Bugs help fight against pest | Aug. 7
When pest control becomes pest
This article stated that the Asian beetle will not become an invasive species itself. That may be true as long as there are potato vines to munch on.
However, I am concerned that in the event this vine is eradicated the beetle will turn to other food sources rather than starve to death, and I would hope that this possibility was tested during those four years of study specified in the article.
Or do we have to worry in the future about more desirable plants becoming a food source for yet another imported "fix"?
Denise Wachtl, Homosassa
Selig: MLB may get involved in Rays stadium talks | Aug. 16
We'll handle it, Bud
I suggest Bud Selig spend his time trying to resurrect his last-place Milwaukee Brewers rather than stick his nose into Rays stadium issues. Tampa Bay is not Milwaukee and never wants to be. Unlike Milwaukee, the competition for our disposable income dollars is fierce in the very unique Tampa Bay area and will always be.
Stu Sternberg, Joe Maddon and the entire organization should be commended for pulling out the stops to increase attendance at the Trop with clever, timely promotions while continuing to give us a Rays team we can be proud to watch.
That being said, I have taken my family of five to four games this season at an average of $200 per game. That same $200 can rent a boat for a day, secure a beach hotel room for a night or two, pay for two to four rounds of golf, or buy tickets to the Bucs, Lightning, USF Bulls, concerts, art galleries, etc.
What we don't need is some silver-spoon big shot from an entirely different region of the country to tell us how building a new stadium will help increase attendance. (How's that working out for you, Miami Marlins fans?)
Gregory Premer, St. Pete Beach
Scott now sees value in center for rowing Aug. 16
Rowing builds character
I am a parent of a young man who participated in junior and collegiate rowing. This sport requires a huge amount of discipline, teamwork and persistence. Participation builds character as it improves fitness.
Many prestigious universities recruit rowers. This motivates young rowers to work harder in school to achieve high grades and SAT scores to enhance their appeal to Ivy League and other top-notch colleges and universities. If they wish to maintain the excellent level of fitness required to be competitive, they will have to eat and sleep right. Drugs and alcohol are no-no's.
We witnessed all this and more as our son became involved in rowing. It helped him learn that he can achieve anything with enough determination, discipline and hard work. The young men he rowed with are high achievers — we even watched three of them row in the 2012 Olympics in London.
This is why I believe the new rowing center, called a "turkey" by some, is better seen as an investment in the young people of Florida.
Joan Sowick, St. Petersburg
Payoffs and priorities
Gov. Rick Scott needs to better explain how spending $10 million in tax dollars on a Sarasota rowing center is a benefit to the state of Florida and all its residents.
His own words were: "My filter was this: One, is it going to help our families get more jobs? Two, will it help improve our education system in our state? And three, will it help make government more efficient?" How does this do any of that?
Might it have anything to do with the fact that several of his and his party's largest contributors are involved in development of the property and surrounding properties? This whole deal reeks of pork and payback spending.
I find it interesting that Scott thinks $400,000 to improve the drinking water in Cross City and $200,000 for a Lake Wales dental clinic, which he vetoed, are less important than a rowing club for Sarasota.
Ray Day, Spring Hill
An improved Citizens | Aug. 16, commentary
Barry Gilway sounds just like a Tallahassee politician selling Floridians to the highest bidder, then glowing publicly for all the great things he does.
He improved transparency because the press caught them with their hand in the cookie jar. He installed new internal audit personnel because of the outcry over the firing of the old ones. Citizens is being "depopulated" to "well-capitalized" companies? Really? Doesn't he mean companies created by cronies and funded solely by ratepayers' money?
Superior service at comparable prices? Is that what he calls slicing my coverage, rising my deductible to $20,000, and my insurance premium by more than 30 percent to start?
It is amazing how a complete Florida homeowners' disaster can be turned into an overwhelming success, even if in one's own mind.
If Gilway wants to do something, he should rein in the out-of-control sinkhole remediation machine and the homeowners who use the system to profit from it. Force them to fix their houses instead of pocketing the money and pushing the problem down the road.
Steve Papacostas, New Port Richey
Deadly chaos hits Egypt | Aug. 17
Will of the people
The uprising against Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi on June 30 was the will of the Egyptian people, not a coup. The Egyptian people have denounced violence and destruction of churches, police stations and government offices by the Muslim Brotherhood.
President Barack Obama should renounce the Brotherhood and withdraw any U.S. support to the organization.
To put everything in perspective: About 20 million Egyptians voted in the presidential election, which Morsi claimed to win with 51 percent. That is about 11 to 12 million, assuming that the election was not rigged. On June 30, the signed petitions to oust Morsi amounted to 22 million, and the people who took to the streets from June 30 to July 3 amounted to more than 30 million. That is a majority.
The U.S. Constitution allows bearing arms to defend the country against tyranny. Since no such law exists in Egypt, the people leaned on those who carry the arms — the military and police — to respond to the will of the people.
This is not a coup. It is the will of the Egyptian people against the tyranny of Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood.
William Assad, Tampa