Governor welcomes health care law's jobs | Sept. 19
Scott's hypocrisy on health jobs
It is unbelievable that Gov. Rick Scott is so pleased to announce health care jobs (and take credit for them) when he has done everything in his power to stymie successful implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
How can he possibly think that he has done anything to promote the presence of new health care employees when all his actions related to health insurance opportunities for Floridians have been so negative?
I also have to ask Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn: What exactly did Scott do that helped in the creation of these health care jobs? I'm glad for the jobs, no matter the field, but I find it difficult to deal with this hypocrisy.
Martha Hodge, Tampa
Where credit isn't due
That headline should have read: "Obama adds health jobs; Scott takes credit." Much of the slowly improving jobs situation here is due to federal stimulus and an improving national economy. Scott's austerity cuts and crony capitalism have only slowed the rebound and hurt Floridians.
William Adams, St. Petersburg
Missing in action | Sept. 19, editorial
We're minor-league market
I have never been as embarrassed to be a Rays fan as I was the other night when only 10,000 people showed up for one of the more important games of the year. My friends from around the country called to ask, "What's wrong with you guys?" and I gave them my usual answer: "Tampa Bay" has a good amount of core baseball fans who support the Rays, but beyond that core it is, basically, a minor-league baseball market.
Tampa Bay is football, football and more football. Any day of the week a football fanatic can tune in to see Unknown U take on Nowhere State. The buzz is all about the upcoming high school games and coverage of the college teams. The Rays are treated with "Oh by the way" status. Your publication is no different, with the Bucs score occupying a front-page headline and separate section on Monday, while the Rays are below the fold in the bottom corner.
And all the rhetoric and drum-beating for a new stadium will not change things no matter what side of the bay the stadium is on. Witness Miami and its $2 billion showpiece.
If I owned the Rays I would have had enough. Charlotte, San Antonio and Nashville would be good places to start a discussion, and by 2015 I would be there.
Larry Yurkonis, St. Petersburg
It's not Foster's fault
Your editorial seems to imply that the attendance problem at Tropicana Field is somehow the fault of St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster. You seem to be implying that a new stadium is the answer. Well, just look at what happened to the Marlins: a new stadium and still empty seats.
Let me give you a clue to some other problems: the high cost of everything you want to buy, spending three hours or more beside some moron who serenades you all night with a cowbell, and television coverage. Why should I fight traffic and pay parking fees when I can sit in my living room and have the game brought right to me?
Henry D. Reiss, St. Petersburg
Needs, public and private
Let me get this straight: Attendance at Tropicana Field is lowest in the majors, but this is somehow St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster's fault?
My understanding is this: A for-profit corporation signs a lease on a city (i.e., public)-owned facility but wishes to break the lease early without penalty. Try running that past any landlord.
This city, county and state have needs much more important than building sports facilities for private corporations. The Rays are welcome to move into a new stadium as long as they abide by the terms of their current lease and don't build a new one with my tax dollars.
Dale Kitt, St. Petersburg
Shooter's access prompts reviews | Sept. 19
Focus on mental illness
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel promises to work hard to make government security more secure. Elsewhere there are references to the "red flag" that popped up on the killer at the naval installation.
One favors "security," but where was the vigilance that clearly could have stopped this current massacre and perhaps others before? Mental health is the prime culprit. Where are the "experts" who perceive but do not follow their leads?
Bea Donis, Tampa
Slow down flood insurance rate hikes Sept. 17, editorial
Needed insurance reform
The Biggert-Waters flood insurance reform measure you criticize uses the same kind of long-term phase-ins as Florida's Citizens Property Insurance Corp. The Citizens phase-in was actually the direct inspiration for the language in Biggert-Waters. In addition, it's worth noting that the rates will not soar for the overwhelming majority of homeowners — almost all primary residences are exempt from sizable increases. Even when the higher rates are fully phased in, FEMA's sample rates indicate that a home right at the waterline will pay only about $150 a month for coverage.
The National Flood Insurance Program needs to charge more if it hopes to ever find firm fiscal footing. Higher rates may not please every homeowner, but they are necessary.
Eli Lehrer, president, R Street Institute, Washington, D.C.
GOP leads House vote to cut back food stamps | Sept. 20
Many need help
How disgusting that 217 representatives voted to limit SNAP funds. They might as well have said "Die!" to all those who, because of poor economic status or illness, need what we used to call "food stamps."
These 217 are not representing us, our children who need to have good education and good health which is nearly impossible without nutrition; our handicapped and elderly who cannot work for a living and depend on programs like SNAP; our neighbors who can find only poorly paid work that cannot support them and their families; our citizens who have been ravaged by storms, fire, theft, accident or other misfortune and need temporary assistance.
Esther Kirk, Riverview