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Thursday letters: St. Petersburg's response to Amendment 4 attempts to solve a potentially expensive problem.

Another scheme to defy the voters | July 20, Howard Troxler column

Solving a potentially costly problem

Howard Troxler once again is accusing St. Petersburg government generally and me in particular of trying to dodge Amendment 4. I will happily claim credit for the effort to make sure that our city will be spared dozens of referendums on minor, text and technical corrections if Amendment 4 passes.

The Pinellas Planning Council added up the referendum questions that would have been required in Pinellas County between 2005 and now. The answer was 249! Amendment 4 supporters intended for this to cover major land use changes. However, it is drafted to cover everything.

What the city is attempting to do is to fix Amendment 4 for St. Petersburg residents by adding a layer to our comprehensive planning process. We would have five broad land use categories: neighborhoods, corridors, centers, recreation/open space and preservation. If a land owner wanted to change use among categories, such as from neighborhoods to corridor land use, that would require a referendum. However, as long as the change is within the category, no referendum would be required.

The result of our proposed additional planning category is that if Amendment 4 passes, referendums would be limited to important questions and would not overwhelm the process with minor changes.

Part of my job is to make sure that government works even if Amendment 4 passes. I will happily acknowledge that it is a clever solution to a potentially expensive problem.

Karl Nurse, St. Petersburg City Council member

Rubio: no cuts, no more benefits July 20, story

Hypocritical parsimony

U.S. Senate candidate Marco Rubio opposes extending unemployment benefits without corresponding cuts. The cost to extend these benefits to unemployed Americans? $34 billion.

Defense Secretary Bob Gates is pressing Congress for a nearly identical amount ($33 billion) in supplemental war funding.

Do you suppose Rubio will take the same hard line on that?

Don't hold your breath.

Rubio's party spent eight years gleefully spending up a storm while simultaneously giving tax breaks to big corporations and the wealthy, deficit spending be damned.

Only now, with a Democratic president, and only when the spending is for vulnerable Americans, does "pay-as-you-go" suddenly become all-important to these hypocrites otherwise known as Republicans.

John L. Perry, Tampa

Rubio: no cuts, no more benefits July 20, story

Inexcusable thinking

Marco Rubio says he would not support extending unemployment benefits for more than 200,000 Floridians and millions of other families across the country.

Where does this kind of thinking come from? How can these Republican senators, and wanna-bes like Rubio even sleep at night? This country is just now struggling its way out of the worst recession since the Great Depression. These workers represent families who are hurting and desperate to just hold on to what they have worked for.

The inhumanity expressed by the Republican Party is inexcusable! They are perfectly willing to subject millions of Americans to hopelessness and misery for perceived political gain in the November midterm elections. They routinely vote no on anything that benefits the poor or middle class, but ask them about tax cuts for the rich, and watch them suddenly become the "party of yes."

Florida already has one heartless Senate appointee putting "party over principle" in George LeMieux. We certainly don't need to elect another one!

Ray Davis, Largo

Rubio: no cuts, no more benefits July 20, story

Misplaced concerns

Why doesn't U.S. Senate candidate Marco Rubio's "line in the sand" apply to the tax cuts given to the wealthy? If deficits are his real concern, this should receive equal attention. And please don't hand me that old trickle-down theory.

How about "a percolate up theory"? Give those out of work their unemployment checks and that leads to buying and buying leads to jobs and investments in business because people are buying again.

Why must those with the least always have to bear the burdens of mistakes made by those at the very top of the economic pyramid?

Paul Lupone, Spring Hill

Bring our jobs home

In your newspaper, on radio and TV there has been a constant barrage of criticism by politicians, business leaders and others about the Obama administration's inability to create jobs.

The other day, I needed some information. I called the Dow Jones Co. and I spoke to a very polite young man in the Philippines. When I finished, I thought: Americans can answer phones.

I bought a shirt in Walmart. It, like many products, was made in China. I thought: Americans can make shirts. I received my Dell computer and I noticed that the entire package was made in Thailand and Malaysia. I believe Americans can make computers. Solving the unemployment problem is easy. Bring our jobs home.

Jack Perlman, Palm Harbor

I am a doctor with Alzheimer's | July 4

Research deserves support

It takes a great deal of courage for Dr. Arthur Rivin to share with us his experiences with Alzheimer's disease. While 5 million are affected nationally, 500,000 of those are in Florida with direct costs to Florida's Medicaid budget of at least $1 billion. Although Florida spends millions supporting research on cancer and tobacco-related diseases, it has not supported Alzheimer's research for the last three years.

Our state is in the crosshairs of this looming epidemic and our legislators have not yet responded. Researchers throughout Florida are banding together to form a network dedicated to ending this disease. The USF Health Byrd Alzheimer's Institute in Tampa is a translational research institute providing patient care and state-of-the-art research to make Alzheimer's just a memory, yet no state funds are being provided to support this fight.

Rivin is absolutely correct that it is scientists and pharmaceutical companies exchanging information and working together that will end this scourge. A little support from the state would go a long way toward accelerating this process.

Dave Morgan, Ph.D., CEO, USF Health Byrd Alzheimer's Institute and Amanda Smith, M.D., Medical Director, Alzheimer's Institute

In the end, it's just one drunk talking to another | July 19, commentary

AA wisdom

Thanks to the St. Petersburg Times for reprinting Chas' story about his first visit to AA. I think a great mantra from AA can be applied in almost all aspects of our lives, and that is: "It works if you work it."

Stacey Kroto, Pinellas Park

Thursday letters: St. Petersburg's response to Amendment 4 attempts to solve a potentially expensive problem. 07/21/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 21, 2010 7:33pm]
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