Casinos are a losing bet | Jan. 28, commentary
Casinos have helped Atlantic City
I lived outside Atlantic City in 1976 and went to Resorts, the first casino that opened, when I became 18, which at the time was the legal drinking age. Atlantic City was a ghost town, with crumbling edifices and rampant drug abuse. The city is unrecognizable from the first time I went there. To say it hasn't improved vastly is just plain wrong. Atlantic City's revenues are divided statewide, which means it received only a small percentage of revenues generated for the state.
If you are predisposed to having a gambling problem, casinos can be a problem. However there are many other ways to feed that addiction and casinos don't make people suddenly become addicted to gambling.
Christopher Curley, Sun City Center
Open colleges to all of Florida's children Jan. 26, commentary
Access to health care
Perhaps Will Weatherford — who personally used Medicaid — should see how his closing sentence would read if applied to health care: As a state and as a people, we need to extend our moral considerations to those who are sick through no fault of their own and who only want what each of us wants: access to affordable health care.
Howard Taylor, St. Petersburg
Pandering season opens
The 2014 legislative session, otherwise known as payoff time, has not officially started yet, but our pandering elected officials are up and running already. The governor's appointment of a Hispanic as lieutenant and the speaker of the House's appeal to provide in-state tuition for children of undocumented immigrants are just their latest hypocritical games to start the next election cycle with feel-good gestures. For most of the time between election cycles the majority party in state government ignores the needs of Hispanics and well as other minorities and people in need (see Medicaid expansion), but then they start showing so much concern as the next statewide vote approaches.
If the House speaker has so much concern for the tuition issue, he should approach the junior U.S. senator from Florida to stand behind the comprehensive immigration bill that he co-authored instead of cutting and running the first minute a tea party voice is raised. The speaker laments the inaction in Washington, so he wants Florida to surge ahead with some minor fix for tuition while all the other interrelated immigration issues remain. He should be pushing the senator do the statesmanlike thing.
Dale Gottschalk, Hudson
Is state losing its luster for the rich? | Jan. 28
It costs less to live here
Robert Trigaux's analysis of Florida's declining millionaire population is correct as far as it goes. However, before drawing any conclusions, an adjustment for the cost of living should be done. We moved from Maryland a number of years ago. A million dollars in Florida, where housing is reasonably priced and taxes are low, goes a lot further than it does in Maryland. This is particularly true when looking at the heavily populated areas near D.C. where a half-million dollars may buy only a small house.
The top five states listed in the article have very high costs of living and the bottom five fairly low. One almost needs to be a millionaire to live in the top five states.
Lynn Bosco, Clearwater
Writing mastery | Jan. 25, letter
Nice, but not necessary
Would I be a better or more rounded person if I could speak two or more languages? I assume the answer is yes. But does a person really need to speak two languages to be successful in life? The answer changes to no.
Florida has decided every student needs to master two different ways to communicate on paper. We all know we must learn to print to have any level of success in life. But cursive? Come on.
Cursive is pretty; so are the French and Latin languages. But it is merely a dinosaur looking for a museum.
Nevin Rasor, Palm Harbor
Everything was ship shape
As a captain tasked with driving the Calypso Queen, one of the boats in the Gasparilla parade, I would like to personally thank the fine folks of marine law enforcement who escorted us. From the U.S. Coast Guard down to the local marine police units, their vigilance and dedication made for a safe, enjoyable parade.
From the beginning step-off to the chaos of the inner basin they (as well as the other captains) did an outstanding job.
Graham Dunnege, Seminole
TIA to get $1B upgrade | Jan. 28
Better screening, seating
As a frequent user of Tampa International Airport, I wonder whether the designers thought to interview users before committing nearly a billion dollars in "upgrades."
Most visitors to the airport either want to move from the ticketing area to the gate quickly or they want to be comfortable while waiting for guests to arrive. We need more seating near the shuttle arrival areas, more seating near some of the gates and less of an obstacle course past the TSA security checkpoints for arriving passengers.
More could be done to speed passenger screening and improve passenger security while waiting in lines. If the escalators from ticketing to the shuttles indicated which gates they serviced, there would be no need for passengers to move from one end of the departures floor to the other.
Lee H. Edgerley, Tampa
Paul: Remember Lewinsky scandal | Jan. 27
Leave her in peace
U.S. Sen. Rand Paul has every right to be concerned about former President Bill Clinton's proximity to young interns, but nobody wants to hear about Monica Lewinsky. She got on with her life and finished an advanced degree from the prestigious London School of Economics. She deserves to be left in peace.
Edward Saint-Ivan, Tampa