1. Archive


The rationale behind higher power bills - Oct. 20

Jeff Lyash, president and chief executive of Progress Energy Florida, asks "The question for you is what do you want?" What I want, Mr. Lyash, is for the same group to bear the risk and rewards of your new nuclear plant.

That is, if your ratepayers have to bear the risk of paying for the plant, they should reap the rewards of that investment. (And in some way other than the nebulous "lower rates" promised.) If your investors are going to be given the rewards of that investment, they should be expected to make the investment.

Having your ratepayers pay for the plant, then giving the investment rewards to your stockholders is nothing more than, to borrow a phrase from today's news, the redistribution of wealth from your ratepayers to your investors. And whatever else that may be, it is not capitalism.

William Carroll, Gulfport

he rationale behind higher power bills - Oct. 20

Too sweet a deal for Progress

I do a slow burn every time I read about the $11.42 per 1,000 kilowatt hours rate increase that will go into effect in January for customers of Progress Energy. The increase is to help pay for a new nuclear power plant to be built in Levy County. Not only will there be that increase, there could (and probably will) be an additional rate increase to cover rising fuel costs.

Normally, when a company wants to build a large facility, it will borrow the money from a bank or investors. But Progress Energy has figured out how to get a huge loan without having to repay the loan or even pay interest; it borrows from its customers! What a sweet deal! And the folks who are shelling out the extra cash (you and me) don't have anything to say about it. Progress Energy just has to get the Florida Public Service Commission to give it permission to increase its rates. They say there is no free lunch. Don't believe it. You can get lots of free lunches if you are a huge utility.

Alan J. Peterson, Homosassa

The rationale behind higher power bills - Oct. 20

Invest in solar and wind instead

Why would we need a nuclear plant in the state with the most resources for power? I recommend investing in making as many homes as possible energy independent: turning to solar and wind for power at each home. Progress Energy would be investing in a cleaner state.

They can offer discounted opportunities for homeowners to convert to solar or wind with the excess being generated to help Progress Energy power others including businesses.

They could even have an insurance and maintenance fee included so that they have the equipment maintained without the homeowners or the company being hit hard all the time.

Kenneth Lipe, Seminole

James laments ignorance level over bailout - Oct. 17

Ignorance is Wall Street's

I was very surprised to read the chairman of Raymond James berating Congress for not understanding our financial system and its complex investment instruments. Surely that is not their area of expertise, nor why they were elected. The embarrassing (understated) ignorance and lack of understanding is far more obvious on Wall Street, where the very people whose specific job it in fact was to understand and manage their businesses and our investments so miserably failed to do so.

William Ott, Largo

Buy American, just like me Oct. 18

Buffett profits from our pain

I've read Warren Buffett's words of wisdom numerous times, and each time his theme provoked a lot of anger in me. He himself is admittedly "being greedy when others are fearful" by taking advantage of today's low market at the expense of the rest of us. Greedy, indeed!

This world's richest man is sitting on $62-billion, so he can preach "don't worry, be happy" due to his belief that "most major companies will be setting new profit records five, 10 and 20 years from now."

What Buffett has invested he and his heirs can live on to eternity and beyond. The rest of us have to survive on what little we have left today. Our savings are shrinking at an alarming rate, as is the value of our homes. We don't have funds to greedily invest in his "new prosperity," and we can't wait for better times to come five, 10 and 20 years down the road. Fearful, indeed!

Robert Ames, New Port Richey

Credit card market tightens Oct. 14

Regulate credit card industry

The credit card industry created its own chaos and is now crying about people not paying their bills. This industry itself encourages people to make minimum payments and not pay off their balances so it can reap profits with escalated interest rates and additional charges for financing and processing such as charging customers for paying their bills electronically. This industry is allowed to entice people from all walks of life with offers for easy money and this practice must come under control.

I hope this article isn't a prelude to this industry jumping on the bailout wagon. It is bad enough that we taxpayers are being deprived of $700-billion and now $120-billion to be given to genius executives entrusted to run this country's business, making more in one year than many Americans make in a lifetime. I feel for Bank of America, which announced it made a lower-than-expected profit of only $1.8-billion due to credit card holders defaulting on their monthly obligations. Maybe B of A, as well as the rest of the industry, should rethink their business strategy on credit card loans such as being up front with a prospective customer on Day 1 of approval with a set interest rate.

This ripping off of the American consumer is bad enough but to now bail out the very people responsible for this economic crisis is adding salt to the wound.

Jack Burlakos, Kenneth City

Our economy

Help Americans, drive American

I'm always amazed when people complain about our economy and drive a foreign car. They don't realize that they're the cause of a lot of our problems, and recently Lear Corp., a Tampa company that made American auto parts, had to let go 325 people.

These same people who do all the complaining would fight for our country, yet desert it when their country and the economy needs them most. America is making some great cars now, and yes, the American companies have made some stupid mistakes, but that's not a reason to give up on America.

These foreign countries are growing very rich while our country is suffering. Everyone who says they love America, please, when it's time to buy, buy an American car. Thank you.

Larry Smerecki, New Port Richey