Scallopers get additional harvest time | June 24
Longer season imperils scallops
The recent initiative to lengthen the bay scallop season is of questionable value.
Until the late 1990s, bay scallop populations in Florida were on the verge of collapse. Extensive, and expensive, efforts to rebuild the resource involved instituting strict harvest regulations while applying ecologically based restoration.
Those efforts were tremendously successful and resulted in the healthy, vibrant and popular recreational harvest that we now enjoy. But the resource is fragile. The popularity of the recreational harvest continues to grow, exerting more pressure on the resource each year. Extending the season serves to increase that pressure.
The professed goal of the extension is to stimulate the economy, but any additional benefits from an extended season will be relatively minor. Meanwhile, the extension places at risk the entire fishery and the economy upon which it depends.
As is the case with many core natural resources in Florida, myopic visions of short-term gain are placing at risk the long-term sustainability of the resource. Take care of this goose, or the golden eggs for which so many search will be gone, forever.
Bill Arnold, St. Petersburg
U.S. role in world
Bring home the soldiers and rebuild America
As a veteran, I'm aware of the economic development that communities enjoy by their proximity to our military bases. While we have seen many American bases closed around our nation with a disastrous impact on the communities that served them, we continue to see the economies of other nations — Germany, South Korea, Japan and many others — enjoying major stimulation from the continuing presence of American bases.
We need to bring these bases and their economies back here to home soil. We need to see our servicemen and women returned to their families and to their fellow countrymen. We need to protect our own borders and provide security here at home.
We need to put our own house in order and to once again demonstrate to the world by example, and not by the barrel of a gun, just why our system of government is capable of providing for superior life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
We also need to demonstrate that we are serious about ethics and morality by prosecuting fraud from the top down and not from the bottom up.
Paul Griffin, Brooksville
New York legalizes gay marriage | June 25
Liberty, justice for all
Since we are all created equal, what is good for one should be good for all. If gays and lesbians want to tie the knot and become a married couple, then so be it and let the naysayers step aside.
Let's hope that, after becoming the sixth and largest state to allow same-sex weddings, New York will set the stage for the rest of our nation's 44 states to follow. After all, as human beings, we are all entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
JoAnn Lee Frank, Clearwater
Economy's so bad, the Fed is stumped June 23
Old tricks just won't work
I question whether the Fed is stumped or whether it has no options left to encourage a "true" recovery. The old games — increasing or decreasing the money supply or raising or lowering interest rates — no longer work because American workers have reached their spending limits, either due to being unemployed, earning less, or because of debt or bankruptcy.
Interest rates will stay low, which encourages spending or investing in the volatile stock market, not saving.
The demand side has been on a downward slide for decades. The purchasing power of the American dollar has eroded, requiring two wage earners per household — and in today's climate, even two is often not enough. This is because of the Fed's ability to expand the money supply, causing a plunge in the value of the dollar, and because the globalization of trade moved good-paying jobs overseas.
We are told that without reforming Social Security and Medicare, the deficit will soar. But where was this worry when we got involved in a 10-year military campaign in the Middle East, passed Medicare Part D, and bailed out financial institutions?
J.R. Demmy, Kenneth City
Gov. Rick Scott
I would like to know how to stop robo-calls from Gov. Rick Scott's office.
I received calls on June 21, June 22 and June 24. On voice mail, the governor's cheery voice advised me of legislation approved by him the previous week.
I read newspapers, magazines and books and follow events on cable news. I can find out on my own what is going on in Tallahassee.
Aside from an invasion of my personal time, I hope these calls are not being paid for by state funds in this time of class-driven austerity.
Carmen Martinez, Clearwater
A 1.3-pound miracle | June 25
What of the children?
I am so glad that Dexter, the 8-week-old kitten nearly beaten to death, is on the road to recovery.
However, it seems that our society would be better served by an outpouring of concern for the accused woman's children.
Carla Ippolito Strobl, Tampa
Pumped & proud | June 26
Faith groups' role
I am disappointed with the Times' coverage of the annual Pride parade and the involvement of communities of faith. Your coverage of the participation of the scores of members of various faith groups amounted to three words: "local church groups." There were no quotes from the signs we carried, no interviews with the participants, and no reporting on the crowd's reaction to our participation.
On the other hand, the 10 or so protesters received by my count 33 lines of reporting. You quoted from their signs, interviewed them and reported crowd reaction.
To make up for this failure, let me report that the scores of faith groups participating in the parade were carrying signs "celebrating diversity," calling on us to "build the beloved community," and claiming that "Jesus did not discriminate, and neither do we." Many in the crowd said thank you for our faithful involvement.
Richard Feigel, St. Petersburg