Sunshine State? Not when it comes to an energy policy July 8, Robert Trigaux column
Push for solar makes sense
What is wrong with our Legislature? Florida is known as the Sunshine State, yet we have no energy plan in place for harvesting our precious sunshine.
Solar panels on all homes would lower the cost of materials so as to be affordable for one and all. This would also generate tons of jobs and help with saving the cost of power in the future. If our Legislature would put together a plan mandating solar to be incorporated into all future home building and provide incentives for current homeowners, our power bills would finally drop to a reasonable level where we all could afford to live and work in the Sunshine State.
To ignore the sun and not take advantage of it is beyond my comprehension.
Jenn Freeman, St. Petersburg
Public libraries: We lose them at our peril July 8, commentary
Don't cut libraries
Marilyn Johnson's column in no way overstates the devastating effect of library closures and cutbacks. Britain, where public libraries were invented, went down this road long ago. The effect on everyone, especially the poor, elderly and others most in need, has been nothing less than a national tragedy.
We must stop this from happening in the United States. Cutting libraries in a recession is like cutting hospitals in a plague.
Kevin O'Neill, St. Petersburg
Visiting library a joy
Thank you for the article about public libraries. I have been a volunteer at Palm Harbor Library for almost three years. Each week, I see people utilizing the computers, checking out DVDs, audio books, CDs and of course, books. I recently had the joy of volunteering at a children's summer program, made possible by the exceptional children's room librarians.
Come and visit. You'll love what you see.
Marilyn Satinoff, Palm Harbor
Why can't Rays draw more fans? July 12, story
Let me count the ways
Here are some reasons for not attending a game at Tropicana Field:
• It's too far away — over an hour drive plus the long walk in the parking lot and the longer walk inside to get to your seat.
• Bad sight lines. Many of the seats face the outfield. To watch the action in the infield, you must twist your body and neck around to an uncomfortable position.
• No place to eat. There are precious few restaurants within an easy walk. This forces you eat inside the ballpark and pay their high prices.
• Cowbells and horns — the noise is relentless and distracting.
P.J. Jaccoi, Tampa
Roughly 40 percent of Tampa Bay's men's population is aged 15-44. This explains a great deal, as this age group's salaries are not adequate to go to 80 games, and these guys work long hours during the week.
I think with the economic climate in this metro area with lost jobs in tourism, construction and real estate, we are doing quite well. And I am sure many who were working full-time are now working part-time and probably support the Rays, but cannot afford to go to any games.
The Bucs only have 10 home games, and the Lightning 40. Baseball has too many games (80 home games) for a fan today to support their team all year.
This ownership group has done an outstanding job obtaining and developing players. The Rays have a great team and organization. But they are making one big mistake pushing for a new stadium. Public money must be spent for projects other than a baseball stadium, which is only used 80 nights a year.
J.R. Demmy, Kenneth City
Just not interested
It may be that there are many residents in the Tampa Bay area who, like me, just aren't interested in sports in general and baseball in particular. Reports by some economists indicate that the economic benefits are far less than those who advocate for teams claim.
When Mr. Sternberg bought the team he should have considered the location, demographics and attendance factors at that time.
If this team is so deserving of a new stadium, let them buy some land, build a stadium of their choosing, and make all the profit they can manage.
James O'Connell, Largo
The need for IDs
As we concentrate on our southern border, we lose sight of the other borders. There are many illegal aliens who came here on visas and disappeared. They came in as students, either dropped out of school or just stayed. Many came in as visitors. Immigration has never been able to keep track of all those who stayed after their visas expired.
All European and many South American countries have national ID cards. We should too.
Gene Kannee, Sun City Center
Face up to the problem of illegal immigration July 9, letter
Yet another name
The letter writer requests that you stop calling illegals "undocumented immigrants."
Well, just in time, another name is emerging. Talk radio is now calling them "undocumented Democrats."
Lynn O'Keefe, Largo
Change that disappoints
We voted for "change we could believe in."
So far, we've seen enormous stimulus spending which has been ineffective. Following that, we saw an unpopular health care bill rammed through Congress. The stock market is down and consumer confidence is in shambles. Our government's response to the BP oil spill has been tepid. Iraq and Afghanistan are stagnant. And now, this administration is trying to block Arizona from protecting itself against illegal aliens who may be criminals.
We are seeing change: from a superpower to a pathetic also-ran.
Laurence Veras, Clearwater
South Beach bound | July 9
You've done it again, ladies and gentlemen of the Times. You've wasted the opportunity to inform the public with important matters of the world and our country so we can all be amazed by the nonstory of LeBron James' career choice.
I'm sure our forces overseas are relieved they didn't have to bore us all with their monotonous tales of daily self-sacrifice. World issues like genocide, starvation, tyranny and poverty don't sell nearly as many issues of your periodical.
After years of defending and praising your paper, I'm through. Maybe you can up your revenue by putting yourself next to other grocery store gossip rags you now resemble.
Gus Shafman, Dunedin