Big promises, small gains | Dec. 8
Bay area enjoys jobs turnaround
We understand you have a political bone to pick with Gov. Rick Scott, but please don't misrepresent what is, particularly in our own community, a remarkable economic turnaround.
Here are just some of the big announcements we've made, and projects that are underway:
• USAA announced in November plans to create up to 1,215 new jobs by 2019 and invest $165 million in a new, 420,000-square-foot office complex. Land has already been purchased in Brandon, with a time line to complete construction and occupy the new facility by late 2015.
• Amazon confirmed plans in October to construct a 1-million-square-foot, $200 million fulfillment and distribution center in Ruskin, which will employ up to 1,000 local workers.
• In July, Bristol-Myers Squibb selected Tampa as the site of its North America Capability Center, which will create up to 579 new, high-paying jobs. The company is already actively engaged in the recruiting and hiring of employees.
• The Depository Trust & Clearing Corp. has created more than 500 new jobs since arriving in Tampa in 2005 and this year announced it would add another 255 employees.
• Time Warner Business Services announced a move to Tampa in 2011, occupied a new facility in 2012, and has since hired about 70 new employees.
Hillsborough County has the highest average annual salary of any Florida county. Our unemployment rate has dropped almost 2 percent in the past year, while the size of our labor force actually increased by 2 percent. We've led the state in job gains in seven of the past eight months.
I hope you will take a second look at the jobs picture and recognize this community for a job well done.
Rick Homans, president and CEO, Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation; and Allen Brinkman, chairman, Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corp., Tampa
Aide should disclose records Dec. 21, editorial
Sealed records are just that
Kevin King is not guilty of a crime. The judge, in his or her wisdom, sealed the records so that so that at some future time, information would not be made public, used selectively in a vindictive, vengeful or harmful way, for the sake of sensationalism or any other reason, including political purposes to tarnish the reputation of any of the individuals involved. Don't you understand that?
King does not have any responsibility to release any records he might or might not have. In my experience, it is unusual to possess or to be able to get such records from an attorney. If he has them, no matter what they say, I do not believe he should do other than hold them or destroy them.
He is not necessarily the sole person protected by their being sealed. Certainly he has no moral right to release them as it might jeopardize the reputation of others involved. He should honor the judge's decision and so should the Tampa Bay Times.
There is no dishonor in being arrested. There is no dishonor in being accused of a crime. There is no dishonor in being tried for a possible offense and not being convicted. I don't know what there is about that you don't understand, but the judge was afraid that someone might not understand that, so the judge sealed the records to prevent it from happening. That is sometimes appropriate in the cases of young people who are accused or involved in sexual indiscretions, whether they were guilty or not, and especially if they were found not guilty.
Robert L. Johnson, Pinellas Park
Shine light on the record
I voted for Rick Kriseman and hoped not to regret it. Well, I do.
This situation screams for sunshine. If there is nothing to hide, pull it out into the open, shine the brightest possible light on it and inform everyone. If this was a mistake, let's hear Kevin King explain.
To Kriseman, I will say this: You owe it to this voter, and all who voted for you, to set the transparency bar of your approaching mayoral tenure high — higher than your predecessor, and higher than the need for complete comfort. Show us how forthright you, and your administration, can be. We are waiting.
Juliana Menke, St. Petersburg
Florida jobless rate at 6.4% | Dec. 21
A painful twist
After reading this article in the Times, I suggest you have Jeff Harrington's back examined by a competent physician. To bend over backwards that far in a weak attempt to downplay the jobless rate just to make Gov. Rick Scott look bad must have caused a great deal of damage.
I understand the Times delights in twisting the news to support Democrats, but isn't there one editor there to put a limit on it so one could call your workplace a newspaper?
David D. Bugbee, Palm Harbor
Fury erupts in India | Dec. 20
Why single out Muslims?
The photo refers to "Indian Muslims in Ajmer, India," burning an effigy of President Barrack Obama over the mistreatment of Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade. How did the Tampa Bay Times determine the protesters' religion? And how is religion material?
The case has touched the entire nation of India, a population of about 1 billion inhabitants, predominantly Hindu. The Ajmer district is composed of 2.1 million, of which a majority are Hindu at 1.9 million, with 244,000 Muslims, yet the Times managed to profile "anti-America" Muslims.
Z. Shebaro, Tampa