Lacy funeral visit stirs critics | Feb. 8
Davis' actions are insult to slain officers
While my opinions usually differ from those of Bubba the Love Sponge Clem, I must thank him for bringing the recent actions of Goliath Davis to the attention of the citizens of St. Petersburg. How can the former chief of police not attend the funeral of the slain officers who risked their lives for us, and yet justify going to the funeral of the man who killed them by saying he was attending to support members of the Lacy family, some of whom did not attend themselves?
I find this to be a slap in the face to the officers in uniform and their families. Davis collects a salary of more than $152,000 from the city, yet few citizens know what he actually does. He has been caught driving erratically in a city vehicle in Gulfport, has been involved with a distant relative receiving an overpayment for a home sale from the city, and now this.
Many lower-level city employees have been terminated for far less. I am appalled by Davis' actions and resent the fact that my tax dollars pay his salary.
Barb Morlack, St. Petersburg
Lacy funeral visit stirs critics | Feb. 8
A very poor decision
I do not disagree with state Rep. Darryl Rouson's description of Bubba the Love Sponge Clem as a "bumbling idiot," but Bubba's criticism of Goliath Davis for attending the funeral of Hydra Lacy Jr. and not that of the slain officers is warranted.
What would be said if Arizona's governor visited Gabrielle Giffords' assailant to check on his welfare? It's on the same level.
Lance K. Piscitelli, Clearwater
Grab for publicity
It makes your head spin: Bubba the Love Sponge Clem, the shock jock who thinks it's entertaining to castrate animals on air, vows a vendetta against Goliath Davis, who has served the public for decades.
If you don't see the publicity grab behind Clem's hypocritical, self-serving pronouncements, you're just not looking.
Here's a humble suggestion for Bubba regarding how to treat Goliath Davis and everyone else who is grieving over this tragedy: For once, just for once, shut your mouth.
Eric Gerard, Largo
Some want to flush septic tank inspection Feb. 7
Septic inspections needed
Some facts are needed in the debate on septic tank inspections. A septic tank is a holding area for waste solids that gives bacteria time to break down these solids before entering the working part of the system. A tank should be pumped every three to five years depending on whether you use a garbage grinder. And it's a bad idea to use a garbage grinder with a septic system.
There are two ways a septic system does not operate properly: It will break to the surface of the ground or enter a subsurface water table. The statement that systems generally last 20 to 30 years shows a lack of knowledge of these systems. The pumping of a septic tank should never be more than $300 if the top of the tank is no more than 3 feet below the ground surface. This requires some digging to expose the manhole cover for pumping. In most cases tanks do not fail, only the leach area of the systems do.
According to the article, opponents object to inspections as government intervention. But how were the tanks originally allowed to be built? Can you say Health Department?
While no one wants to pay money for inspections that are not necessary, once in five years is more than reasonable.
This is the second article about septic systems in recent months that does not inform the general public what a septic system is, how it functions, when and why it fails and the damage being caused when they fail in large numbers.
It is evident that most politicians in the article don't have a clue about good public health practices or just don't care.
Robert M. Lloyd, Ruskin
Grim American toll
A letter writer's assertion that more armed citizens result in fewer homicides is ludicrous. Countries like Britain and Germany with tough gun control laws are the proof. In 2009, England had 65 deaths by gun, while Germany had 181. The United States has over 10,000 deaths.
Christopher Curley, Sun City Center
A brisk constitutional | Feb. 7
Encourage health coverage
The "individual mandate" requirement is the health care bill's fatal flaw. Instead of the questionable mandate, a strong incentive to buy health insurance by those who can do so is all that's needed. That can be created by a legal provision requiring any uninsured medical facility visits to be paid by the federal government and recovered, with interest, by a lien on assets and future income of the uninsured person served.
Our health system already serves those who cannot afford to buy protection. For the rest, financial status will be affected. Lenders will require evidence of health coverage. Credit scores for uninsured will decline steeply. Living without health insurance will become uncomfortable.
Bud Tritschler, Clearwater
Florida Retirement System
Look for alternatives
Gov. Rick Scott's proposed 5 percent contribution is not the correct solution to fund the supposed shortfall of the Florida Retirement System. Those of us who entered it in good faith and trusted that our funds would be taken care of wisely should not have to suffer the consequences of irresponsible people who made unwise decisions.
Maybe there are alternatives. Offer those with 25-29 years of service an option to retire early with 95 percent benefits. Or institute a half-penny increase in the sales tax or tourist tax until the shortage is made up.
Danny Di Nicolantonio, St. Petersburg
Run the numbers
As my experience in contributing to a 401(k) plan while employed in Pennsylvania showed, this contribution is taken from pretax dollars. In other words, the pension contribution is subtracted before income tax is calculated and the employee pays less in taxes as a result. So the resulting paycheck is lower, but certainly not 5 percent lower.
Second, many state employees claim that they take these state jobs because of the benefits, not salary, which they say is lower than the private sector. But if a recent letter writer calculates a $3,500 pension contribution at 5 percent, he is probably earning approximately $70,000 a year. That does not appear to be a miserly salary.
Finally, if the private sector earns so much more than state employees, why is it that Gov. Rick Scott plans to privatize some state positions in order to save state dollars?
Denise Wachtl, Homosassa