Duke Energy's sweetheart deal | Jan. 13
What about the gas plant?
Your editorial could have also included the natural gas plant Duke Energy is thinking about building that we also get to pay for up-front.
Just like the nuclear plant that never came to fruition, we will get to pay for them to think about a natural gas plant for a few years before they say, "Nah, we were just thinking about it but decided against it. Thanks for the up-front money, though."
Also, just recently in you paper you had a piece about how we get to pay Duke for cleaner coal.
Thank you, Tallahassee!
Albert Alt, Clearwater
Leonard Pitts | Jan. 13
My question for the state of Texas, which is overriding Marlise Munoz's wishes and the wishes of her family, is: When Munoz delivers the baby after spending an additional 126 days in intensive care at an average cost of $10,700 a day (totaling $1,348,200), is the state of Texas going to pay this bill or will her husband be responsible for it?
If Munoz had been alive at the time she arrived at the hospital, had been discharged and then wanted a "legal abortion," she would have been well within her rights to get one under Texas law, as she was not past the 20-week rule.
Does anyone see my confusion here?
Rosanne Paris, Palm Harbor
Ex-cop is right | Jan. 13
St. Petersburg cop talk
Having known many St. Petersburg cops and defended them, I read with interest dispatcher Lenny Riccinto's comments about what the St. Petersburg Police Department needs.
I do not know him or his background, but his suggestions as noted in your article are correct and on point. However, they are not exhaustive and likely he has more.
It is time for St. Petersburg to put up or shut up when it comes to its police department. Either support it, get the right chief, and let him run the department, or save the city some money and contract with the sheriff (big money!).
The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office does a good job of policing the rest of the county, so why all the resistance to that idea?
As it exists today I don't know how any dedicated officer could work at the St. Petersburg Police Department and do a good job.
John Makholm, Tierra Verde
Government gravy train
The last sentence of this editorial is amusing. "Where is the outrage in Tallahassee?" The last time I read of outrage in Tallahassee was in October, when state Rep. Steve Crisafulli told House Republicans that Democratic members are raising more money on average and that, "This is a trend that must be broken!"
There is no outrage in Tallahassee because the government is part of the gravy train. The more money Duke is allowed to make, the more Florida pols make through political contributions (read: bribes) and Duke gets to make the Public Service Commission in its own image.
There was a time way back in the 20th century when government actually worked to protect consumers. Governments did things like regulate and break up monopolies. That was costly to corporate America. In the later half of the 20th century the barons of Wall Street figured out, if they are going to spend the money anyway, rather than fight government, buy it.
The answer is in public funding of all political campaigns with fixed amounts of dollars and the elimination of all donations to government, politicians and campaigns. It puts the government back in the hands of the people where it belongs, making politicians truly answerable to the public. And no, that is not a violation of anyone's First Amendment rights.
Len Keller, Seminole
Jurors not forthcoming | Jan. 13
It seems that one of the cornerstones of our democracy is eroding away. The concept of being tried by a jury of our peers has become more difficult as time goes on.
Normally we hear of citizens being less than honest as they try to get out of jury duty. Now we have cases thrown out because jurors did not divulge past encounters with the legal system. Add to this the prospect that jurors are often not equipped to deal with difficult cases that involve medical or technological issues or the law itself.
A trial before a judge (or judges in capital cases), who has time to familiarize himself with the issues at hand, would make for a speedier and probably fairer outcome.
Tom Reid, Seminole
Nurse practitioners' lobby | Jan. 14
Unfair plan for assistants
According to the Times, nurse practitioners are lobbying for the right to practice independently. This would bad for patients and bad for physicians but it would be even worse for physician assistants.
Even under the current system physician assistants operate at a disadvantage competing against nurse practitioners. Nurses have a stronger lobby and nursing schools offer a doctoral degree.
Physician assistant schools have never offered doctoral degrees.
Edward Saint-Ivan, Tampa
Laurel and Hardy Cont'd | Jan. 15
A French connection
While I agree with the letter writer who took offense at Dan Ruth's comparison of Govs. Chris Christie and Rick Scott with Laurel and Hardy, as an American of French heritage I am even more outraged at the comparison of Scott with Le Petomane.
Anyone who reads Ruth with regularity knows that he has a penchant for bestowing unflattering monikers on hypocritical and dishonest politicians. Fair enough.
Le Petomane, however, was a much beloved French performance artist who brought great joy to the lives of ordinary working-class people. He was also a man of great ethical and moral standards — quite the opposite of Scott.
To compare and elevate Scott to the level of Le Petomane is to forever denigrate the proud name of that great artist.
I see absolutely no fitting comparison between these two.
Chris Dresser, Clearwater