Pointless pledge on guest speakers | Aug. 1, editorial
Treat all religious groups alike
I believe your editorial missed the point of the activists. I will not take the time to reiterate what CAIR is about, but rather point out what everyone seems to miss.
If this were not a Muslim group but a member of the Southern Baptist Convention or the Catholic Church, the School Board would be up in arms trying to stop these people from speaking at our schools. It is this double standard that the activists are fighting. If a Christian wants to speak at a school or government function, they have to fight the made-up separation of church and state. The Muslim church should be held to the same standard.
However, the School Board (as well as everyone else) is so afraid of offending these people that they allow them to walk all over them. We should not discriminate against any faith — Muslim, Christian, Hindu or other — yet the School Board and the entire government discriminates against the Christian faith. If people are going to claim the separation of church and state, it must be upheld for all churches, not only the Christian ones. We are taught to be open to all faiths and beliefs, but we also must be fair to the beliefs of the majority of Americans.
Ian McConnell, Riverview
Perk of new health care law: rebate checks July 31
Rebate quickly erased
I was interested to read about rebates from health insurance companies because they failed to spend the appropriate amount on health care benefits. I received one of those rebates. Then two weeks later my premium was raised 25 percent.
The health care system is broken. As long as the health care lobby controls Congress, our only hope is to live long enough for Medicare. I cannot wait to be part of that "socialized medicine program."
Paula Davis, Dade City
Focus on what we can fix
Could the media please give us a break with endless grisly accounts of the Aurora killings? I understand it was a tragedy, and our sympathies lie with the victims. But we also need to appreciate that 86 Americans are killed by firearms every day, and nearly 4,000 die prematurely by chronic diseases linked with consumption of animal products and lack of exercise.
Let's replace the hand-wringing over the Aurora tragedy with constructive personal steps to lessen the greater tragedies facing us every day.
Elizabeth Blanchard, Redington Shores
Stop the dirty politics
My wife and I are helping in a campaign for a local candidate. One major problem he is having is that people are removing his legally placed roadside campaign signs and often replacing them with signs of the opposing candidate. This is dirty politics, which we see all too often. Anyone witnessing the stealing of campaign signs should report it.
Steve Wilson, Safety Harbor
The Consumer Product Safety Commission is suing manufacturer Maxfield & Oberton to stop selling Buckyballs, a magnetic desk toy, because 20 children have swallowed them in the past four years (with no deaths). By this logic we could ban cars based on the fact that in the United States during 2009, 1,314 children ages 14 years or younger died as occupants in motor vehicle crashes, and approximately 179,000 were injured.
Children put the wrong things in their mouths all the time. During our childhoods, what did we swallow?
The CPSC aims to shut down another small U.S. company and put more people out of work for a nonproblem. I suggest we shut down the Consumer Product Safety Commission so the rest of us can get back to work.
Charles Williams, Spring Hill
Republican National Convention
I run Skydive City in Zephyrhills. With the coming Republican convention, we and many other tourism businesses have been ramping up to seek customers from the estimated 50,000 visitors.
Skydive City, however, has just learned that it will be shut down from Aug. 27-30 due to flight restrictions imposed by the FAA and Department of Homeland Security. The 30-nautical-mile outer ring encompasses our airport and all parachute operations, including pretty much all other aviation activities.
This is ridiculous. The last time we were shut down for four days in a row was when the country was attacked on 9/11. Does the Republican convention really require this level of scrutiny? Is anyone listening to small businesses that are affected by such arbitrary rules?
David Hayes, Zephyrhills
City Council agonizes, settles on pier question | July 31
Vote should have come first
The suggestions by Steve Kornell and Karl Nurse for the Pier would be excellent on the ballot. They are: refurbish, go ahead with the Lens, select a new design, or do away with the Pier altogether. If this had been voted on in the beginning, it could have saved the taxpayers $1.5 million on something that now may never happen.
If the Pier is torn down and not rebuilt, then the $50 million can be used to build a new police station.
Bob Bartlett, St. Petersburg
Provide an attraction
I am unhappy with the Lens. Instead of a horizontal circle, why not a vertical circle in the form of a giant Ferris wheel? It could hold 10-12 people in each enclosed pod. Why not have barges docked along the pier that serve different cuisines, and an arcade that attracts all ages? If you want to change something, make it interesting to all.
Gloria Julius, St. Petersburg
Input means referendum
Daniel Ruth's column (Inverted pyramid, invertebrate leaders, July 31) states the "Lens design was a product of … voluminous community input." How? The only way to get communitywide input is through a vote.
No one I speak with is in favor of the new designs, and almost no one wants to lose the current Pier, which really is iconic for St. Petersburg. The trolleys are fun to ride to the Pier, the views are great, and the building looks good from any angle.
Would it really cost more to refurbish? We'll never really know.
Dan Chesnut, St. Petersburg