Crystal River plant
Pull the plug on nuclear plant
The Crystal River nuclear power plant has been off line for two years, first to replace old steam generators and now with gaps in the protective cement container wall. The repairs are estimated to cost over $1 billion and will take about three years to complete. It is clear that the most prudent thing to do is leave it off line permanently. The only way to ensure public safety is to phase out nuclear power and to implement policies to build up sustainable, safe renewable energy and efficiency.
Aside from the tragedy playing out in Japan, the problem with nuclear power plants is the radioactivity of the nuclear material and of the waste produced. Is it even realistic to expect systems as complex as nuclear power plants to be foolproof? Near-disasters at nuclear plants due to human error and to neglect of maintenance and safety procedures have been averted many times. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission found 56 serious safety violations at U.S. nuclear plants in the past five years. And no one can predict natural disasters and how they may interrupt the normal operation of a nuclear plant.
The National Academy of Sciences has stated that there is no safe level of radiation: The higher the level of exposure, the greater the risk. Moreover, children are much more vulnerable than adults to the effects of radiation, and fetuses are even more vulnerable.
Isn't it time the public's health and safety comes first?
Lynn Ringenberg, M.D., Tampa
Oh, Rays, which is it? | July 21
Tampa Bay area simply can't support three teams
Once again the Rays' desire for a new stadium takes center stage. But the single most important consideration in discussion of a new stadium is ignored.
There is every reason to believe that this market simply cannot support a major-league team at the level the owners demand. TV ratings have dropped, and that has nothing to do with the stadium.
I recall at least one economic study that claimed Tampa Bay, the region, not just St. Petersburg, simply does not have a strong enough economy to support three professional sports franchises. We are not home to Fortune 500 companies like Boston and New York. There are not enough well-paying jobs to support three teams.
Are we really ready to gamble three-quarters of a billion dollars on a product that might not even work? In this era of austerity, is this where our priorities should lie?
"Hoping" that a new stadium in central Tampa will solve the Rays' attendance woes is hardly enough justification to spend prodigious amounts of money.
Lee Nolan, St. Petersburg
That's a switch
Rays manager Joe Madden appears conflicted about the Trop's suitability for Major League Baseball.
He states that the Trop, with all its obstructions and caveats, is improper for major-league play. Then when a fly ball "lost" against the white roof prevents a possible Rays' out and helps them beat the Yankees, he loves the Trop.
I think in his TV commercial for vitamins where he says, "Now that's a hit," the line should be changed to: "Now that's a switch."
The real "switch" for baseball should be where the millionaire owners pay for all stadium costs, as they did for the new Meadowlands stadium, and not expect any public taxpayer funding. That would really be a hit.
Rod Moren, St. Petersburg
Rays: Stadium causing harm | July 20
Lack of leadership
I hope that St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster displays more proactive leadership in private than his public statements have shown. Continuing statements about having a lease in his pocket don't make for the leadership needed to keep the Rays in the area. I hope for the community's sake he is actively seeking ways to make this happen, instead of just waving a lease around.
Bill Baird, St. Petersburg
In biker's death, a cautionary tale | July 17
Training is essential
After reading the story about Eric Schnetzer, who died after crashing his motorcycle after having the bike for only a week, two questions come to mind that weren't addressed in the story.
Before buying and riding the bike, did he attend a motorcycle safety class that would teach him some of the basic skills needed for motorcycle riding? Also, did he have a motorcycle endorsement on his driver's license? While the focus on wearing a helmet is important, I also believe having riders properly trained and licensed is just as important.
Mike Savidge, Tampa
Young says don't worry about the cane, I'm fine | July 15
What about the rest of us?
Of course Rep. C.W. Bill Young is "fine:" he has the best health insurance money can buy — paid for by the taxpayer.
He is also a hypocrite. When Young voted to repeal the new health care law, he voted against the 45,000 Americans every year who die because they have no or inadequate health insurance. But Young is "fine" because we taxpayers made sure he has adequate health insurance.
R. Bruce McLaughlin, Indian Rocks Beach
Bachmann: Migraines won't impede White House quest | July 20
Rep. Michele Bachmann's own staffers say she has missed important congressional votes because of stress-induced migraine headaches. If she can't handle the stress of being a congresswoman, why is she running for the presidency, the most stressful job on earth?
If the United States ever suffers another terrorist attack, I want a president who will react swiftly and decisively. I don't want a president who will say, "Not tonight, I've got a headache."
James Nelson, Largo