Lawmaker calls PIP law flawed | May 22
Lawyers at the legislative wheel
As might be expected, state Rep. Rick Kriseman, D-St. Petersburg, says the revised state PIP law has "numerous errors." Perhaps the reason is that he is a personal injury lawyer.
I would suggest that the recent revisions made in the PIP law did not go far enough, thanks to the state Senate. Severe abuses involving automobile accidents have been occurring even before I began my insurance career as an adjuster 48 years ago. As long as we continue to elect vast numbers of lawyers, who consider their own interests before those of the folks who elected them, to both our state and federal legislatures, we can expect that such laws will continue to allow abuse.
Robert K. Reader, Clearwater
New Pier gets green light | May 18
Lens is not a pier
A pier is a structure built over the water on pilings where ships can be berthed. A pier is a heavy structure capable of withstanding the forces of a moored ship weighing hundreds of tons banging against it in a storm, providing utilities to ships and providing vehicular access for cargo and supplies. Although the St. Petersburg Municipal Pier has primarily served an entertainment and retail function for most of its existence, the pier function and character have remained. Witness the lovely deep draft schooner moored there this month. A visitor to our Pier today is visiting an authentic pier. The Lens concept will not result in a pier. It will result in a huge piece of public art. As stated in your May 17 editorial, the Lens will "provide a signature snapshot." This art object is to be placed a quarter-mile out in Tampa Bay and connected to the mainland by two quarter-mile-long pedestrian catwalks. It is very misleading to call the Lens, or anything similar to it, a "new Pier."
The headline of your May 18 news story characterized those of us who spoke at the City Council meeting in opposition to the Lens project as "naysayers." My dictionary defines a naysayer as "a person who habitually expresses negative or pessimistic views." Your choices of "new Pier" and "naysayers" cause me to worry about your credibility as a news source.
William C. Ballard, St. Petersburg
Is best babysitter best commander? | May 22
Driven to infer
I found the Slate survey interesting. "Whom would you rather have change a tire?" Forty-five percent said Barack Obama. "As president?" Forty-five percent said Obama. Does that mean that Obama is doing as good a job as president as he would at changing a tire?
James Di Piazza, Seffner
For years I have questioned the appropriateness of Doonesbury appearing with other comics aimed primarily at younger readers. As the Times currently presents the strip, it is not-so-subtle political indoctrination. Garry Trudeau's relentless liberal viewpoint would be acceptable were it presented where it should be: in the editorial section. Many publications already do so.
Steven Dinwiddie, Clearwater
Small cars, big dreams | May 22
Accepting the risks
In early 2011 Brooke Ann Coats was killed while participating in a rodeo in Brandon. According to the Remington Rough Stock rodeo Facebook page, they still feature junior bull riding even though there was an unfortunate incident. So where is the hue and cry about this rodeo being allowed to continue? Were Brooke's parents living vicariously through their child? I strongly doubt it. People like Brooke and her family tend to come from a ranching background, just as I come from an auto racing background. We are familiar with and willing to accept the risks that come from the types of activities in which we willingly participate.
Frederick Kann, Sun City Center
Work for the money
I call them the future homeless of America. They are the young people who station themselves outside the supermarket (I shop at Publix but will assume they are at other supermarkets as well) — both entrances and exits — and ask everyone who walks in or out if they'd help pay for the team uniform or trip or camp.
These teens cheerfully and boldly ask for my money without batting an eyelash. It doesn't seem to occur to them that they are expecting people who work for a living to hand over their hard-earned money so the teens themselves don't have to work for it.
There are kids who have carwashes and bake sales, do yardwork and so forth to earn money. There's a vast difference between them and these kids who stand outside a store with their hands out.
Shame on them, and on their parents who apparently give their hearty approval to this ever- increasing practice.
Maryjane Schmidt, St. Petersburg
No job, ample snacks
Those who are in our 40s and above remember walking in a store in the summer wanting a job. The answer was always yes. You were paid off the books and made most of your money on tips. Now our school-age children can't find any summer jobs. Years ago we had the local butcher, grocer, pharmacy, shoe store, candy store, luncheonette and hardware store. Today, all those are in Walmart, Lowe's or Home Depot.
This country would be such a great place if we had it like we did at least 30 years ago. Every summer every kid 10 or older would have a summer job. I actually had my first summer job at 10, putting the Sunday paper together for a candy store. These days kids end up sitting in front of a computer, eating snacks all day and going back to school overweight.
Steve Pappas, Spring Hill
End disgusting habit
I'm visiting my uncle in Clearwater, and in watching the Rays play the Blue Jays noticed the excessive spitting habits of Tampa Bay players, e.g. Luke Scott.
I don't know why ballplayers need to spit, especially when they're seen on television. Such bad behavior can be viewed by youngsters as acceptable, which it's not. I suggest the managers of all teams instruct their players to end this disgusting behavior. Do you ever see NHL players spitting?
Martin Allen, Centennial, Colo.