Detective's family is grateful
Editor's note: The name of the following letter writer is being withheld to protect the identity of the undercover police officer who was shot last week during the robbery of a St. Petersburg convenience store. The officer is a 19-year veteran with the St. Petersburg Police Department.
The family of the St. Petersburg detective who was shot on Jan. 26 wants to thank our entire community for its outpouring of love, support and prayers. Your cards have been greatly appreciated and will be instrumental in his recovery.
We are extremely grateful for the expertise and compassionate care from Dr. (Steven) Epstein, the trauma team and nursing staff at Bayfront Medical Center. Words cannot express how humbled we are by the overwhelming response from our second family at the St. Petersburg Police Department, other law enforcement agencies and fire departments. To all of those involved in the rapid response and treatment on the scene, may God bless you and keep you safe always.
The night the incident occurred, our family witnessed the worst life has to offer, and since that time, we have witnessed the best life has to offer.
Even though this has been a horrible experience, we have survived. It is largely due to your continued prayers as well as God's hands guiding us through each day. Thank you for your love, prayers and support. May God bless each and every one of you.
Partisan, for worse or better | Feb. 1
Democrats have a mandate for change
I believe staff writer Wes Allison has allowed his own partisan view to cloud the reality of the event he describes. His assertion that, after repeated consultations with various Republicans in an attempt to reach some consensus, the Democrats, by finally modifying and passing the draft economic stimulus legislation "were sending a message to Republicans, too: We don't need you."
The actual message, I believe, was that the election was a clear mandate for change, and that trying to slide the country back into the failed policies and ideology of the previous eight years is simply not acceptable. Aside from more tax breaks for megabusinesses and the superrich, the Republicans had nothing more to offer.
It is sad that at this most difficult time, certain partisan elements would prefer to see the current imperfect efforts to ease the pain and create a firm base for eventual national renewal, fail (to the detriment of all) rather than join in the effort to salvage the economy and the country and move on.
George Craciun, Thonotosassa
The real partisans
The "stimulus" bill that passed the U.S. House did so with zero Republican supporters and with 11 Democrats opposing it, which means that all who supported it were Democrats.
The mainstream media are now decrying the Republicans as either too partisan or just voting against it because of their disagreement or dislike of the new Obama administration.
They have it all wrong! The Republicans and Democrats who opposed it are ones being bipartisan, and the Democrats who supported it are the ones being partisan! Bipartisan means with both sides agreeing on something; partisan means only one side supports or opposes it.
The new Obama leadership is good at talking about bipartisanship but the leaders in the House and Senate (Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid) are two of the most partisan people in Washington. Obama needs to get his own people on board and then worry about Republicans.
William Gerretz, St. Petersburg
A ray of hope
In spite of all the talking and debate about the economic stimulus package, I doubt anyone really knows what they are talking about, much less what to do! Everyone involved, from the president on down, admits they have never seen an economic problem like this one!
Essentially, what is universally proposed is to throw money at the various problem areas, hoping that that will be the needed economic "stimulus"!
It really is impossible to figure out what needs to be done, except somehow get a lot more money flowing in the economy. And if you think anybody has the "answer," just listen carefully to the continuing debate about what to do, in which no one has the least idea of what we really need.
But there is one ray of sunshine: After all, we're only talking about money, and it is really what people do to earn and spend their money that makes our world go round. So let's not get too "shook up." The American people are very resilient and creative, and sooner or later, all together, we'll "get it right," and America will come out of all this even stronger, creating a brighter future for us all.
John Kelley, Clearwater
The stimulus card
My work associates and I have come up with a sure-fire way to stimulate the economy.
Issue debit cards to all of those individuals who received the last tax rebate. Take 50 percent or more of the proposed $800 billion-plus stimulus and divide that amount among those who received the last rebate. The debit card would have two features that would make it an instant boost to the economy. First, it would have to be spent. It could not be pocketed or saved. Second, there would be an expiration date on the card. A termination date of 12/31/09 or maybe 4/15/10 would insure that this money would start showing up in the economy right away. Any unused money on the cards would be deducted from the overall amount issued through this program.
I know this would entice people to spend because I myself would automatically put that stimulus money into savings if I had a choice. If I knew that I had to use it or lose it by a specific date you can be sure that I would spend it.
What effect do you think $400 billion being spent within a six-month period would have on the economy? Business income would skyrocket and governments would fill their coffers with tax revenue.
It's time to think out of the box and this is a workable solution.
Brian Sutton, St. Petersburg
Switch to digital TV can wait Jan. 30, editorial
No reason to wait
Give me a break. How long are we going to wait? The public had three years to make that switch and those were during good economic times. I have news for everyone: No matter when the switch takes place, many people will still not make the move.
The argument about the poor and Hispanics sounds a bit discriminatory to me. I am sure Americans across the socioeconomic structure will procrastinate and bury their heads in the sand as if that will help.
So here is a thought: Instead of postponing this change, those folks who do not convert (for whatever reason) should maybe get off the couch and use their extra time in more constructive ways, such as spending more time with their family, getting a job or volunteering.
Roy Nyquist, Valrico