Monday, December 18, 2017
Letters To The Editor

Sunday's letters: Tampa Electric protects the environment

The dirty politics of coal ash | May 27, commentary

Utility protects the environment

Tampa Electric is proud of our outstanding record of environmental stewardship. Because of that, I would like to set the record straight in response to Lynn Ringenberg's column published last Sunday.

Tampa Electric's Big Bend power station is one of the cleanest coal-burning plants in the country. In addition to having some of the lowest air emission rates, the plant has also had no impact on drinking water supplies. We have implemented extensive environmental controls to continue to protect these precious resources.

Tampa Electric has five ponds in which we store the residual products from the coal combustion process, such as ash. All of the ponds are fully lined and safely protect drinking water from potential contamination.

We also go a step further — by recycling 97 percent of these byproducts. This is a remarkable accomplishment, representing one of the highest recycling rates of any major power plant in the United States.

These byproducts are used in cement and wallboard, roof shingles, fertilizer and in the sandblast industry. In the past three years, Tampa Electric has recycled 3 million tons of byproducts that many other utilities would normally dispose of in a landfill.

These programs reflect our desire to serve our customers in the most responsible manner possible, with a focus on sustainable, cost-effective processes that minimize environmental impact.

Gordon Gillette, president, Tampa Electric

When the state kills the innocent | May 27, Robyn Blumner column

Compelling argument

Robyn Blumner's column highlighting the wrongful executions of Carlos DeLuna and Cameron Todd Willingham was a very compelling argument against the death penalty. I am a Republican who rarely agrees with Blumner, but in this case she was spot on. While I believe that there are individuals who certainly deserve to lose their lives for the crimes they commit (John Couey comes to mind), I simply do not trust the government to administer such a process fairly or accurately. This is because the government is run by human beings, who like the rest of us are motivated by narrow self-interest and restrained by limited knowledge. Because those in government rarely face the consequences of their decisions, they often make the wrong ones, even if their intent is pure.

What I find puzzling is how Blumner can so effectively articulate these failings of government when it comes to civil liberties in one column, and in the next champion its abilities and competence in economic matters. A criminal trial is a grueling and exacting process that seeks to administer justice in a very narrow, specific instance. If government doesn't deserve our faith in doing that correctly, how can we trust it to control and coordinate the countless decisions that hundreds of millions of Americans make each day in our economic lives?

Matthew Curran, Lutz

Killing is killing

When the state kills anyone, are we, the state, not committing the same crime that the person convicted of killing is guilty of? Killing people is killing, whether one is innocent or guilty, by a person or a state.

Tom S. Brown, Pinellas Park

If saving your life is boring ... May 27, Perspective

The unsung heroes

I was pleased to see the laudatory article about my former co-worker Tom Haueter of the National Transportation Safety Board. He is one of the thousands of unsung heroes in public service at the federal, state and local levels who keep our country safe and strong, in spite of the politicians who demean them.

Every government agency is run by political appointees, many of whom have little experience in the work they oversee. Without honest, caring career bureaucrats like Haueter, no government agency would succeed.

Ray Smith, Tampa

Syria blamed as attacks kill 32 children May 27

Use missile strikes

Having spent over 20 years in the military, I believe an effective message to the Syrian government would be a battery of cruise missiles fired on all its military bases, arsenals, military supply and maintenance facilities. Additionally, all military command, control, communication and intelligence facilities should be targeted.

This could be done solely by the United States or a coalition of NATO members without the involvement of ground troops. This will not immediately bring down the government, but it will degrade its capability to wage terror on its own citizens.

Bobby E. Pope, Spring Hill

25 years of changes aside, retail basics still the same | May 29

Years of fine journalism

Congratulations to Mark Albright on his retirement from the Times, most prominently as the retail beat writer.

I have worked for years in the retail industry and also have been part of many of the name changes he points out. As Albright writes, as much as the "wheel of retail" has turned, the basics remain the same: price, selection and how you treat your customer.

