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