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Don't let oil drilling ruin Florida

Voters favor gulf oil drilling

Don't let oil drilling ruin Florida

It was with a sinking sense of dread that I read your article on the polls showing voters favoring offshore oil drilling. What especially saddened me was that if the drilling wasn't "in your backyard," voters were willing to risk the economy of the entire for the "smoke and mirrors promise" of lower gas prices and lessened dependence on foreign oil.

All over the world, tankers are docked, rigs are shut down. Why Florida and why now? Most of America's oil reserves are in places already open to drilling. Could out-of-state consortiums hope to profit from our state's economic woes while risking the No. 1 reason visitors flock to Florida, our pristine beaches and shorelines?

Don't voters in Orlando realize that visitors come to Florida not only to worship at the "feet of the mouse" but also to enjoy the 1,800 miles of coastline and 1,250 miles of beaches? Our beaches and National Shoreline have remained in the top 10 lists of travel magazines for at least the past 20 years. These areas range from Pensacola Beach, to St. Joseph's Peninsula State Park, Cape Florida State Park to Fort De Soto Park and Caladesi Island State Park. If it's allowed, offshore oil drilling will negatively impact the entire state.

Our beaches and wild places will be put at risk while doing nothing to reduce our dependence on foreign oil or the price of gas. Only using less oil by increasing fuel economy, increasing funding for public transportation and planning for better transportation systems will keep costs down.

It's time for all of us who care for and love our beautiful state to call or write to your legislators, Gov. Charlie Crist, Sen. George LeMieux (a former adviser to the prodrilling oil consortium) and tell them to say no to drilling and no to the out-of-town consortiums that are threatening our shores.

Diana Rao, Tampa

Voters favor gulf oil drilling | Oct. 31, story

Oil will not be good for our state's beaches

The 36 percent of poll respondents who strongly support and the 18 percent who somewhat support the drilling for oil, 3 to 10 miles off our coast, should take a trip to California and walk their beaches. Just be sure to take a tar remover with you to clean your feet prior to tracking the sludge into your car.

No oil well is sealed so well as to stop minute droplets from escaping into the water. They float in all depths of the water column, eventually reaching the shore. High tides and storm waves will deposit them on our shores, ruining our pristine beaches to say nothing of the damage to our fisheries.

On a still day standing on a California beach you can smell oil.

Please don't fall for political and big business' falsehoods. The oil found off this coast will only last a few years but the damage will last forever!

John R. Nolan, Largo

Times/Herald/Bay News 9 poll

Shameful attitudes

Your poll results make me so ashamed. I will have my 70th birthday next time, and I am so happy to be covered by that "public option," Medicare. I wonder if my contemporaries are so selfish that they feel they have theirs, and to hell with the rest of the younger population.

I participate in an Advantage program that pays for gym membership, while young people and unemployed can't go to a doctor. Take the gym away if it would help others have the basics. Please, old people, rethink your priorities.

And what of the lack of forethought shown by my fellow Floridians who favor gulf oil drilling? It's not only coastal communities that will suffer from oiled beaches and dying fish. The entire state, whose economy is driven by tourism, will lose its revenue when no one wants to come here for a vacation on our beautiful shores. That affects both coasts and the middle of the state. How short-sighted can a population be? And this is for oil that most scientists think is only a short stopgap measure. It's time to get back that old feeling of "we're all in this together."

I no longer consider this the Sunshine State. It can be called the Stupid, Selfish State forever. Shame on us.

Lois Fries, Largo

Times/Herald/Bay News 9 poll

Differing opinions

Just read the poll in your paper that said Floridians are for offshore drilling and that they do not favor a public option in the health care debate.

I just needed to tell you that nobody asked me. I am 100 percent against Florida offshore drilling of any kind. It would be a major mistake for this state in many ways.

Also, I am a senior and I am for a public option plan in the health care debate. The insurance companies need the competition from the government to get their act together. Maybe then they will care about people and not just profits.

Marilyn Tine, Spring Hill

Times/Herald/Bay News 9 poll

Questionable wording

Because the poll question about a public option for health care was poorly worded in the St. Petersburg Times survey, I am skeptical of the result which shows 47 percent in opposition and 40 percent in support of a public option.

The question reads: "Do you support or oppose creating a government-administered health plan, often referred to as the public option?"

The question implies that there is only a "government" plan and nothing else. A better question would have included "to provide competition with private insurance companies." At the very least, a few questions about the public option could have been asked differently to see if the results changed.

Patricia Kemp, Tampa

Letters about Obama needing to get approval for Nobel Prize | Oct. 30

Apology due

The letters writers who believe there is no bar to the president accepting the Nobel Peace Prize should read Article I, Section 9 of the U.S. Constitution. In part, it states, "No title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States and no person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall without the Consent of Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or title of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State."

Methinks they owe the good representative from Pasco an apology.

Jerry C. Hiers, Tampa

Medicare Part D: A special report | Oct. 28

Confusing complexity

On Wednesday in my St. Petersburg Times was a section on the available plans under the Medicare system.

How on earth do elderly people in this country find their way around this incredibly complicated set of plans and make the right choices for themselves? In my view, it requires a Ph.D. in economics to figure out which plan you should go for.

People who live in countries that have a single-payer health care system never have to go through this annual, very complicated document. They are born, get sick, they die and never have to concern themselves with paperwork and difficult choices about what we need in terms of medical care.

That is a sensible system and needs to be implemented here.

Gillian Maden, Spring Hill

Medicare Part D: A special report | Oct. 28

Valuable help

This is the best information I have come across, including the step-by-step navigation on the Medicare Web site and all the charts and other information.

I am a SHINE (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders) counselor in Pasco County and greatly appreciate this input on the Medicare maze.

Tom Cleary, New Port Richey

County shuts doors for day | Oct. 31, story

Just deserts

It would be poetic justice if all those people who were inconvenienced by Friday's "closed" signs on Hillsborough County offices just happened to be longtime Floridians who, thanks to the Save Our Homes amendment, are paying far less than their fair share of property taxes.

Chas. E. Lehnert, Riverview

Don't let oil drilling ruin Florida 11/02/09 [Last modified: Monday, November 2, 2009 7:05pm]
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