Obama takes bolder Syria stand as G-8 talks open | June 16
Stop the march to war in Syria
From what is being reported, the United States is about to support the rebels in Syria with small arms and ammunition. To my knowledge there has not been any support for this action in Congress and certainly not by the people.
The war hawks among our U.S. leaders appear to be ready to go to war again. No troops are committed, yet, but that is only a matter of time. It is impossible for the American people to know how much our war hawks in the Senate, House or White House are making in dollars from these military efforts, nor do we know how many have relatives or friends who participate in these actions.
If we could get the truth, we might well be very surprised. Truth is not a staple of American politicians, nor are they bashful when it comes to accepting money from the big money interests. I am not smart enough to know how to turn this around, but between the politicians and the press the American people are being fed much misinformation. I have a grandson who is in the military, has been to Iraq twice and Afghanistan once, and I do not want to see him go back again.
It has been said that it is impossible for an honest, intelligent individual to get elected to the Senate, House or the White House, but I would like to see one try. And many of us would support him or her.
Edmund W. James, Sun City Center
It's Scott against the consumer June 16, editorial
Lobbyists call the tune
for Florida government
While your editorial correctly called out Gov. Rick Scott for signing the cited anticonsumer legislation, you completely glossed over the role of our elected representatives in creating, sponsoring and passing these measures in the first place.
Since there is such zeal for cost-cutting by the governor and the members of the state Senate and House, perhaps we should do away with those institutions and simply let the paid lobbyists present the bills directly to the governor for his signature. That could save time and taxpayer money and we would have exactly the same result we have today: government of the lobbyists, by the lobbyists, for the lobbyists.
Robert Smith, Tampa
Lizzie the retriever brought perfect joy June 18, Daniel Ruth column
Although I always enjoy reading Daniel Ruth's columns, the one about the passing of his family dog was one of the most painfully truthful and heartfelt pieces I've ever read. It is my opinion that animal lovers are among the kindest and most compassionate people on Earth, and Lizzie was very lucky to have such loving and compassionate souls as Daniel and his family as her loving parents and family.
There are many of us who not only felt every word of this column but would like thank him and let him know that no one could have described the sentiment any better.
Robert Parissi, Tampa
Go back to Sunday
I urge the Times to return the TV Times to the Sunday edition. This decision has created much more ill will than any planned benefit. Do your patrons and Sunday advertisers a favor and return the TV Times to Sunday.
P.A. Poropat, Palm Harbor
Sick leave bill
A matter of public health
Our governor has rendered a lot of controversial decisions in the wake of the one of the worst sessions of Florida lawmaking in my 30 years living here. Recently he decided to uphold the bill that prevents local communities from mandating paid sick leave for employees.
A huge majority of Floridians (70 to 80 percent) favor paid sick leave. A small number of giant corporations do not. Darden Restaurants (Olive Garden, Red Lobster and others) and Disney lobbied hard to secure this right to obstruct home rule and promote pestilence.
Paid sick leave is a valuable individual benefit, but it is also a critical element of public safety, especially in densely populated areas with large numbers of tourists. Food workers and those who interact with large crowds (like employees of amusement parks) should be able to stay home when they are sick. Otherwise, they risk infecting others with communicable diseases.
Restaurants that coerce their servers and preparers to come to work sick are practicing a dubious business model. Who wants to eat in a place where the food handlers might give you a disease? Local officials and the general public may understand that public health is important, but it seems that some big corporations do not, even when their own customers are in jeopardy.
Susan Greenbaum, Temple Terrace
Taxpayer giveaway to Amazon June 15, editorial
Just what the county needs
This editorial on Amazon misses the mark. According to published reports, the proposed Amazon distribution center in Ruskin would provide a much-needed economic boost to Hillsborough County, including the creation of 1,000 new jobs.
A large commercial enterprise such as Amazon is precisely what economic development leaders envisioned when creating Hillsborough County's Strategic Plan, which states, "If Hillsborough County government is to provide the scope and level of services it would like to provide, its strategic focus must be on business and job creation." Furthermore, "The ability of a county government to respond to expanding or unmet community needs is directly dependent upon the strength of the local economy, since property and sales taxes are its most significant revenue sources." The proposed Amazon distribution center aligns perfectly with the vision and mission of the County Strategic Plan.
NAIOP Tampa Bay (the Commercial Real Estate Development Association) encourages Hillsborough County to use any and all economic development incentives in its arsenal to help bring Amazon to Hillsborough County.
Duane Milford, president, NAIOP Tampa Bay, Tampa