Sorry, kids, the parks and libraries are closed due to declining tax revenues, but if you'll forgo your allowances for the next four months, maybe we can save up and go to a Rays game at the tax-financed ballpark.
Why does anyone think it makes sense for a business (yes, sports teams are big business) to get tax dollars to build their stadium? Apparently, the task force thinks that about $400 million in taxes should go into a stadium rather than be used to improve our infrastructure and community. They try to justify it by saying there are no new taxes, but these same old taxes could do a lot of good elsewhere.
If this is acceptable, will Chuck Sykes ask us to pay for 60 to 80 percent of his next call center? Both are supposedly good for the economy since they create jobs, but if they really made economic sense then people would line up to invest their money in these projects. Instead, public financing is only a great deal for the owners — the public has to pay for their stadium and the public has to pay again to get into the stadium. I say: no return, no investment.
William Nye, Clearwater
A baseball park is the last thing we should spend tax money on. Over the years, vital services and repairs to infrastructure have been cut or delayed to pay for tax cuts.
If we are to pay higher taxes, let us put the money where it is needed and not into a luxury like baseball. There already is a baseball park in St. Petersburg. Let the Rays make do with what they have. The economy is tough, and I can't afford baseball. I will be happy to help them pack if they want to go elsewhere.
Philipp Michel Reichold, Largo
Rubio doesn't know how old the Earth is Nov. 21, commentary
Senator should face facts
Should Florida have a senator sitting on the Senate science committee who thinks theologians are the source of science relative the age of the Earth? Now, I don't believe for one minute that Marco Rubio doesn't know the Earth is 4.5 billion years old, nor do I think he is ignorant of the dangers to Florida from rising sea levels.
That he would parse his words on such fundamental knowledge because of the politics is the real issue. One must infer he would ignore politically sensitive matters that 21st century scientists predict will bring catastrophic consequences. Worst of all, the state he represents is on the front line.
Michael Bartley, Fort Myers Beach
Dooley convicted of killing neighbor Nov. 20
Law's bitter fruit
Trevor Dooley has been convicted of manslaughter in the shooting of David James. This tragic death affected everyone from the victim's daughter to the greater Tampa Bay community.
I will not take issue with the verdict. I trust the jury based their decision on the evidence presented to them. My concern is Florida's "stand your ground" law. The chaos generated by this law is well-documented. I feel it emboldens even "solid" citizens to overreact. I doubt if any clear-thinking person would bring a gun into an argument over skateboarding if he didn't feel protected by this law. It needs to be clarified or repealed.
Otis Davis, Tarpon Springs
Degrees of uncertainty | Nov. 18-20
We need engineers
As a former university professor and department chair in the business and IT areas, I would like to pass on that if one chooses degrees in psychology, anthropology and poetry, especially in this job market, they truly should not expect job offers.
I'm curious as to whom these three had as advisers in high school and/or early college who led them down their chosen path. I expect they will find jobs eventually in positions that can be held by high school graduates.
The country needs engineers, IT and advanced business degrees. I wish them the best.
Arnold Glauser, Wesley Chapel
Lunacy on display
I was driving by the Best Buy in New Tampa on Tuesday night and witnessed the line of people waiting for Black Friday. They were sitting in lawn chairs and had pop-up tents set up for the cold night. It got me thinking about how silly this concept is, but mostly about how this is a reflection of the current state of our society.
Many of these folks will have been camped out for a week before the doors to their Oz are opened. They will then rush like maniacs, (some getting trampled) to save a few bucks on the most current electronics. They are not there to buy food for their families or other necessities of life, but electronics.
One must assume these people don't have jobs or are taking their vacation time to sit there all week. Does anyone else see the lunacy of this? Once again, the major retailers taking advantage of the weak-willed masses. Is this a great country or what?
Tom Parnell, Tampa
Rethinking robocalls | Nov. 17, editorial
Beyond their grasp
This item reminds me of a late 17th century inn in the north of England that is still a public house. Above the entrance, carved into the stone, is a sign that reads, "Free Ale Tomorrow." When the locals showed up, the landlord sent them outside to read the sign.
D. Thackray, St. Petersburg