Letter of the month
July's Letter of the Month is from Alan Raun of Largo, who wrote about President Barack Obama and Congress.
Doers, doubters and complainers
The president accuses Congress of doing nothing. Congress accuses the president of doing nothing, but then wants to sue or impeach him when he does something.
If Congress would do something instead of nothing, then President Barack Obama might not have to do something to get something done. The Republican talking heads call him weak because he has done nothing, then accuse him of being a dictator when he does something.
Obama has done next to nothing in Iraq instead of something. President George W. Bush did a lot of something when he should have done nothing, and we all know how well that worked out. It appears that Obama's doing next to nothing in Iraq is the correct something that needs to be done. In the meantime, while our government is doing nothing, the economy is growing. And that is something.
Alan Raun, Largo
Seminole needs this plan
As a Seminole resident, I am very disappointed that our City Council has failed to endorse the Greenlight Pinellas transit improvement plan.
Through a modest and fair tax switch, the Greenlight Pinellas plan would more than double the current transit service in our city, a need highlighted by the vice mayor when he pointed out how current routes, which only run once an hour, don't attract new riders.
Greenlight Pinellas, however, could be the solution by significantly increasing the frequency of buses in Seminole (along with other parts of the county) and running bus service at night to support second shift workers.
On greenlightpinellas.com I read that if this funding switch isn't passed, the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority will have to cut bus service by nearly a third. How is that going to make the city of Seminole better?
Watching the Seminole City Council oppose Greenlight Pinellas based on a few negative emails and comments and without truly recognizing the benefits to Seminole residents of the improved transit plan was disheartening.
My family and I strongly urge the Seminole City Council to take another look and support the Greenlight Pinellas plan to move our county forward.
Robert Glass, Seminole
Big decisions ahead | Aug. 3
Kriseman's work so far
After reading in the Times about all the appearances and endorsements that St. Petersburg's mayor is part of, I am beginning to wonder just who he is representing, the citizens of St. Petersburg or the Florida Democratic Party?
Mayor Rick Kriseman met with fellow Democrat Ed Turanchik about Tampa's proposed high speed ferry in an out-of-the-way location in Hillsborough County and Ed got the Mayor's endorsement.
All the while, there was not one mention of sticking up for St. Petersburg in regards to the $4.3 million ferry study grant that was secured by Rep. Kathy Castor.
Just why isn't our mayor insisting that the route from Tampa to St. Petersburg be included in this study?
Having just received a package from a business on Ulmerton Road, one of the main thoroughfares included in the Greenlight Pinellas train proposal, a reminder from the post office occurred. Ulmerton Road is technically in Clearwater.
Again, our mayor is acting in accordance with the Florida Democrats united on this plan that will benefit Clearwater more than anybody.
Am I seeing a pattern here with our new mayor? The recent article in the Times that reviewed the new administration is timely. I am beginning to see an over-emphasis on St. Pete's downtown and other regional projects that are aligned with the Democrats.
There are about 250,000 people in St. Pete, and the vast majority do not live on the waterfront.
Ivylyn Harrell, St. Petersburg
Brady leaves heroic legacy | Aug. 7, oped
Gun foe will be missed
Dan Ruth's column was a most fitting eulogy to James S. Brady, the shining survivor of the attack on President Reagan.
Brady's unending battle with the National Rifle Association revealed his zeal to save lives. He and his wife, Sarah, are examples of what dedicated Americans can do. Brady was unbending, but our Congress, it seems, cannot or will not see the tragedy of guns in our society. How many innocent schoolchildren, presidents, statesmen and women have to be slain before these politicos see the light?
Lilyan Dayton, New Port Richey
Tampa Bay Rays
When I settled in St. Petersburg in 2001, the then-named Tampa Bay Devil Rays, despite being bottom dwellers, became my team.
After the 2005 season, an out-of-town group bought the Rays. Back then it was my understanding that, despite drawing small crowds, the Rays were one of the more profitable teams in the major leagues because of their cheap payroll.
In 2006 the new ownership hired an unproven manager in Joe Maddon. By 2008, Maddon proved nothing less than a miracle worker: getting mediocre players (i.e., players unable to command huge salaries) to overachieve. Maddon got his team of overachievers to the playoffs in 2008, 2010, 2011, and 2013 with only two bonafide All Stars: Evan Longoria and David Price.
This year started out poorly for the Rays. On June 25, they were 16 games under .500, and 12 games behind the division leader. Then something astounding happened. The Rays went on a 21-for-28 game-winning tear against the toughest teams in baseball. Even if they cooled to a 67 percent winning pace for the last two months of the season, they would end up with 89 wins — a count that would likely make the playoffs. But keeping Price until the end of the season was the key to any 2014 storybook ending. Paying Price for two more months would have cost about $653,000. Instead, the Rays ownership sold us, and worse yet, the other 24 Rays players, plus our miracle-worker manager, down the river. Our once-promising franchise is now rotting from the head: the ownership!
Rick Rhodes, St. Petersburg