Your letters

Letters to the Editor
Published July 9, 2006

 Please, no more stories about the rich whining

Re: High rates on the high seas, June 30

The St. Petersburg Times blew it on this article. How many of your readers have a boat worth more then half a million dollars? This boat is nothing but a toy. If you can afford a boat that is worth $600,000, you sure can afford the insurance and the gas to run it. Do not waste your space on the rich complaining about trying to keep their money. There are better stories for you to print out there.

Paul Weber, Seminole

The rich can't afford boat insurance? Boo hoo

Re: High rates

As a longtime resident of St. Petersburg and a homeowner, I am appalled that you published the story of the couple whose insurance on their luxury yacht had more than tripled because of the market in Florida. I think I speak for all of the working-class homeowners of Florida when I say, "boo hoo." Most of the residents of this state couldn't afford to fill the gas in that behemoth, never mind worrying about insuring that toy.

Because of the increase in the cost of living in this state, many people, myself included, are seriously considering moving out of Florida.

Here's a novel idea. Come to my house and take pictures of my 10-year-old vehicle and 50-year-old house that I can barely afford, rather than write about "Donald and Ivana" with their seaborne gas guzzler.

Kevin Mitchell, St. Petersburg

Does 'middle America' even exist anymore?

Re: High rates

I used to think of myself as "middle America" financially speaking, but after the last few years and reading about the payment to CEOs and officers of business corporations, I've come to think more that I'm sliding toward the "poor" category. I'm beginning to think in terms that there's just rich people and poor people. I'm beginning to think that those in Congress that got voted in ought to be voted out. They're only thinking of their own pocketbooks and not what benefits "middle America."

Bob Le Duc, Brooksville

Employers, give a chance to experienced workers

Re: High rates

I am a single female, 54 years of age, who moved to St. Petersburg from Fort Lauderdale six months ago. I did my research and was aware of lower wages here on the west coast compared to South Florida and was prepared. But I wasn't prepared for all the interviews that go on without any response from the employer. Even temp-to-perm (right-to-hire) jobs that temporary services have to fill are always preceded by an interview, even though the temp service has interviewed, tested and qualified a person suitable for that particular job.

Whatever happened to giving someone a chance who has many years of experience? And if it is a temp-to-hire position, then isn't that the best way to see someone's skills and interaction with other employees in a company? In an area like St. Petersburg with a huge "over 50/baby boomer" population, what chance is there for us who are still in the work force and have extensive experience and 10-plus years to give to employers? What is the trick of getting a good job here?

Georgia Pappas, St. Petersburg

Ask the right questions, and Part D can work

Re: Study: Part D fails to cap drug prices, letters, July 2

I am a volunteer with the Florida Department of Elder Affairs SHINE program. The four letters you printed were from various parts of the country, but I am certain the fundamentals that are inherent in Florida are present in other states.

Every letter you printed highlighted "problems" within Medicare Part D. As a counselor for Medicare Part D programs, I would have a response that would eliminate the problem that was encountered, or at a very minimum, would highlight the problem before the client had even signed up for the program.

I am not writing this response in support of Medicare Part D, but rather as a person who understands the subject and can always find the least-expensive plan for a given set of medications. There need not be any surprises to an individual as they enroll in and get their medications from this program throughout the year.

Willis Whitten, Dunnellon

Just going to the store can yield Part D information

Re: Study: Part D fails to cap drug prices.

In response to the letter writer from Illinois, perhaps they do not have a Walgreens drugstore nearby. But before I signed on for Part D coverage, Walgreens had a program in their pharmacy that offers a free computer comparison of the different plans utilizing the medications you take. This printout allows you to make the best decision based on the medications you take. I know I am fortunate because the Celebrex 200 mg capsules were costing me $84 for 30 capsules. I am now able to buy these through my coverage with Pacific Health Care for $104.60 for 90 capsules, a savings of $147.10. I take Norvasc tablets, which were costing me $63.90 for 30 tablets. I am now able to buy 90 tablets for $104.60, a savings of $87.10. These medications are delivered to my home with no charge for shipping or handling.

So unless Walgreens does not have stores in Illinois, it certainly is very easy to get information about picking the best plan for you. The store does all the work for you and you do not need to be "computer savvy."

Joan Funderburk, Brooksville

A reputable lawyer can help with E2 problems

Re: British are coming, on investor visas, letters, July 2

I was interested in the two letters from British investors and their problems with the E2 visa. My family and I came to the United States in 1987 and bought a small business. We got an E2 for two years. However, when we went to renew through a lawyer, we were refused because we didn't meet the criteria for the visa. The lawyer must have been aware of our potential failure but took our money anyway. We couldn't return to England because the sale of our house there had funded the business and we were unable to sell the business. Our two children were doing well in school, so we made the decision to stay.

Being illegal, we were unable to visit the United Kingdom without the risk of losing everything. We finally met with a more reputable lawyer, who was able to get us green cards on the basis of our unbroken stay in the United States. We were finally able to visit friends and relatives in the United Kingdom, but it took us 12 years to do so.

Peter Jerome, Lakeland

Smart car not an intelligent choice for everyone

Re: Is U.S. ready to get smart? June 25

After seeing the picture of the Smart car, I have to wonder: At what point does safety become an issue vs. mileage? What would the chance of survival be if hit by a racing bike, not to mention a trailer truck barreling down Ulmerton Road running a yellow light? I think safety reports should be published along with the gas mileage. Gas could reach $10 a gallon and I would not sacrifice my personal or family safety to save a few bucks. Not to mention comfort. There are more factors to be considered than the price of a gallon of gas.

James G. Clesas, Clearwater


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