Pennant fever? Not here | Aug. 28
Many just don't care about baseball Your article about the Rays' poor attendance makes me think of a few more reasons why local residents aren't going to games, reasons I have yet to see stated.
Maybe area residents have no interest in baseball — which is why I call them "residents" and not "fans." Maybe the economy has people thinking of feeding their family before spending money on a night of entertainment that includes tickets, food and parking expenses.
And maybe the reason ticket sales are down the past few games is because children are back in school. Weeknight games are not going to draw when children must do homework and get to bed early.
I believe the reasons the team indicates in your article are just another way to try to justify a new stadium. I'm not a baseball fan, and I'm tired of having the team forced on me every time I read the newspaper or view the local news. Maybe others feel the same way and it shows in the team's attendance.
Lynn Friedman, Pinellas Park
Pennant fever? Not here | Aug. 28
America's pastime a splurge
I think John Romano hits the nail on the head when he says we are an area without a lot of disposable income. We are a family of three that loves baseball, but we consider it a luxury to go to a game. We would go weekly but it cost us close to $200 Wednesday night for seats, three sandwiches, four drinks, two ice creams and a bag of peanuts. Of course TV viewing is up.
The more expensive se ats were filled with those with disposable income. The seats we bought were sparsely filled because even the less expensive seats with a somewhat decent view still ate up most of our monthly disposable income.
There are a lot of us out there, but we are on our sofas, saving up our money for the next Rays splurge. And should America's pastime really be a splurge?
Sara Williams, Tampa
Too many couch potatoes
How can a community this size not support a major-league baseball team that is in first place? Simple. This is not a major-league baseball town. Never has been. Never will be. Believe me, baseball commissioner Bud Selig is watching, and baseball is big business.
The Rays' owners have done a spectacular job of marketing their team, only to have the community yawn and sit in front of the TV.
My kudos to the few fans who come to the games, for they are smart enough to realize what a remarkable privilege it is to be in a pennant race. They understand the greatness of our national pastime. Unfortunately, most of the community doesn't get it, and after the Rays leave we will forever be given the title of Couch Potatoes U.S.A.
Bill Seals, Clearwater
Florida's leadership dithers as state sinks Aug. 25, editorial
We should all be thankful for CFO Alex Sink's knowledgeable expertise in finance for saving the state of Florida millions of dollars, or else the situation would be even more dire. Many of us recall the great effort of Senate President Tom Lee to establish a "live within your means" five-year program.
For many years our state has needed visionary leadership. Everyone talks a good game, but the results are lacking. Florida's tax structure must be remedied, a task that can no longer be postponed for the next batch of officials. The day of reckoning is coming for the Legislature. Will they do the job?
Austin R. Curry, Tampa
Olympics are a sham
Thank God another Summer Olympic Games are over. Except for the opening and closing ceremonies in Beijing, I barely watched any of the events during this Olympiad. It seems that every quadrennial there is less and less reason to cheer about the competitions because it becomes obvious that the occasion is just to showcase, extol and glorify American supremacy in every sport known to man.
Starting with its contingent of athletes large enough to invade and colonize a small country, how does the United States justify pitting overgrown and overfed athletes — the product of the best trainers, training facilities and equipment that money can buy — against undersized and poorly trained athletes from poor countries who probably have never had the benefit of training in decent facilities or a stipend? How does the United States justify sending multimillionaire professional athletes to compete against amateurs?
The Olympics are a sham.
Humberto A. Calderon, Tampa
Measles cases highest in 10 years | Aug. 22
The AP article states, "U.S. measles cases are at the highest level in more than a decade, and nearly half of those involve children whose parents rejected vaccination."
If half those measles cases are people who never got the vaccine, does that then mean that the vaccine is only half effective? Or is not getting the vaccine just as effective as getting it?
Marla Short, St. Petersburg
Bush destabilizes world
Once again President Bush's foreign policy has come back to bite the United States and destabilize the world.
Earlier this year the United States, despite the objections of Russia, recognized the independence of the province of Kosovo from the internationally recognized borders of Serbia and contrary to U.N. resolution 1244, which stated that Kosovo was an integral part of Serbia. A precedent was set for breakaway regions despite the president's assurance that it was not.
Now with extreme hypocrisy the United States is demanding that Russia respect the internationally recognized borders of Georgia by not recognizing the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazhia, even though Georgian forces instigated the crises by attacking the ethnically Russian areas of those regions.
I doubt that Russia will heed President Bush's empty threats, since unlike Serbia and Iraq, Russia does have WMDs. I feel so much safer.
Aleksandar Petrovic, Odessa
Tune out the pundits
Your letters to the editor show that many people are listening to the pundits' opinions of the speeches. My husband and I watch C-SPAN because we do not need some paid TV pundit telling us what we saw and heard. We found that we don't agree with the conclusions the pundits state as fact. I would recommend that we as citizens stop listening to the pundits and think for ourselves.
LaTreetha E. Sharpley, Spring Hill
Obama's selective history
Barack Obama's main argument is that the last eight years have been abysmal for this country under George Bush.
All you hear is how he took a surplus and turned it into a deficit, how people now make less than they did in 2000, and so on. I did not hear one word during the convention about 9/11, the Clinton-Gore recession, nor how President Clinton decimated our military and failed so many times on foreign policy that our enemies were able to attack us again and again.
Note that we have not been attacked since 9/11. That is not an accident.
Bill Gerretz, St. Petersburg
Hopes for Clinton hard to release | Aug. 28
I am angry at Pat Frank and Sandy Freedman, seasoned politicians who should know that in politics you don't always get what you want — you compromise.
I was a Hillary Clinton supporter, but I am also a 76-year-old woman who has been a political activist all of my life. And in my view this is the most important presidential election of my lifetime.
Go ahead, Pat Frank and Sandy Freedman, stay home on Election Day. But remember, that's the same as casting a vote for John McCain.
Betty Blizin, Tarpon Springs