Florida needs the jobs, revenues
At one time, Michigan said no to casinos. Then Canada built a casino at the end of the tunnel that connects Ontario and Michigan. I guess the elected officials finally wised up and looked at all the money leaving their cities and state. Now Detroit has two casinos downtown, there's one in New Buffalo, and Indiana has four or five just across the state line from Michigan.
Have any of our elected officials bothered to look at the number of people going to Biloxi, Miss., every day from the St. Petersburg airport? I get tired of people saying that casinos bring unsavory characters to our towns. This has always been their cliche. Put aside that remark and think about the thousands of jobs that could be had and the increase in revenue, which Florida badly needs.
I hope our elected officials will look at the big picture. Maybe they will get it right this time.
C. Johnston, Clearwater
Don't listen to busybodies
We need to get casino gambling in Pinellas County. We need another statewide vote.
Sanctimony can no longer drive our wishes. Nobody has ever been forced to go to a casino, yet the ones who don't approve for their own personal and sanctimonious reasons prevent all others from reaping the benefits.
We need the money and the jobs from casinos, rather than preaching and finger-wagging from the self-anointed busybodies who want the entire state turned into their own private church.
Andy Andrews, Seminole
Hold the salt, says new proposal for school lunch | Jan. 14
Parents should watch
children's diet for salt
As a physical education teacher for 27 years, with a minor in health education, I think it is wonderful that school officials and experts in nutrition are recognizing the problems of too much salt in children's diets. However, the most significant influence to improve the situation is the parent.
Too many parents are either ignorant or irresponsible regarding their child's consumption of excessive salt. Parents play the role of a child's first teacher, and the lessons learned (good or bad) are often repeated. Therefore, changing harmful behaviors becomes difficult.
Parental knowledge of the adequate and acceptable levels for daily salt intake and the ill effects of too much salt will greatly assist in maintaining a healthy and happy child.
Mike McGinnis, Clearwater
Thanks to state Rep. Joseph Gibbons, D-Pembroke Park, for introducing prosthetic parity legislation for 2011 that would provide insurance coverage for residents who need prosthetic limbs. Nineteen other states have already passed such legislation.
Arms and legs are not luxury items. Mobility is a serious issue for the more than 89,800 Floridians with limb loss who want to keep their jobs, take care of their families and live healthy, active lives. However, here in Florida, insurance companies are unrealistically limiting coverage of prosthetic arms and legs or electing not to cover them at all.
Thanks to Gibbons, House Bill 5 brings hope to amputees and their families throughout Florida.
Michael Rieth, St. Petersburg
Tough law extracts a toll | Jan. 9
Teach offenders a lesson
The slant of this article is that we should go easier on offenders who have struck out at least twice in the justice system.
The first chance is the one we all have; the second chance is when someone is given probation instead of jail time. The offender who has to wait weeks for a court hearing after violating probation and loses opportunities for work or school knew he had a narrow line to walk.
These offenders need a tough lesson that they don't get to write the rules. If losing what they have started to rebuild doesn't teach them something, they will never learn. Enough chances, already.
Jeannie Newman, Holiday
Allegiance to nation
In Tucson, President Barack Obama asked Americans to talk with each other in a way that heals.
Congress needs to lead the way. When congressmen vote along party lines, they act partisan. When they compromise with the other party, they act bipartisan but are still motivated by their partisan interests.
Yet we elected them to nonpartisan positions. They must all have the same allegiance: to our country, to our people. They must find common ground for the good of the entire country.
We don't need partisan or bipartisan. We need nonpartisan.
Ken Schatz, Tampa
'Band of Brothers' leader Winters, 92, dies Jan. 11
Many thanks for the article on the life of Maj. Richard Winters, who led the Band of Brothers. It was nice of the Times to give prominence to the life of such a decorated military veteran.
Tom Chastain, Tampa
Lonely road ends in ashes | Dec. 27
After reading the sad story of Edward Allen Weber, I was glad to see that someone came forward — a fellow veteran — to offer a fitting closure to the story: a burial at Bay Pines.
We live in a state with many transients, many elderly, some who rarely hear from relatives far away. As a fresh year begins, I would like to suggest that each of us resolves to keep in contact with family and friends. Be aware of a neighbor who may benefit from a kind word or a helping hand. No one should end up in a box on a shelf, waiting to be claimed.
Cindy Lineberry, Clearwater
Cabinet to Scott: Nope | Jan. 14
Change in style
As governor, Rick Scott wants final approval over everything done not only by departments under his purview but also by agencies under people elected by and accountable to the citizens of Florida.
On the other hand, Rick Scott says when he was CEO of Columbia/HCA, he knew nothing about the things his company was doing that resulted in its paying the largest fine ever for Medicare fraud.
So now he wants to be a micromanager, and yet as CEO he'd like us to believe he didn't involve himself in details. What a truly amazing change in management style over just a few years.
A.T. Barnard, Beverly Hills