‘Stronghold on gambling’
I can think of only one thing more ill-conceived than the city of St. Pete’s long-term contract on Tropicana Field, and that’s the state’s contract with the Seminole Indian tribe regarding gambling. Of the casinos I’ve visited throughout the United States and in Canada, the Bahamas and Germany, to mention a few, no other casino I’m familiar with is in need of competition worse than the Seminole Hard Rock in Tampa.
The tiny Rainbow Casino in Vicksburg, Miss., one of four in the city, and almost all of the rest I’ve visited, including many in Las Vegas, make the local casino appear to be the biggest ripoff going. Pushing $30 for a mediocre buffet is outrageous. And getting to pay only $5 for valet parking instead of $6 because I’m such a “high roller” is amusing. Then, to stand for interminable periods of time awaiting my vehicle from the valet is purely infuriating. Video poker machines appear to have the royal flush blocked. Some table games are always overcrowded, with others of the same game sitting idle.
Biggest isn’t always better. I hope this stronghold on gambling enjoyed by the Seminole Indians is a matter of retribution, rather than just plain greed.
Amid the mystery about what happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, an obvious question is: Why does a transponder have an on-off switch?
Natural — or not?
I recently read an article in the Tribune about someone working to “return the land to its natural state.” Puzzled a bit over this unlikely process, which is usually left to our creator, I finally discovered the answer in a most unusual place — the FDA. It seems that to the FDA, “natural” is not legally defined and is accepted by the FDA as long as there are no added colors, synthetic substitutes or artificial flavors. So much for being natural.
Roger H. Oddson
Sun City Center
In response to coach Zoscak (“Players need unions,” Your Views, April 6), I think he is stuck in the 1940s, when we needed unions. Unions really did a lot of good for the overworked, underpaid, uninsured and the unsafe work environment many people had to endure after the Great Depression. His positives are the exact reasons I see a negative. He states that a union job pays more and that union members can strike if their demands aren’t met. And they get the best health care, vacation time and sick time. Although all of this is true, Zoscak neglects to tell you that unions have caused companies to outsource jobs to China and India. Their demand for high wages and all of the perks is not realistic. A person who screws a bolt into a car or a garbageman should not be making $48 to $58 an hour, along with all of the other perks. Is it any wonder companies are forced to outsource jobs?
Now let’s get into the real dollars and cents. The outrageous salaries that sports figures make are sickening. Most of them got a free college education because of a scholarship, and half of them can’t even put a paragraph together, I bet. They make more money than a teacher or medical professional will in a lifetime.
Entrepreneurs at work
In your article “Lyft pushes into town” (front page, April 5), Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn seems to think that being an entrepreneur is fantastic. As a cab driver, I agree with him because every taxi driver in Hillsborough County is a self-employed entrepreneur. Why is it so important for the mayor, state Rep. Jamie Grant and Sen. Jeff Brandes to install an unregulated car service when we already have car services in place? The article states a fee to downtown would run about $19.34 cents. Add the tip and other fees and it comes to about $25 dollars — that is the taxi flat fee.
Taxi drivers in Hillsborough first are fingerprinted by Tampa police and checked for DUI and drug arrests, and an FBI background check is done. No car or van over five years old is allowed to be placed into service. They have to stay in good working order, with lights and air conditioning, and the operating condition of the car and the meter are checked constantly.
Mr. Mayor, keep our public transportation safe and allow our presently regulated entrepreneurs to continue to be able to make a living with their taxis, limousines and town cars.
We’ll defend you
“‘Warning shot’ bill a mistake” (Our Views, April 4) was wrong in its basic premise as well as in some details.
First, you never did define who you meant by “those undeserving of its protection.” I hope you weren’t referring to those folks who have been forced to resort to deadly force in order to protect themselves from serious bodily harm or death.
Second, you said “stand your ground applies to deadly force.” Not so. The “stand your ground” law allows as much force as deemed necessary, up to and including deadly force.
It was the misapplication of the other two laws you mentioned that forced defenders to use deadly force. If they merely showed their weapon, they went to jail for brandishing a firearm. If they merely fired a warning shot, they went to jail for negligent firing of a weapon. This new legislation would allow the person being attacked to stop short of deadly force without going to jail.
On the same subject, letter writer Diane E. Jones (“Who’s in charge?” Your Views, April 4) has it all wrong. Those of us who are licensed to carry a concealed weapon are not the kind of people who would shoot you so we could save our dog.
We are much more likely to defend you from the bully who is trying to throw you overboard so he can save his dog.
Alfred J. D’Amario