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Blue Pier supporters produce their own song

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Supporters of the ill-fated Blue Pier design aren’t backing down. The group has produced a rap song set to an addicting electronic beat.

“Six years old, story begins, concrete jungle I lived in,” the song starts off.

The beat sounds like it could be used for a 1-800-ASK-GARY ditty.

The lyrics play on a working-class, “a park for everyone” sort of mentality. They paint the city’s current trajectory, seemingly the Alma, as a destination for the masses, not the wealthy few.

“Public park – saving grace. Love the city, but I need green space,” it goes on.

The group of Blue Pier supporters touts their preferred design as the most environmentally sustainable. It features the most green space of any other proposed design and incorporates planting mangroves and other habitat restoration efforts.

The song points out that a Pier design should be available to someone whether they have 50 cents or $50. It lists a number of recreational activities available, including flying a kite, bird watching, dolphin watching and interacting with the water.

“Space verses Structure: we win,” the lyrics proclaim.

The song then launches into a chorus that repeats four times.

“Blue Pier, you got my heart,” the chorus begins.

But Blue Pier was ranked outside of the top three during the Pier Selection Committee’s marathon 12-hour meeting last month. The group ranked the top three, in no particular order, Alma, Destination St. Pete Pier and Pier Park.

The committee is set to issue a final ranking of the three teams on April 23.

Blue Pier supporters seem to acknowledge there is little chance of their preferred design being reconsidered, so their song proclaims a next best thing.

“Top 3, one choice, Pier Park’s got our voice!”

The song points to high-end dining on Beach Drive in what seems to allude to the Alma design’s presumptive inclusion of a Columbia Restaurant on the uplands.

“Commercial interests, they have eyes. Customer base is the prize.”

But it corrects, “listen to what space provides: health for the body and the mind; economy on the rise. And guess what it decreases crime.”

The song also plays on one of the most prevalent complaints made so far throughout the Pier selection process.

“Community emphasis lasts a lifetime, don’t dismiss.”

The public ranked Pier Park number two on a city survey. Blue Pier came in number three on that same survey. The Pier Selection Committee’s presumptive favorite is Alma. That design ranked number five on the City’s survey and dead last on two other independent surveys conducted by St. Pete Polls.

Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email [email protected]

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