Making a meal for those who are fed up | Jan. 7, Sue Carlton column
Critics of Occupy are naive ones
Sue Carlton states that the Occupy movement has been "pegged (hello, John Romano) as a well-meaning if critically unfocused voice." The use of "well-meaning," though well-meant, is little more than a dismissal of a supposedly wide-eyed, youthful group not yet versed in adult corporate/political realities. In truth, it is those who label Occupy as "unfocused" who are naive (purposefully?) as to the workings of our government.
It is the job of our elected officials — not Occupy — to know how to implement the will of the people. Occupy has chosen, in a very focused manner, to convey the will of an ever-increasing number of Americans: Get the overarching influence of big money out of all areas of government.
The next time you choose to describe the Occupy movement, it might be more accurate to replace "well-meaning" with "necessary."
Richard Downing, Hudson
A year of pride and progress
Today is the first anniversary of the new Dalí Museum. A year ago we welcomed a princess and an ambassador from Spain; federal, state and local officials; and thousands of Tampa Bay residents. They came to see what you had helped us build. We used the motto: Viva la Revelacion! The motto references the Spanish "Long live the revolution!'' and turns it on end: Long live the Revelation.
And what is the revelation? Together with our colleagues in our terrific museums and new innovative enterprises, we are revealing St. Petersburg to the world. Great art, new business, and a stirring building recharges our creative batteries and helps us see the world in a new way.
In the first year the Dalí has drawn people and identity to this community. The numbers of visitors and the financial impact will be announced at Viva la Revelacion at the Dalí at noon today, showing that the museum's economic gift to the community year after year is far more than the entire cost of its construction.
We have used our resources to share the great Morse Collection and to host events for Pinellas County and the city of St. Petersburg, to provide docent tours for 17,000 students, and to be a community center for discussion of new science, innovative business, yoga, cuisine, film and opera. We are revealing St. Petersburg as an oasis, a beach where the sky meets land, the salty edge of things, the event horizon.
And we thank you all for making this happen.
Hank Hine, executive director, Dalí Museum, St. Petersburg
Cranes' flight grounded | Jan. 6
New predator: bureaucrat
For the past several years, a group of dedicated humanitarians have invested considerable time, money and effort in the admirable task of teaching endangered whooping cranes how to fly from Wisconsin to Florida, thereby ensuring their continued existence.
During that time these graceful birds have braved the weather, attacks by bobcats and being shot at. Now they are being threatened by different predators: pencil-pushing bureaucrats. It's difficult to tell from the report exactly what the problem is, but it seems to hinge on whether the pilots who fly the ultralights that lead the cranes are paid or not.
Who cares? If they are not, they should be. Pencil-pushing bureaucrats are a dime a dozen, while the cranes are not. One of the most heartwarming programs in these turbulent times must be allowed to continue.
R.G. Wheeler, St. Petersburg
Not worthy to speak to the president? | Jan. 7
This is just another example of the pettiness of this administration. Here is a service member who picked herself up after a DUI, made something of herself, attained the rank of petty officer in the Coast Guard, and yet, she's not good enough for a two- to five-minute holiday conversation with the president.
I would think that this would be the kind of person the president would want to talk to. Instead, the cabal of dolts that surround Barack Obama are more concerned with his image than with showing appreciation for the service and sacrifice of Petty Officer Golda Payne.
Now the story is out. I'll be waiting to see how the administration spin doctors put lipstick on this pig.
Kenneth R. Gilder, St. Petersburg
Let me get this straight. Petty Officer Golda Payne is not worthy of a phone call from the president because it turns out that she had a DUI in 2006. Have we forgotten that Obama had written in his first book, Dreams From My Father, that before entering politics, that he had used marijuana and cocaine? He said he had not tried heroin only because he didn't like the pusher who was trying to sell it to him.
Obama believed that it was "reflective of the struggles and confusion of a teenage boy." Well, in spite of the drugs he took, he became the president of the United States.
So speaking with someone who drank, in Obama's eyes, could cause "negative publicity," but his having a past involving marijuana and cocaine is all right. What a double standard.
Ronald Melone, Clearwater
Gaming battle at hand | Jan. 7
Let us get it right. "Gaming" is the term for playing board games such as Candyland with the toddlers or Monopoly with the teenagers. "Gambling" is for playing poker with the adults. If you visit a casino, do not expect to see any "gaming." And the term "obfuscating" refers to what politicians do when they are trying to slip one over.
Mortimer Brown, Lutz