of dollars on the controversial Lens design. A year ago I asked for this vote. So now we find ourselves facing the Aug. 27 vote where we will see whether Mayor Bill Foster and City Council wasted $3.8 million on Maltzan's Lens. Vote Yes to Stop The Lens!
Dennis Raymond August 23, 2013 at 06:15 PM
There have been many St Pete Piers over the years, not one has been put to a vote and there's a reason for that. Public works should not be subject to referendums like this. As we've seen, opinions on this issue are all over the board and coming up with a consensus just ain't gonna happen. Stop the Lens means years of contentious bickering with no idea of what's to come. Time to be pragmatic and accept what we know rather than make decisions based on fiction and what ifs. Vote No and we can move forward.
Bill H. August 23, 2013 at 06:27 PM
Just because it has never happened before, doesn't mean it shouldn't have happened. If there had been a vote on refurbishing the current pier, we wouldn't be where we are today. We can and will do better than the lens. Vote Yes to stop the Lens.

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