Panhandling ban rejected | Feb. 4
Street beggars getting more aggressive
The Tampa City Council has rejected the panhandling ban, apparently based on 260 people who need the income (bless them and my apologizes). The city population is nearly 350,000. Do the math.
I rarely give money these days, but recently I did. I gave a guy four quarters and he asked me to hit him up again, "bro." I wanted to ask him for my money back but wasn't in the mood for a fight.
We are all suffering in these difficult times, but this is a no-brainer. The people asking for money at intersections are getting more and more aggressive. I'm sure once someone is assaulted (again) or worse by one of these unfortunate and desperate souls (no judgment), action will be taken (eventually).
But shouldn't our elected representatives have more foresight? Do they not experience these kind of daily occurrences? My apologies to the firefighters and paper sellers, but get away from my car, people.
Peter O. Bolam, Temple Terrace
Technology and bureaucracy delay classical radio station | Jan. 31
Station shift badly handled
Many thanks to Eric Deggans for his front-page summary of WSMR's hapless efforts to reach full power on its new broadcast antenna.
I first e-mailed WUSF on Oct. 2, 21/2 weeks after the promised air date, asking where the sense of urgency was in fixing the interference problem and why there were no updates on the station's website. I still wonder where the urgency is.
Hindsight may be 20/20, but why wasn't a potential conflict with the Coast Guard signal caught during the planning phase? Why wasn't Federal Communications Commission approval of the antenna move factored into the schedule? It seems that this whole effort was badly planned or not planned at all.
I've really missed the broadcast signal; I listened to it every workday, all day. Now, it's hard to listen on the computer and constantly lower or mute the volume to take phone calls; I therefore miss most of the day's broadcast. The sound isn't as rich on the Internet.
I was a loyal subscriber to WUSF but became so furious in September that I resolved not to contribute until the problem was fixed. Rest assured, I will contribute again once I hear Beethoven blazing majestically through my large stereo speakers.
Brian Kelly, St. Petersburg
People aren't 'products'
Over the past few years, more and more leaders have reveled in their use of "the business model."
In education, for example, school principals and superintendents, university deans and presidents, say things like, "I run our school like a business." As a retired research professor at USF, I cringe every time I hear someone refer to our graduates as "products."
Gov. Rick Scott touts the business model as well, and I wonder what I am — consumer, customer, vendor, stockholder?
Educational systems, universities, local and state governments, to name but a few, are not businesses. I suspect that the "business model" is the only model of governance and leadership most of our leaders know, and if the only tool you have is a hammer, then everything looks like a nail.
Bill Emener, St. Pete Beach
The article about how Gov. Rick Scott has started to run the state (Scott will learn government is not a business, Feb. 6) has some good points.
No one really knows him, and he seems arrogant and untrustworthy, to judge by his past deeds.
However, give the man a break. Remember the old saying: Give them enough rope and they will hang themselves.
The column is wrong about the relationship between running a company and the government. I have run five companies over 44 years, and they are about the same.
When you take over, you have to stop the bleeding by taking over the checkbook. You also have to change or dismiss personnel, find new vendors and cross-train employees if they want to stay with the company.
Unless you make a profit, the business closes.
I'm not saying Scott did a good job as the head of HCA, but I'm saying if you can run a company and run it the right way, you can run a government office and have good results.
Colin Kelley, Largo
An unjustified cut | Feb. 6, letter
No big salaries here
The letter writer is mistaken if he thinks workers in the private sector make more money than those in the public sector — at least here in Florida. I have been a manager in several small companies in Pinellas County, and most degreed managers (I have a BS) with many years' experience in their fields are on the south side of $50,000 per year while working long hours.
The rank and file don't make much more than minimum wage. We also only get the major holidays off and we pay for most of our own health care. We worry about our companies surviving in this economy, not about our nonexistent generous pension plans and accumulated vacation/sick days.
Mike Lang, Seminole
Health care reform
In reading about what people think the government should do in response to the health care law, it seems that many miss the underlying question. Before we can argue about what the government should to, we must establish what the government can do.
The Constitution does not say that the government should do everything to make life as good as possible, but rather gives the government certain responsibilities. If the government can go beyond those responsibilities for any reason, then we are in more danger collectively than any health issue can cause.
Gordon Kratz, Tampa
Green Bay Packers
So the big game was won by the Packers. Here is some information from the Green Bay Packers website: "Green Bay Packers Inc. has been a publicly owned, nonprofit corporation since Aug. 18, 1923. A total of 4,750,937 shares are owned by 112,158 stockholders — none of whom receives any dividend on the initial investment. To protect against someone taking control of the team, the articles of incorporation prohibit any person from owning more than 200,000 shares."
Was the tea party protesting "socialism" outside the stadium while the Super Bowl was being played? As Frank Zappa put it: "Don't say it can't happen here." A nonprofit team (our worst nightmare) won the Super Bowl — and socialism has been in our midst since at least 1923. The horror!
John Connolly, St. Petersburg
Lightning owner to give $10M | Feb. 2
Vinik deserves ovation
Kudos to Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik, not only for turning the team around by bringing in Steve Yzerman and Guy Boucher, but also for his other commitments. His donation of $10 million to local charities and his promise to improve the St. Pete Times Forum, with or without public funding, are unique in local professional sports. His commitment to the community and to Lightning fans deserves a standing ovation.
David Lubin, Tampa