With shift, Fasano is maverick | Nov. 23
Concerned with issues, not party
People I know have told me how state Sen. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, has given them help without regard to whether he received support from them. He did it because he thought it was the right thing to do. That's contrary to many of our politicians.
Fasano is called a maverick because he doesn't always go lockstep and back every Republican initiative. I wish more politicians — of both parties — would be more concerned with the issues, and the people, than they are with their party affiliation.
Bill Dolluse, Hudson
It's not a game
This article shows the sophomoric attitude of our Legislature. Senate President Mike Haridopolos said, "Let's put everybody in the game and everybody who wants to be team players will be rewarded."
This is not a game, folks. This is Florida's future — our future. Stop your childish, egotistic games and man up. Do what you, in your oath of office, swore you would do.
I don't expect much from you, and I am sure I won't be disappointed.
Larry Flick, Hudson
Horn of plenty, thanks to Florida's farmers Nov. 25
Farmworkers' labor puts food on our tables
John Hoblick, president of the Florida Farm Bureau, states that Florida farmers' "handiwork is a fundamental reason why we have a standard of living most previous generations of Floridians could scarcely imagine."
Hoblick neglects to mention that one segment of Florida's population has an even lower standard of living than previous generations — the farmworkers themselves.
Since 1997, successful prosecutions have been brought against seven slavery operations involving over 1,000 farmworkers in Florida. My reference to slavery is not hyperbole. These cases were prosecuted under modern-day slavery statutes. That's real, modern-day slavery going on right here in Florida, right now.
Sadly, Hoblick's rosy picture of agriculture in Florida is not the whole story. Let none of us forget the rest of the story — the often grossly unjust treatment of the farmworkers whose labor puts that bounty on our tables.
John L. Perry, Tampa
Deadly delay in closing pill mills Nov. 26, editorial
Keep the pressure on
Thank you for this editorial on the delay in pill clinic regulation. We must keep this issue at the forefront of discussion. The only people who can be complacent are those who do not understand the insidiousness of the problem — or those profiting from the destruction of lives.
If these clinics were advertising "Buy your heroin here!" instead of "pain management," everyone would be up in arms. Yet these opiates, which are being prescribed without oversight and regulation, as are deadly and tragic as other illicit street drugs.
Connie Kolosey, St. Petersburg
Minds far more learned than mine have pondered the panhandling issue, but I think we are missing some aspects of the problem.
Anyone conducting business or operating a charity must be licensed to do so, be they corporations, hot dog vendors, or the Salvation Army. Their license states when, where and how they are allowed to conduct business.
The city of Tampa regulates who can conduct business on city-owned property, when, how and for what purpose. The city would no more allow me to operate a barber shop in the median on Bayshore Boulevard than it should allow unlicensed solicitors to panhandle on the streets.
Requiring everyone to have a license will not curtail legitimate businesses or charities. This is the normal course of business. Begging is not the normal course of business.
And yes, local businesses, charities and government agencies must find ways to do more to eliminate the basic root of this problem altogether.
J.D. Batson, Tampa
Arrogance toward poor
Tampa's problem is neither begging on the streets nor people tired of being accosted by panhandlers — it's stone-cold arrogance toward the poor created by a free enterprise system that throws people away like empty soda cans.
Ebenezer Scrooge had to be forced to see what greed, Darwinian capitalism and decades of the rich getting richer has led us to.
Sick and tired of being asked for handouts by panhandlers? Try their sick and their tired for even a day, or hour, and see where our quest for consumption has led us.
Dan Callaghan, New Port Richey
When one falls, we all fall
North Korea fires some artillery shells at South Korea, and the market goes down. Irish bank fears drag down U.S. stock prices. Is this what you had in mind when our leaders were pushing a "global" economy?
It is not reassuring that my retirement future is linked with a mad dictator and a financially inept EU. Yes, globalism is really working. When one country falls, everybody falls.
It makes me pine for the days of a strong domestic economy. However, this is what most Americans wanted. You get what you deserve.
Chris Creus, Clearwater
Home buyers beware
I would advise anyone interested in buying a home in this market to be very careful. We are living in a time when ethics have been thrown out the window.
I recently purchased a home that I was assured didn't have a sinkhole history. My sinkhole coverage was cancelled three days after closing due to a sinkhole claim paid 3½ years ago. The coverage had been reinstated using a bogus repair report submitted to the insurance company. Doing some research, I found there may not have been a sinkhole in the first place — it could have been fraud.
It's difficult to find legal help in this matter, even with evidence to back up my accusations. Buyers, beware.
Woody H. Blair, Hudson
Flying isn't what it used to be | Nov. 24, column
Memories of air travel
Susan Estrich's column brought back memories on early flying. The first flight that I took involved an American Airlines' Curtis Condor. The Condor was a twin-engine biplane with a speed about 145 mph. I remember those rather large wings and an exhaust pipe glowing bright red just outside my window. The aircraft was a sight to see lumbering along, and the trip was exciting too.
From there I moved up from the old DC-3 through the DC-10. In the rear, there was a lounge where you could go for a drink before a grand steak dinner. Most of the passengers were very interesting to chat with and usually told about all the airline trips they had been on. These were well-dressed and gentlemen and ladies.
You could just go to the airport and buy a ticket on the next flight. Living in Orlando, I would commute to Boston on weekends for $100 round-trip to visit the family who spent summers at a New Hampshire lake cottage. It was an easy and timely flight with free parking in Orlando. All told, the flight time was about the same as a modern jet aircraft today.
It will never be the same nor as exciting.
Charles E. MacNeill, Crystal River