I am angry and hurt by Sierra Club’s legal action concerning TECO’s planned conversion to natural gas. Having been a Sierra Club member for years, I feel betrayed. I have lived in Apollo Beach for almost 18 years, always with the hope that this behemoth of a coal-burning facility would convert to a cleaner fuel. My neighbors and I would welcome patios without a coal dust covering and air that’s healthier to breathe. When TECO announced that it would retire some of the coal-burning stacks, I felt almost like I’d won the lottery. Keep in mind that not all natural gas comes from fracking. Now I’m faced with the possibility of years of litigation. Being a senior citizen, maybe I’ll never have the reality of cleaner air unless my husband and I move. I hope the Sierra Club reconsiders this legal maneuver for the sake of all those who live near this power plant.
Jacqueline J. Settle, Apollo Beach
Truth matters; vote for it
For those voters who may still be undecided or may be wavering about their upcoming ballot, I feel a sense of responsibility to make an appeal for common sense to encourage these voters to become better informed before they vote.
Each of us only has only one vote and collectively we will decide whom we elect for local, state and national positions. For some, it may just be one single issue that concerns them; however, there is certainly more at stake, especially on the national level.
Please don’t allow lies and deceptions to influence your vote to elect politicians who don’t intend to honor oaths of allegiance to the Constitution of the United States, protect us all from enemies both foreign and domestic, nor intend to enforce checks and balances on our executive branch.
Unfortunately, some politicians have been putting party above our nation for the last two years and have not performed the latter at all. It has to stop, now.
I am grateful that we have freedom of the press and appreciate that most of them have been doing their best to keep us informed. However, there are others who have not been taking their responsibilities seriously.
Truth matters and I prefer to believe investigative news that is reported by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists and their organizations who have received this honor, some repeatedly over the years.
It is not too late to educate yourselves about the issues and become informed especially about health care and the pre-existing conditions issues. Several politicians are actively deceiving us regarding their positions, voting records and actions. Don’t be fooled.
Joan M. Andrade, Pinellas Park
Politics isn’t just elections
It is not surprising that with work, families, studies, exams, social life, etc., many citizens, especially younger ones, may not give serious attention to politics. The exigencies of daily life take priority to politics. However, politics does not just mean “elections;” it encompasses issues that make for a quality of life: health care, the economy, taxation, foreign affairs, individual rights (especially the rights of women and minorities of every stripe) and the general welfare. Our democracy is under siege. A significant, disgruntled and frustrated minority elected the majority in the current Congress, and in their quest to maintain power, our representatives have abandoned any sense of duty, dishonoring their oath of office. The pillars of our democracy are being eroded because the essentials of a viable society depend on a stable government within the operation of checks and balances.
As responsible adults, we are duty-bound to encourage our children, grandchildren and others with whom we share our lives not to blindly follow posts and tweets. Let us promote the forming of opinions from factual, independent research giving weight to personal agendas, biases and to the integrity of those who provide political support monies. It is time, as in every election, to put country first. We deserve what we elect. So, elect honest, intelligent, thoughtful individuals to represent us. Every informed vote can lead to a course correction of our ship of state; to be silent is to be negligent. Do not despair. Vote!
Sam A. Giunta, Tampa
The migrant caravan
Smallpox is eradicated
For all who are frightened by the claim of one news outlet that the migrants marching across Central America are carrying smallpox and leprosy: a few simple facts. Smallpox has been eradicated. The last case was in Merka Town, Somalia, on Oct. 26, 1977. Now, there are conspiracy theorists out there who know better than CDC and World Health Organization. Enjoy having your head in the sand. Whilst you are there, you won’t believe that polio will shortly join the list of eradicated diseases. And now the claim that migrants are infected with leprosy: First, let’s use the correct name — Hansen’s disease. Second, it is not an everyday infection and it is certainly not biblical in proportion. It is also treatable and with relatively common medicines. I have worked with Hansen’s patients on several continents though truth be told my wife would rather I not bring that up at parties.
Dr. Thomas I. Hayes, St. Petersburg
Times changes, laws don’t | Nov. 1
Don’t change hands of time
In 1974 during the oil embargo, President Richard Nixon and the Congress imposed Daylight Saving Time year round. The experiment ended in April 1975, in part, because of the danger to our children going to school during the dark mornings of winter. A more appropriate solution would be to have Daylight Standard Time year round. For those who like having more light at the end of the work day, we could have “summer hours,” or “flex hours,” where those so inclined could, instead of working 9-5, could work 8-4.
With this solution those who want an “extra” hour of sun may due so while also preserving the safety of our children.
Mike Mikkola, Sanford