Sunday, February 25, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Friday's letters: A welcome CEO replacement

Utility union sheds CEO | July 4

A welcome CEO replacement

Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers has been quoted by Thomas Friedman as saying that his company very much wants to be in the energy efficiency business. Why? Because Rogers knows that energy efficiency can make electricity available for less than 3 cents per kilowatt-hour (the national average).

The Florida Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act requires investor-owned utilities to report their annual expenditures on energy efficiency, and the amount of electricity saved. Under CEO Bill Johnson, Progress Energy Florida reported energy efficiency expenses of $85.4 million in 2010 and savings of 124 gigawatt-hours. A gigawatt is a million kilowatts, so energy efficiency cost Progress Energy Florida 69 cents per kilowatt-hour in 2010. That's 23 times higher than the national average.

Rogers will be a welcome replacement for Johnson.

Thomas Eppes, Thonotosassa

Boors at WalMart's doors and at the top July 3, Daniel Ruth column

One-sided view

The Walmart bashing is getting old. Daniel Ruth's diatribe is the latest example. Even without specific knowledge of the details of Jan Sullivan's case, it is easy to demonstrate that Ruth, as he often does, is only giving part of a story to make a misleading point.

First, all employers and particularly very large ones like Walmart are loath to terminate an employee without cause. A frivolous termination will certainly result in the employee collecting unemployment benefits. These benefits are charged to the employer's account and will result in the employer's unemployment rate going up significantly. He will pay higher unemployment taxes for years to come.

Second, if Sullivan was denied unemployment benefits, you can be sure that the government arbitrator who heard the case and denied the benefits was convinced by the facts that there was just cause for the termination. Third, if Sullivan's effort to find a law firm to represent her was "fruitless," you can be sure she had no case.

It is absurd for Ruth to suggest that there aren't plenty of lawyers keen to sue Walmart on behalf of a client with a good case.

Stu Raymond, Gulf Harbors

Citizens Property Insurance

Time to revolt

Time to change the name. More like Insurance Company run by the 1 percent! Seriously, people of Florida, get your heads out of the sand and do something about this government-run hustle machine. I am a native of New Hampshire, the Live Free or Die state. And we would never, ever let the government fleece us like Florida is doing! Stand up for yourselves! Revolt! Do something, anything! Don't let Citizens ruin any more of your neighbors' or your lives.

Yes, they need to crack down on scam artists and lawsuits brought by money-hungry lawyers (did I mention the 1 percent?), but many of Citizens' recent policies are pretty close to stealing. Replace your entire roof before it fails? Seriously, that's just plain dumb. And if you let them continue to take away our savings, our hopes and our dreams, then you're just plain dumb, too.

Brad Banks, St. Petersburg

Scott, Bondi must face facts | July 3, editorial

Only part of the story

Gov. Rick Scott did not say that he would not implement Obamacare. He stated that he would not implement the part of Obamacare that expands Medicaid. That decision fully complies with the law, which provides that the expansion is optional.

This is not a case where the executive branch of government defiantly refuses to enforce or comply with the law. For that, look no further than President Barack Obama's refusal to enforce immigration laws. Of course, there was no editorial complaining about that.

Jeff Beattie, North Redington Beach

Bondi's chutzpah

Florida's attorney general, Pam Bondi, has announced that she intends to ignore the Supreme Court's decision that Obamacare is constitutional. How can this be done? She forgets that just a few years ago the Supreme Court voted to allow the election of George W. Bush as president despite his extremely thin margin over Al Gore. She certainly sided with her party in jubilation at that time!

Does she really think that she and her party can overthrow that recent decision? Isn't that chutzpah?

Bea Donis, Tampa

Residential fireworks

Fine the sellers, users

Every year more and more people set off fireworks. More and more tents pop up with these illegal munitions for sale. Loophole in the law … yeah, right. The people who sell them and the people who shoot off these deadly weapons should be fined and/or jailed.

What kinds of fireworks can I use legally? Not many. Fireworks generally approved for use by consumers include sparklers, small fireworks that emit colored smoke only, and "glow worms," which burn in bright colors without exploding. The state fire marshal has a full list, including brand names, on its website. Other, more high-powered fireworks are permitted only for industrial use or by professionals in public displays.

