Wednesday, June 20, 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


Thursday’s letters: On immigration there has to be a better way

‘Zero tolerance’ ignites outrage | June 20Find better way on immigrationOver the years I’ve voted for candidates from both parties. My observation of the Trump administration’s policy on immigration is not about politics. It has to do with having...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Wednesday’s letters: Charters and traditional public schools each have their place

Public school as public good | Letter, June 17Both kinds of schools can workAs a mother and grandmother of children raised in both traditional public and charter schools in Pinellas County (and a 25-year supporting-services employee for public sc...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/20/18

Tuesday’s letters: Keep programs that fight AIDS

For author Biden, it’s a father’s gift | June 6Keep programs that fight AIDSAfter former Vice President Joe Biden’s recent visit to St. Petersburg, I noticed an article that he co-wrote with former Sen. Bill Frist. It reminded everyone about the ...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/19/18

Is anyone watching the money?Hernando County’s budget shortfall is ever changing going from $6 million to $11.5 million to $14 million to what is assumed a final number of $12.6 million. Who knows the budget shortfall could change again.Who’s watchi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Re: County OKs solar zones | June 8Plea ignored at solar plant hearingThe Pasco County Commission on June 5 voted to identify a utility-sized solar electric plant as a "special exception" use on agricultural-zoned land in Pasco County. What thi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Monday’s letters: Skip those plastic bags and save the environment

To save our seas, overcome congressional apathy | Column, June 16Do your part and skip plastic bagsEvery day we read about the shame of our landfills and oceans filling up with plastic bags, yet most people don’t care. My wife and I always carry ...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

White House defends splitting up families as ‘biblical’ | June 15The suffering of the childrenI am a mother and attorney with more than 20 years of practice living in Tampa. For the past three years, I worked as a magistrate in a Unified Family C...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Saturday’s letters: Community-based care requires community involvement

Fix foster care, and do it quickly | Editorial, June 15Involve the community itselfWhile the detailed article about the scathing state review of Hillsborough County’s foster care problems touched on leadership, a critical point was not addressed....
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Friday’s letters: Freight trains are infrastructure that works in Tampa Bay

Railroads are infrastructure that worksFreight trains carry the loadCentral Florida is our state’s fastest-growing region. We’re on track to outpace South Florida’s growth 2-to-1 over the next several years. Great news for our local economy, but it n...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Thursday’s letters: Charter schools aren’t the enemy

Don’t plug your ears when schools ask for tax | May 20, columnCharter schools aren’t the enemyAs an educator, I am astounded when I hear claims from school board members that charter schools take away funding from the local public school system. ...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/14/18