First responders, get vaccinated
Recent news both in the Tampa Bay Times and public appeals by top officials in our first-responder departments — fire, ambulance, police and more — urgently asking the public to not call 911 for non-emergencies due to overload of COVID calls are alarming. Also, they need our help because they are short of staff due to employees who are out due to the virus. Then I’m reminded that I’ve read and also know from family members and upper level fire, ambulance and police staff that only about 30 percent of these front-line workers in some departments have been vaccinated! My father was an Air Force transport pilot. He was stationed around the world to do his job. I remember him regularly coming home from work with minor unpleasant side effects from some unusual vaccine that would protect him and allow him to do his job overseas. Tax dollars gave him good pay, good equipment and good benefits, and he did his job. It’s past time for our first responders to protect themselves so they can do their jobs.
Steve Livers, Largo
Where shopping is a pleasure
A shopper’s happy place | Aug. 22
My wife and I live in Pennsylvania, are well-travelled domestically and internationally, and visit Tampa Bay roughly every two months. Regardless of location, Publix stores are routinely superior to any food vendor we have encountered anywhere in terms of physical facilities, product quality and, most impressive, the knowledge, attitude and congeniality of employees. Your article regarding Publix was a strong and accurate testament to the preeminent position Publix has achieved within its highly competitive industry and also a gleaming example of successful and responsive corporate America.
Craig Rockey, Orrtanna, Pa.
Pay to play
How could America build a strong democracy in Afghanistan when we don’t have one here? | Column, Aug. 24
Columnist Solomon Jones offers a frank expose of life in America, but he overlooked one important aspect of our society. From health care to election campaigning and voting, America is a pay-to-play system. The John Roberts’ Supreme Court affirmed that money is speech, so more money is more speech, and no money means no speech. America’s wealthy rule and, as history has shown, they do not like true democracies, because they care more about money than their countrymen’s freedoms.
Brian Walkowiak, St. Petersburg