Monday, June 25, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Tuesday's letters: FPL secures lower rates for all

Little guy is the big loser | Dec. 21, editorial

FPL ensuring lower rates for all

This misleading editorial asserted that the settlement in Florida Power & Light's rate proceeding benefits the "biggest corporate" customers. In reality, the settlement reduces the rate increase for both residential and business customers while also helping ensure FPL can continue to provide reliability and a clean-emission profile that are among the best in the nation, award-winning customer service, and the lowest typical residential bills of Florida's 55 utilities.

Under the approved settlement, our 1,000-kilowatt-hour residential customer bill will decrease slightly in January and increase less than $1 in June 2013. Most typical commercial bills will stay flat or decrease slightly; an average small business will save about 3 percent.

Although base rates need to increase to pay for new, fuel-efficient power plants, these investments reduce the amount of fuel we use to generate power, saving our customers dollar for dollar on their electric bills. If the price of fuel rises, fuel efficiency matters even more.

Investments in fuel-efficient plants have cut our imported oil use by 98 percent and saved customers more than $5.5 billion. That's part of the reason why our 1,000-kilowatt-hour residential bill is 13 percent less today than it was in 2006.

At FPL, we're proud to provide our customers with low bills and reliable service. We're disappointed the public counsel refused to participate in meaningful settlement negotiations, but he doesn't have veto power. The PSC has the power and responsibility to rule against public counsel when, as in our case, the evidence dictates.

By approving a thoughtful compromise that will support infrastructure investments, ensure reliable service and secure low rates for all customers for four more years, it's clear the PSC made the right decision for Florida.

Tim Fitzpatrick, vice president, communications, Florida Power & Light Co.

NRA: Arm and protect | Dec. 22

Secure the buildings

The school district in Connecticut failed to do all it could to insure the safety of its students. A locked front door with a buzzer is not sufficient to guarantee the safety of those within. The officials did not answer the wake-up call from the Columbine High School massacre.

Instead of worrying about students drinking sugary soft drinks and having confidential access to birth control and abortions, maybe now school districts across the country will spend some time figuring out how to effectively secure the buildings that parents are required (by law) to send their children to.

Dave Heideman, St. Petersburg

Lanza's life shrouded in silence Dec. 24

Wake up to reality

What can drive a man to kill 20 children, six women, his own mother and himself without even leaving a note or making a statement? I think the emptiness of American culture drives people to seek escape (through drinking, pornography, drugs, video games, movies, etc.) in such excessive measures that reality takes second place to obsession.

I've had this happen on a small scale to myself when I spend too much time watching a TV show or reading a book. The characters become more real than my peers the plot becomes more real than my situation. I can easily see how even "innocent" means of escapism, taken to extreme levels, can drive a person to step out of reality and see a massacre as just another part of the game.

I think that Americans desperately need to weather storms instead of medicating ourselves out of them. When our minds have questions, we need to seek truth until we find it instead of distracting ourselves until we forget our need. Americans need to embrace reality instead of getting lost in fantasy, oftentimes not only to the harm of themselves but to others.

Hope Henchey, Brandon

Study fails to find ways to pinch pennies during coin-making process | Dec. 21

Other nations' solutions

It was interesting to read about the cost of minting pennies being over 2 cents per penny. A few years ago we were fortunate to be able to visit Australia and New Zealand. They have come up with the what I feel is the best solution. They don't use pennies. If a bill in a store or restaurant ends with a 1 or 2, the bill is rounded down to zero. If the bill ends with 3 or 4, it is rounded up to 5. If we don't use pennies, there is no need to mint them. The article indicated we mint 6 billion pennies per year. At 2 cents per penny, that's a savings of $120 million per year and there's no concern about appearance, durability, consistency or size.

Likewise they use plastic for their "paper" currency. It lasts longer and is harder to counterfeit.

