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By Times Staff
Published May 13, 2007


Living on prayers, dreams, photo essay May 6

Essay restores reader's faith

I have been putting my newspaper directly into the recycle bin since the Virginia Tech shootings because I just can't read any more about how awful we human beings can be to each other. I'm embracing the ignorance is bliss theory! Just this past Sunday I decided to try to get back into the real world again, and came across your article regarding Mr. Wright and his daughter. While I know Mr. Wright is struggling been there, done that myself, and wouldn't have been able to keep moving forward without the love and support of friends and family, it felt almost like a hug to read of a young man working so diligently toward a goal while still keeping his priorities right where they should be! His daughter is one blessed little girl!

Thank you for restoring some hope!

Bobbi Ruoss, Oldsmar

Tennessee to Floridians: Take a look at us May 7

Tennessee has rays - and they don't scorch

A Floridian friend mailed me a Talk of the Bay clipping from the Times. Among other things, you asked if one ever tries to catch a few rays in January in Knoxville. Well, actually, I live an hour or so east of Knoxville. We have quite a few sunny days in January. I've spent many January mornings sitting on my front porch "catching some rays."

Mind you, of course, that some of those mornings were in the low 20s! Now I ask you, when was the last time you sat on your deck, sipping your morning coffee, in July, enjoying the fresh, cool mountain air?

Darren LaFrance, Greeneville, Tenn.

Online gambling law no threat to poker series May 5

Gambling law will have an effect

I can't believe Jeffrey Pollack doesn't think the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act will have an effect on the World Series of Poker! It's companies like Harrah's that gave money to politicians to support the ban against online poker. When poker goes back to where it was in 2002, we'll see how quick they change their minds against the UIGEA.

Harold Smith, Palm Harbor

What's in our water? Foreign ownership, column May 7

Nestle provides jobs for its water

As a representative of Nestle Waters North America, I want to call attention to what I think are some misleading statements in your column. Though you probably didn't write the headline, surely you will agree that the companies you named in the column don't actually own any water sources. Veolia, for example, is simply under contract to operate the treatment and delivery system on behalf of the public entity, Tampa Bay Water. How is this any different than any other contract let by government? Isn't this essentially the same as having a private waste management company under contract?

With regard to Nestle Waters, the company certainly doesn't own Crystal Spring. We applied for and received a consumptive use permit just like any other water user. In return for the relatively small amount of water the company uses, it provides approximately 1, 000 jobs in the state. How many farms, golf courses, residential developments and industries rely on water to make them viable? Are these not also "profiting" from the use of water? In fact, many of them actually use far more water than our company.

Implicit in your column is the idea that Americans need to fear foreign ownership of their water supplies when that is certainly not the case. Nestle Waters isn't in the business of managing public water supplies, and even the companies that are don't own the resources they manage.

Jim McClellan, Pensacola

President, Southern Solutions Inc.

Editor's note. Southern Solutions is a public relations firm. Nestle is a client.

Be mindful of water wars

Robert Trigaux's reminder that water, on which human life depends, has become another commodity traded by, advertised by and processed by foreign megacorporations should be common knowledge. Water wars have been predicted for the past 30 years. Have oil wars solved our energy problem? Is Florida or the United States informed about and prepared to prevent water wars?

Dorothy Harte, St. Petersburg

Cheese, please? column May 5

Report on better consumer stories

I cannot believe that with the FDA regulatory inadequacies and the contamination of livestock feed and possibly human food supplies that this is the most pertinent subject your Consumer's Edge columnist could come up with. Will we ever get a story relevant to this food safety crisis that doesn't just regurgitate what the government said? How about some independent analysis of milk and cheese to check for melamine or cyanuric acid? Maybe some calls to our government to see why they will not release which brands of chicken and pork may have been contaminated? How long has this been going on?

Debbie Rubin, Tampa

Small changes can have a big fuel-saving payoff, column May 6

Be careful with new car tune-ups

This column advocates a tune-up every three to four months, presumably at a cost of about $40. That's obsolete. The "traditional" tune-up consisted of new spark plugs and points with adjustments of dwell/timing and carburetor. Today, in virtually all fairly recent model vehicles, there are no points to replace (electronic ignition), fuel management is by electronic fuel injection and plugs last 50, 000 to 75, 000 miles. A lot of readers may take this advice seriously only to be taken advantage of by some shops.

Richard J. Lewis, Madeira Beach

Subject: Living wage

Cost of living rises faster than wages

It is time employers step up to the plate in raising the wage floor for all employees. In Tampa Bay and all across the country the cost of living has risen drastically over the past few years, and yet the wage scale for hourly workers has remained at the poverty level. Affordable housing is not available for most. Recent studies have concluded that a living wage in the Tampa area is not less than $20.50 per hour. Paying a living wage is good business!

Tim Williams, Tampa

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[Last modified May 11, 2007, 19:03:42]

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