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  1. Letters to the Editor

Friday's letters: Voting in person has its benefits

To avoid delays, cast vote by mail | Nov. 12, letter

Voting in person has its benefits

This letter writer puts his trust in the absentee ballot and prefers this method of voting for its hassle-free convenience. I'm sure many others agree, and I commend him on his commitment to being a proactive participant and making an informed decision.

However, the truth is that the vast majority of Americans still prefer to cast their ballot in person, and there are many reasons to explain our willingness to stand in line. Some of us may want to exercise our right and responsibility outside of our individual bubbles. Some of us see the presence of voters and volunteers as a benefit to democracy that promotes transparency and discourages fraud. Some of us may just have more reason than others to celebrate the 15th and 19th amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

As long as there is in-person voting, our elected government has the responsibility to competently administer it and refrain from passing any laws or policies that discourage it. And the voters should never shoulder the blame for the kind of extreme inconveniences at polling places we witnessed last week.

Jeff Mathers, St. Petersburg

The dog whistle's high pitch | Nov. 11

'Free stuff' that we paid for

What exactly is all of this "free stuff" the middle class will be getting because Barack Obama got elected to a second term? Social Security and Medicare benefits that have been taken from our paychecks for our entire working lives? Roads and infrastructure that benefit the homeless and super-wealthy alike?

If it is outright socialism, then my monthly redistribution checks from Donald Trump and Rush Limbaugh are late. I agree that welfare should not be a lifestyle, but neither should a silver spooner look to make every last dollar from people who have to worry about every last dollar they have.

Michael Kreha, St. Petersburg

It wasn't issues; it was image | Nov. 10, letter

A changed country

This letter helped me get my thoughts in order about the presidential election. My reaction is shock: This is not the country I thought I lived in. The jobless rate, the failure in our defense, the deterioration of our morals, the debt — not enough people cared about these things. What the majority cared about was being sure they would continue to get government help and an abortion if they wanted one.

Jane Kline, St. Petersburg

After vote, get ready for reality Nov. 14, letter

The voters have spoken

This letter epitomizes the nature of the problem, claiming that it's President Barack Obama and his radical ideas causing the problems of our nation, and that he must move toward the center.

I think the American people just sent a little different message, i.e., both sides need to let go of some sacred cows and meet in the middle. We the voters aren't stupid. We know there are answers to the problems connected with Social Security, Medicare, the fiscal cliff, etc.

Congress should stop acting like quarreling children and work together to solve the nation's problems.

James Johnson, Lutz

Citizens Property Insurance Corp.

Information, please

Having received a letter of assumption and nonrenewal from Citizens Property Insurance Corp., I have a question that I am sure others are asking all over the state. How can I make an informed decision whether to decline or accept this transfer of my homeowners insurance? Nowhere does it tell me, in these letters, the difference in cost or coverage between the companies listed.

Who in their right mind decides to pay hundreds of dollars per year to any company without knowing what you are getting in return or exactly how much you will be required to pay?

Sharon Chyna, Hudson

Study: Electric cars come up short | Nov. 9

Electric sparks

This article cherry-picks facts and figures from a J.D. Power study to paint a misleadingly negative picture. It points out that year-to-date U.S. sales of the Nissan Leaf are down 16 percent but fails to mention that monthly sales are up by 76 percent compared with last October. The Chevy Volt and Prius plug-in also posted record monthly sales in October.

The article cites the dismal sales of electric vehicles from Honda, Mitsubishi and Coda, but fails to mention that none of these companies have done any advertising for these models, which are known in the industry as "compliance cars." While plug-in vehicles still account for a tiny portion of total vehicle sales, the overall picture is one of rapid sales growth.

It's undeniable that EVs won't be competitive with legacy vehicles until batteries improve. A similar situation applied to the early Internet — the comparable issue was bandwidth. In the mid 1990s we saw a lot of articles calling the Internet a failure and a passing fad. Engineers around the world are working feverishly on better batteries, and breakthroughs are being reported regularly.

Charlie Morris, Treasure Island

Tampa tie to Petraeus affair | Nov. 12

Focus on real scandals

I am dismayed by the amount of ink you use covering all the details, major and minor, of David Petraeus' affair. Your writers seem much more interested in the details of a silly woman than in uncovering any details of a potential coverup by senior Obama administration officials.

Where was all this journalistic attention to the debacle in Benghazi, where four Americans, including our ambassador, were killed? Where was all this journalistic attention to the Fast and Furious scandal where hundreds, if not thousands, of Mexican citizens were murdered with weapons apparently illegally smuggled by the U.S. government?

We need to know more about the coverups and less about the party and financial habits of a foolish woman.

Mary Bruels, Gulfport

Grand entrances

I'm wondering why David Petraeus needed a 28-motorcycle escort to a garden party during the Gasparilla pirate festival. Was he afraid he might be captured by the pirates? This is just another sign of government waste.

Jim Nichols, Trinity