The fleecing of energy customers | May 6 editorial
If we shut off Progress Energy?
I willingly acknowledge that the following scenario is unlikely, but I feel compelled to present it. What if every single one of Progress Energy's customers refused to pay his bill because he was fed up with the monopolistic grip that this energy behemoth exercises in the lives of the people of the Sunshine State? Whose power might they turn off first? How long would it be before they realized that they are not in charge of our energy destiny? And when will corporations accept blame, when blame is due, without resorting to bribing local and state officials to support political initiatives that undermine the rest of the folks here in Florida?
I'm stocking up on firewood.
Christopher Jonathan Gerber, St. Petersburg
The fleecing of energy customers May 6 editorial
Seniors pay in for nothing
As executive director of Elder Care Advocacy of Florida I am receiving a large number of complaints from customers that Progress Energy is charging customers who in all probability will not even be alive when this facility goes on line.
Where is the recourse for these needy and deserving elders who have done so much for this great nation? Limited incomes do not matter in this race for corporate greed. The Public Service Commission has shown little will when it comes to bowing to the continuous demands of utilities and shows no indication of changing its ways for the people of Florida. What has happened to fairness and doing right in business today? The high salaries and bonuses paid to these executives who cannot even make acceptable repairs to their facilities are not being earned by accomplishment or merit. Where are the stockholders in all of this? Have they too fallen victim to the insatiable desire for more and more money? Where are the investigators into this ongoing mismanagement?
Austin R. Curry, executive director of Elder Care Advocacy of Florida, Tampa
More like a lack of progress
Sunday's letter to the editor calling for energy competition was spot-on. The checks Progress Energy receives from me have the words "LACK OF" written before the company name. If I had an energy alternative I would camp outside the business entrance the night before their grand opening, even if I saved no money for my efforts.
Brian Valsavagge, St. Petersburg
Scott signs toughened PIP fraud law | May 5
Two docs and a polygraph
I disagree with many of the decisions that Gov. Rick Scott has made, but signing this bill is one that I agree with. The fact that a bill had to even be drafted tells me that there is a serious problem with staged accidents. It not only causes higher insurance costs for all of us but it's just plain illegal.
If someone files a claim that is questionable, that person should be examined by at least two physicians and should take a lie detector test. The same goes for witnesses who are suspected of giving false information.
Filing false claims ties up the system for those who are truly in need.
Carl E. Graham, Largo
The Bible and homosexuality — an eye-opening speech | May 3, Leonard Pitts column
Spinning the Good Book
Thank you to Leonard Pitts for leading me to Matthew Vines. For thousands of years mankind has been taking God at his word. But now, thanks to a 22-year-old with no formal Greek or Hebrew training, we can "slice and dice" the Bible to make it say whatever we want it to say. Hooray for freedom! Friends, if you are struggling with alcoholism, slice and dice the Bible to take out the parts about drunkenness. If you are struggling with cheating on your wife, no worries. Just do some fancy footwork and you can have all the women you want. Murder? God didn't really mean to use that word. And when you're done having fun and leave this earth to stand before the Pearly Gates, just tell the gatekeeper that Matthew Vines and his buddy Leonard Pitts told you that "broad is the way to heaven" and that it is "paved with good intentions." Or is that the way to the other place? I can't remember. Shucks, just do some fancy footwork and change that part, too.
David Moss, Tampa
What real Christians do
I am appalled by the fact that people are claiming that Christians use the "holy book as authority and excuse for biases that have nothing to do with God." The fact that Christians back up their outspoken beliefs with religious ideals should not distract from the fact that they are only speaking their minds, nothing more. In addition to that, their opinions are not "biases." They disagree with homosexuality; they do not condemn all gays and lesbians they come in contact with.
Furthermore, the Old Testament has just as much "application" to Christians as the New Testament. The entire Bible is their holy book, and they are taught to live by every word inside it.
However, the Bible also teaches to be loving and accepting of all of our neighbors. Christians who are persecuting homosexuals for their decisions are not real Christians. Do not stereotype an entire religion based on the actions of a few members who are obviously not true believers.
As for Matthew Vines, I respect his life decision, both as a Christian and a homosexual. Sin is sin, no variation in magnitude, and everyone does it. God is not to blame. Satan is to blame for turning us against each other.
Kaitlyn West, Bradenton
May 5, Chip Bok's editorial cartoon
Bill Edwards, visionary
I may be wrong, but I detected a bit of "lampooning" in the cartoon concerning the efforts of Bill Edwards to generously employ his resources and staff to rescue some of the bogged-down entities on each side of the bay. As a native of St. Augustine, I'm reminded of the arrival of a self-made millionaire who came to the rescue of that sleepy community.
He brought a rail line from the frigid North into Florida, hired artisans from Europe to build the beautiful Hotel Ponce de León, churches and other classic buildings, and finally extended this railroad to Key West. Mr. Edwards is the Henry M. Flagler of the Tampa Bay area, and should be applauded (not lampooned) for his generous efforts.
Julian Fant, Treasure Island