Letting the Rays go could help city
I grew up in New York loving baseball. I have been a fan of the Rays since moving to St. Petersburg. However, the Tampa Bay area may not be a viable market for a major league team.
The Rays are having their best year ever. They just came off a 9 and 1 road trip; they lead the league. And yet, on Saturday night, with a John Fogerty concert to draw fans, they were able to fill only two-thirds of the seats at the Trop.
The argument about location within the geographic area is meaningless. This was a Saturday night, so coming from work in rush-hour traffic is no excuse. Not enough luxury suites is no excuse either. On a weekend evening, "corporate supporters" could enjoy the game from the stands with the rest of us.
The articles and charts the Times published a few weeks ago appeared to show that the sooner we own up to reality and let the Rays go, the better it will be financially for the city of St. Petersburg. A cash buyout of the Trop lease, plus 86 acres for the city to develop could go a long way toward solving the city's current financial woes.
Hal Freedman, St. Petersburg
Clean energy will fuel our future
It should be clear to everyone today that our community's greatest need is to create jobs. The question is how. Pinellas County has 13.1 percent unemployment with another 5 percent who are underemployed. The quickest way to create a full range of jobs is move to a clean economy. The U.S. Senate is about to take up an energy bill that would create 78,000 jobs in Florida in the areas of energy efficiency and renewable energy.
The Florida Legislature is considering legislation called PACE financing that would jump-start the energy efficiency and hurricane hardening for thousands of homes each year in Pinellas County alone.
In this moment, America has the opportunity to become the leader in clean energy economic solutions that will have long-lasting results. If we allow fear to stop us from acting, the jobs will go to places like China, which became the leader in solar and wind power generation last year. Florida certainly has the thermal power potential to lead in both solar hot water and solar electric power.
Comprehensive clean energy policies will spur a flurry of investments in job creation that could pull us out of this recession and set into motion long-term solutions that could pay dividends for years to come. We can no longer afford to sit idle while other nations capitalize from the burgeoning clean energy movement. Arguing against clean energy is arguing against the future, and our economy doesn't need another short-term solution.
Karl Nurse, City Council member, District 6, St. Petersburg
It's time for equal pay, once and for all | April 21, Diane Steinle column
Column skewed equal-pay picture
The Diane Steinle column is rife with naive conclusions (relating primarily to the statistics of the issue).
It is typical of the excesses, over-simplifications and non sequiturs that occur in editorials and political discussions that are grinding an ax. It would be refreshing to see an objective, comprehensive position on such matters.
The most logically inconsistent aspect of the article is how the argument deals with great detail relating to the statistic with the least significance — i.e., the 77 cents vs. $1 figure. This female-male earnings ratio is an overall average, as noted by a quote from critics, that masks any effects from career choices, etc.
In an attempted rebuttal of the critics, the article quotes the American Association of University Women as vaguely stating that there seems to be a gap attributable to sex discrimination when these effects are considered. However, no quantification of this "gap" is identified. Is it too much greater than 77 cents to justify passage of the act?
And then, of course, there is this obsession with averages that afflicts all arguments in political matters. If you objectively examine the data, you will find that there are many, many women who earn more than many, many men.
In all fairness, shouldn't the men in the low end of earnings data also be trained in salary negotiations? Wouldn't these men also suffer the losses in Social Security and pension benefits and increase the possibility of living in poverty in the last years of their life?
Why is the discussion limited to gender disparity? What about racial disparity (probably involving much less than a 77-cents-on-the-dollar situation)? Ethnic disparity? Age?
Donald Barnhill, Trinity
Welch has right idea about fire service
Three cheers for Pinellas County Commissioner Ken Welch, who has pushed for several years to consolidate fire departments in Pinellas.
Anybody going to ask why the other commissioners don't speak up? The answer is they are afraid they'll lose the union votes from the fire and police, who are organized and vote as a bloc.
Anybody going to ask why our elected officials don't act to represent the majority of taxpayers rather than special interests?
The difficult economic problems have finally forced our elected officials to start doing their job to assure the taxpayers' money is spent efficiently.
Jim Harpham, Palm Harbor