Jeb Bush: Medical pot bad for Florida | Aug. 15
Compassion is good for Florida
Former Gov. Jeb Bush has lately demonstrated just how out of touch he is with mainstream Florida voters and residents. He opposes the use of noneuphoric medical marijuana for patients whose suffering would be greatly relieved by its use. What kind of person would rather see thousands of Floridians, young and old, suffer the effects of their illness because he thinks our state's reputation might be damaged? It seems to me that Florida's reputation would be enhanced as a place where its people and legislators are compassionate and caring.
Robert Clinefelter, Clearwater
Do what the police say | Aug. 21, commentary
To protect and serve
I agree with the opinion submitted by Sunil Dutta, who served 17 years with the Los Angeles Police Department. I retired after 20 years with a county police agency between Baltimore and Washington, so I know whereof he speaks. I also read with interest the column by Eric Holder, in which he asserts the need for an independent investigation, unimpeded by events.
The loss of a loved one is of course a tragic situation, and one can certainly sympathize with the family. As referred to by Dutta, the easiest way to have no problem with the police is to comply. Officer safety was always foremost in our minds, but sight was never lost of the main part of the job, to protect and serve. In 20 years I never figured out why people, any people, feel they have the right to destroy property, loot stores that they have damaged, and riot with police. I guess I'll never understand that.
Ron Miller, Lithia
Ads target Scott on Duke, pollution | Aug. 19
More solutions, less blame
I am sick to death of TV ads blaming either Gov. Rick Scott or challenger Charlie Crist for allowing Duke Energy to fleece the public by charging for energy plants that either are nonproductive or will never be built. What I long for is a promise from either one that he is committed to changing the present situation in favor of the ratepayers. But on this score, all I hear is silence.
Robert E. Thompson, Clearwater
Rubio criticizes Obama | Aug. 21
Nation should be united
The latest critical remarks made by Sen. Marco Rubio aimed at President Barack Obama over the beheading of journalist James Foley make me sick to my stomach. Political players on both sides of the aisle choose to throw stones at each other while their country and the world cries out for leadership. Rubio should be ashamed of his comments.
There are issues that call out for our politicians to be Americans in the face of evil — Americans united for the sake of the safety and security of our nation and beyond our shores. He and others should be seeking to be their best self as Americans, not Democrats or Republicans. And our president needs to work harder at bringing our country together. Our forefathers for generations put their country ahead of all else when it mattered. When was the last time we saw this from Congress?
Gurn Freeman, Palm Harbor
Scott meets with climate scientists | Aug. 20
Sounds of silence
Gov. Rick Scott "sat silently" at the recent meeting with Florida's top climate scientists, except for a few artfully selected questions that were totally unrelated to the topic. He apparently believes that any comment about global warming will cost him votes. One wonders: Will he remain silent (i.e., "take the Fifth") if asked about the issue at the public debates later in the campaign?
Max Dertke, Tampa
Latvala cries foul on Duke | Aug. 22
Hot under the collar
So Duke Energy is revamping the way it reads the meters, and some of us will receive bills that will include extra days, charged at the higher rate. While they're being so kind to work out payment plans for those who can't afford it, and we're being told that this will make things much more efficient (with the savings going to shareholders, I'm sure), why couldn't they at least have begun this in November when we don't use air conditioning, instead of the hottest month of the year?
Kandy Smith, Belleair
Relief is overdue
Duke Energy's actions further confirm that corporations aren't people, because if a person exhibited the criminal and stupid behavior of Duke over the last few years, he or she would be behind bars.
Seemingly not content with being a monopoly, Duke has decided that a monthly billing cycle can now last as long as 43 days. By not also increasing the usage kilowatt hours to correspond with the increased time frame, Duke has found yet another way to extract money from the pockets of their hapless and helpless customers.
Jim Ahearn, Clearwater
Cold reality of charities | Aug. 22, commentary
Marketing wins the day
The writer has an interesting perspective, and may be correct, but he is a bit naive in the current world of social media and the realities of the competitive marketing of one "charity" vs. another. In a perfect world people would make all their giving decisions based on perfect information. Unfortunately, there's too much information and not enough time to find and absorb it all. Thus, the best marketer wins: in this case, the Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS.
Don't fault the creative minds at the ALS Foundation. Those organizations that truly have a broader, more impactful reach into improving the human condition should learn from this example of successful fundraising. The most success will go to those organizations that can combine a strong case for support with effective marketing.
Richard Warshof, St. Petersburg