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Rays needlessly put us through a wringer on stadium

Rays: waterfront stadium is dead | May 23, story

Rays needlessly put us through wringer

So Rays vice president Michael Kalt has finally admitted that "It's pretty clear people did not want a ballpark" on the Al Lang site. How intriguing that he now confesses the whole fiasco was because "team officials probably miscalculated." Miscalculation is an extremely mild word for something that plunged our city into a divisive debacle and cost the taxpayers thousands of dollars.

Kalt further divulged that, while the Rays have known for some time that the site was inappropriate, they withheld that information, leaving the people of St. Petersburg to suffer months of needless anxiety and apprehension.

In June of last year, the Rays withdrew from a ballot referendum their proposal to put an enormous stadium on St. Petersburg's historic waterfront. Since then, however, the citizens of our city have learned that the Rays' staff has "discovered" all sorts of reasons why the Al Lang site was never a good idea in the first place. News reports have uncovered such important factors as location of actual fan base, environmental impact, lack of fan interest in attending games in an uncovered and uncooled space and other elements that were never researched by the Rays before they pulled their dream scheme out of a hat.

Since the Rays' proposal was a miscalculation, let the city administration calculate just what we, the people, had to pay in tax dollars for such needless things as traffic surveys and other feasibility studies for the stadium scheme. Then the Rays can pay us back. Perhaps some of the important programs that Mayor Rick Baker's budget cuts slashed can be reinstated.

Faith Andrews Bedford, St. Petersburg

Dad just wants one sensible answer May 24, story

Story of soldier's death was ill-timed

Your front-page story related Pfc. Ehren Murburg's sudden and tragic death while training to be a Green Beret. Pfc. Murburg's story should be told, but choosing to print this story on the front page of Sunday's paper, one day before Memorial Day, was in my opinion beyond the pale for your usual liberal left-leaning editors and writers. I feel that it was totally inappropriate to belittle the military on the very same weekend we are suppose to be remembering those men and women who died while serving our country, including Pfc. Murburg.

The mistakes made by the military in this tragic story were wrong and avoidable. However, in my opinion, the article seemed more to be an indictment of the competence of our military leaders than the tragic event that took place with Pfc. Murburg's death. My thoughts and prayers go out to the Murburg family in the death of their son Ehren.

Joe Mackay, Seminole

Memorial Day salute | May 25

Eloquent honor

Just a few words but what power! Precious lives summed up so succinctly. Thanks, guys, for your incredibly generous gift.

Don E. Jones, Jr., Safety Harbor

Memorial Day salute | May 25

Where is the outrage?

Of the 54 GIs depicted, 46 died in Iraq/Kuwait. They died in an unnecessary war based on lies and insinuations against a country that was no threat to us. They died for Iraq's oil, profits for Halliburton and Dick Cheney, and for George W. Bush to settle a score for his father.

Cindy Sheehan knows that this is why her son Casey died there. Too bad too many Americans choose to forget, rather than demand justice. I guess it's easier that way, and I'm sure the perpetrators are grateful.

R.G. Wheeler, St. Petersburg

KBR defends work in Iraq | May 21

Questionable loyalty

Soldiers — commissioned and noncommissioned, and especially in combat — share a deeply felt concern for the well-being of their comrades because each knows that he or she may one day be offering their life to protect a buddy in mortal danger.

I don't sense that deep loyalty in government reports of U.S. soldiers killed by faulty electric wiring in Iraqi barracks built by KBR, a highly paid U.S. military contractor, nor do I believe the KBR claim of no responsibility in these tragic, unnecessary deaths.

Congress should hold hearings to determine exactly where and to what extent KBR and the U.S. military are responsible for these tragedies and demand the punishment required by law.

Joseph H. Francis, St. Petersburg

You can get on drugs as fast as you can get online | May 24

Drug database needed

An article in Sunday's St. Petersburg Times warns of the difficulty in stopping those who sell dangerous prescription-controlled drugs online without proper medical authorization, just to make a buck — drugs like Oxycodone, Xanax and Valium. In addition to online, we are having enough trouble trying to stop this abuse on the streets and in our schools.

At least one death each day in our area involves prescription drugs, 11 per day in our state, says the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

The Legislature has passed a bill creating a secure Internet database that doctors and pharmacists can access, to see if their patients are "doctor shopping" to get as many of these drugs as possible. Some "patients" will then either abuse the drugs themselves, or sell them on the streets, even to children.

Now a small group of lawmakers is asking the governor to veto this legislation, claiming that the database could be misused by criminals. These concerns have been addressed, because the database is secure and it would be a felony to hack the database.

We urge the governor to sign the legislation. Otherwise, Florida will remain a haven for those who ply their criminal trade here.

Rafael Miguel, M.D., Tampa

Pancreatic cancer

Raising awareness

The recent announcement that Florida Sen. Jim King has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer can serve to raise awareness among Floridians of this devastating disease.

Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer deaths. There are no early detection tools and treatment options are much too limited. Research to improve diagnosing, treating and ultimately curing this disease is critically underfunded.

The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network is a national organization creating hope in a comprehensive way through research, patient support, community outreach and advocacy for a cure. The organization raises money for direct private funding of research and advocates for more aggressive federal research funding of medical breakthroughs in prevention, diagnosis and treatment of pancreatic cancer.

The Tampa Bay Affiliate of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network is a group of local volunteers working to raise awareness and vital research dollars. Floridians can learn more about pancreatic cancer, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, and the Tampa Bay Affiliate at

Tassey A.H. Kittle, Valrico

Rays needlessly put us through a wringer on stadium 05/26/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 26, 2009 7:35pm]
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