Another market crash: Recycling | Dec. 22
Recycling still makes sense
On behalf of Recycle Florida Today, a statewide organization dedicated to promoting and educating the public and policymakers about recycling, I am writing in response to your Dec. 22 article.
Your article makes it clear that recycling markets have nose-dived in recent months. This has been brought on by the same economic forces that have devastated many other sectors of our global economy: the worldwide downturn in consumer spending and the credit crunch. What is less clear in your article, however, is that it is still much better to recycle than to dispose of recyclables in landfills or waste-to-energy facilities. It is much better economically and it is much better environmentally.
Despite the fact that demand (and thus the price paid) for recyclable commodities by manufacturers has declined, in some cases sharply, recycling is still the right thing to do. In many, if not most Florida communities, it is still cheaper to recycle a ton of recyclables than it is to dispose of that same ton of material as trash. It is also still far better for our environment to recycle our metal cans, plastic bottles, glass containers, cardboard and yes, the Sunday edition of the St. Petersburg Times, than to toss it all into the garbage can.
Indeed, because recycling paper reduces the need to harvest trees as raw material and saves energy, recycling just 500 tons of our Sunday newspapers prevents about 340 metric tons of greenhouse gases from being emitted (or the equivalent of taking 260 cars off of our roads for an entire year).
The markets will rebound; they always do. But if we stop recycling now, we will hurt future generations, and that is a crash no one can afford.
Phil Bresee, Plantation
Buddy's blunders too many to count Dec. 26, Daniel Ruth column
Johnson appointment deserves a closer look
Thank you, St. Petersburg Times and Daniel Ruth, for your continued coverage of the sad and unbelievable saga of Buddy Johnson, the idiotic Hillsborough County supervisor of elections.
As the continuing saga of Buddy Johnson evolves and is chronicled in your paper, it is high time to restate how we got stuck with Johnson in the first place. He was appointed by Gov. Jeb Bush, who must have had a total lapse in judgment when he selected Johnson. Or was he worried about what skeletons in Bush's closet Buddy Johnson might have been privy to?
It is not unreasonable now to question Jeb Bush on exactly what was he thinking when he chose Johnson, who from all I have read and experienced in these past elections had zero qualifications for this position. The fact that he was re-elected to a second term demonstrates that the public was asleep at the wheel and didn't know what an important role an elections supervisor fills until things went wrong.
This office is charged with ensuring that all elections, not just local and state ones, are handled in an orderly and accurate manner with no cost overruns or delays in reporting results. This is something Johnson failed to do throughout his tenure.
As Jeb Bush thinks about future political office, an answer to this question would be nice.
Diana Rao , Tampa
Stories on Tidewater Marketing Global Consultants
Correcting the problem
I am trying to understand why you are able to twist and bend the truth to make me appear to be this horrible company that has raped millions.
I have never in my life seen anything like this before. How are personal backgrounds playing a part in this to begin with, other than to make me look like an evil person?
We are attempting to correct a severe problem so that people can continue to get something back on their purchases and you are making the public believe we are a bad firm. Why are you doing this?
The federal suit against Freefuelcenter.com is now public record in Tampa federal courts. This story was important to inform the public that we are doing everything to correct the issues to ensure a new year that starts great without the troubles that started in July.
Consumers need to know what has occurred and why and that we are here and are correcting the issues.
Crystal Clark, Largo
Keep government out of it
Whatever lofty pretensions the Fairness Doctrine purports to have, it is the federal government controlling what private companies can produce, and ultimately what "we the people" can consume.
The fact that the product produced is information and opinion is ominous. Do we really want the government regulating what we listen to on the radio? How soon before what we read is regulated?
The doctrine may not be intended to suppress viewpoints or information, as a letter writer suggests (Media diversity doesn't foster fairness, Dec. 22), but that may very well be the unintended consequence.
Let's continue to rely on the American people to make balanced media decisions. It is an affront to a thinking person to have government controlling information and opinion.
A.C. Parsons, Inglis
You! You with that floor plan! hands up! Dec. 18, Howard Troxler column
Licensure saves lives
I was both dismayed and taken aback by Howard Troxler's article regarding the licensure of interior designers — not only due to its ignorance of the topic, but also by its sarcasm.
As a licensed interior designer for 15 years, I would like to share some insight on the topic. First of all, I had to have a bachelor's degree in interior design, followed by two years of practical experience, and pass a two-day exam by the National Council for Interior Design Qualification in order to receive my licensure. This was no easy task.
Furthermore, it is not a handful of states that require licensure, but 25, all of which require the passing of the national council exam as well as educational and practical experience. I also have to complete 20 continuing education units biannually to keep my license active. This ensures that we keep up with changing building codes and other issues that affect the health, safety and welfare of building occupants.
Furniture layouts on a floorplan are part of what we do, but unless things are bolted to the floor, a client can place them "willy nilly" long after we're gone. We work with issues involving power, data, lighting, audio-visual, accessibility, fire and building codes.
I have worked in mostly the higher education and medical areas and believe me, you don't want someone who just has a "good eye" and a flair for color.
We don't want to take away the right of retail stores to sell office furniture, but they should not be "planning office space." And if that is the case, it should be regulated.
Licensure saves lives and you should be glad you live in one of the 25 states that takes it seriously.
Elvia Rivera, interior designer, Lutz