Letters To The Editor
Letters to the editor: Showing their readiness
Showing their readiness A word of thanks to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office deputies and detectives who were out in force Tuesday mid-morning in search of four suspects who had trespassed and burglarized an apartment. When discovered by a maintenance worker, each fled in different directions. A search helicopter circled overhead while dozens of deputies and detectives blocked a four-square-block area near Falkenburg Road and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. Within 30 minutes, three men and a woman who had set up residence in a vacant apartment were captured. We’ve seen on the news how difficult it is to find one fleeing suspect, and while this was a nonviolent crime, HCSO’s response demonstrated their readiness should a more evil threat descend upon us. Rozel Swain TampaNot a good neighbor Like many others in Florida, I was disappointed last year when my homeowner’s insurance was dropped by State Farm. After 22 years of premiums, our agent simply made a copy of a corporate “pink slip” email and scribbled, “Let me know if I can help you in any way.” In customer service terms, it was the equivalent of a doctor sticking his arm through the waiting room door and giving you a “thumbs down.” A year later, I was shocked to see the State Farm agent’s name on our FEMA flood insurance policy. The agent never informed us that he would continue to draw commissions on that portion of our homeowner’s insurance. In my opinion, if State Farm won’t insure my home, they shouldn’t get any more of my money, either. And by not saying anything to homeowners, it is a dishonest and sneaky way to continue receiving revenue because most people don’t read every word on their policy renewal documents. If you agree, then I would suggest that you review your flood insurance policy to see if your old agent is still making money off you without your knowledge. Then drop them like they dropped you. “Like a good neighbor”? Not even close, State Farm. Good neighbors stick by you through the good
and bad times — especially if you have given them thousands of dollars and asked for nothing in return.
John L. Ficca
Lightweight law The texting legislation passed by the Legislature is ridiculous. You could be stopped for not wearing a seat belt, which only affects you, but texting is a secondary offense and the fine is only $30? Seriously? Consider this: While I have no problem with DUI laws, if you have been drinking or taking drugs your ability to reason has been impaired. If you choose to text while driving your reasoning ability is unimpaired and you chose to endanger yourself and others. Get a hands-free device or put the phone down until you are in a position to use it safely.
Any texting law should carry the same weight as DUI laws.
Unfair charges The article by Jay Bookman, “Now conservatives are fighting school accountability” (Views, May 3), is very misleading, but that is to be expected when written by a liberal columnist. I am so tired of these unfair charges such as this one — that conservatives would not want to hold our schools accountable for the educational foundation of our children.
I would encourage all parents to do their own research on the Common Core standards program. It is granting to the federal government the authority to implement whatever curriculum and testing they deem necessary to achieve standards that they dictate. It will achieve what they have been trying to achieve for decades — the “we-are-all-the-same” standards that will not recognize individual ability.
Staying ahead The people who make laws for us number a few hundred. The laws they make interact with millions of people and, invariably, create unintended consequences. Additionally, those millions who are affected by the laws are thinking about them, how to use them, how to avoid them and how to subvert them. The massed brainpower of the millions overwhelms the mind’s imagination and the laws of the few hundred.
The proposed law to collect sales tax on Internet purchases is no different. There are five states that do not have sales taxes. These states will become a magnet for companies to set up “Internet sales offices,” whereby the sales will be made in tax-free states, even though the goods will be shipped from other places. Those five states will prosper; the rest will lose.
Government should accept the fact that its relentless predation on prosperity has met its match in the fast-changing, mercurial world of the Internet. Those millions will always move faster, think more and stay ahead of the few hundred.
What a country Regarding “Gay athletes and the generational divide” (Views, May 4): I can just visualize Jason Collins as he contemplated his announcement:
“What am I to do if I’m a poor, fading NBA free agent with no immediate prospects for being re-signed?
“I know — send a book title to Sports Illustrated!
“?‘I’m a 34-year-old NBA center. I’m black. And I’m gay.’
“I can be sure that a fawning media and every progressive and liberal in the country — including the president — will heap praise on me for adding to the confusion already experienced by young people as they try to understand and deal with the hormonal changes taking place in their bodies.
“Oh, that’s right — the book hasn’t been written yet. But with the media spectacular that’s already going on from the article, I can be sure the book will hit the top of all the best-seller lists.” What a country!
The writer is president of the Community Issues Council.
Hot Wheels: Kids are driving Pinellas County's car-theft epidemic. It's a dangerous, sometimes deadly, game.