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
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
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
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
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
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