State's brand is lure for firms | Feb. 1
An insult to Florida business
Florida taxpayers are being hoodwinked and Florida agencies are being insulted by the going out of state to obtain "out of touch" creative work being passed off as great promotion. Unforgivable!
There are more than a dozen nationally recognized, award-winning agencies right here in Florida that could have produced a better image for our state. Even my old agency in Miami (in the '50s) could have bested the $200,000 excuse now being promoted with $3 million in Florida taxpayer funds.
Florida firms pay Florida taxes and employ Florida taxpayers who support Florida business. The Tennessee firm has no vested interest in Florida!
When will the state start supporting Florida firms needing business?
Austin R. Curry, Tampa
State's brand is lure for firms | Feb. 1
A necktie? Get real
About Enterprise Florida's new logo: As a woman who has owned a business in Florida for 27 years and as a public relations/marketing/branding professional, I ask: What were they thinking?!
A necktie is not the universal symbol of business in 2013.
Not only has Enterprise Florida alienated businesswomen, but it has sent the message to technology, manufacturing, construction and other businesspeople — who rarely wear ties — that only male professionals working in professional business offices are wanted in our state.
I am also offended that Enterprise Florida hired a Tennessee branding company to create their brand. If you want to promote business in Florida, hire Florida businesses to do the promoting!
Marie Stempinski, St. Petersburg
Budget a good starting point | Feb. 1 editorial
Scott bobs, weaves, waffles
After discovering that his approval ratings were approaching Florida's unemployment rate, Gov. Rick Scott is now waffling through the state's budget with the agility of a monkey throwing darts. His first profound misconception was that by lowering business taxes in Florida, the state would attract a stampede of Fortune 500 companies. Actually, the Fortune 500 has been investing globally to avoid taxes for years. Florida's newly lowered tax policy has failed to attract major business investments resulting in a gigantic budget cut to education.
Next, by not recognizing that the high-speed rail project would substantially increase Florida's business profits by a generous amount, Scott fumbled. Resorting to the tea party's conspiracy theories that the federal government is the enemy and that taxpayers would have to foot an unspecified amount, Scott's decision has deprived Florida of billions of dollars and thousands of jobs.
Now Scott's flip-flop on teachers' salaries and overall education spending is in the limelight of the next state budget. What will become of the Medicaid expansion proposed by the Affordable Care Act? Will this be another disastrous error created through economic miscalculation?
After correcting his embarrassing $26 billion claim for Florida's 10-year Medicaid expansion costs by no less than $23 billion, Scott is seemingly ignoring the fact that some of the state's health care programs, now costing taxpayers over $300 billion a year, will be funded by Medicaid's expansion, netting over $100 billion in increased revenues. Let's hope that Scott can use his purported executive talents and make the correct decisions while still in office. He won't be there much longer if he doesn't act fast to improve Florida's business climate.
Stuart Berney, Tampa
Purring killing machines Feb. 1 Daniel Ruth column
The best medicine
Usually I find Daniel Ruth's column enlightening and amusing. However, this one really annoyed me. While I love all animals, I have been servant to two lovely feline sisters for 10 years. They have proved to be loving, loyal and highly intuitive to my declining health. When I'm ill, they always climb on my chest, place a paw on me and purr melodiously. This unfailingly improves my physical and mental state.
On a more serious note, the last time cats were outlawed and unable to kill vermin (the Middle Ages), the number of deaths from the plague increased greatly.
Vicki J. Klapper, Oldsmar
Sapp can shout his status now Feb. 3 Gary Shelton column
Not worth celebrating
I am stunned to see that the best you could come up with for the front page of a Sunday paper was Warren Sapp. I get that it was Super Bowl Sunday, but nonetheless. You celebrate a man who has more than one child out of wedlock. A man who has wasted a fortune and has filed for bankruptcy. A man whose only talent is being big, like his mouth. A man who's as fast on the field as he is in wasting a fortune.
Is this the best you can do? You and other papers should be embarrassed about the content of your "news" papers.
Sam Morgan, Tampa
Gun bounty program returns | Feb. 1
Big show, little effect
The St. Petersburg police gun bounty program recently featured in the Tampa Bay Times appears to be a baby step in the right direction. But commendable? Not just yet. The grant-funded program offering a generous but conditional bounty for getting illegal guns off the street is predicated on 1) actual recovery of a gun 2) an arrest 3) a weapons charge (that goes nowhere). Therein lies the problem — prosecution. When was the last time a person committing a crime with an illegal gun was prosecuted on an illegal-weapons charge? Either it doesn't happen or it isn't ever reported by the press. Prosecutors don't prosecute these "lesser" charges when serious crimes are at stake. A plea bargaining tool? Perhaps. A toothless law? No doubt. Promoting a false sense of security and public safety? You bet.
Why don't lawmakers in their frantic rush to salvation and justice merely pass and enforce laws making the commission of a crime with a gun punishable by an automatic penalty of five years or more tacked on to the sentence — no appeal, no plea bargaining, no leniency by a liberal judge or misguided jury? This was tried years ago but derailed for a variety of reasons, none of them good or useful in deterring criminals from using a gun while committing a crime! I'm saddened that law enforcement officials who know better should tag on to this feel-good bounty program while failing to call for more severe punishment for criminals and others who carry and use guns while committing a crime.
Harvey A. Smith, Palm Harbor