Castor pushes renewable energy | Nov. 19
Floridians financially 'nuked'
Thanks to U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor for challenging the fossilized energy strategy of Florida's "power" structure. Florida not only lags behind the sun-drenched Southwest in solar energy production but also way behind the sun-challenged countries of Germany and Japan. In Germany solar cells and wind generators account for over 50 percent of electricity-generating capacity, according to Economist magazine. As a result of this low cost renewable energy, German electricity prices have fallen by over 50 percent in the last five years. While German electric bills are plummeting, Floridians are getting financially "nuked" by Duke and the "Public Service" Commission.
Robert White, Valrico
Health reform under repair | Nov. 21, editorial
'Over promising' = a lie
Referring to Republicans, your editorial states, "Their aim is to damage the president's credibility." When Barack Obama the campaigner said repeatedly that if you liked your insurance plan you could keep it and if you liked your doctor you can keep that doctor, period, he knew that was not true. I'd call that a lie. The Times calls it "over promising."
When it comes to damaging his credibility, Obama needs no help from the GOP. Memos have come out showing he knew these "promises" were not true. Plain and simple, he lied to the American people.
As to the failure of healthcare.gov on which over $600 million of taxpayers' money has been spent, is anyone truly surprised? I challenge a Times editor to name a single program run by the federal government that is cost-efficient basis and financially sound.
Mike Lyons, Apollo Beach
FEMA gets flood law blame | Nov. 22
Flood rate folly
It's fascinating to hear Republican U.S. Reps. Vern Buchanan and Rich Nugent blame FEMA for the sharp, immediate rise in flood insurance rates, as both of them voted for the measure. Guess they had to pass it to find out what was in it.
Stephen Phillips, St. Petersburg
Achievement gap plan is criticized | Nov. 21
Parents not 'robust enough'
Two fine gentlemen in our community are pleased with Pinellas school superintendent Mike Grego, yet audaciously blame the school system for "decades of failure" in solving the academic "achievement gap" in black students, calling Grego's plan "not robust enough."
Neither the problem nor the solution rests on the schools, but on the shoulders of the parents, and the community. All children need the same things to be successful in school; loving parents who value them, nourishing meals, clean clothes, an ordered home, and consistency in moral guidance and discipline. Above all, children need parents who value education.
Reading is not rocket science. Parents who read to their child from the age of six months onward, who explain the world in detail to their child, and who focus on the child will have children who excel.
As a single mother without child support, my children dined on Cheerios. We never had cable television. Our car went without AC for five years. I am familiar with poverty, yet my children were hugely successful from kindergarten through college into adulthood.
Modern parents need to get off the cellphone and engage in their child's life. Turn off the TV. Use the computer for education not Facebook or porn. Deprive yourselves a little for the benefit of your child.
Our community must also provide jobs for those who want one. We must address the large numbers of men who return from incarceration to nothing but the street. Community kitchens need to be opened to teach young men and women how to successfully cook from scratch, on a limited budget for their families.
The schools are already bending over backward addressing the gap. The root cause of the gap is that parenting is not "robust enough."
Donna Marie Kostreva, St. Petersburg
Judge: Athlete must sit out | Nov. 22
I would recommend that Michael Mazza rethink his statement of ,"I'm an athlete. It's what I do." In reality he is a high school student-athlete. He and his parents should reset their priorities.
Ronald Heimburger, Riverview
Navy was warned of contractor | Nov. 21
Scandal hits deep
Ever since this great country of ours has existed, its first and last bastion of strength, trust, honor and courage has been our military, along with the proud veterans who serve bravely to protect our way of life.
Then, there was Fat Leonard. He is the millionaire Malaysian contractor who used money, extravagant gifts and prostitutes to bribe numerous senior naval officers in exchange for sensitive naval ship arrival information, and then illegally manipulated over $200 million in government contracts. And to add additional salt to the taxpayers' wounds, this expensive and disgraceful shipyard payola included a Tampa connection: Commander Jose Luis Sanchez.
As a veteran myself, this total loss of moral and professional integrity by those we trusted with our overseas security hits deep. This includes every person who has served in the armed service, and every American who goes to sleep at night feeling safe and secure believing that our military is on the job.
Mike Merino, Tampa
A slap in the face
According to Clearwater Mayor George Cretekos, the Church of Scientology is a community neighbor worthy of positive recognition. Cretekos yearns for a closer relationship with this "civic" minded group. Yet, when this group conducted the grand opening of the largest, most costly building in the history of Clearwater, it is a private affair, with loads of security and no city officials allowed. What a slap in the face of our city leaders.
Of course, City Manager Bill Horne and his permit staff blustered and whined about how the Scientologists ignored city codes and made late demands on the city so that the annual awards ceremonies and dedication of the Flab Building would be a grand affair. Yet at the end of the day, permits were granted, police were hired and old downtown Clearwater became Hubbardville as originally planned.
If any citizen of Clearwater ventured into what was formerly downtown Clearwater last weekend, they would have found "downtown" is indeed the exclusive campus of Scientology. The marina is nice, but it is not a people attraction. The proposed aquarium, now being downsized, will probably never achieve its projected attendance numbers. The Capital Theatre is a beautiful facility, but not a game changer, and so on.
R. Padgett, Clearwater