Legislature delivered little on insurance | May 12, story
Floridians left with no relief in sight
It's not yet hurricane season, but the citizens of Florida have already suffered widespread damage from the cyclone of hot air without help that emanated from the state Legislature. As your reporter summarized, the only beneficiaries are insurance companies.
Oh, what about the "bone" that was thrown to us? You can sue if the insurance company doesn't pay your claim in a timely way. Who will pay the legal costs and the cost of time lost and aggravation accrued, with no certain outcome?
The Legislature took millions from Citizens Property Insurance to fund "take out" companies. I called the "take out" insurer that sent me a letter to try to learn about their experience and reserves. I got unprofessionalism and no information. Imagine the nightmare of trying to get a claim paid.
Until Floridians demand and get accountability, the Legislature will continue to help industry, not individuals.
David Newsome, St. Petersburg
Reforms past due for credit card abuses
May 10, editorial
read the fine print
I must disagree with this editorial. I may be biased since I have not owned a credit card for at least 25 years, but every once in a while you have to take responsibility for your own actions. This is one of those times. No one is forced to own or use a credit card. Everyone who does so should be aware of the consequences and read the fine print.
The fact that someone is using a credit card to pay for their basic necessities means they are already in trouble and are obviously making poor decisions.
When someone is naive or vulnerable and they are spending beyond their means because they have a plastic card in their wallet or purse, maybe they need a lesson in what is called the school of hard knocks. The government should not be in the business of regulating businesses to protect people from their own foolish endeavors.
Don Mott, Largo
Tampa's neglected landmarks | May 12, editorial
Consider funding first
The editorial suggests that "local officials need to dedicate money" to maintain historic buildings. While I agree that proper maintenance of these buildings is critical, the editorial falls short of stating how this should be done.
The statement "where to get the money is secondary" fails to recognize that our local governments are not in a business-as-usual mode. Revenue reductions resulting from the passage of Amendment 1 and a deteriorating economy are leading to cuts in services. Funding for new or expanded programs will simply not be available.
It is irresponsible of your editorial to suggest an increase in local government spending without specifically proposing how the needed funds are to be provided.
Samuel Halter, Tampa
What '88 does (and doesn't) tell us | May 12, commentary
It was candidate failure
David Shribman's column was more notable for what he didn't say than for what he did say. One would think from reading this piece that only Republicans and their advocates attack opponents in political campaigns. The Democrats can be just as nasty and negative, and ignoring this is an insult to the intelligence of the American people. Apparently Shribman has never heard of MoveOn.org or Howard "I hate Republicans" Dean.
In trying to blame the defeat of Michael Dukakis and John Kerry on Republican attacks, he completely overlooks the fact that Dukakis and Kerry ran the most boring campaigns in recent history. The inability of these two men to inspire the American people ultimately cost them the election, not anything the Republicans did.
Louis Ciardulli, Safety Harbor
End of drought appears near | May 12, story
End lawn watering
Even if the current drought is ending, maybe it is time to consider eliminating all lawn watering with drinkable water. This would discourage the planting of sod, a practice that results in an unsustainable consumption of water as well as tainted water supplies from the fertilizers and pesticides required by St. Augustine grass.
Eliminating lawn watering would likely increase the use of native flora, creating more natural, wildlife-friendly landscapes and a stronger ecosystem overall.
As the area's population has doubled in the past 25 years, shouldn't our per capita use drop accordingly? Rainfall is not going to increase to accommodate our population growth.
A lack of conservation when it comes to oil has left us with prices affecting our standard of living. A continued lack of conservation of water will hurt our standard of living and quality of life.
Chip Thomas, Tampa
Bus driver faulted in sex attack | May 11, story
Shifting blame for gain
Attorney Paul Kimsey is blatantly attempting to take responsibility away from the person actually responsible for the attack and shift it toward the "deep pockets" of the Pinellas County School system for economic gain.
The bus driver attacked no one, nor did he "encourage" an attack. Instead, a young man apparently took advantage of a situation and assaulted a girl. For attorney Kimsey to suggest that all School Board employees should now treat their students as if they were all potential felons, willing and ready to commit all manner of crimes, at any time, places a ridiculous burden on a hard-working school staff.
The judicial system will determine guilt or innocence of those who were arrested. In the meantime, let's not seek to spread the blame purely for economic gain unless, for fear of lawsuits, we want the school system to be required to treat our children like the potential criminals attorney Kimsey seems to think they are.
J. Harring, Largo
Sons lost, pain lingers | May 10, story
I read your story about the four boys who were shot and their mother's stories. What was not included was information on the fathers of the boys.
Since the girls were pregnant at ages 14, 15 and 16 and one was on her second pregnancy at age 17, were the fathers arrested? If not, did they marry the girls? Did they pay support for their children?
I think a follow-up needs to be written.
Jim Bardsley, Madeira Beach