Hunting for a middle way | Jan. 4
Socialism: It's been tried and failed
Joshua Freedman and Michael Lind claim to be seeking a new middle-income social contract, one that would call for progressive taxes and for the use of those taxes to create all sorts of universal programs to spread the gains as widely as possible and assure widespread support for those programs.
What about this middle-class social contract is new? It has been around for centuries and is called socialism. It's basically tax the rich and spread the wealth around. This approach has failed everywhere it has been tried. The Obama administration has been using socialism for over six years now. Changing the name doesn't dress it up or make it more desirable.
Steve Lawrence Weinman, Lutz
Health rules won't usher in beheadings Jan. 4, PolitiFact
Just ignore ludicrous claims
Why would you even dignify such an absurd claim with a refutation? The concept is so ludicrous, any reasonable person (and most unreasonable people) would find it laughable. Darrell Issa wouldn't touch this with a 10-foot pole. Anyone buying into such an insane idea would most likely believe that PolitiFact is merely advancing a liberal/socialist/communist agenda and burying the truth. I suggest you read the article again and ask yourself, "Did we really just do that?"
Jon Rosenfeld, Tampa
Trolling for news
Must be a slow news day when an Internet troll makes the front page. My IQ just dropped a few points; thanks, Times.
Fabian Flaque, Tampa
Sources of inspiration | Jan. 5
Use Seattle as a template
Seattle and Puget Sound are most like St. Petersburg and Tampa Bay. Pike Place Market there is the paradigm to study for a new pier here. While it doesn't have flashy attractions, it more than compensates with commerce and public transportation.
Located right on Puget Sound, there is a famous fish market, vegetable stands, coffee shops and restaurants to accommodate all tastes and budgets. A public ferry station is nearby that thousands of commuters and visitors experience, many squeezing in a visit to Pike Place Market before or after their boat trip. Everyday life and commerce are exciting and interesting; Seattle knows this and embraces it.
Why aren't we exploring the feasibility of resurrecting the Million Dollar Pier of yore? A similar atmosphere to Seattle's could emerge and thrive, especially when a public ferry station is integrated into the design.
Jeannie Cline, St. Petersburg
Keep it simple
This article offers many examples of what not to do in regard to the St. Petersburg pier.
The piers in other cities mostly offer commercial activities, adding nothing to the environment. They do not have to offer what St. Petersburg has, and that's Tampa Bay. The conversation is still mistakenly fixated on a man-made edifice. Despite what polls may say, the combination of an iconic structure, indoor dining with air conditioning and outdoor jogging, fishing, etc., is not a practical fit for the space.
The solution is much more simple: an open park and boardwalk. The city's best asset is open skies, waters and wildlife. The pier's function would best serve citizens by best serving the environment. A nature walk among mangroves may not create millions of dollars and draw tourists in droves, but it's exactly what the waterfront needs.
Joe Weinzettle, St. Petersburg
I-4, Selmon Expressway connector opens at last | Jan. 7
The Times has published several articles in the past week or so expounding on the benefits of the new, $425 million I-4 to Selmon Expressway connector. Several of these articles have featured color photos of runners, a foggy view out of a car windshield, and similar low-value shots that frankly do little to inform the reader of the true value of this major infrastructure investment.
I suggest that you would do a greater service to your readership by including a map with entrance and exit locations, distances, etc. Doing so would encourage the use of this very welcome addition to the Tampa area transportation system.
Joe Griffin, Wimauma
The first family | Jan. 5
Kudos to Andrew Meacham for writing the backstory on Bill Young and his first family. This story shows that we must be very careful of who we, the public, promote to hero status.
Would Young be heralded today had the media reported on his adultery and birth of a child by his mistress? I think not. Did Young do much for the state of Florida? Yes, of course, and he had no problem inflating the country's debt in doing it.
No one is without personal issues, but the true character of a person is how he or she treats those around them, particularly their family. As for Beverly Young's account of the events, she does little to show Young or herself in a better light.
Ray Day, Spring Hill
Remember his service
It's simply not fair to publish the snipings of disgruntled family members when the subject of their discontent has recently been buried. Here's a tip for the Times to use in the future when looking for dirt on the dead: When a famous person's family says, "We are not looking for media attention or publicity," they don't mean it.
Even Ronald Reagan had embarrassing relatives who would occasionally steal a little press when they felt the need for undeserved limelight. Like Reagan, Bill Young should be remembered for his accomplishments that relate to the public's expectations of their elected officials. Unless he committed a crime against his former family or constituents, I really don't care how he lived his life 30 years ago.
Bill Young's congressional record is exemplary. His constituency is better off for having elected him, and I can't see how his divorce damaged Pinellas County.
David Fraser, Clearwater