In addition, the Tampa Bay area is constantly concerned about a shortage of water. All over Australia and New Zealand they use waterless urinals. I have only seen one here in the United States. How much water could be saved if waterless urinals were required for all new and replacement construction in restaurants and commercial buildings?

These are just a few ideas we saw on our trip. Our leaders need to look further to see what other countries are doing to solve these problems and not just rely on the same old ways of doing things.

Barry Kreiling, Brooksville

House scraps vote on Plan B Dec. 21

Going backwards

Would somebody please explain to me why the Republicans are getting blamed for the delay in Washington?

President Barack Obama wants $1.3 trillion in new revenues and will commit to only $850 billion in spending cuts. That just sounds like we are going backwards even more.

I feel these numbers should be reversed. How are we going to dig ourselves out of this $16 trillion debt — heading toward $17 trillion — with Obama's numbers? Maybe the warm trip to Hawaii will have him bringing back some more realistic numbers.

Ronald Bowman, Dunedin

Red-light camera use to rise Dec. 21

Punish illegal behavior

I think the St. Petersburg City Council and mayor got it right this time with adding more red-light cameras. It truly is a safety issue. People will learn quickly that their selfish, dangerous and illegal behavior will not be tolerated, and if the city makes any money from the lawbreakers in the process, so much the better.

David Hoover, St. Petersburg


Tuesday’s letters: Here’s what a legal immigrant went through to become a U.S. citizen

Trump says those who ‘invade’ shouldbe sent back | June 25How I becamea U.S. citizenI am a legal immigrant. I don’t know where this country went awry, but let me remind you of how legal immigration worked. In 1964 I applied for a visa at the U.S....
Updated: 2 hours ago

Monday’s letters: College instructors need classes in active shooter training

Active shooter perceptions disproven | June 21We need active shooter trainingThe only guns that I had seen before coming to the United States of America were in glass cases in museums. When I came to America to get a Ph.D. in English at the Unive...
Updated: 10 hours ago

Friday’s letters: What a new Rays ballpark would mean

Rays exec hints at stadium timeline | June 15What a new ballpark would doThe Tampa Bay Rays 2020 organization is working diligently with local business leaders and civic organizations to rally support for the Rays’ new ballpark in Ybor City. The ...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/22/18

Thursday’s letters: On immigration there has to be a better way

‘Zero tolerance’ ignites outrage | June 20Find better way on immigrationOver the years I’ve voted for candidates from both parties. My observation of the Trump administration’s policy on immigration is not about politics. It has to do with having...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/21/18

Wednesday’s letters: Charters and traditional public schools each have their place

Public school as public good | Letter, June 17Both kinds of schools can workAs a mother and grandmother of children raised in both traditional public and charter schools in Pinellas County (and a 25-year supporting-services employee for public sc...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/20/18

Tuesday’s letters: Keep programs that fight AIDS

For author Biden, it’s a father’s gift | June 6Keep programs that fight AIDSAfter former Vice President Joe Biden’s recent visit to St. Petersburg, I noticed an article that he co-wrote with former Sen. Bill Frist. It reminded everyone about the ...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/19/18

Is anyone watching the money?Hernando County’s budget shortfall is ever changing going from $6 million to $11.5 million to $14 million to what is assumed a final number of $12.6 million. Who knows the budget shortfall could change again.Who’s watchi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Re: County OKs solar zones | June 8Plea ignored at solar plant hearingThe Pasco County Commission on June 5 voted to identify a utility-sized solar electric plant as a "special exception" use on agricultural-zoned land in Pasco County. What thi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Monday’s letters: Skip those plastic bags and save the environment

To save our seas, overcome congressional apathy | Column, June 16Do your part and skip plastic bagsEvery day we read about the shame of our landfills and oceans filling up with plastic bags, yet most people don’t care. My wife and I always carry ...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

White House defends splitting up families as ‘biblical’ | June 15The suffering of the childrenI am a mother and attorney with more than 20 years of practice living in Tampa. For the past three years, I worked as a magistrate in a Unified Family C...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18