True believers in search of the truth | Aug. 8 article
Psychic's claims aren't true
While Tampa Bay Skeptics appreciates the attention paid by your paper to our group's efforts at exposing unproven pseudoscientific claims, we wish your reporter had included the response we gave her to the comments of Virginia Levy, the psychic who failed our "$1,000 Challenge" in 1998 and who now alleges that she was "scammed" and treated appallingly.
We skeptics are accustomed to psychics using "negative energy" as an after-the-fact excuse, but none of her bitter accusations is true. As documented in the two-hour video of her 1998 appearance, we were respectful and courteous throughout, and Levy reciprocated to the end with much light banter and humor. She even hung around for nearly an hour after her formal testing ended, talking with attendees and making some detailed predictions (also inaccurate) about the then-recent disappearance of little Amanda Brown.
While we remain open-minded to the remote possibility of paranormal phenomena, we believe that those who claim such powers should be able to demonstrate them under proper observing conditions before the public wastes time believing in them. Psychics such as Ms. Levy do their cause no favor by mischaracterizing the professionalism of those who work with them in designing and carrying out the tests, especially when the true circumstances are documented on video.
Terry A. Smiljanich, chairman and Gary P. Posner, founder, Tampa Bay Skeptics
Noise watchdog carries on | Aug. 8, article
Davis Islands feels your pain
I read your article. I feel for Mr. Stevens. What makes it worse is that he will get nowhere.
We now have it a lot worse on (Davis) Islands, and I'm not done fighting. They stated they needed the expansion for safety.
They were lying.
The expansion has not taken place. There has been an increase of planes. Planes doing tricks up in the air and then spiraling down. Planes doing flyovers right over the tanks that sit across us. Larger commercial flights flying in. I am documenting everything and then I'm fighting the fight over everyone's head.
(Mayor Pam) Iorio wants what she wants for her own benefit.
(Hillsborough County Aviation Authority executive director Louis) Miller is getting paid to do whatever he has to do to get his way.
(County Commissioner Ken) Hagan and his brother are in it for their buddies.
The difference is that no one flat out said it. The increase in planes and noise are for the sole benefit of the politicians here in Tampa.
Let's face it. The Peter O. Knight deal really had to do with the hangars. I'm sure I received half a list from Miller.
I'm sure if more investigation had been completed you would have found out what politicians and sports people are benefiting from it.
They don't care about noise, the danger factor or anything else. Pam Iorio and her friends are in it for themselves.
Lori Diaz, Davis Islands
Re: Gandy/Crosstown Connection
Elevated roadway best choice for all
All I can say is it's about time! Something more than a reconfiguration needs to be done with Gandy Boulevard in South Tampa. The city and expressway authorities need to overlook the views of the residents and look at the needs of the majority.
What amazes me most is how the people who complain (residents and businesses) apparently love commuters standing still clogging their road. If commuter traffic was moved off of the surface road and onto an elevation, the road would be freed up for those who chose to go to a local grocery store or restaurant. I live in Riverview and I drive to St. Pete to visit family and friends. I use the Crosstown and Gandy since it's a shorter route. I do not or probably will never frequent the Gandy businesses, nor do I know anyone who lives there.
Why do these people want me taking up valuable space on their road? It boggles the mind. There's this misconception and fear of an elevated road that it will do more harm than good. That is incorrect. Businesses survive along U.S. 19, where there are overpasses and frontage roads. Mass transit is a major priority for Tampa Bay, but Gandy won't be largely affected for quite a while and when it comes to a storm evacuation there should be no question that the connection be built. It's for the good of the majority, and those are the ones who should be taken into consideration, not the Not In My Back Yard folk who helped create the mess we have with the infrastructure in Tampa Bay.
Michael Rainier, Riverview