Priceless | Aug. 1
Ode to the Rays' ex-ace
I still remember that night in old Ray-Jay,
When after the Bucs, Game 7 of the ALCS came on the big display,
And fans gathered 'round to watch a rookie named Price,
And man, that fastball was smoking and precise.
Almost one, two, three, the Red Sox fell,
And the Rays made the World Series as the fans did yell.
Years passed and he just refined that arm,
That all batters respected and faced with alarm.
David just got better and many games he won,
He even brought home a well-earned Cy Young.
But the fans heard trade talks and wondered in fear,
If one day Price might leave us and was this the year?
Well, somewhere the bands are playing,
And somewhere the crowds all shout,
But there is no happiness in the Trop tonight,
David and Astro have moved out!
Nick Glover, Odessa
Pay day for an athlete
Let's be clear on just how sad David Price must be to have left Tampa Bay.
Let us imagine him telling the Tampa Bay Rays organization that he would like to work in St. Petersburg with Joe Maddon and the boys for another five years, and would do so for $10 million a year. The Rays could afford that, and Price would be rich beyond most imaginations. So let's not pretend that he is too sad.
Kurt Steinmann, Belleair
$1B pledged for environment | Aug. 5
Scott reverses once again
A clear pattern emerges now that Gov. Rick Scott, after turning the state's environmental protection agency into a job-producing rubber stamp for developers and handing out water district seats as political favors, pledges to reverse some of the damage he did to the environment.
Likewise, after slashing funding to education, he now crows about boosting spending by restoring part of what he reduced. And, after doing all he could to limit voters' rights, he backed off and took credit for undoing some of the damage he had done.
Should he be re-elected, there will be no need for damage control, since term limits will prevent him from running again. He can simply do whatever damage he wishes, without consequences.
Stephen Phillips, St. Petersburg
Utilities shun efficiency | Aug. 4
Power companies failing
Thank you for printing Rep. Kathy Castor's oped, and a big thank you to her for writing it.
Castor sums up wonderfully Florida's current low rankings in energy efficiency and production. She explains how terribly the public utilities, Duke Energy especially, have failed Floridians. The Florida Legislature and Public Service Commission continue to serve the utility interests first.
As she says, imagine how much an investment of $3 billion in renewable energy would benefit our environment. Instead, consumers are paying for the mistakes Duke made. We expect Duke leadership, Florida legislators and the PSC to start thinking like Rep. Castor. If they can't, Floridians can elect people who don't go around claiming, "I'm not a scientist."
Guy Hancock, Largo
House GOP votes to sue president | July 31
High school antics
The vote by House Republicans to bring a lawsuit against President Obama reminds me of a juvenile clique in high school who have repeatedly lobbed spitballs at the teacher, otherwise disrupted classes, not done their assignments, have failing grades and are rather unpopular with the rest of the school. Before leaving for summer vacation, and in a final act of defiance, they have toilet-papered the school.
They should not be congratulated or rewarded, but expelled.
Marguerite DiGaetano, Tampa
Israel vows to press Gaza offensive | Aug. 3
Conflict by the numbers
As we see reports on the conflict in Gaza, it might be interesting and helpful for Times readers to get a sense for the size and scale of the area involved.
The Gaza Strip is 25 miles in length; Pinellas County is 38 miles in length. The Gaza Strip is 7.5 miles at its widest point; Pinellas is 15 miles. Gaza's total area is 139 square miles; Pinellas' is 274 square miles. Gaza's population is 1,816,379; Pinellas' is 929,048. Population density in Gaza is 13,069 people per square mile; Pinellas' density is 3,347 persons per square mile.
Louis Claudio, Safety Harbor
Chalet Suzanne | Aug. 2
Farewell, Florida treasure
The article on the closing of the Chalet Suzanne brought back wonderful memories. I was a tour guide and tourist escort for 30 years (now retired), and the Chalet was a favorite trip for many groups. I did a few trips to see the Passion Play and visit Bok Towers, staying at the Chalet. My most fun trip was to see the fireworks on the Fourth of July at Cypress Gardens.
After checking into the Chalet, we spent the day at the gardens, returning to the inn for dinner. While dining, there would be the usual Florida rainstorm. It cleared up just in time for our return to the gardens for the fireworks. Our bus driver, Richard, took one look at the gridlock on leaving, and the next thing we saw was him driving across a grass meadow to the highway.
After breakfast (famous lingonberry pancakes) the next morning, we took a tour of the cannery. Everyone received a can of "Moon Soup." As the tour escort, my room contained a small decanter of sherry, a basket of fruit and wrapped candies. I am among the many people sorry that the Hinshaw family has to close after 83 years.
Thank you for the memories.
Alma Pasquale, Palm Harbor