Casualty records show Bergdahl's fault unclear | June 4
Appalling disrespect for military
As a U.S. Army veteran I find this front-page story to be one of the most contemptible pieces I've ever read. The point of this New York Times story was to argue the actual number of soldiers who were killed during the multiple searches for the alleged deserter, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.
The story claims to have researched Army casualty logs from Paktika province (as leaked by Pvt. Chelsea Manning) and it contends that no evidence supports a conclusion that casualties can be linked to Bergdahl's disappearance.
First, what a contemptible hypothesis to state when the writer knows that brave soldiers died after Bergdahl's departure from his unit. Second, who is being defended here? The deserter or the opportunistic administration? Certainly not the honor of the fallen. And third, assuming that soldiers did, in fact, sign nondisclosure agreements for security purposes, wouldn't it stand to reason that the casualty reports were scrubbed of any references to Bergdahl?
While it is indisputable that multiple patrols were launched in an effort to find Bergdahl, the writer disputes whether the subsequent casualties were related to that willful action. This argument does not deserve serious discussion.
Publishing this outrageous article is a matter of poor judgment, a lack of taste, and most certainly a lack of respect for our brave military men and women.
Henry P. Hoffman, St. Pete Beach
Don't bring back water wars era | May 31
We don't need ranch
The Times is correct that Pinellas County has no need for and should sell the Cross Bar ranch. Pinellas would never be able to get water permits to develop more well fields and would face stiff litigation from Pasco County, Tampa Bay Water, surrounding residents and every environmental group out there incurring millions of dollars in legal fees.
I suggest reading the Pinellas County Cross Bar Audit 2014 and see how much money the Cross Bar has lost over the last five years. We need to sell it to Pasco and sell the Al Bar water rights to Tampa Bay Water. Pasco County says they want to open the ranch to the public for recreational use.
Michael Thibodaux, Largo
Developers should help bear road costs | June 5
Fairness and subsidies
An editorial touched on some of the critical issues facing Pasco County. The problem is that while waiving fees along the U.S. 19 corridor (an area sadly lacking in private sector investment) is quite understandable, doing the same along the State Road 54/56 corridor seems more of taxpayer-funded subsidy to special interests.
Development in the State Road 54/56 corridor is proceeding quite well and I think it would continue without the waiver of fees. The U.S. 19 corridor is not doing quite so well: Blight is spreading at an alarming rate.
It is time that our elected representatives on the County Commission exhibit the leadership, courage and vision to move the county forward: Make the tough decisions based on what is best for all of our citizens, not what is politically expedient and serves the needs of the special interests.
Ken Savich, Holiday
Goodbye, Zim | June 5
Another great is gone
Don Zimmer embodied what is best about our national pastime and will be missed by all who loved and admired him.
I had the honor of meeting Zimmer and his wife while waiting in line at Piccadilly Cafeteria in St. Petersburg. I told him that I remember him being on the 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers when they won their only World Series. And that I was 12 years old at the time and a big Brooklyn Dodger fan. Zimmer was very friendly and described his Dodger teammates with fond memories and the excitement of winning Brooklyn's only World Series.
My condolences go out to his family, teammates and friends.
Frank Lupo, St. Petersburg
Denialism takes root, truth gets choked off | June 1, Bill Maxwell column
Fantasy vs. reality
Bill Maxwell's reference to the denialism of the "science deniers" has parallels in children who experience an abusive environment from their caretakers. These children are unable to either escape or deal with such an environment. Therefore they create a fantasy world or dream world that allows them to cope.
Scientific denialism in adults also exhibits similar characteristics. Unable to cope with scientific reality, these adults escape into the dream world of denialism. This helps them cope with an unacceptable reality.
Jay Hall, Tampa
Damaging regulations | June 4, letter
Twisting facts and figures
A June 4 letter got the facts wrong on environmental regulations. The letter complains about President Obama's desire to regulate polluting electric utilities by phasing out obsolete coal-burning plants while preventing new plants from coming on line. Nowhere do I find any information that Obama is preventing any new plants. That sounds like the "twisted truth according to Rush Limbaugh."
The EPA's figures show that the new regulations will save about $30 billion by the year 2030 due to a decrease in spending due to global warming, a health benefit that will save between $55 and $93 billion, and an 8 percent cut in the average cost of utility bills by 2030.
George Petrick, Riverview
Downside of natural gas | June 4
About carbon footprints
This article promotes a misconception when it states that a nuclear power plant "has a carbon footprint of nearly zero." A completed nuclear plant has a small carbon footprint during its operational life, but uranium mining, plant construction and plant decommissioning produce a large carbon footprint.
Let's remember that natural gas power plants produce no nuclear waste. Better yet, let's remember that energy efficiency, distributed solar power, and utility-scale vanadium redox batteries produce no nuclear waste and also have a carbon footprint of nearly zero.
Thomas Eppes, Thonotosassa