Tampa one of 10 'emptiest' cities | July 20
New sign of poor Florida economy
It is sad to see both Tampa and Orlando make CNBC's list of the Top 10 Emptiest Cities. No good can come from such a designation, which reflects how hard hit a metropolitan area has been by the housing crisis. Having these two cities on the list is yet another sign of the continued weakness in our state's economy.
It did not have to be this way. These two cities bookend the I-4 corridor and should be benefiting from $2 billion in federal high-speed rail spending, a much-needed boost for Florida contractors, design professionals and small business owners. However, instead of accepting these federal funds, our governor refused these dollars while turning his back on years of planning, willing private sector partners and numerous elected leaders representing both parties. When business said yes, Rick Scott said no. Now other states are spending these federal funds on projects that are less "shovel-ready" than ours. It's a loss-loss when we could have had a win-win.
With this "backwards" thinking in Tallahassee, I expect that there are more dubious lists in our future. Once again — it did not have to be this way.
Kevin Jarman, Tampa
Why conservatives are happier than liberals July 15
Happy to be 'sad'
Arthur Brooks states at the end of his column that tea party adherents are the happiest of all, which "some moderately liberal readers of this newspaper might find quite depressing." As one of those moderate readers, I found this column not depressing but astounding.
My wife and I have a large number of tea party supporters in our extended family, and I must say these are the most aggrieved individuals we know. We are overwhelmed by divisive emails we continually receive from them. If this sort of behavior forges happiness, I look forward to a long and very "sad" life.
George Chase, St. Pete Beach
Covering the universe's mass | July 15
Beginning of the boson
By now, many people know that the Higgs boson is named after Peter Higgs, a physicist at Edinburgh University. But what is a boson? A boson, along with the fermion (named after Enrico Fermi), is one of the two fundamental classes of subatomic particles. There is no limit to the number of bosons that can occupy the same quantum state.
The boson derives its name from Satyendranath Bose, an Indian physicist, who in 1924 sent a paper on quantum statistics to Albert Einstein. Einstein, recognizing that Bose's paper had profound implications for physics, had it published in a German journal. Bose's innovation came to be known as Bose-Einstein statistics, and became a basis for quantum physics. His study changed the way particle physics has been studied ever since.
The work done by Bose and Einstein, later added to by Higgs, led to this pioneering discovery.
Rev. Abhi Janamanchi, Clearwater
Affordable Care Act
My son is a senior at the University of Tampa. Up until this year we could decline the university health care if he was covered under our policy. My wife and I are both union employees who are covered by a good insurance policy.
Now UT has decided that regardless of our policy my son will still have to pay $690 for coverage that is not needed. They even state in a letter that it is due to the Affordable Care Act. I find it hard to believe that President Barack Obama wanted college kids to spend money they don't have to.
Dominick Lorusso, Toms River, N.J.
For Tampa, biking could be a group affair July 19
Yabba dabba don't
You have to be kidding. Tampa's answer to transporting Republican conventiongoers is to send them out in foot-pedaled, open-air golf carts in the August heat (not to mention thunderstorms).
What's next? Zip lines to take people to and from hotels and the convention center? The only thing missing is the Fred Flintstone car.
Sharon Stiner, Tampa