Saturday, February 24, 2018
Business

Readers' comments about business news

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

Comments
Activists call for tech companies to drop NRA’s digital TV channel

Activists call for tech companies to drop NRA’s digital TV channel

Activists are calling for Apple, Amazon, Google and other streaming companies to drop the National Rifle Association’s digital TV channel in the wake of the mass shooting at a Florida school last week, putting the companies in the delicate position o...
Published: 02/24/18
Edward Peachey demands severance from CareerSource before stepping down

Edward Peachey demands severance from CareerSource before stepping down

The head of the Pinellas and Hillsborough career centers under multiple investigations into the way they report job placement figures says he has no intention of stepping down.That’s unless he is paid five months severance.In a letter from his attorn...
Published: 02/23/18
Terminally ill Valrico man dies a month after marrying junior high sweetheart

Terminally ill Valrico man dies a month after marrying junior high sweetheart

VALRICO — During his final few days, 19-year-old Dustin Snyder moved to a hospice house, surrounded himself with belongings from home, swam in a pool and visited the beach in Ruskin.Wherever he went, the terminally ill Valrico man had family beside h...
Published: 02/23/18
Tampa Downtown Partnership gets initial city okay to expand north

Tampa Downtown Partnership gets initial city okay to expand north

TAMPA — The Downtowner may be heading to Tampa Heights — but not until Oct. 1.That’s because the nonprofit Tampa Downtown Partnership this week won initial City Council approval to expand into Tampa Heights."Tampa Heights is becoming an important gat...
Published: 02/23/18

Tampa lawyer gets 27 months in federal prison for insider trading

Tampa lawyer Walter "Chet’’ Little was sentenced this week to 27 months in federal prison for engaging in an insider trading scheme that reaped him and a friend profits totaling nearly $1 million.According to federal authorities, Little accessed comp...
Published: 02/23/18
More companies are cutting ties with gun lobby as #BoycottNRA movement gains steam

More companies are cutting ties with gun lobby as #BoycottNRA movement gains steam

Three major companies — Enterprise Holdings, First National Bank of Omaha, and the cybersecurity giant Symantec — have ended co-branding partnerships with the National Rifle Association as a #BoycottNRA social media movement picks up steam.Enterprise...
Published: 02/23/18
Citi to refund $330 Million to credit card customers it overcharged

Citi to refund $330 Million to credit card customers it overcharged

Citigroup is preparing to issue $330 million in refunds after the bank discovered it had overcharged nearly 2 million credit card customers on their annual interest rates, a spokeswoman said Friday.The bank, which has about 150 million credit card ac...
Published: 02/23/18
Girl Scouts camp sold to member of Tampa’s Lykes family

Girl Scouts camp sold to member of Tampa’s Lykes family

ODESSA — The 63-year-old lakeside summer camp had no air conditioning or electricity. Cabin floors were often covered in grime, and cobwebs clung to the windows.But under new ownership, the 18.6 acres of Florida woods known as Camp Scoutcrest to memb...
Published: 02/23/18
BB&T cites ‘technical issue’ in outage affecting customers

BB&T cites ‘technical issue’ in outage affecting customers

Millions of BB&T customers were unable to access their accounts after a service outage which the bank blames on an equipment malfunction. The Winston-Salem, North Carolina-based bank posted a statement on its Twitter page saying the problem persiste...
Published: 02/23/18
Realtors are ‘every 10 feet’ in Florida but more want in the business

Realtors are ‘every 10 feet’ in Florida but more want in the business

ST. PETERSBURG — Tired of working as a yacht captain, Pancho Jiminez decided to get into real estate even though he knows it’s a highly competitive field in Florida."Realtors are every 10 feet around here," he says.Nonetheless, Jiminez is among 30 st...
Published: 02/23/18