Big landholders support toll idea | Nov. 29
Just a bunch of pork-lined paths
It's no surprise the five large landowners interviewed about the Future Corridors plan are supportive of building the network of toll roads proposed by the plan. They all stand to reap windfall profits from future development of their landholdings — development that would not be feasible unless the public can be hoodwinked into paying for the construction of "highways to nowhere" that would make their isolated rural lands more accessible.
Gov. Charlie Crist shelved the Future Corridors plan because the highways could not be justified on the basis of meeting transportation needs. The plan is now being dusted off by Gov. Rick Scott not to meet transportation needs but to spur economic development. In other words, to promote more of the expensive sprawl and reckless speculation by developers and Realtors that have made Florida the economic disaster it is today.
The most revealing facet of this article? Not the landowners who were chosen to be interviewed, but those who weren't. For example, JD Alexander of Florida Polytechnic fame, whose ranch might increase in development potential a thousandfold if the so-called Heartland segment is built. That's the highway with the most juice behind it, thanks to an appropriation the Legislature approved this year to fund initial design.
Future Corridors is not about economic development to benefit the people of Florida; it's about using the taxpayers to bankroll infrastructure development that will benefit those pulling the strings in Tallahassee. It is pork barrel spending of epic proportions.
Eugene Kelly, Brooksville
Bondi blasts health law | Nov. 29
Time to move on
The Florida attorney general is still speaking out against the health care law that has been found constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court. I respect that she may have a personal opinion about the law. No matter what her personal opinion, is it is her obligation to uphold the law of the land. It is time to move on and make sure the law is effective in helping as many people as possible.
As we go along we will see the problems and Congress will have the opportunity to deal with them. As a young college student, I happened to be present when Medicare passed the Senate with many of the same arguments we hear today about the new health care law.
Louis Kwall, Clearwater
Bondi another self-promoter
The day Pam Bondi was sworn in as Florida's attorney general it was obvious she had another office in mind before she even started her elected duties. She started at that time to speak in "headline-ese."
Was she already planning on being our next governor or senator? Whatever it was, look for more headlines in boldface whenever her name is mentioned. Just what Florida needs: another self-promoting politician.
Mary Jane Miller, Bayonet Point
There's help available
Pam Bondi, our esteemed state attorney general, seems to be depressed over the last election. But the good news is that I think depression is covered under Obamacare.
Susan Nichols, St. Petersburg
Fixing bad behavior isn't done by bellowing Nov. 29, commentary
Parental guidance required
We don't know the detailed dynamics of this family, but the crucial phrases are "the oldest (adult child) is 40" and "you seem to treat your mother like a cess-pit."
Then David Brooks goes on for seven paragraphs about hidden springs, alternative good behavior, luring people toward success, positive rewards, promise of admiration, picking out a small goal — good grief, it sounded like a handbook for preschoolers that would never end.
How many hours, weeks, months does the average decent parent spend during a child's lifetime loving, guiding, mentoring, supporting, cheerleading, helping, listening?
Nick Crews' only mistake was that he didn't send his "bellowing" message to his children 20 years ago.
Judy Prescott, Palm Harbor
Talk, no action as 'cliff' looms | Nov. 29
Foreign aid needs trimming
As I sit here reading, yet again, about politicians wanting to cut Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security in an effort to reduce government spending, I continue to wonder why there is never any discussion of cutting the foreign aid we so easily send to other countries. Many of those countries do not support us; why do we support them?
This is a great example of the "giveaway" programs that need to be slashed before our elected politicians cut programs that many of us have contributed to in the form of payroll taxes. As a senior citizen who recently became eligible for both Social Security and Medicare, programs that I was forced to pay into for 45 years, I resent the fact that I must fight for every penny I get back while we continue to give large amount of funds to foreign counties.
Jim Rechtin, Tampa
Political reality and Rice | Nov. 30, editorial
Yes to Palin, but no to Rice?
Sens. John McCain, Kelly Ayotte, Lindsey Graham and Susan Collins question Susan Rice's ability to lead the State Department. These same senators had no problem with Sarah Palin being a heartbeat away from becoming "the leader of the free world."
Randy Nelson, Tampa
Monkey may end up in Dade City zoo Nov. 27
He's Tampa Bay's monkey
I was disappointed to hear our mystery monkey was likely going to Dade City instead of finding a home right here in Tampa Bay. I thought maybe someone with the means might step up and donate the necessary funds to the Suncoast Primate Sanctuary, for example.
Greater still, however, was my disappointment over the monkey's new name. Why does he need to be rebranded? His name could have stayed "Mystery Monkey" just as easily. Or, if he was to be renamed, why not "Magic Mike"? That way even if he moves, he'd take Tampa Bay with him.
Rebecca Hendricks, Clearwater