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New mileage standards are not good news

New fuel standards good for everyone | May 20, editorial

New fuel standards are bad news

Predictably the Times thinks this is wonderful. Wrong. It is another disaster in the making.

Costs will go into the stratosphere, we will not end dependence on foreign oil and many lives will be lost.

The government estimates $1,300 added to the price of a car. When was the last time a government cost estimate was accurate? Likely the cost will be two or three times as much per vehicle.

Let's look at the unstated consequences. Unless there is a breakthrough in technology, the cars will have to be much lighter and smaller, which means more damage in an accident, higher numbers of deaths and serious injury rates, as well as higher insurance costs. Deaths and serious injuries increased when the last CAFE (corporate average fuel economy) standards were met in the '70s.

If gas mileage is significantly improved will we drive more and negate any gas savings?

If consumption is reduced, the tax revenues will be reduced so the states and federal government will likely raise gasoline taxes.

The only way to end reliance on foreign oil is to produce energy ourselves but this is not allowed by our current government.

Folks, we are being scammed again.

Frederick Savalli, Clearwater

Nanny statism

Good for everyone? If it was good for everyone, there wouldn't be any need for forced compliance. If it was good for everyone, wouldn't everyone act in their own best interests without new standards?

Your paper has become a shill for big government and nanny statism. It's good for everyone only in the eyes of your paper and the elites.

The average person does not see any benefit in President Barack Obama telling them what kind of car they must drive. Less freedom is not "good for everyone." Your paper telling me it's good for me does not make it true.

Eric Klaus, Tampa

A dead woman, a damaged car, a dropped charge and Porter plans to return to court May 20

Pedestrians need to cross more carefully

In both instances of hit and run, I noticed that the victims were crossing roads after dark. I can't tell you how many times I have seen people carelessly out at night crossing roads in dark clothing or where it is dark enough to render themselves invisible to a person driving a car.

I also notice that the headlines in the paper fail to print that the victims were crossing dark streets. The paper always makes it sound like people driving are out to murder. Frankly, an accident is just that — an "accident."

If we didn't have the newspaper slanting stories, and greedy lawyers out making money on accidents, people like Jennifer Porter wouldn't be afraid of having their lives ruined over an "accident" and be afraid to stop.

Instead of putting blame where it doesn't belong, why don't we educate the homeless, children and everyone else on where to cross roads, what to wear at night, and anything else that may be helpful.

Pamela Ericson, St. Petersburg

A dead woman, a damaged car, a dropped charge | May 20

Imagine the reverse

Isn't it nice to be wealthy and so protected from "reality." If things were reversed and it was a poor Kentucky woman driving and then fleeing the scene of an accident that left a wealthy Tampa teenager dead, I do not think things would be the same.

Where has common decency and honesty gone? Leaving this poor person to die alone in the street is so wrong no matter whose daughter you are. What are we teaching our young people by this story?

Donna L. Doucette, Pinellas Park

Valdez hit-and-run case

A matter of priorities

This situation is outrageous! Someone in the Valdez household must know who was driving the SUV that killed the homeless woman. Tampa police should have immediately questioned the owner(s) of the vehicle to determine who was driving it at the time of the accident.

Unfortunately, I suspect that because the victim was homeless, it's not a big priority for the police to seek some sort of justice for this terrible event. I bet we would see a much different approach taken if a prominent resident of Davis Islands were the victim.

Dan Ballister, Tampa

Marco Rubio

What the GOP needs

As a 24-year-old and a conservative, I feel that Marco Rubio is just what the Republican Party would need to gain support. I'm sick and tired of these moderate Republicans who are just as bad as the Democrats. I see no difference between the two.

I'm just for the Constitution, plain and simple. Many conservatives, like myself, didn't care for John McCain, just as much as they didn't care for Barack Obama.

So I am hopeful that Rubio will represent conservatism and be more fiscally responsible for the state of Florida. If that's what he will represent and stand for, then he will have my vote.

I voted for Charlie Crist and regret doing so. I'm very disappointed in him taking the stimulus money from Washington. Taxes and prices in general will go sky high in the near future because of this decision, and I'm not too thrilled about it.

Samantha Nelson, Dunedin

Wounded dog home after surgery | May 20, Crime journal

Puzzling payment

A Department of Juvenile Justice officer, accompanied by a Pinellas County sheriff's deputy, were met by a charging, barking and growling pit bullterrier while the juvenile justice officer attempted to serve a warrant.

The deputy responded in the only way expected to stop a potential attack on himself and the other officer: by shooting at the dog.

The dog was wounded, but did recover. Maybe the article was not specific enough, or maybe I'm just not getting it, but why would the Sheriff's Office offer $5,000 to the family whose dog surely would have wounded either the deputy or the juvenile justice officer?

Mary Jane Callihan, St. Petersburg

Health care

A chaotic mess

Republicans are attempting to scare votes away from President Barack Obama's health care plan by suggesting that it would be an inefficient and bureaucratic system.

Excuse me, but in which universe have these folks been living? The system we have now is the poster child for inefficient and bureaucratic behavior.

Bureaucrats at the insurance companies and HMOs typically decide which doctors they will allow you to use, which treatments they will allow you to have for which conditions, or whether or not they will even condescend to pay for that treatment.

I'm not suggesting that Obama's plan is perfect, but let's not pretend that the system that we use now is anything but a chaotic mess that abuses the people who can least afford it.

Paul R. Silveira, Tampa


Chilling exploitation

I see the new Mug Shots feature on your Web site as a sad example of indulging the public's prurience in an effort to add pizzazz to a waning medium.

There is no need to display suspected criminals' faces in public, unless they are at large and are perceived as a threat to the public. Not only the suspected criminals but also their families are being hurt by this type of exploitation for the purpose of increased profit margins.

If the Times wants to get eyes to their paper and their Web site, they might try titillating the public with some sexy photos of nude women on the back page, like some European newspapers do. Though such a feature would not be newsworthy and may be distasteful to some, it would be far less mean-spirited and exploitative than what the paper is doing with these mug shots. Mug Shots chills me to the bone!

Robert Austin, Seminole

New mileage standards are not good news 05/21/09 [Last modified: Thursday, May 21, 2009 7:33pm]
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