The same goes for good journalism, no matter how it's delivered: in-depth research, valuing both sides of the story, and a compelling and succinct writing style. This also will remain the same for the next 25 years and beyond. Albright brought honor to his profession and to the retail industry. Best wishes.

Ed Carroll, Tierra Verde

PSC backs Progress' nuclear gamble May 29

Not serving the public

Why don't we just rename the Florida Public Service Commission for what it really is — the Florida Progress Service Commission (as in Progress Energy). We won't even have to change the acronym. This commission of political appointees (appointed by those who receive major campaign contributions from Progress Energy) and so-called protector of the public has served Progress Energy very well. And we have seen what happens to anyone who ever tries to say no to Progress Energy.

Where else do we get to pay in advance for something we have no guarantee of ever receiving, at least not in my lifetime. Well, thank goodness for the free enterprise system, where I can take my business elsewhere. Wait, there is no "elsewhere."

Jack Hanel, Largo


Tuesday’s letters: Stop treating women like objects

The burden of proof and Men are under attack | Dec. 14, letterStop treating women like objectsBoth these letters show the fundamental unawareness many men have for the experiences of women in our culture. The letters showcase the blindness men ha...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Monday’s letters: Tax plan bad for the country

Trump, GOP make good on tax cuts Dec. 14Tax plan is bad for the countryUnless senators such as Susan Collins, R-Maine, and our own Marco Rubio develop some backbone, the Republican tax bill could well pass.The bill would inflict harm on the people wh...
Published: 12/15/17
Sunday’s letters: Rule of law at stake in Mueller inquiry

Sunday’s letters: Rule of law at stake in Mueller inquiry

Justice official parries attacks | Dec. 14Rule of law at stake in inquiryConservative media outlets and a number of Republicans in both chambers of Congress have launched an all-out assault on special counsel Robert Mueller and his team in an eff...
Published: 12/14/17
Updated: 12/15/17

Saturday’s letters: Project silent on rising sea levels

Published: 12/13/17
Updated: 12/15/17

Friday’s letters: Put yourself in a business owner’s shoes

GOP plan favors owners | Dec. 11Perils of small business ownersI wonder if the author of this article has even a clue about owning a business. Businessmen — especially small business owners — risk it all. They risk their savings, their car, their...
Published: 12/13/17
Updated: 12/14/17

Thursday’s letters: Trump’s values hardly admirable

Finally, a president who cares | Dec. 13, letterTrump’s values hardly admirableThe letter writer is happy to have someone in the White House who "truly cares about our country’s business" and is "unafraid … of mentioning God and religious values....
Published: 12/13/17

Wednesday’s letters: Proposal would restore Florida Forever funding

Florida ForeverPlan boosts land protectionMost of us thought funding for land conservation in Florida would be restored when we voted the Water and Land Conservation Amendment (Amendment 1) into law in 2014. It passed easily, with 75 percent of voter...
Published: 12/11/17
Updated: 12/12/17

Tuesday’s letters: Writer should look to his own mistakes

Is anyone ever wrong anymore? | Dec. 8Writer should look to own errorsIn Mitch Daniels’ article about people who have been wrong, he finishes with the statement that our lives would be greatly improved with more people saying, "I was wrong."He mi...
Published: 12/08/17
Updated: 12/11/17

Monday’s letters: Don’t drill in Arctic refuge

Arctic National Wildlife RefugeStop plan to drill for oil in refugeOur nation faces yet another effort to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge reserve to oil and gas drilling. Drilling in the Arctic simply doesn’t make sound financial sense. W...
Published: 12/08/17

Sunday’s letters: Tax bill puts U.S. on right course

The GOP’s regressive tax plans | Dec. 5, editorialTax bill puts U.S. on right courseThe Times is already crying wolf over the new tax cuts, claiming that the new laws "could" result an increase in the national debt of $1.5 trillion over the next ...
Published: 12/07/17