On anniversary, voices of alarm | Sept. 11
Voices of harmony keep the faith
We of the St. Petersburg Clergy Association understand that your recent article could not include the extensive work many in the Tampa Bay area are doing to combat religion-based alarmism.
For over six months, the Clergy Association has had a special group, the Interfaith Events Planning Committee, working to design three fall events to: 1) Defuse antagonism, distrust and ignorance regarding the world's religions and speak out against the hatred directed at those whose beliefs are different from our own; 2) Increase mutual trust, respect and civility by publicizing similar core values found in all religions, and; 3) Encourage relationships that could be useful in defusing tensions in our communities.
As a group we are committed to dispelling the assumption that any one religion is more prone to extremism and violence than another. Christian members among us are painfully aware of shameful historic violence as a method of conversion. They know that their forebears have been the extremists in many periods of history against the teachings of their founder. We support more front-page articles underscoring the positive work being done to build bridges and explore diversity among people of faith.
The United States is a country free from religious tyranny. It welcomes diversity as a source of strength in its democracy. Thus, our form of governance is a global hope for all humankind.
The Rev. Janel Miller-Evans, president, St. Petersburg Clergy Association
Who will stop nuclear plant? | editorial, Sept. 12
'CWIP' deserves mention
Your editorial ignores the benefits of the construction work in progress, or CWIP, cost-recovery program that will save Florida consumers an estimated $13 billion over the life of the proposed Levy County units.
One of the biggest challenges facing any large capital project is the expenditures during construction without revenue generation from the asset. Commonly known as "carrying costs," they include interest on the money used for construction expenses and a return on equity employed during construction. CWIP allows companies to recoup these carrying costs as they are incurred. This logical approach avoids paying "interest on interest" to protect consumers from having to confront a significant increase once a plant begins operating.
Floridians can look to CWIP's success in Georgia and South Carolina, where four new reactors are under construction. In Georgia, CWIP is enabling ratepayers to avoid a future bill of $300 million in additional financing costs during construction, and the facility's mortgage will be $2 billion less than it would be without CWIP. In South Carolina, CWIP will result in savings of $1 billion in capitalized interest costs through the construction period alone.
Energy companies must plan for the long term to ensure they are successfully fulfilling their obligation to serve customers.
Richard J. Myers, Nuclear Energy Institute, Washington, D.C.
Plan for improving teaching founders editorial, Sept. 16
Scott's phony stance
So your editorial mentions Florida Gov. Rick Scott being on an education "tour" to show the amazing "education governor" that he is not. He is talking lots about his "new" teacher evaluation strategies so he can feign a loathing of the hated FCAT.
In truth this is just a phony early strategy for Scott's re-election campaign that has started two years out. Hence his constant 30-second TV ads that have me changing the channel constantly.
But these new evaluation systems are just ways to give more public school money to campaign contributors who desire to steal as much public education money as they can. In the end our kids and their dedicated teachers will just remain in that black hole, the real goal all along.
Dale Friedley, St. Petersburg
Tampa's prying eyes need to go editorial, Sept. 17
Let mayor do his job
The editorial criticizing Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn's continued use of the surveillance cameras is totally specious. "It is far cheaper to shut down the cameras than to maintain them. … The city should forget about cameras and put its money toward deploying more bicycle officers, upgrading streetlights and other, more effective safety improvements."
What is more intrusive, stationary obscure cameras or a dozen or more uniformed cops riding around on bicycles? Let the mayor do his job. He doesn't need armchair pontificating pundits to help him.
Peter J. Brock, Sun City Center
Another use for cameras
I've got a good idea. Why don't they use those cameras on our politicians?
Rick Burgess, Land O'Lakes
Obama's bumpy path
As President Barack Obama campaigned around the country after the Democratic National Convention, he recycled a portion of his DNC speech: "And on every issue, the choice you face won't be just between two candidates or two parties. It will be a choice between two different paths for America. A choice between two fundamentally different visions for the future."
The path our president has led us down for four years did not lead us to where he promised. He has led us to 43 months of unemployment rates of over 8 percent, to a decline of over $3,000 in median household income. Obama has led us to a place where arithmetic shows what needs to be going up is going down and what needs to be going down is going up. Number of Americans working — down, number of Americans living in poverty — up; price of gasoline — up, percentage of American households paying federal income tax — 50 percent; deficits, spending — up and up; America's credit rating, competitiveness rating, percentage of Americans in the workforce, home values, homeownership, consumer confidence — down, down, down.
Yes, Mr. President, there is a clear choice between two fundamentally different visions of the future. I couldn't agree more.
Roger Whidden, Wesley Chapel
You won't find Young at local debates Sept. 14
Absence speaks volumes
The arrogance of our Rep. C.W. Bill Young is simply breathtaking. He claims to be "too busy" to put in even one appearance on the same stage as his opponent. Maybe he's afraid to appear in public opposite a candidate half his age, or perhaps he simply considers the office his personal property. It's long past time for the voters to send Bill Young packing.
Susan Hofstader, St. Petersburg