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Friday, Apr 20, 2018
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Letters to the editor: Public fleeced?

Public fleeced? We have some visitors staying with us from Germany, and they wanted to tour the historic Ybor City area. We drove from Brandon into Ybor City and parked in a city parking lot where you had to go to a machine and select the time you expected to be there and pay that amount. I selected from our arrival (about 1:40 p.m.) to 4:30 p.m., and an amount to pay was displayed ($3.75). I inserted a $5 bill and got $1.25 back. You then have to place that receipt where it will be visible in your vehicle for the monitor’s ability to keep track and ticket any violators. After glancing at the ticket I noticed that the receipt said I had paid $1.75 and the expiration was 3 p.m. I returned to the machine, and several other drivers were talking, and it was found out that they too had been robbed! If the machine can give the correct change and alter the amounts, I find it very hard to believe that it is a computer error. It had to be programmed that way, and I feel it has been done intentionally and someone is conning many, if not hundreds, of drivers who do obey the law. I did not have a phone to report it, and I have several witnesses who were with me and understand the transaction deception. I, for one, will never again use a city parking lot with pay machines, and I also will notify many of my friends, who will notify their friends. This is nothing more than a programmed fleecing of the public. Don Peterson Brandon
Business deterrent Regarding “Scott’s ticket offer worth attention” (Our Views, May 5): Move business to the permanent alimony state? Not a chance! It is nice that our governor sent letters to business leaders in Illinois and California urging them to buy a one-way ticket to the low-tax state of Florida. In his desperate search for re-election votes — women’s votes — Gov. Rick Scott likely failed to mention that he just vetoed an alimony reform and equal-shared parenting bill that passed both chambers by more than a 2-to-1 margin. So, why is this is important to business leaders? Nationally and in Florida, the divorce rate hovers around 50 percent. By definition, business leaders are high earners, often with a lower-earning spouse. What this means to business leaders considering moving to Florida is that they face a 50-50 chance of being divorced by their wives and — thanks to Scott — they face a 100 percent chance of paying permanent alimony to that ex-spouse until they die if they divorce in Florida. In short, it is not in the personal best interest of any business leader to move to Florida with these kinds of odds. And if your lower-earning spouse thinks that moving to Florida is a terrific idea, forget it. Not only should business leaders across the country place Florida last on their list for relocation, but businesses already in Florida should be looking to flee. Good move on the veto, Gov. Scott. Gordon E. Finley Miami Circle of life I would like equal time to express my views on “Cat violation” (Your Views, May 5). First, the key phrase being used in Hillsborough County animal ordinance 00-26 as amended is “without the consent of the property owner.” Feral cats do not have owners to control them. Cats have been around in the wild since ancient times ,just like their larger relatives, cougars and panthers. They are a part of every culture, just the same as birds and other animals. Egyptians used to worship them and mummified them along with their dead. God made them. Who are we to take their lives? There is an influx in immigrants as well, but we do not mass-murder them. Animals are going extinct because of humans. Let’s not only help the endangered species but keep others off the list. Most of the people who actively participate in the TNR program own a feral cat colony, where the cats have plenty of food and water. Once the animal knows it has a steady food supply, it will not actively roam the neighborhood. As a colony owner, I would gladly testify that the feral cats living on my property are properly cared for. They live in harmony with birds that I also feed and the dogs that live in my backyard. They never roam far, if at all, and have quiet, content lives. A good friend told me to ask the writer of “Cat violation” if he has seen “The Lion King.” If so, he would understand the circle of life. Leticia Borbolla Tampa Amen Finally someone gets it right. A reader’s recent letter said the reason people shop online is not to avoid sales tax. It’s for convenience, the inventory and the ticket price. To which I say, “Amen,” and add the following: Online, I receive a prompt “thank you” instead of “have a nice day.” No one patronizingly calls me “honey.” And I don’t have to compete with a cellphone when I’m trying to check out. When local merchants have a selection similar to online sites, and when their sales persons are courteous and knowledgeable, then talk about fair competition. Until then, sales tax has nothing to do with it. Alan Matthews Lakeland Murman’s right Regarding “HART asks governor to veto study money” (Metro, May 7): Kudos to Commissioner Sandy Murman for casting a dissenting vote on the HART board’s request that Gov. Scott veto the study money. Sandy’s right — a study does not mean approval. Understandably, the bureaucrats at HART are skittish that an in-depth study will authenticate their dysfunctional management. James J. Harkins IV Sun City Center
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