If it explodes, flies or lifts off, the law prohibits you from lighting it. That includes Roman candles.

We need legislators and law enforcement to do their jobs and stop this continual infraction of state laws.

Karen Figy, Land O'Lakes

Chestnut downs 68 dogs for sixth straight win | July 5

Tasteless spectacle

The Joey Chestnut hot dog eating obscenity, a sordid spectacle worthy of the Roman circus, fits nicely into the train-wreck metaphor. Glance if you must, but move on out of respect for the dead and dying popular culture.

Subsistence farmers defeated an empire to forge our nation 236 years ago. Our land of plenty would amaze them. On the day we honor great self-sacrifice — indeed any day — a celebration of wretched gluttony is exquisitely tasteless.

Gary Harrington, St. Petersburg

Fire injures tenant, wipes out owner | July 3

Misguided thought

I feel sorry for the man who lost his home to a fire just before he was to pay off his mortgage. However, his statement that it doesn't pay to be nice is misguided. It does pay to be nice. It doesn't pay to not have insurance.

Alan Roberts, Largo


Sunday’s letters: Slogans won’t ensure safety

LegislatureSafety requires more than slogansOn Wednesday, our Florida House passed House Bill 839 requiring all public schools to post the state motto, "In God We Trust," in a "conspicuous place." The day before, the same Florida House declined to ev...
Published: 02/24/18

Saturday’s letters: Preserve home rule in Florida

LegislaturePreserve home rule in FloridaOn behalf of the members of Business Watch, a trade association for government contractors, I would like to voice our dismay over the Legislature’s wholesale attack on home rule. As local government contractors...
Published: 02/23/18

Thursday’s letters: Second Amendment is outdated

Second AmendmentCongress can act on firearmsThe Second Amendment is outdated, since it is predicated on the need for a "well regulated militia." Militias are defined as civilian soldiers trained under the command of competent military leadership. The...
Published: 02/20/18
Updated: 02/22/18

Wednesday’s letters:

House Bill 21Opioid proposal merits supportIn 2016, Florida recorded 952 heroin-related and 1,390 fentanyl-related deaths. Four in five new heroin users began by misusing prescription pain medications, also known as opioids. Despite the widespread op...
Published: 02/20/18

Hernando Letter to the Editor for Feb. 23

Re: Hernando business leaders push to loosen development rules | Feb. 9; Re: Deny Brooksville mine expansion, planning commissioners say | Feb. 16Wish to register my opposition to both the draft of the new Hernando County Comprehensive Plan that elim...
Published: 02/20/18

Tuesday’s letters: Making politics personal is one way toward reasonable gun control

The Parkland shootingMake gun politics personalAs an educator of 32 years, it encourages me to see our young people engaged after the horror at Stoneman Douglas High School. The tragedy at Parkland has awakened the sleeping giant that is the millenni...
Published: 02/19/18

Sunday’s letters: Congress must act on firearms

Deadly toll: 17 | Feb. 15Congress must act on firearmsIt’s time for Congress to be counted.The failure of Congress to act to: (1) limit access to assault rifles and (2) require meaningful background checks for all gun purchases is appalling.Surel...
Published: 02/17/18

Monday’s letters: Call it by its name: terrorism

Deadly toll: 17 | Feb. 15Call it whatit is: terrorismLet’s just call it what it is. It’s terrorism. No school in the country is immune. They all have procedures for sheltering in place or emergency evacuation from a shooter. It’s prudent to be pr...
Published: 02/16/18

Saturday’s letters: Payoff to porn star not front-page news?

Lawyer: I personally paid porn star | Feb. 14Where we’re at: This is 4A newsOnly under the Trump presidency does a story about the president’s lawyer paying off a porn star to cover up an affair with the president show up on page 4A. Never mind t...
Published: 02/16/18

Friday’s letters: Water quality too important to gamble on

State to update water rules | Feb. 10Don’t gamble with water safetyI wondered whether this front-page article was an early April Fool’s joke. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection "updated" its pollution regulations in 2016, with str...
Published: 02/15/18