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Sunday's letters: The Chris Christie show

Stealing state artifacts | Jan. 10

Looting fossils is not okay

Does Dan Ruth really condone stealing artifacts from public lands?

In an era when public resources are increasingly for sale to the highest bidder, this attitude is not so surprising. But I expected better, given the Times's more progressive reporting on other common property resources, such as springs and wetlands.

As a professional archaeologist, I have worked with ethical artifact collectors who were genuinely intrigued and protective of the archaeological, and also encountered others who had no interest except for their own personal gain.

The individuals highlighted in the story strike me as much closer to the latter. In my experience, this is the sort that would happily desecrate Native American graves, or even the graves of Civil-War era Americans, as they know these are where the "best" artifacts (whole pots, belt buckles, etc.) are often located.

Thomas Pluckhahn, Tampa

Pictures vs. abortions | Jan. 10

More on ultrasounds

Despite being a lifelong abortion foe, I have never supported mandatory ultrasounds. I considered them somehow coercive and punitive. However, Kate Waldman's op-ed does contain some scientific misinterpretations that need to be addressed.

First of all, the study she cited was a retrospective study, the lowest quality of clinical studies. For example, the quality of the interview through which a woman stated the strength of her decision to have an abortion cannot be controlled for. Second, the conclusion that only 1.5 percent of the women decided not to have an abortion after looking at an ultrasound is misleading.

Waldman admitted that more than 55 percent of the women refused to have an ultrasound. If one assumes that their motivation was prompted by fear of changing their minds, the percentage would increase to 57 percent. So it is not scientifically correct to state that the decision of only a minority of women was influenced by imaging of the fetus.

I also take exception to the statement that women choosing an abortion are making a rational decision. I don't think it is human to make a decision of this type without being overridden with emotions.

Has Waldman never met a woman who regretted this so called choice and who has been haunted by this choice for the rest of her life?

Lodovico Balducci, Tampa

Laugh and learn | Jan. 9

The 'current occupant'

In announcing Garrison Keillor's appearance in Tampa, the Times failed to mention his most laudable attribute.

Yes, he's funny, yes, he's talented, and yes, he is of the Left, but he is the only figure in public life in America who refused to refer to Bush as "president." While everybody and his brother fell in line to do so, Keillor saw him for what he was and always referred to him as the "Current Occupant," and for being the lone concerned voice out of 320 million lemmings he deserves some kind of official recognition, like the presidential medal of whatever, or whatever.

R.G. Wheeler, Lealman

Olympic boycott | Jan. 10

Not a good idea

A Jan. 10 letter stated that we should not send any athletes to the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.

But all of these athletes work for years to prepare for the Olympic games. We should not keep our athletes away for some political reason. President Carter did this and it was a big mistake!

Steve Moran, Largo

Duke Energy to profit again | Jan. 9

Pity the Duke customer

So Duke Energy customers get to pay more to the company that holds them hostage.

Switching companies would mean deregulating the electricity industry to give consumers a choice in who we pay our money to. The Florida legislature won't do that!

In an economic time when making ends meet is so difficult, now there will be additional costs to customers to clean up the Crystal River plant?

Duke Energy knew the future when they bought Progress Energy: leaking tanks at facilities, nuclear waste storage issues, the possibility of nuclear waste contaminating the water supply, etc. Our short- or long-term memories of this will not matter until it sits on our doorstep. Then and only then will we react. Unless it directly affects us, it doesn't matter. Well, sorry, every dollar counts and thanks to a corrupt legislature we are now in Duke's control. Thanks!

Chistina Ennist, New Port Richey

New FAMU president | Jan. 10

Skills trump politics

It is refreshing to see a new president of a Florida university with a doctorate and coming from a university environment, not from the ranks of Florida politicians.

J. Thompson, Port St. Lucie

Gridlock scandal grows | Jan. 10

The Chris Christie show

How dumb does Chris Christie think we are? The funniest piece of the Christie coverage was when an MSNBC reporter asked the governor whether he thought he was a bully. Christie said, "No" and the reporter seemed satisfied.

If a teacher were as rude to his students as Christie is to reporters and others who question him, that teacher would be fired. He, simply, has no filter for his vituperative babble. In a nationwide campaign, reaction to his rude conduct and verbiage would put a rapid end to his campaign and his big mouth.

Robert F. Clifford, Tarpon Springs

Sunday's letters: The Chris Christie show 01/10/14 [Last modified: Friday, January 10, 2014 4:12pm]
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  1. Pinellas licensing board loses support for staying independent

    Local Government

    CLEARWATER –– The Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board on Monday lost its strongest supporter for staying independent.

    State Sen. Jack Latvala, a Clearwater Republican running for governor, said Monday that he will no longer support any legislation to keep the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board independent. This photo was taken in August. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]
  2. Rays' Blake Snell erasing memories of his poor start

    The Heater

    NEW YORK — As Blake Snell strides up the mound at Yankee Stadium Tuesday night with an 10-game unbeaten streak, doesn't the miserable start to his sophomore season, when he was winless in eight starts and got demoted to Triple-A, seem like a long time ago?

    To him, too.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) in the dugout during the fourth inning of the game between the Chicago Cubs and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017. WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times

  3. St. Petersburg youth baseball concession stand vandalized

    Public Safety

    ST. PETERSBURG — The early-morning phone call warned Charles Castle, president of Burg Baseball, to "expect the worst.'' The organization's concession stand had been vandalized.

     Cliff Williams, Vice President of the Burg Baseball Inc., St. Petersburg, looks at a damaged and trashed concession stand at the Lakewood Baseball Complex, home of the Burg Baseball. According to Williams someone vandalized the concession stand either Saturday or Sunday. SCOTT KEELER   |   Times

  4. Tampa charter school teacher charged with firing handgun at ground


    TAMPA — A Tampa charter school teacher was arrested Sunday after she fired a gun into the ground during a dispute with her boyfriend, police said.

    Melody Patrice Bing, a teacher at the Village of Excellence Academy in Tampa, emerged from her home holding a weapon and dropped it when police confronted her at gunpoint. [Tampa Police Department]
  5. Tuesday's Nothing More concert moved from the State Theatre to Jannus Live in St. Petersburg


    Nothing More was one of the highlights of April's 98 Rockfest, a thoroughly entertaining rock outfit with a larger-than-live stage presence.

    Nothing More performed at 98 Rockfest 2017 in Tampa.