Shelter's president announces plans to retire | Nov. 23
Time to unite aid organizations
The Spring of Tampa Bay's CEO Joanne Lighter deserves considerable community accolades for her tough decisions and heavy lifting the past four years. The time may be right for her board of directors to continue with another tough decision that impacts our entire community.
Before the Spring's search committee commences efforts to find a new CEO, an ideal opportunity exists to again explore the merits of merging two Tampa organizations with a similar mission: the Spring and the Family Justice Center.
As a current FJC volunteer and a former member of the Spring's board of trustees, I am recommending exploring the creation of a single organization, offering a complete range of services, including a shelter for domestic violence victims and their families.
Unlike the Spring, 5-year-old FJC is a one-stop shop, with over 20 agency service providers under one roof offering a range of services for victims of domestic violence. The agencies represented include six on-site intake staff from the Spring. One service not currently provided by FJC is a shelter.
A merger eliminates most of the duplication of maintaining two administrative infrastructures. From a funding perspective, a single domestic violence entity eliminates any competition for diminishing public and community support as well as confusion about which Tampa domestic violence service organization to support.
I challenge the leadership and supporters of both organizations to be prudent stewards of community resources while acting in the best interests of the families entrusted to them.
Michael Doyle, Tampa
Google and solar power
After five years of an unsuccessful effort to design and promote systems to replace fossil fuels like coal with renewable energy, Google recently announced that it is dropping its renewable-energy initiative.
Their spokesman said that other institutions, presumably well-funded universities and/or the U.S. government, are "better positioned to take renewable-energy efforts to the next level."
This raises the question: If a hugely successful multibillion-dollar technology company cannot succeed with solar energy, what sort of scenario will?
Jim Parker, Lakeland
Setting the record straight on Solyndra Nov. 27, PolitiFact
Ask tougher questions
I looked forward to reading the PolitiFact article on Solyndra because there have been so many claims by both conservatives and liberals that seem to defy verification. I was deeply disappointed that your reporters chose to answer two of the less significant and contentious ones: Was the program started by Bush, and do the robots whistle?
I think the more important questions are: 1) Were the loans rushed to Solyndra, in spite of "not being ready for prime time," for political reasons? and 2) Were the loans truly restructured to give taxpayers unsecured positions behind private investors, and is that against the law?
I don't know the answers to these questions; my hope is your reporters will dig deeper and let the chips fall where they may. I believe PolitiFact should play an important, independent, investigative journalism role, but it can only do so if it tackles the most serious questions.
Doug Meyn, Tampa
Last resort | Nov. 27
Last place for children
Anyone who has spent 10 minutes — and I have — at the Mosley Motel will tell you that it is the last place to bring your children. Living on the street would be much safer. Although the owners claim it to be a "last resort" for those down on their luck, it is in fact along "crime central" on 34th Street.
That the police department and social services agencies provide money for anyone to stay there is beyond belief and a testament to their failures. Of course, the bottom line is money and it is a cheap place to sweep our problems out of sight. And as long as we don't have to see these families with children wandering our downtown streets, we are willing to cast a blind eye to the problem.
Until we as a society are courageous enough to act and end the cycle of poverty, we will be dealing with this ever-growing problem far into the future.
Robert W. Schultz, St. Petersburg
Immigration not state's top priority Nov. 28, editorial
Illegal influx is a priority
Who picked tomatoes before the illegal invasion of our land? We became the greatest nation on the planet in a short span of time, and we did it without being held hostage by illegal immigrants.
The editorial lists budget concerns, redistricting and the economy as top priorities for the Legislature, but all these are heavily impacted by the illegal immigrants Florida is supporting. Do you think taxpayers want to pay for education, health care and social service safety nets for illegal immigrants to pick tomatoes?
These lawbreakers impact everyone and every area. They stagnate wages and take jobs in construction and service areas. If all else fails, they could have seasonal visas to pick crops. They do not need to stay, bring families, or become citizens. Making employers responsible for all their needs might give growers cause to get creative. I suggest the economy is going to get so bad that Americans will pick tomatoes.
Lynn O'Keefe, Largo
Catholics confront new wording of Mass Nov. 28
Catholicism isn't a la carte
The New York Times article demonstrates a remarkable and regrettable lack of understanding of fundamentals of the Roman Catholic Church. The church is not a democracy carrying forward the wishes of a majority of its members. Rather, it is a religious entity tracing its history to the time of Jesus Christ, and its leader (the pope) has the final word in determining the rules to be followed by its members.
Catholics (and others) are certainly free to express their views, but once an issue is resolved by the church, it is to be followed by its members. No one is required to be a Catholic, but all Catholics must follow the rules of the church.
Thus it is misguided, at best, for a Catholic to be "furious with the church," or to say "Rome got its way in forcing this (Mass wording) on us." If you wish to be a Catholic, then Rome's way is the only way.
Bill Stober, Clearwater