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Your letters: Opinions on Business news

By Times Staff
Published April 22, 2007


US Airways needs to reverse course, column April 18

Customer service has dropped off

I wasn't previously aware of FFOCUS Frequent Fliers Committed to US Airways Success but fully concur that customer service at US Airways has taken a serious nosedive since the merger.

Howard Posner, Tampa

Seatrade USA

Middle class is in IRS' sights April 17

We audit little guys?

I swear, when I read this article, I was stunned by the absurdity that people who make between $25,000 and $100,000 per year are going to be "much more likely" to be audited. Are we not the people who are struggling with higher taxes, utilities, health care and rising food prices? I'm not even sure that people who make less than $25,000 a year should even be paying taxes, considering the basic cost of living and inflation. And the rich and the corporations just keep on getting the best accountants money can buy, but the average person keeps getting hammered. Oh, and let's not forget "government spending," which is abused constantly. This is truly a sad state of policing the hard-working, yet vulnerable, people. I truly cannot process this kind of thinking. What do the people do about this? At this point, I have run out of words out of plain frustration.

Susan Weyhe, South Pasadena

Lightning may score tax rebate April 17

Don't subsidize pro sports teams

So three professional teams are threatening to leave the state if they don't get a $540-million tax rebate. As far as I am concerned, let them go. The way us little folk are having trouble paying taxes and insurance, we can no longer afford to live in the state. Never mind buying a sports ticket. No one will be here to go to the games anyway. There is such a crunch in this state. Where are our legislators' heads?

It seems to me, only the wealthy are allowed to live here anymore. Slowly, the average Joe, who has made this state as it is today, is being forced out of his home. Just look at all the side streets in Pinellas County. Home upon home are up for sale. Or if not for sale, for rent just to hold on to our precious homes.

Do you think these teams need to be subsidized since the locals can't even afford to go to the games? Has their greed finally got the better of them? Have you seen the cost of the tickets? Never mind a hot dog and a beer? How can they justify these prices, pay the big bucks for the players and ask the state for more? Can you imagine how far $540-million can go for the people for our own tax relief? People are losing their homes.

To our leaders, get your priorities straight. You haven't solved the problem of the people yet. Pay attention, or you will find yourself out of a job next election. The people vote. Not stadiums. If the people flourish, the state will.

Valerie Walsh, Largo

Media advertising

TV ads to blame for housing issue

While watching the Devil Rays game on Channel 17, I watched your commercial numerous times. Of the 365 headlines over the past year that could have been used for this commercial, you chose to use a negative one - to the effect of home sales leaving sellers in the lurch. You couldn't have chosen a positive one along the lines of Gators win the national championship?

The housing slump that we're going through is 100 percent media-induced and will continue as long as the media keeps pounding on the issue. Housing helps drive the economy and you folks just love to hate it. Builders fill dreams and build communities for people to raise families. Everything from paint sales to carpet sales and appliance sales is driven by housing. Hundreds of thousands of workers are dependent on the housing business. Employees of the St. Pete Times are partially dependent on the advertising that real estate agents and builders buy in your newspaper.

Why don't you say something about circulation of print media dropping like a stone and see what that does for your paper? My only hope is that the people in this industry that you are trying to make extinct stop advertising in your newspaper and, therefore, hopefully you'll get laid off and know what it feels like not to get a paycheck on Friday. Then, you'll know what a ripple effect is.

Pete Krauser, Palm Harbor

President, Mark Maconi Homes

Battle over bullets April 12

Give contract to old-line U.S. firm

Excellent article about General Dynamics being awarded the ammunition contract supplying the M16 and others and subcontracting it to an Asian company that quit making ammo! Many old-line U.S. companies should have received this contract and our troops wouldn't be reduced to throwing rocks in the near future.

Art Croci, Spring Hill

Negative tone of business coverage

Roar of the stock market is missed

A review of the Times' archive shows me that business columnist Robert Trigaux is missing one of the big stories in business news, namely, the continued bull market in stocks and overall prosperity in the American economy. Yes, there are challenges facing us, but Mr. Trigaux's unwillingness to even occasionally cover the phenomenal performance of the stock market indexes during the past five years is really remarkable for a guy whose beat is the business scene. Unfortunately, the direction of Mr. Trigaux's commentary tends to cover the national economy in a very negative light -- routinely. Can we please see more attention directed to journalistic standards of relevance, objectivity and truth telling?

Jim Parker, Tampa

About Publix's performance pay program

Workers, stand up to Publix

My husband and I read about the new plan for Publix and couldn't believe it. Then we read about how the woman, who was a good enough employee for 12 years, tops out on the pay scale. Now she is not a good enough employee so they cut her pay 25 cents a hour in order to make her work harder? We say good for the woman who quit. More of you need to stand up and say "no way!" Maybe if enough of you get the guts to stand up, then Publix will rethink the error of their ways.

As for my household, we are done with Publix. Let's see if Publix misses all my quarters.

Denise Ganoe, Port Richey

Corporate paydays that boggle the mind April 10

Publix won't get hard-earned cash

After reading about the 25-cent hourly deduction from certain employees even when they are given good reviews by the company and the public they help, I wonder who the approximately 1,755 employees are going to be next to pay for the hourly salary of Charles Jenkins Jr. Your article states his hourly rate of $438.84.

I used to be an avid shopper at Publix but cannot in good conscience continue to give my hard-earned money to a corporation that would put 25 cents above long-term good employees just to pay this obscene salary to one of their executives. How about checking into the other food stores so we can be just as informed on their policies?

Maryrose Nicolazzi, Port Richey

Advertisers need Imus, no matter how crude, column April 16

Good work is often missed

I have listened to or watched Don Imus on and off for at least 30 years, and once again you have hit the nail on the head. In this era of corporate greed, it all comes down to money. Imus was the goose that laid the golden eggs.

There were many things about his show that I hated, but he had so many people of consequence appearing on it that it was hard to not look in, especially since I have been retired 15 years.

I also admired his charitable works, which are many and may probably fall by the wayside. I hope not. He will return. "The evil that men do lives after them and the good is oft interred in their bones."

D.G. Murray, New Port Richey

Rainmaker like Imus, no matter how vile, will be back

I want to compliment you on your column. I didn't like a single concept dealt with in the column. But that does not change the facts that your column was truthful and well written. I think advertisers overreacted and got rid of Don Imus before his time. If they had waited a bit, and had him lay low, public opinion would have forgotten and drifted on and he could have roared back onto mainstream radio. You are right, in one way or another: A rainmaker like him will be back.

Frankly, before the current flap, I had never heard of the guy. Radio means baseball games on Saturday afternoon while I wash the car.

One of my favorite books is Land of Desire, a chronicle of how the consumption way of life beat out or stifled every other view of what it means to be American. It is thumbed and loose of binding, and sits on my night stand at home.

I hate consumptionism. I hate advertising. I hate the low level to which public manners, morals and ethics have sunk. But it seems everybody else likes it, and are eager to act their part on the stage. Imus and Bubba the Love Sponge Clem and their ilk are only giving people what they have conditioned people to like.

Divide and conquer. Imus must feel rather confused. He played it by the rules - say the thing, then have the flurry of added publicity as the rounds of apologetic conferences are held. After all, Imus gave Rutgers' female basketball program lots of free publicity. The media moguls did not honor the fidelity of their made man.

Robyn Cardy, Tampa

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[Last modified April 20, 2007, 18:58:22]

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