Port moves quickly on search firm | July 17
Port needs to build on successes
My company, Tampa Tank Inc./Florida Structural Steel, considers ourselves stakeholders in the Tampa Port Authority, not only because our company is situated in the city of Tampa, but also because we maintain an active and growing export business to the Caribbean and Central and South America. As stakeholders, we are interested and concerned about the leadership transition currently taking place at the Tampa Port Authority.
Under the dynamic leadership of Richard Wainio and the professional staff he has put in place, the Tampa Port Authority has moved aggressively to develop and expand the Port of Tampa, responding to the challenging economic and commercial forces of a rapidly changing environment that is no longer insular, but global. This important transition is being accomplished while balancing the needs and requirements of a wide variety of stakeholders. The interests of the commercial companies located in the port, the shipping lines, and importers and exporters are diverse and many times conflicting. The current economic contribution of the port to the Central Florida region is substantial and growing.
The city of Tampa, Hillsborough County and the entire Central Florida economic area owe Wainio and his staff a debt of gratitude for their accomplishments, dedication and hard work. The board of directors of the Tampa Port Authority now must do their part and seek out a new, professional leader of the high caliber, integrity and international knowledge that we have been privileged to see over the past seven years.
Calvin H. Reed, CEO, Tampa Tank Inc./Florida Structural Steel, Tampa
For reasonable gun limits | July 26, editorial
Address mental illness
I am a silver-haired schoolteacher and consider myself a most reasonable individual. In 2010 in the United States, 806,156 people died from major cardiovascular disease. "Intentional self harm" killed another 34,828, while 22,631 Americans died from accidental falls in the same year. Where is your righteous clamor for them?
Your editorial beats the drum of topical convenience. The scourge and shame of mental illness in the United States is what needs addressing, not ammo and firearms.
Reasonable shooters make large ammo purchases because the supply is often sporadic. Six thousand rounds can be used by a group of reasonable well-trained citizens enjoying a day of fellowship at the range. A high-capacity magazine allows them to shoot longer without reloading.
Reasonable individuals should not be penalized for the barbarous acts of madmen. A reasonable person with one well-placed red dot on the mask of that cowardly madman might have changed the outcome in Aurora.
Donna Kostreva, St. Petersburg
NRA needs to back off
I have talked to friends across the country, and we can't understand why weapons like AK-47s are allowed. These are war weapons, not hunting rifles. We are both Republicans and Democrats — and we just don't get it. The NRA has strayed way off its mission and should back off.
Mary Lee Hanley, St. Petersburg
Fantasy — or a real threat? | July 26
Too many details
I am utterly appalled at the graphic detail published concerning the deeds of twisted people. Do we need to know the exact perverted thoughts and actions of Ronald Brown? All it does is deposit visuals into readers' minds — desensitizing us toward the sick act.
Whatever happened to decent reporting that gives the general, basic news without going into such morbid, graphic detail?
Jill Dehn, Largo
Trim them down to size
Your recommendations for a better Florida House were an eye-opener for me, but not for the reason you intended. It made me realize how large the state Legislature is. I have long believed that our federal legislative branch is just too big to work effectively, and after looking at our state counterpart, I also believe it is also much too large.
If we want to improve government operations, cutting the size of both federal and state legislatures is probably the single best action with the biggest payback. I recommend eliminating half as a starting point.
Jerry Stephens, Riverview
Political spin on success | July 26
Serving a customer
This article's suggestion that the two Tampa small business owners were beneficiaries of government assistance simply because they obtained business from the government is absurd. The government is a customer of these businesses, not a benefactor.
According to a 2012 study by Bloomberg Government, the U.S. government paid more than $500 billion of taxpayers' money to purchase goods and services from foreign companies over the past five years. Thus, by this article's logic, the U.S. government has provided financial assistance to foreign companies so that they can compete directly against these Tampa small businesses.
Grant Petersen, Clearwater
A rough crowd benefits from law | July 22
Self-defense for all
Based on this "stand your ground" tirade, it appears that people who have had a run-in with the police or who have previously broken the law don't merit the same level of presumed innocence as "civilized" people. I am all for putting convicted criminals in jail to serve their sentences, but even ex-cons should be able to protect themselves.
John Donnelly, Tampa
Citizens pushed aside in pier planning July 26, commentary
Bill Ballard's article should be required reading for our City Council. Bill Foster should have to read it aloud at a press conference. He has repeatedly said that the public had evidently slept through the entire planning process and therefore should not be allowed to rise up and object.
The Lens concept is nothing but a loop of sidewalk. We have plenty of sidewalks all along our beautiful waterfront. Our money could be more wisely spent enhancing the Friendship Trail at Gandy Bridge.
Carol Abernathy, St. Petersburg