Take a stand against the impending bombardment
Here we are again approaching the season of battle. There was some hope last year that with the Fireworks Task Force set up by the state Legislature that we would have some legislative agreement to solve this problem. But alas, budget issues and I guess other things pushed the fireworks issue to next year.
And now we have to endure more warheads and explosions in our neighborhoods. Animals (particularly horses and, I have heard, even cattle) have been scared to death.
Children have had numerous serious injuries due to these supposedly illegal devices, and adults have no respect for the rights of neighbors. Many feel it is their right to shoot off fireworks, even though legally only farmers are supposed to have that ability.
The Legislature has tied the hands of all citizens throughout the state now, as no community, county or city can enact any legislation in regard to fireworks until the Legislature acts on the task force report, which was completed in January.
Some citizens may think they should have the right to blow up their neighborhoods and damage and litter others' property, and cause stress and anxiety to humans and animals. But where does this leave the rights of the rest of the citizens?
There is a group working toward solving this problem called Citizens for a Safer Florida Inc., Web site: cfasFlorida.org. Please, if you are concerned about this problem, get involved. Do something!
Corlene Findley, Plant City
Nuclear power is not the way to go
On June 25, Gov. Charlie Crist will convene his second Climate Change Summit in Miami. While we applaud the governor's efforts to help figure out ways to halt sea level increases and improve energy conservation efforts, we are very skeptical about an energy production strategy that relies heavily on nuclear power. We believe the most affordable energy is the energy we can conserve.
In March, the Public Service Commission burdened ratepayers with an $18-billion expansion at Turkey Point which may provide 2,100 megawatts of additional power a decade from now, but taxpayers will start paying the bill this summer. Progress Energy Florida is now seeking similar authorization for two nuclear power units in Levy County. If approved, Floridians lose the chance to invest more than $36-billion dollars in efficiency, conservation and really clean energy sources that would enable us to make the reductions in global warming pollution that science tells us are necessary.
Uranium is not renewable. Nuclear waste is not disposable. Enormous amounts of our water are needed for cooling. The energy required to offset, treat and deliver those waters should be figured into the economics of nuclear power. Let's not be penny wise and pound foolish by investing in yesterday's failed technologies. Floridians don't need a nuclear relapse; we need to learn to do more with less.
Dawn Shirreffs, Clean Water Action, Tampa
Tap U.S. oil
The American people are clamoring for answers when it comes to high gasoline prices. It's clear that in the short term, biofuels are a dead end and renewables are years, perhaps decades away.
So what do we do? For one, we need to stop pretending that we have no access to any oil but Middle Eastern oil. We have access to continental oil reserves that amount to millions of barrels. All we have to do is drill for it. Any governmental energy policy that does not include going after our own supply of crude is criminal.
The mere threat of making this part of our policy will drive down oil prices overnight. We also need more refineries to be built as well. The lack of refineries has created a bottleneck of gasoline production that overinflates the price of gas. The environmental lobby has blocked new refinery creation as well. Pollution, you know.
How long will we put the "green agenda" ahead of our national security and economy? It's time to drill.
Jay Johnson, St. Petersburg
Ethanol in gasoline
A big scam
As someone who tracks his gas mileage in these $4-a-gallon times, I noticed that my miles per gallon had gone down by about 15 percent in the last month. The car seemed to be running fine and I was puzzled.
I use the same gas station and on my last fillup, I noticed the "10 percent ethanol" sticker on the pumps. I asked and determined that their switch to ethanol blend matched my poor gas mileage.
Apparently this is a federally mandated change coming and we'll all have no choice in the future. I started reading on the Internet and was appalled at what I found. It looks like a scam and boondoogle growing out of poor policy and decisionmaking.
William Madley, Clearwater
Try Bicycle Fridays
Remember many years ago when the offer to employees was made regarding jeans? It was called "Dress Down Friday."
Now that we have such an issue with the cost of gasoline, diesel fuel and oil, it would be a great idea if we could encourage our employees at all levels throughout the entire country, at all companies, small and large, to have "Bicycle Friday." This could reduce gasoline commuting costs by 20 percent, give employees the opportunity to get their daily exercise and create a healthier environment, as well as reduce emissions.
Jim Coffey, New Port Richey
Think before voting | June 6, letter
An old argument
In this letter to the editor, the question was raised, "How can a woman who is prochoice consider voting for a Republican President? … A Republican president will name a conservative (to the Supreme Court) and the new conservative majority will overturn Roe vs. Wade."
You know, I have heard this before. That is exactly what was said when George W. Bush was running for president. Did he overturn Roe vs. Wade? Not to my knowledge.
I wish the Democrats would get a new playbook. Their arguments sound so lame after a while.
Ronald Melone, Clearwater
Irradiation keeps food safe
Here we go again. We just read about salmonella contamination of tomatoes. A short while ago it was E. coli in spinach. Before that it was hamburger, peanut butter, etc. What will be next?
When are the people of this country going to accept the fact that these problems could be safely eliminated if we'd start irradiating fresh food before selling it? Irradiation would kill all these organisms, remove the threat of illness or death and have absolutely no adverse affect on the food.
A.T. Barnard, Beverly Hills