Another expense we cannot afford | May 16
Just enforce the speed limits
Now I believe I've heard it all.
Your reporter just about condones exceeding the speed limit, and you play it on the front page. You have a 64-year-old gentleman driving 48 mph in a 35 mph zone, and a 21-year-old female exceeding the speed limit by 17 mph. And they moan and get teary about it.
The fact of the matter is, they were breaking the law. Your story just about gives carte blanche to every driver on the road from now on. You've made the police officers, deputies and troopers the judge and jury.
Now they don't have to chase down — at the risk of their lives — lawbreakers. They can just sit behind the proverbial billboard with a cup of coffee and watch the idiots pass at whatever speed. We have the law; enforce it or take down the speed limit signs.
W.L. "Bill" Pickett, Crystal River
Odd ticketing pattern
Easy solution to this one: Don't speed. On the other hand, a 64-year-old black man is ticketed for going 48 in a 35 mph zone; a 21-year-old female got a warning for going 52 mph in a 35 mph zone. Same zone on Fourth Street N in St. Petersburg. What am I missing here?
Michael Young, Clearwater
Another expense we cannot afford | May 16
Danger on the roads
I don't think a day goes by that I don't see someone committing a traffic violation. It's absolutely dangerous out there on the road. If I am at a traffic light, I always wait a moment when the light changes to make sure another vehicle isn't running through it. It recently happened to me as we were turning left off Bruce B. Downs in Wesley Chapel. Another vehicle ran the red light and pulled out in front of the two turning lanes, nearly causing a serious multicar accident. I blew my horn, and someone responded by flashing me half the peace sign.
I have no sympathy for people who think that when they get in their vehicle they own the road. If they break the law, they should pay, regardless of their personal financial situation. I suppose tomorrow we will see more front-page news about people who drive off and don't pay for their gas because they can't afford it. I could go on, but if we would all just a have a little more respect for the other driver, the roads would be a lot safer for everyone.
Howard Dunn, Wesley Chapel
Go after talkers
It seems obvious that our cities and counties are more concerned about revenue from speeders than the safety of our streets and highways as the price of speeding tickets is outrageous. Granted, people shouldn't speed in the first place. But don't make tickets so unaffordable that more and more people aren't paying the fines. Make it $10 for every mile exceeding the speed limit, and maybe more people will pay the fines.
If it is revenue these municipalities are seeking, then make it illegal for people to talk on cell phones while driving and fine them accordingly. With the number of motorists I see talking while driving, this should open up a whole new pot of gold.
Jack Burlakos, Kenneth City
Bush blazes education trail | May 16
Where are the gains?
I have made many bets over the past two years that Jeb Bush will end up being the white knight in shining armor that saves the Republicans from the gaggle of boobs they have running for president. The media seem obsessed with canonizing Jeb as some kind of saint in the education arena, apparently to help this effort.
Will anyone ever ask what the educational gain from all his proposed nonsense is? St. Jeb is selling a package of "reforms" that turns a dumbed-down standard test into a weapon used against public school children, teachers and their schools, punishing far more than it rewards. This is combined with a heap of economic threats about taking away piles of money to let kids go to private and charter schools, where they will be tested for gains far less, if at all.
In the public realm, they will teach more to the test since lives depend on it. And St. Jeb, I hear, favors first- and second-year teachers staying as schools fire the senior, better and more expensive ones. Plus, who needs teachers at all after everything goes to virtual classes on computers where we have one machine for every five students at the public schools and none in the homes of the poor kids? And nuke the evil unions while you're at it.
But St. Jeb will move on with the strength of his blazing an educational trail to nowhere until I win all those bets about Tampa 2012 and Jeb becomes the second education president. You know who the first one was.
Dale Friedley, St Petersburg
Scott is right to drug-test
I applaud Gov. Rick Scott's decision requiring those seeking government assistance to undergo drug testing. Why should people who work and are often required to take drug tests as part of their employment be forced to pay the bills of others who do little to nothing constructive all day long and then waste the money others provide them for drugs? Then we pay again for the overdoses and hospital costs associated with their drug addiction.
I am glad Gov. Scott will no longer force me to pay for their drug abuse.
Ronnie Dubs, St. Petersburg
New low in society | May 16, letter
The writer is outraged that welfare recipients may have to be drug-tested to get their checks. How low is it that I had to be drug-tested in order to work and keep my job so that I could "voluntarily" contribute part of my pay to support the welfare system?
Dennis Condon, Palm Harbor
Debt forces retiree fund raid | May 16
Let me get this straight. The Treasury Department needs to take money from the federal retiree program because it's broke. But retirees don't have to worry because "the Treasury is legally required to reimburse the program." Are you laughing yet? Could this type of reasoning be what got us in to trouble in the first place?
I just love the federal government's reasoning.
Pat Bush, Ruskin