Outside funds pour in for Sink | Jan. 8
Misleading voters on campaign
Your article leads people to believe that Alex Sink is being foisted on Pinellas County by outside interests. A deeper analysis indicates that Sink, David Jolly and Kathleen Peters have raised virtually the same amount of money from within Pinellas.
Congressional candidates typically receive significant funding from outside of the district they are vying to represent. As the sole Democrat in the race, Sink is benefiting from the ability to draw in that money early in the campaign.
After the Republican primary, a qualified Republican candidate likely will receive the same level of support from the national GOP and possibly the benefit of Rep. Bill Young's legacy support, which certainly did not all come from within the district.
To make a funding comparison based on percentages rather than real dollars was misleading. I urge you to publish a followup article that presents all the facts.
Cindy Wilkinson McMullen, St. Petersburg
Army sergeant dies in Afghanistan | Jan. 6
Why bury the real news?
I find it deplorable that the news of this soldier's death was relegated to a small brief at the bottom of the page in the local section of the Times instead of being plastered all over the front page. Our young men and women are still dying in a war that most people have forgotten about.
News concerning the war and our military over there dealing with such horrors on a daily basis should be front and center in our newspapers to keep the public informed of what is going on. The media, including the Tampa Bay Times, need to be more responsible.
Vivian Billera, New Port Richey
Toward an AIDS-free future | Jan. 4
Fight needs global focus
I applaud your editorial calling for a renewed emphasis on the fight against HIV/AIDS. We have seen major progress in the United States since the virus was first reported more than 30 years ago. However, that progress cannot be mistaken for ultimate success, as there are still 50,000 new infections every year. The disease is still at epidemic levels.
Each day, 700 children are born HIV-positive, almost all of whom live in sub-Saharan Africa. And of the 3.2 million children worldwide who are living with HIV, only 34 percent are receiving treatment. By comparison, in the United States, we have significantly reduced pediatric HIV, with fewer than 200 infections reported in 2012. The United States must be the model that other countries can follow to show that this epidemic can be conquered. But no single country can win this fight on its own.
The recent commitments to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria by the United States and other nations highlight the fact that an AIDS-free generation can be achieved only if we work on a global scale. We must all commit to zero new infections, zero discrimination, and zero AIDS-related deaths.
We can see the end of the HIV/AIDS epidemic within this lifetime, but only if we join together and ensure that every person in every country around the world has access to lifesaving HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention measures.
Charles Lyons, president and CEO, Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, Washington, D.C.
'Wolf of Wall Street' sets a bleeping record Jan. 4
A waste of space
Three columns devoted to the f-bomb. What a splendid piece of journalism. Can we now expect your staff writers to rate movies on their "f-counts"? In this case, it's one less movie on which to waste my money.
Janet Sunderland, Spring Hill
Weed: Been there, done that | Jan. 5
Dodging the negatives
David Brooks made some good points in his op-ed about marijuana, but he overlooked a couple of problems.
First, once the government accepts marijuana as a medical treatment, it would soon have to be covered under Obamacare. We all know about the endless fraud and waste in government programs. So before long, healthy non-users will be paying for the fraudulent marijuana use of dopers. The doper gets the "high" and we non-users get the bill. That alone negates Brooks's phony comparison to alcohol.
The second problem Brooks missed has to do with the motivation behind legalizing weed. What if, hypothetically, one of the big pharmaceutical companies came up with a pill that had the same medicinal advantages of marijuana but with none of the side effects? In other words, without the buzz? Do you think the activists would stop pushing for the legalization of marijuana? Not for a minute.
The activists want the buzz and the money. Those who truly need the medicinal effects of marijuana would surely opt for the pill.
Sam Nall, Homosassa
St. Petersburg Pier reopens | Jan. 4
City spending too much
While I'm pleased to hear that the St. Petersburg Pier has reopened to foot traffic and to those who fish, I would like to know how it can possibly cost $1,000 per day to provide security, maintenance and utilities for a closed facility?
I mean, seriously, $30,000 per month to guard what? No wonder there's been no progress on the new Pier, or the police station, or the dozens of other city needs, when we are paying more than $350,000 per year to maintain an empty building.
C'mon Rick Kriseman, you can do better!
Gregory Premer, St. Pete Beach
Edward Snowden | Jan. 7
A boycott is in order
President Obama is correct in his decision not to attend the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, but we really need to go further.
The United States should not be sending one athlete, one television camera, or one dollar to Russia until Edward Snowden is returned to the United States to face trial.
We should take advantage of this opportunity while it is still available.
Kenneth Thompson, Pinellas Park