One-time attraction | June 27, letter
The draw of architecture
The letter writer may never have traveled to any of the places he references as having iconic architecture. This is part of the issue regarding the Lens — a lack of appreciation for the importance of architectural tourism.
Visitors return again and again to Paris to see the Eiffel Tower. We were in Chicago recently. Millenium Park is the most active passive-park I have ever visited. The Bean in particular sits there and does nothing but act as a "magnet" for people. There were more than 100 people surrounding and under this wonderful sculpture. A wedding party was taking photos in its reflective surface, and children and their parents were having fun with its shape and mirrorlike surface.
The letter writer should visit some of the cities with iconic structures: the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, the Washington Monument, the Space Needle in Seattle, the Statue of Liberty, the Eiffel Tower, the Dalí Museum. I think these visits might change his mind about the Lens and its potential value for the future economic development of St. Petersburg.
Hal Freedman, St. Petersburg
The real Charlie Crist | June 23
Scott focused on economy
Recently, the Times' Adam C. Smith wrote that Charlie Crist "was busy campaigning to be John McCain's vice president and then for U.S. Senate as Florida's economy cratered." In fact, many Democrats attacked Crist for focusing too much on his potential political future and not Florida's economy.
Rick Scott recognized where Florida's focus should be. Since his election, Florida's unemployment rate has dropped four percentage points — the second largest drop in the country. And after creating 330,000 private sector jobs, he's not stopping. He keeps asking businesses to book "one-way tickets to Florida." From 40 new jobs in Miami to 1,500 in Pensacola, every new job opportunity equals a better Sunshine State.
And why not come to Florida, with its soaring economy and schools ranked among the top in the nation? With Scott's leadership, we've reformed teacher tenure, instituting merit-based pay. After federal dollars artificially propping up our schools' budgets ran out, he made record state-based investments to save them.
Fundamentally, Scott can relate to many Floridians. He was brought up in a family that did everything they could, despite financial hardship, to provide him a better life. So when he focuses on Florida's economy, he focuses on families like his own. His experience tells him what's at stake and fuels him to make Florida's economy as strong as possible.
Lenny Curry, chairman, Republican Party of Florida, Jacksonville
Dont' put law in service to zealots June 28, letter
A prochoice advocate responded to a prolife letter by asserting that when life begins is a philosophical question, and that in our nontheocratic society religion should not be used to determine that answer.
So how about we use medical research as provided by the Mayo Clinic. They say on their website about fetal development that around the 42nd day "your baby's heart is pumping blood." I think a secular society would find that pretty conclusive evidence of life. Therefore, you shouldn't have to be a religious zealot to agree that an abortion as early as the seventh week is murder.
Daniel Montanez Jr., Riverview
Defending the innocent
It seems that those of us who defend the rights of the unborn are now classified as "religious zealots." Please tell me: At what point in the gestation cycle of a newborn baby does the mother's "right to choose" no longer outweigh the baby's right to live? Or shall we just continue abortions right up to and including during childbirth?
We have numerous women's advocate groups and the federal government sanctioning abortion on demand, and because the Roman Catholic Church and other religious organizations have the courage to speak out against this, we are labeled "zealots." Since the decision by the mother to have an abortion involves terminating the life of a child, I believe that someone should speak on behalf of the child.
I would remind the writer that back in the 1930s and '40s, Germany had a policy of terminating the lives of some unwanted individuals, and those who spoke out and fought against that policy were not considered religious zealots.
Marlene Groff, Homosassa
My wife and I are retired and are on a fixed income. We take the Sunday paper and enjoy reading it and receiving the coupons that are included. We also enjoy receiving the television guide. Now it is no longer included on Sunday.
To receive it, we would need to change our subscription to a Thursday through Sunday delivery. We feel that this is a hardship for retired people like us and that the decision was made in order to require people to extend their subscriptions. This is unfair to people on fixed incomes.
When we subscribed to the Sunday paper, we did so with the idea that the television section was going to be included. Please consider changing your policy back to the original plan of including the television section in the Sunday paper. Thank you.
Mark Gaber, Sun City Center