Tampa council okays land sale | Jan. 18
Selling their souls for a tower
It certainly would be interesting to have a thorough investigation into this project. How is it that it showed up recently on the federally funded InVision plan and was passed on a Monday by a special Straz board meeting and Thursday by a special City Council meeting without a plan? Backroom politics?
We understand the urgency felt in wanting to get development going again downtown, but should the mayor and the city sell their souls for a 36-story apartment tower on this site? What would a handful of independent urban planners say about the scale and siting of such a building? How consistent is the location with our master plan? What more can the city do to engage the owners of the Howard Johnson and Times buildings to thoughtfully participate in the development of their properties to facilitate a real master plan with vision and scale?
We are already suffering from our past as we build our wonderful Riverwalk around towers on the water. Is this the legacy the mayor wants for our community and the next generation to which he continually refers?
Lew and Sharon Sibert, Tampa
NRA's weapon of mass lunacy Jan. 18 Daniel Ruth column
Skewing the point of ad
It never ceases to amaze me the lengths the left will go to in order to denigrate conservatives. Daniel Ruth's column calls NRA president David Keene disingenuous because Keene insisted that the Web ad referring to the president's daughters' security was not specifically directed at them. I have viewed the ad numerous times and I was unable to find anything that faulted President Barack Obama for supplying Secret Service protection for his two daughters. On the contrary, the Secret Service was never mentioned in the ad and I didn't see that as the focus of the ad.
What I did see was that the president's daughters attend a school that provides armed security (not Secret Service agents) to safeguard their students, yet he fails to see the need for security of students attending schools in the rest of the country. His daughters are no more important to him than our children are to us, the American taxpayers. Why should security not be provided to our children?
Why is it necessary for the left to insinuate information into an item that isn't present in the original, in this case, the NRA Web ad? I can understand, and even appreciate, differences of opinion of various writers, but it is disheartening to learn that their differences of opinion are not based on fact.
John P. Cemonuk, Spring Hill
Wal-Mart's plan to hire vets is a worthy effort Jan. 19 editorial
Will vets earn a living wage?
So let me get this straight: Wal-Mart has had its reputation tarnished by the coverup in Mexico, the poor working conditions in its factories and warehouses, the low wages and health insurance it gives or does not give to employees. So Wal-Mart comes up with this "grand scheme" to not only hire veterans but to publicize it so that they get free advertising. What a joke, and to know that the Times editorial board has bought into it is really disheartening. Do you think these veterans will get paid a living wage? Or will they, like other Wal-Mart workers, soon be applying for food stamps and Medicaid?
Don Mott, Largo
Winner and loser of the week in Florida politics | Jan. 20 the Buzz
Dodging the doggone truth
I think most of the drama and bad publicity surrounding Gov. Rick Scott and his returned rescue dog could have been avoided if his spokespeople would have just come clean in the first place. Instead they chose to deny and obfuscate, duck and cover. They even took a shot at the Tampa Bay Times for inquiring about the missing dog. Just a simple admission that the dog was not a good fit would have sufficed.
Deborah Green, Sun City Center
Gun rights backers rally in Brooksville Jan. 20
No gun is a God-given right
From one of the speakers at the rally comes this powerful message: "That gun is a God-given right," said Rev. Jack Martin, lead pastor at Praise Assembly of God in Hudson.
Sorry, reverend, to the extent that ownership of any particular gun is a right, we must look to the U.S. Constitution and the duly enacted federal and state laws as its source. The same is true of our right to free speech, freedom of the press and freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures. All of these rights and freedoms (and others) only exist because we negotiated among ourselves at our nation's founding and continue to do so to establish and maintain them.
God has endowed us with the intelligence to attend to this task. A primary obstacle, however, is the misguided belief in God's support for one position or another as we do the necessary renegotiation to keep up with changes in our world, such as the development and hypersales of a single firearm capable of killing 20 schoolchildren in seconds.
Robert Carroll, Palm Harbor
Scoring Obama's first term | Jan. 20 Politifact
Average joes not so thrilled
I read your article about all that President Obama has accomplished, but you failed to mention anything of importance to everyday working people. The unemployment rate is still 8 percent. The payroll tax increase is probably affecting more middle-class people than any tax increase on millionaires. Record numbers of people on food stamps. The Middle East is a shambles.
America is at one of its lowest points in history, but good job, Mr. President. Let's pretend for a moment that for the last four years President George Bush was at the helm. Would he be getting all these kudos?
Lynn Wood, Tierra Verde
Hillsborough gets a chance to show it is inclusive | Jan. 21 Ernest Hooper column
A gated, crumbling Pier?
Thank you, Ernest Hooper, for pointing out what wowstpete.com has been saying for a while now. Saving the pyramid would cost more than the $50 million allocated. Stopping the Lens with no alternative is a strategy for stagnation.
By the time a new design is selected, some group, possibly not as well funded as the "Stop the Lens" group, would object to it and/or the process for its selection. We potentially are looking at no Pier or years (decades?) without one.
A gated/padlocked approach to an abandoned, crumbling structure may be the result.
Hal Freedman, St. Petersburg