Energy and the environment
Florida needs energy alternatives
Why don't our legislators concentrate on increasing jobs and providing incentives by promoting the improvement of our environment? It's unfortunate that many of our legislators do not believe in climate change or the protection of our environment. Their lack of concern is influenced by financial incentives from donors and interest groups.
The protection of our environment is a major issue that should not be ignored. Future generations will suffer the consequences of our inaction.
We live in the Sunshine State, with more than 300 days of yearly sunshine, and yet the amount of alternative solar power in Florida is minimal. We get abundant quantities of wind from both the Atlantic and gulf coasts but have chosen not to use wind generators. Florida is surrounded by water, which can also generate power. There are working models of electric generators powered by ocean waves. All of these alternatives are ignored because of lobbyists and interest groups.
More fuel-efficient cars are being built, which means we may be using less gas; however, higher speed limits in our state will mean less fuel efficiency and more gas use. Who is profiting at the expense of this generation and future generations?
Florida should be concentrating on renewable energy and doing everything possible to protect our environment. If our marine life and oceans continue to die and our air and inland waters are continually polluted, what quality of life will future generations enjoy?
Carol Murtinger, Sun City Center
Democrats fumble search for Jolly rival May 4
An insulting rejection
In throwing the Rev. Manuel Sykes, a black Democrat, under the bus for volunteering to run against Republican David Jolly in an overwhelmingly white district, Pinellas County Democratic Chairman Mark Hanisee used racial terms and logic that would have been denounced by the liberal media had they come from a Republican source.
Pinellas County's African-American community should be insulted and affronted by this incident and should think twice before automatically voting Democrat in the future.
David P. Carter, Seminole
A family rift made for Bollywood | May 4
Thank you for the well-researched article on Chetan "Jason" Shah's efforts to bring the International Indian Film Academy event to Tampa. It isn't the first time that someone with a lot of passion and smarts got beaten out of fortune and fame by a former naysayer with a big checkbook. How do you think a lot of millionaires got that way? They steal other people's ideas, bankroll them and bask in the glory. The thing that they all have in common is an ego the size of Texas and no shame whatsoever.
So thanks for giving Jason Shah a little limelight for his efforts, as obviously no one else (shame on you, Bob Buckhorn) is going to give him his due. The event probably wouldn't have happened without his effort and vision.
Bob Dalzell, St. Petersburg
Vision and leadership
This article brought to our attention two members of the community, Chetan Shah and Kiran Patel, whose vision and leadership placed Tampa in the center of a worldwide event. The combination of a visionary/dreamer and financial backers made this a reality. Without either, the International Indian Film Academy awards would have landed in another city.
The greater Tampa community should be thankful for both Chetan Shah, who envisioned Bollywood being celebrated in Tampa, and Kiran Patel, who shared his financial resources to make this happen. With their vision, the long hours of preparation, and all those who were not mentioned working side by side, our city is worthy of national attention.
David Foster, Tampa
Former Tampa mayor dies | May 3
Civil rights pioneer
A major part of Mayor Bill Poe's legacy is his contribution to human rights in the city of Tampa. In the late 1970s, he appointed the first African-American executive assistant to the mayor of Tampa, Alton White. Poe authorized White, John Daniel and other city officials to craft the initial agreement between the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the city to enforce Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
Because of this agreement, thousands of local citizens have had protection against discrimination in employment and public accommodations. Fair housing laws soon followed.
After Poe left office, several mayors followed his example by appointing African-Americans as executive assistants. Poe was a true champion of human rights in this community.
Charles Fred Hearns, Tampa Department of Community Affairs (retired), Tampa
Taking a heavy toll
NBC News recently reported that the Obama administration is floating the idea of letting the states make federal highways toll roads if they wish. This is a bad idea.
Don't think for a moment that this would only affect drivers. It would also affect the poor person who does not even own a car and is having a hard time putting food on the table. Trucks would also have to pay the toll. What do you think that will do to food prices?
Talk about nickel-and-diming us to death. Think again, Mr. Obama.
Cordell Guy, Clearwater
New inquiry sought on Benghazi | May 3
White House whitewash
Of course Benghazi matters, but I am not sure that a special committee will produce anything beneficial. Maybe something unknown to date will be discovered, but most likely the inquiry will, at best, only fortify what everyone already knows: this administration put politics ahead of people's lives and the president's behavior and actions during and after were abysmal.
But the special committee is necessary because this administration constantly tries to sidestep, obfuscate and slow-walk their obligations on every matter that arises.
John Whelan, Dunedin