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Letters to the Editor

Government spending is California's real problem

As goes California … so goes Florida? And it's the dawn of a day of reckoning | June 14

State spending is the real problem

It is truly amazing to me how Robert Trigaux and others can report on the California economic crisis and not mention the labor unions or the high cost of business, including taxes and worker compensation.

Your article has one sentence mentioning "runaway state spending," which any economist would recognize as the fundamental problem.

Your characterization of Florida's economic bases as "flimsy" ignores the fact that these industries have provided adequate revenue in all but the severest of economic downturns. The fact that Florida has achieved some measure of economic stability without a state income tax must also reflect a healthy degree of spending restraint in Tallahassee.

California is just an example of Detroit syndrome. If the cost of doing business rises to the point that a business or a state cannot be competitive, bankruptcy is the inevitable result.

Jim Lindquist, Tampa

As goes California … so goes Florida? And it's the dawn of a day of reckoning | June 14

Florida lags on solar power

The Florida Public Service Commission funded a study which concluded that the Sunshine State's abundant free energy could power 20 million homes. Nevertheless, the PSC approved the building of three new nuclear power plants in Florida to be paid for by Floridians, not stockholders. The cost: some $50 billion. The 2006 Florida Act was seemingly written by lobbyists for the power industry.

On May 5, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced that "every rooftop I see without solar panels is a waste of space." California has a mandate that all new homes must energize themselves by 2020 and that all developments of 50 units or more must offer solar by 2010. No such requirements are planned for sunny Florida.

Florida has 9 million existing homes that if "solarized" with current technology could diminish the need to build new power plants. With photovoltaic production costs under $1 per watt, and solar rebates at $4 per watt, it make no sense to reroof with shingles or tiles. Building integrated PVs are hurricane-rated, therefore lowering property insurance premiums. Property resale value would be higher and energy costs would be lower.

Florida remains 30 years behind California.

Walter Feuchs, Palm Beach

A missed opportunity

Is anyone else surprised by the lack of solar panels you see when driving? Few states have more solar energy available than Florida, yet this virtually unlimited energy source is almost untapped. Drive anywhere in Europe, which has far less sun, and you see solar panels everywhere. Here in the payoff state, oil companies spend millions to convince us the answer is more drilling off our coast.

Moving to renewable energy solves nearly every domestic problem simultaneously: twice as many jobs from wind and solar as oil and gas, reduced or eliminated emissions, future technological leadership, lowered reliance on hostile governments, fewer oil spills, better balance of trade.

Any two of these should be compelling. But instead, our government feeds oil companies. It's more than a disgrace. It is costing us our way of life, world leadership, health, economy and peace.

Paul Firth, Tampa

U.S. needs a new tune | June 14, Michael Kinsley column

The feeling is what matters

This article is about the most absurd thing that I have heard in regard to our country and respect for it. It is too bad Michael Kinsley never has been around country people who enjoy a parade and sing songs that have been handed down by our parents and the founders of our country.

There is no need to watch what octave we reach. It's the feeling in the heart that matters, and if we had more of that then this would be a better place to live and raise our children.

Jim Hooper, Seminole

U.S. needs a new tune | June 14, Michael Kinsley column

A vote for 'Beautiful'

I would be very pleased to have America the Beautiful as our national anthem. It is easy to sing, it speaks of brotherhood (which we sorely need), liberty and law and divine guidance.

The Star-Spangled Banner is difficult to sing, it is bombastic, and it commemorates one night of a war that has been over for almost 200 years. And the tune is an old drinking song.

Which reflects better the soul of America?

M.E. Vallee, St. Petersburg

U.S. needs a new tune | June 14, Michael Kinsley column

Unseemly bashing

Last Sunday you ran a column concerning our national anthem and the need to replace it. I agree it is hard to sing, but so what? It is our national anthem, not a song to be sung on American Idol.

I took great exception the author's demeaning of the song. I understand it is chic to debase anything that is conservative, nationalistic or shows pride in our country, but he went too far. He talked about it being a "militant" song but not in a "good" way. When did pride in repelling an invasion of our nation become bad?

Les Rayburn, Dade City

U.S. needs a new tune | June 14, Michael Kinsley column

Time for change

Amen to Michael Kinsley's, column. Long have I thought our anthem should be changed. I am tired of "bombs bursting in air," among other references to war in the Star-Spangled Banner. And that's not to mention the difficulty in singing this song.

My vote goes for America the Beautiful. If we change the face of war to one of peace, perhaps we will gain more friends than enemies. It's about time.

Carolynne Paul, Brooksville

Saving Shriners | June 14

Support their good works

My son was born with a condition called fibular hemimelia. Since he was born in 2002, he has been a patient of Shriner's Hospital in Tampa. They have provided care free of charge. This care included a foot amputation, as well as providing a prosthesis for him. He is now on his seventh one. The prostheses cost about $10,000 a piece, if not more. My insurance would cover $1,000 per year.

My family would never have been able to afford this care on our insurance plan. My son would not be walking, running, or playing sports as a "normal" 6-year-old if it were not for Shriner's. However, due to many reasons, Shriner's funding is falling short. This will keep many children from receiving care they so badly need.

I am asking that you please look into your heart to support Shriner's Hospitals any way you can. If you would like to read about my son, there was an awesome article written by Derek J. Lariviere, titled He's one busy athlete, in the Hernando Times last September. Please help all of those deserving children.

Stacey Smith, Spring Hill

Government spending is California's real problem 06/20/09 [Last modified: Saturday, June 20, 2009 11:26pm]

    

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