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Black ... Turkey Day - Nov. 13, editorial

Sundays have already been lost as holidays and days for R&R for those who must work. Stop the corporate consuming madness before it is too late: Say no to turning Thanksgiving into Black Friday.

Realize that the workers also need a holiday. Show support for them by refusing to buy from any store on Thanksgiving that advertises it is starting Black Friday early. Keep Thanksgiving as a day for giving thanks.

Frank Fuchs, Brandon

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Don't participate

The time has come to put a halt to this ridiculous practice. Black Friday has escalated into a situation where people's lives have become endangered.

Now corporations are, once again, sticking it to the poor working stiff who is just trying to have a nice Thanksgiving meal with the family. But the blame can't be solely with retailers. They are just retailing. It is up to the consumer to refuse to participate in these "events." If no one shows up for the game, it will have to be called and rescheduled.

Stay home with your family this Thanksgiving and be thankful for that opportunity.

Brenda Calabrese, Seminole

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Name change, please - Nov. 14, letter

Honor the holiday

If, as one reader suggests, the shopping day after Thanksgiving should not be called Black Friday, may I strongly suggest that Thanksgiving Day not be called "Turkey Day."

It's our country's national day of Thanksgiving for God's providential bounty and care, not a paean of praise for an item on the menu of many households on that day. This national holiday has great significance for U.S. citizens and should not be denigrated by some catchy, stupid title.

John Hayner, Clearwater

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Welcome sounds from leaders in Tallahassee - Nov. 15, editorial

Lead or get out of the way

The editorial states that Gov. Rick Scott, Rep. Will Weatherford and Sen. Don Gaetz read the electoral tea leaves. It's about time. The reality is that Scott and the others should not need to read any tea leaves other than those that got them elected in the first place.

Why does a man with such an extensive background in the medical field need to know anything other than there are people in need of medical care? His job as governor is, and has always been, to make that happen. Voter backlash should not be the motivating factor. Valuable time has been lost while people suffered, and these politicians did nothing but get in the way. When is the next election?

Willie J. Day, St. Petersburg

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A promise as good as his old Steelers gold

Nov. 16

Putting students first

It is amazing in our self-absorbed society that a teacher with a car full of dings doesn't rip off a celebrity for a new paint job, ask him to write a letter for her sister, or ask him to make an appearance at her holiday party.

No, Lori Farmer, a gifted education teacher, thought of her students first, placing their needs above her own. Her story made the news, but she is not an exception. Most teachers put the needs of their students above their own every day.

Jerry Koehler, Tampa

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Petraeus scandal

Tabloid fodder

The Petraeus affair with its various supporting cast has graced the front page of this paper for a solid week now. This seems inappropriate, as no one I've spoken to seems to think this is remotely important. I suspect the press is too lazy to chase after real stories since the election, with its predictable ready-made stories, has ended.

Printing personal emails of a socialite to the mayor complaining about how the press is hounding her? How juicy. When do we see snapshots of her working out?

Congratulations, the Times has achieved tabloid status.

Eric Soyke, St. Petersburg

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Questionable judgment

As a veteran, and someone who knows people who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, this scandal saddens me deeply.

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey, said "I absolutely have confidence" in Gen. John Allen's ability to continue in command in Afghanistan despite the distraction of the scandal. This statement raises questions in my mind about Dempsey's judgement. It is hard for me to believe that anyone whose marriage and career could be coming to an end is fit to be making life-and-death decisions.

I would not want anyone whom I care about serving under these people.

John Burrell, Tampa

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Three want special panel on Benghazi and Romney: President used 'old playbook'

Nov. 15

Time for reconciliation

I would remind Sen. John McCain and Mitt Romney, after their separate but equally inflammatory recent postelection remarks, of that oft-quoted verse that begins: "To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose ..."

This is no longer the season of elections but rather a time for reconciliation whose purpose should be to get something done in Washington.

Bruce D. Shephard, Tampa

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Traffic safety

Watch for motorcycles

On Nov. 12, I was sitting at a red light on my motorcycle at 54th Avenue N and 28th Street in St. Petersburg. Watching approaching traffic in my rearview mirror, I saw a car that wasn't going to stop. I left some distance from the car in front of me, so I moved forward to attempt to get out of the way, but the woman in the car behind me bumped the rear of my bike.

I turned the bike off so I could inspect the fender. I then remounted my motorcycle and heard the woman say "sorry" out her window. The impact created about $900 in damage, but the driver never pulled over to see if everything was okay, and now I am left to cover the cost of the repairs.

Please watch out for motorcycles and give them some room. We don't have bumpers like automobiles do, but we have just as much right to be on the road.

Theresa Kapper, Bradenton