Benefactor | Oct. 19
Young was devoted public servant
Like many Floridians, I was saddened to hear of Rep. C.W. Bill Young's passing. While I never had the opportunity to meet with him personally, his presence has always been known and directly felt throughout my years as a member of our military. It is entirely fitting that in his last moments he was surrounded not only by his immediate family, but also by many of our nation's heroes at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center at Bethesda, Md.
Young was one of those rare few in politics who rose from humble beginnings and still managed to keep his priorities aligned with those he served. I hope that his district will find a suitable replacement who continues his enthusiasm and service. As a true champion for our military and veterans, his legacy will long endure.
Scott K. Rineer, St. Petersburg
Benefactor | Oct. 19
Help when we needed it
Please allow me to add to the many letters you will receive regarding Congressman Bill Young.
I was a Navy nurse, and when I needed help Young was there for me. When my husband and I went to his Washington office, he invited us in and made us feel so comfortable.
Young was a fine man and great legislator. May he rest in the peace he gave to so many of us.
Greta Myers, Seminole
Foster floats pier process | Oct. 18
St. Petersburg City Council members Jeff Danner and Wengay Newton made clear how ineffective they and most of their peers are regarding Mayor Bill Foster's presentation for a new pier.
To react negatively without presenting alternative ideas of their own is irresponsible at best. The pier is a major attraction that has helped define the city. Foster, as a lifetime resident, understands the importance of moving forward despite this derisive group of do-nothing council members.
Edwin Ashurst, St. Petersburg
Sheriff right in bullying arrests Oct. 19, Sue Carlton column
Another form of bullying
There is another pervasive form of legal cyberbullying that is greatly affecting many people throughout the country.
If you find yourself arrested for any crime and have your mug shot taken (convicted or not), there are Internet companies waiting in the wings to blaringly post your arrest photo on the top of popular search engines, such as Google and others, and then extort fees from $178 to $399 just to have it removed.
Sadly, bullying in our media-driven society has gotten out of control, and I trust our lawmakers can somehow find a way to stop it before we read about the loss of another life.
Mike Merino, Tampa
Saudi Arabia rejects Security Council seat Oct. 19
Your editing of the New York Times piece on the Saudi decision to forsake a seat on the U.N. Security Council omits a key factor in the original piece. Namely, Saudis found fault with the council's wimpy role in efforts to resolve the Palestinian/Israeli conflict. And the main reason for the council's ineffectiveness is the United States' knee-jerk support of Israel on all matters before the council.
That said, Saudi crocodile tears over the Syrian situation is hypocritical: As an Arab nation with a very strong air force, and with a clear ethnic stake in the civil war, one can rightly ask why they have not taken more overt action.
Robert D. Brooks, Tampa
Enforce water use permits | Oct. 21, editorial
Problems at the top
You just can't make this stuff up. When asked to comment on citrus growers exceeding their water permits, Robert Beltran, Swiftmud executive director, states: "It's a little hard to penalize somebody for doing what they think is right." Run that red light because you think it's right.
Further, Beltran says he's "unsure" why the growers are using so much water. He's the director. He should be on top of the situation.
Bob Rosenberger, Spring Hill
School hearings become heated | Oct. 19
Delusional is more like it
"School hearings become heated" is a very mild description of the actions described in the meeting. When someone in a Revolutionary War costume can call the Common Core standards "communism" and another person yell out "Marxism," we are witnessing delusional behavior.
National minimum educational standards are a rational solution to schools that lag behind much of the civilized world. After all, common standards for language and measurements are demanded by the same people who have these strange beliefs about education.
The headline should have indicated some aspect of the irrationality inherent in the comical display of ignorance of communism and Marxism, and how there is no rational connection between those political beliefs and proposed educational standards.
Ian MacFarlane, St. Petersburg
My understanding is that tea party members want three things: a smaller, less intrusive federal government; lower taxes; and a balanced budget. Why does the left find these goals so threatening?
President Barack Obama's policies have vastly increased the intrusiveness of the government through legislation and regulations, increased the tax burden on the 50 percent who pay federal income taxes, and increased dependency on government largesse at the expense of a federal debt exceeding $17 trillion. That works out to be about $150,000 per taxpayer.
Mike Lyons, Apollo Beach