Ticket resale bill
Let fans control their tickets
I'm a 30-year Bucs season ticket holder. Since I live in Tallahassee, I can't make every game, but at least I can give away or resell my tickets if needed. However, legislation might change that.
Lawmakers are considering legislation, HB 1353/SB 1652, to authorize ticket sellers and venues to revoke my tickets at any time or for any reason and to place restrictions my tickets, including selling nontransferable tickets or mandating what websites I can sell tickets on and at what price.
Antifan policies are taking root in other states. The Angels of Anaheim require season ticket holders to resell tickets exclusively on their Ticketmaster platform where they control prices, and the Yankees are battling to prevent fans from selling tickets for below face value. Fans lose while teams and Ticketmaster gain larger profits.
I still remember when we'd put extra tickets on the car windshield for fans to pick up to attend the game. When the Bucs weren't playing well, we'd come back to find more tickets.
Why the change? Teams don't like competing with more affordable tickets being sold on the secondary market. Never mind that those prices allow fans to enjoy games. If my team is having a tough season, I'm happy to sell my tickets below face value.
If this legislation passes, venues and Ticketmaster can control every resale or transfer. So if I can't make it to a Bucs game, I can no longer sell, give away or donate my tickets as I choose. That's ridiculous. Florida legislators need to defeat this legislation.
Tim Center, Tallahassee
Fewer to get tuition award | April 3
Closing door to minorities
After reading this article, I was appalled at the thought of the state of Florida closing the door even more to minority students wanting to enter college. The article stated that the number of minority students able to meet requirements would drop 75 percent for African-American students and 60 percent for Hispanic students.
I see this as a way to kill minority students' dream to attend higher learning institutions by increasing the expectations that are already biased in favor of Caucasian and Asian students.
If we are looking for better ways to increase employability among minorities and ensure that the United States remains one of the top countries in education, then this is not the way to go.
Larre' Davis, St. Petersburg
Prevention as gun violence cure April 3, editorial
Local help is available
As this Times editorial says, cities and counties are beginning to frame gun violence as a public health issue. This approach has been effective in reducing smoking, teen pregnancy and bullying, and in promoting healthy eating, infant nursing and the use of seat belts. We should praise Hillsborough County Commissioner Kevin Beckner for trying to bring together city, county and school officials to address gun violence on a broad scale, as he did in trying to prevent bullying.
The Times seems to recommend teaming with Harvard's Prevention Institute to work with at-risk children in mentoring, job training and "addressing a range of social problems." That is good, but we don't have to go all the way to New England to do the job. I recommend that Beckner and other officials work with our local Florida Prevention Research Center. This USF-based center has experience in doing community-based upstream social marketing.
Another locally based organization, the Central Florida Behavioral Health Network, is the managing entity for all the state's mental health and substance abuse programs in the region. It "networks" scores of service providers, all of whom should have knowledge, skills and resources to contribute to this broad community effort.
If these local agencies develop a plan, there are also many local mentoring programs that could help out.
Alvin W. Wolfe, Lutz
What U.S. pays for care is sick April 2, commentary
Greed is bad for our health
I know six people who have had to declare bankruptcy because of their medical conditions. Half of them had insurance coverage. It is absolutely ridiculous, in a great country like America, that so many citizens are forced to declare bankruptcy because of their health.
I know there are many opinions regarding the Affordable Care Act, but I personally think something has to be done, and this is a start.
I also know two doctors who quit accepting insurance because they were sick of dealing with insurance companies. I believe our health care is in such a mess because of insurance companies.
It is not the workers at the insurance companies or at the hospitals who are making the money; it is the top executives. I believe in capitalism, but greed is greed.
Geanne Marks, St. Petersburg
Yellow lights end too fast? | April 4
Here's a simple, elegant solution to the ongoing streetlight debate. Green light: go. Solid amber light: caution. Blinking yellow light: stop for upcoming red. Red light: stop. Blinking yellow lights are used all over Europe. Simple.
Jean Gildersleeve, St. Petersburg
Yellow and green
The controversy about yellow light timing needs a little practical advice.
Take a clue from Pennsylvania's system. When the time is about to expire for "go," turn on the yellow light along with the green. After about three seconds, extinguish the green, but leave the Yellow on for a short time to clear the intersection.
This will eliminate the guessing of when the Red will be displayed, along with the fear of the dreaded Kodak moment. It works in Pennsylvania.
Think about it next time you're at an intersection. When you see only yellow, and you're behind the crosswalk, stop.
Alex Hadfield, Largo
Proof that love can overcome evil April 4, commentary
I wish to highlight two messages from this tale of forgiveness and redemption. The first is mutual responsibility. The Freedom Riders put their own lives at stake to liberate the country from the slavery of bigotry and hatred. The soul-searching that led the likes of Elwin Wilson to seek forgiveness had much deeper and lasting social consequences than the forced desegregation of the lunch counters. The Freedom Riders gave body and substance to John Donne's meditation, "No man is an island." Unfortunately this message seems all but lost nowadays, with people more and more interested in protecting individual prerogatives than seeking the common good.
The second message is hope. Not only that good overwhelms evil, but evil itself may be the source of greater good. Judas was the necessary instrument of human redemption by Christ. The violence of hate groups such as the KKK led to the redemption of American consciousness through the martyrdom of Martin Luther King and his followers.
Lodovico Balducci, Tampa