Ybor Rivalries

Since the recent opening of Studio 1515 on Seventh Avenue, I have become a regular patron. In Ybor City, there is currently no other destination where art is happening to such extent and diversity. Thus I find it outlandish and absurd to have read Marty Clear saying of Sara Romeo, the female half of the husband-wife team who own and run the venue, "no single person has done so much damage to the arts in Tampa."

Mr. Clear owned Blue Chair Music from 1992-96. As an adolescent, I attended two concerts at the Blue Chair. I recall that on both occasions there was not adequate room to accommodate attendees, and the crowd that came to hear the music spilled onto the sidewalk and street. This was exactly the problem with Blue Chair. As Zelda SledgeHammer, who worked the door the night of the show she mentions, puts it: "Rosewater Elizabeth played to an overpacked house". For a punk or rock concert on Seventh Avenue, this is unacceptable. From my concert going experience, I know that fistfights at many punk or rock shows are not so much commonplace as inevitable.

Streetfights and crowds unmanaged by security are the last thing Ybor City needs. If Marty Clear had bought or leased a larger building for his events and provided adequate security within that space, Blue Chair Music might still be operating today. In that scenario, he wouldn't have had to attempt to slander Mrs. Romeo for seeking safety for the patrons of Ybor to make up for his lack of foresight and respect for the law.

—Jonathan Simkins

Radio Yahoo

It's always a pleasure to pick up the Weekly Planet and see the trash and garbage slapped onto the pages therein. Perhaps in the future you could leave the trees in the forest to process carbon dioxide and give more life to the planet instead of this garbage. However, since the paper is free and an obvious source of intelligence gathering for the thought process for the left, I tend to glance at the alleged "serious" articles. It's not hard — usually there is only one and it's only a five-minute read while I wait for my breakfast to be served at the local family diner.

Again, I was not disappointed by your diatribe against Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly et al. One thing you fail to understand is that these shows are market driven. No one in a small smoky room decides to air these shows to propagate a point of view alien to the listener. On the contrary, it is the listener who by his very act of listening and purchasing the products advertised endorses the views expressed.

Now, if Messrs. Limbaugh and O'Reilly dwell in hyperbole and entertaining phrasing, more power to them. I for one do not listen to Bill O'Reilly and often find Limbaugh too strident for the message, but I do occasionally listen. I am sorry if it offends you that I make a personal choice to be entertained and informed by the "right wing," but it is true for me and millions of other Americans who live out their lives in duty to God, country and family.

Many people on your side, although in the minority these days, fail to see the real issues and express them in a way that is marketable. Al Franken is the flip side of Rush Limbaugh without the finesse and intelligence, who will surely fail no matter what money funds him, just as Phil Donahue and others have failed. America does not want the failed policies of the past shoved down their throats.

—Dave Stanton
via e-mail

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