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Branding: This is not 'grandma's Florida' | Dec. 16

Let's emphasize what's best about our state

How about a slogan that says "Florida: sunny, warm and user friendly." Something to that effect that covers our attributes. Then, an ad campaign needs to keep hammering it home. Thanks for the article.

Tom DuLaney, Tarpon Springs

Critics blast deal on FPL hike Dec. 15

Public input holds no sway in PSC rulings

The key statement in this story was made by PSC Commissioner Lisa Edgar: "This resolution is in the public interest based on the record of evidence."

The record of evidence on which the Public Service Commission bases its decisions is legally limited to information presented by the utilities in support of their requests for rate increases. That is why Public Counsel J.R. Kelly was not a party to this decision.

Sworn testimony and documentation submitted by the public cannot be considered, either. I learned this from the lawyer who represented the PSC in 2008.

Public participation in PSC hearings is just window dressing to give people the illusion that their views are important to the PSC. However, the blame for this entire situation lies with our state Legislature, not with the PSC.

Thomas Eppes, Thonotosassa

Budget website to stay unused Dec. 15

Scott's plan to replace watchdog site curious

The article by Mary Ellen Klas reports that Gov. Rick Scott plans to shelve Transparency 2.0. Florida taxpayers have already paid $5 million for the budget-tracking website and Times/Herald, Integrity Florida and the First Amendment Foundation have all given it rave reviews. They reported that it was thorough, easy to use and provided information that was not easy to find from other sources.

Scott's plans are to seek bids to create a public budget watchdog site, a curious plan in light of the fact that it seems that he already has one paid for by Florida taxpayers. Could it be that Transparency 2.0 is too transparent, and he is seeking one that will be less illuminating?

Jerry R. Dangler, Palm Harbor

Fed will keep lid on interest rates Dec. 13

Seniors bear brunt of Fed's fiscal policies

Without fully understanding how it works, it appears to me that the Federal Reserve is repairing the economy, in part, on the backs of seniors. Seniors, who are prudently avoiding risky investments such as stocks, and depending on the interest paid on safer investments such as certificates of deposit, are being "taxed" by the U.S. government — the Federal Reserve, not the Internal Revenue Service.

I know the Fed cannot specify what banks will pay as interest. But by "holding the short-term interest rates to near zero," financial institutions that used to pay interest of 3 percent to 4 percent for safe investments are now paying only 1 percent.

However, it is the prudent investors' money they are getting 1 percent on, not the government's. We are giving up a huge chunk of the income we would have been getting. Although I am told this is not a tax on seniors' pensions, it sure feels like one.

John Dorgan, Spring Hill

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Readers' comments about business news 12/22/12 [Last modified: Saturday, December 22, 2012 3:31am]
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  1. U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist and estranged wife Carole put Beach Drive condo on the market

    Real Estate

    ST. PETERSBURG — U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist and his estranged wife, Carole, have put their Beach Drive condo on the market for $1.5 million.

    Former Florida Gov. and current U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist and his estranged wife, Carole, have put their condo in downtown St. Petersburg on the market for $1.5 million. [Courtesy of Rhonda Sanderford]
  2. First WannaCry, now cyberattack Petya spreads from Russia to Britain


    Computer systems from Russia to Britain were victims of an international cyberattack Tuesday in a hack that bore similarities to a recent one that crippled tens of thousands of machines worldwide.

    A computer screen cyberattack warning notice reportedly holding computer files to ransom, as part of a massive international cyberattack, at an office in Kiev, Ukraine, on Tuesday.  A new and highly virulent outbreak of malicious data-scrambling software appears to be causing mass disruption across Europe.
[Oleg Reshetnyak via AP]
  3. Higher Social Security payouts help Florida post a big jump in personal income

    Personal Finance

    Personal income grew 1.3 percent in Florida in the first quarter of this year, a four-way tie among all states for second-fastest growth behind Idaho.

  4. Trigaux: Task now is for Water Street Tampa to build an identity


    Adios, VinikVille! Hello Water Street Tampa.

    An aerial rendering of the $3 billion redevelopment project that Jeff Vinik and Strategic Property Partners plan on 50-plus acres around Amalie Arena.
[Rendering courtesy of Strategic Property Partners]