Letters to the editor

Judge's continuing service should be appreciated

Pinellas judge double dips | April 3, story

Judge's service should be appreciated

Judge Anthony Rondolino has deferred 30 years of lucrative private practice in serving the public. In proper context, he has accepted far less than he would likely have made in the private sector, invested in his retirement plan, and has simply elected to start withdrawing now instead of later.

That Judge Rondolino qualifies for retirement certainly does not render him disqualified to continue serving. In fact, the continuity of his experience and judicial wisdom should be revered and appreciated — at least for the time he is still willing to serve — or, unlike nonelected government employees, he is voted out of office.

Roy L. Glass, Esq., St. Petersburg

Blame the law

Surely you understand that Judge Anthony Rondolino followed the law concerning early retirement. Had he not retired at 59, his retirement base pay would have been considerably higher in 11 or 12 years. If you do not like the law, go ahead and try to change it, rather than vilifying a good man.

Carol Abernathy, St. Petersburg

Put an end to it

Double-dipping has got to go. Judge Anthony Rondolino's salary has jumped from a measly $145,080 to $269,184 for doing the same job. This is ridiculous. Chief Judge Robert Morris sees nothing wrong with this.

We have high unemployment and a recession and Rondolino stops someone else from making a living at that job. No one is indispensable. In any job there are always capable people to replace those retiring. Whom are they trying to fool?

The Florida Legislature needs to put an end to this now.

Mary Lou Bogdan, Sun City Center

Sacrifice ought to be spread more evenly

What a contrast the news presents: Social Security payments may stay flat for up to three years, and another government official has found a way to almost double his salary (with our money).

We are rapidly becoming a two-state nation. For one group, state/federal officials, our taxes provide full health care, automatic salary increases and guaranteed retirement benefits. Those in the other group (you and I) have worked our entire lives, and then hope that our savings will pay for the growing gaps in our health care, cost of living increases, etc.

The politicians need to realize that the sacrifice we are all told we must make has to start with them. The citizens of this country deserve no less.

John Caton, St. Petersburg

Retiree raises may go away | April 3, story

Where's the sense?

Does the government actually think recipients are going to spend the $250 from the economic stimulus when they will be faced with a three-year freeze on cost-of-living allowances?

They will save it to offset increases in inflation and rising medical payments.

What sense does this make?

Valerie Visnage, Seminole

Rabid O'Reilly sics respected judge | April 3, Daniel Ruth column

A disservice to readers

I am a registered independent, a subscriber to the St. Petersburg Times and a viewer of The O'Reilly Factor. I disagree with the newspaper and also with Bill O'Reilly on several issues. I like to view both sides of an issue and then make my own decision. Daniel Ruth's column on April 3 was simply embarrassing.

He was complaining about O'Reilly's tactics while utilizing the same type of insults numerous times in his own article.

Ruth makes this case seem simple. Normally, there are two sides to every argument. Using insults and avoiding the real issue is a disservice to your readers. Did the judge have discretion on the amount of bail the defendant has to pay? Is the defendant's threat to society also a factor in determining bail?

O'Reilly's news show has been No. 1 one for a long time, and I believe he has good intentions just like Ruth. My mom always taught me if you don't have anything good to say about someone, don't say anything at all. Maybe instead of insulting Bill O'Reilly, Daniel Ruth could have explained why the judge settled for $50,000 instead of $500,000. That would have been worth reading.

Marty Skapik, Palm Harbor

Rabid O'Reilly sics respected judge | April 3, Daniel Ruth column

It's not funny

In a column about the sexual assault of a mentally disabled man, Daniel Ruth doesn't see anything wrong with cracking sex jokes. In a state littered with the dead bodies of children killed by repeat offenders who were released thanks to profound flaws in our judicial system, Daniel Ruth only finds humor in the wounded outrage of people who are rising up to say "enough is enough."

What a proud day for journalism at the St. Petersburg Times.

Tina Trent, Ruskin

Rabid O'Reilly sics respected judge | April 3, Daniel Ruth column

Battling the bluster

Hooray for Daniel Ruth for defending Judge J. Rogers Padgett's decision, and for explaining to Bill (Ted Baxter) O'Reilly why the decision was legally required, and for putting "Rush Limbaugh's cabana boy" (great!) in his place for his blustering grandstand play to have one of his goons confront the judge to justify his decision.

I would love to see Ruth trade verbal blows with O'Reilly on his program.

W.C. Rogers, Tampa

Ad's claim about global warming is just hot air | April 3, PolitiFact

Not so false

How can you possibly rate the statement in the Cato Institute ad "False" when you later state in the article that it is true? The basis for rating it false was apparently that it didn't cover a time period long enough, but the ad clearly stated the time period of one decade.

The issue of man-made global warming is very political and this kind of journalism doesn't help. At the very least, it should be rated as "True, BUT …"

Bob Bryan, Seminole

A sick dog, a kind act and, finally, hope April 3, story

Reaching for love

As acts of great beauty move me to tears easier than tragedy, I am moved to thank the Times for this story. The 3-month-old puppy was a catalyst for this (seemingly random) joyous event, which became a crowning jewel in the life of both women, and an inspiration to your readers.

Thank you for the details in the lives of two courageous women who have not been afraid to live, who have not closed their hearts from pain, but have learned to reach for love and extend it to others, which is the grandest of human potential.

The real mistake in life is to miss an opportunity to reach out to others. I hope these ladies know they have entered into the hearts and prayers of many people, as well as helping to reveal the deep tragedy of how our society treats its companion animals. May we all learn to "love one another."

Lana K. Boyce, Indian Shores

Judge's continuing service should be appreciated 04/07/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 7, 2009 7:21pm]

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