Soaring electric rates the latest blow to our budgets Aug. 31
Progress should pay for own losses
I hope I am asking this for the "silent majority." I feel rather ignorant, so allow me to explain. If I invest in stocks and/or mutual funds and their value falls, I lose! That's understandable and the risk I take in "gambling" in this line. If I deposit my money in a bank, it is safe and I don't expect much gain — and the FDIC protects me. When a major corporation reports a loss, the value of their stock drops —understandable. Those investors take a loss.
Now, why is it that companies such as Progress Energy and State Farm apply for ridiculous rate increases? If they are losing money, well, that's just too bad for their shareholders, isn't it? They gambled and lost.
Fred W. Cannock, New Port Richey
Power bills to bring a shock? Aug. 30
Why pay for plant that doesn't exist?
My take on Progress Energy's rate hike for the new nuclear power plants? "If they build them, we will pay." Where is it written that we the people should pay for plants that do not exist? Many who would be paying will not even be alive to see the benefits of these plants, if indeed they are ever built. Ooops, did Progress Energy just turn off my lights because of this letter?
Jean Centore, New Port Richey
Lack of feelings for seniors is sad
Some of our frail elders here in the community cut off their air conditioning months ago. The water heater was the next to be turned off. And then the stove or oven became too expensive to use in cooking, so that was eliminated. The TV was replaced by the radio since it used less electricity. And "sun tea" became a staple. With the shorter days ahead and less light, it will mean an earlier bedtime. Since the Utility Bill Assistance is temporary, our elders are discovering just how temporary life is. The day when the lights are finally turned off for the last time is fast approaching. A sad testimony in our civilized society when the folks who built this great nation of ours find the "golden years" to be but a tarnished dream. Years back, 6 percent was an acceptable profit for utilities and now it is 10 percent plus. What next? No watts at all!
Austin R. Curry, Tampa, executive director, Elder Care Advocacy of Florida
Low on funds? Cut CEO salaries
A good suggestion is a pay cut of 31 percent, at least. They will still be living on easy street, at that. It's time for a change — I'm sure all those overpaid CEOs can be replaced at a 50 percent discount. Just fire them all and don't bother with retirement benefits, and don't pay them their earned benefits. It's the Florida way — just look at Florida's contracted service providers manuals, for one example.
We are at the tipping point. The working public can't bear much more of this legalized pilferage. Think about it.
Mary A. Baecher, St. Petersburg
Times staffing shrinks by 201 | Aug. 30
Hope for survival of newspapers
As I read about the 40 percent of those eligible for Times Publishing Co.'s enhancement package and taking advantage of it (50 or older with more than five years of experience), thereby shrinking the staff by 201 employees, I thought about the old song Staying Alive. Because that is exactly what the Times and other newspapers across the nation are trying to do. My genuine hope is that the goal is achieved.
JoAnn Lee Frank, Clearwater
Retirement just a new career path | Aug. 17
Helen Huntley will be missed
As a devoted reader of Helen Huntley's column, it came as a shock that she's retiring after 37 years with the St. Petersburg Times. There are more than a few columnists who write articles that are frustratingly fragmentary. Not so with Helen Huntley's columns, which are complete, comprehensive coverage of the specific subject matter upon which she was focused. I especially like Helen's sound financial advice, which advised investor caution. Her richly instructive advice was invaluable.
I'm glad her leaving the Times won't paralyze her and limit her life as she has a new career already lined up. Helen will be seriously missed and, to me, it just seems sad for the St. Petersburg Times to let her go. This woman of high integrity and talent is irreplaceable.
Robert B. Fleming, St. Petersburg
Weekly recap of 1,500 stocks | Aug. 29
Return of stocks is appreciated
Well, it's about time! With your recent changes that had minimal stock information, this new feature will be welcomed, I am sure.
For those of us who were accustomed to tracking stocks, etc., on a daily basis, at least once a week is better than nothing. Thank you very much!
Leah L. Langenheim, Dunedin