Bill may ease rules in 30 fields | March 16
Professional standards needed
This bill, HB 5005, will not stimulate jobs. In this current economic decline, it would further erode the surveying profession that has already suffered greatly. More jobs would be sacrificed as many people would see no need to hire a professional but attempt to do the job themselves, thus causing untold harm to the public. By maintaining the standard of professionalism, we ensure jobs, limit litigation and in time reduce unemployment.
This bill is supposed to be about eliminating licensing requirements. What it actually does in its current form is eliminate Chapter 472 of the Florida statutes, which describes the minimum technical standards that the professional surveyor must abide by and all the regulatory objectives that have been established. These standards have been created for one purpose: to protect the public from damage to their home and property and to ensure their legal rights.
A surveyor is often the last set of eyes on a boundary problem who is able to make professional determinations to apply the laws as he believes a court would, thus short-circuiting many legal battles.
Not everyone can do this work. It is a highly specialized field requiring diverse areas of expertise and experience.
Douglas W. Nunamaker, Quincy
Real madness is poor academics March 18, commentary
I agree with Education Secretary Arne Duncan that the graduation rate for college athletes is deplorable. Duncan fails to point out that many of these student athletes leave college after playing for two years. Some leave after only one year. This is particularly true in basketball.
The student athletes who voluntarily leave college after one or two years have a huge negative effect on the academic progress rate. The coaches cannot stop this exodus. Additionally, the student athlete has a right to work wherever he or she desires: NBA, NFL or MLB.
Bill Murphy, Largo
Report with mistakes took 500 hours, $5,000 to create | March 18
This article deserved to be at the top of the page, not the bottom. What is wrong with our county government when it allows a person to manage a department, earning $100,000-plus a year, only to have to waste $75,000 to audit the department's performance?
The department's report "was riddled with errors," and the administrator was "troubled by the incorrect information given to the commission."
If I were the administrator, my confidence in Anthony Jones would be at zero right now and I would be looking for a person to replace him and a good portion of his staff.
Attilio Corbo, Palm Harbor
A punishing position on jobless | March 18
Ticket to homelessness
Thank you for this editorial. I'm a 61-year-old administrative assistant, unemployed since December.
I have no idea what the Florida Legislature is thinking in moving to cut the amount and length of unemployment benefits. I'm not living high on the hog. The monthly benefit I receive of $1,100 pays for my 550-square-foot apartment, 2003 car, insurance and Internet. To pay for nonfood items, gas and electricity I have to dip into what little savings I have left.
I'm not lazy. I spend eight to nine hours a day on the Internet searching for work. I have a 3-inch-thick folder of jobs I've applied for. Companies tell me they receive hundreds of applications for the secretarial jobs they post.
When my savings are gone, I'm finished. I won't be able to pay for gas, electricity or food. In several months I'll be homeless. As more and more of the unemployed become homeless, the unemployment rate will drop as we'll no longer be on the government's records as unemployed, collecting benefits.
Gov. Rick Scott, want to trade places? You have no clue until you walk in my shoes.
Jean Incerto, Tampa
Carrying gun rights to a dangerous extreme March 18, Daniel Ruth column
Too many guns
As a taxpaying citizen and lifelong Floridian, I would like to know who is going to be protecting me and my family from all these gun-toting civilians. Does this mean that if I inadvertently cut someone off in traffic it will be easier for them to blow my head off at the next light?
I have nothing against guns. I was raised in a family that hunted with guns. We were also taught to respect the power that firearms have. I do have a problem with people carrying them openly. Why else would they be carrying them openly except to intimidate those of us who don't want to own or carry a firearm?
Someone needs to tell our elected officials in Tallahassee to read the headlines. There are daily reminders of what guns can do in the wrong hands.
Cecelia Dumois, St. Petersburg
So now the GOP-controlled Legislature wants to turn our state into the Wild West. In checkout lines, at restaurants, gas stations, at the beach and even Disney, people will be brandishing open firearms?
What image do you think this will convey to the rest of the country and the world? We depend on tourist dollars and a family-friendly atmosphere. This ill-advised bill harms our state, our image as a tourist destination and makes us all less safe.
John Solvibile, Clearwater
This column is a prime example of how hysteria over the coming "open carry" law has gone to extremes.
There are only seven states that do not allow open carry at all. Why hasn't the "Old West" attitude affected them?
The proposal applies to licensed permit holders, not the general public, and is designed to protect the concealed carry permit holder. As a concealed carry permit holder, I received a warning that an accidental revealing of the weapon could be considered carrying openly and I could be arrested.
And I can't see how more accessible guns (open carry) would make it easier for children to get their hands on them. Most holsters have a thumb break or some other "lock" holding the weapon that only the user or other experienced individual can disable.
Kenneth Buck, Clearwater