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By Times Staff
Published May 20, 2007


Why was she fired? Column May 12

Owners need to be able to hire by choice

A woman was fired from her job, possibly because she has AIDS. She had kept a garbage can by her desk because of frequent vomiting. While I can sympathize with this woman, I am not able to think of her as a competent, efficient worker. I also don't think her co-workers were comfortable having her nearby.

If AIDS-afflicted people are to be considered employable, perhaps government positions should be the only jobs available to them. Private enterprise requires the ability to produce a profit so as to avoid bankruptcy. In order for private enterprise to function, the entrepreneur has to be free to hire the people he thinks will help him achieve his goals.

Charles Derer, Hudson

Cheers for Business section

Business section is more lively

We never thought the day would dawn to find us reading the Business section of the newspaper with lively, if not monetary, interest. The recent and ad rem story additions to the lengthy column of numbing numbers have made us "bully" readers. Our thanks to the editors and writers who have made "business" not "as usual."

John and Patricia Vigneau, Spring Hill

On housing and economic crisis

Landlords need to get some relief

All the talk about taxes and insurance without any decisive action is adding to the housing crisis. If something isn't done, the problem is going to become much worse. The unemployment figures don't demonstrate the real numbers of tradesman, real estate and mortgage professionals who are not able to find enough work, or work at all. The trickle-down is just starting to show with Wal-Mart and Home Depot earnings posting declines.

Most of the solutions suggested may help existing homeowners who are benefiting from Save our Homes caps and not help the small businesses and landlords which are increasingly bearing the burden. It is imperative that the solution provide relief to businesses and landlords who provide the bulk of affordable housing. Many of these properties have doubled in taxes and insurance in the past year or so. This is too much for the market to absorb.

Many small businesses are going out of business, and landlords are flooding the market with unprofitable rentals. This is going to discourage residents and businesses from moving to Florida. Small business has been the backbone of our economy. The direction we see the House and Senate going is not going to provide real relief in these areas, but is actually going to increase the disparity between business and long-time homeowners with the doubling of homestead exemptions.

The sales tax proposal was the fairest proposal by taking the burden off the housing market and the disparities out of the system and spreading it more evenly among all residents who enjoy the services provided by our government.

Sara Normandeau, Oldsmar

Tennessee has rays - and they don't scorch, letter May 13

I'm just fine not living in the cold

In response to the Knoxville area resident stating that they sit on their sunny porch on January mornings while we in Tampa can't enjoy a morning coffee outside in July because of the heat, this person has likely never visited Tampa in July.

Knoxville in January averages morning lows of 26 degrees, with morning averages below freezing from December through February. With these cold temperatures along with the winter snowfall, you would need more heat than from just a cup of coffee to sit on your porch in the morning.

Tampa has a morning average in July of a reasonable 74 degrees along with the comfortable breezes from Tampa Bay. Sitting under the shade of my grand oak tree looking at my flower garden in full bloom in January and July, my coffee tastes great right here.

Joseph Caisse, Safety Harbor

Choice of word in headline, Page 3D May 14

A headline straight from the Hells Angels

Regarding the Times headline "You can get a phone that pimps your favorite cause, " has the Times adopted the Hells Angels style manual? Visions of "pimping" women's clubs, youth groups and church choirs via cell phone are nearly as bizarre as the paper's constant drooling over "Susan."

Ed Helper, Clearwater

Response to living wage letter May 13

Unlicensed workers imperil businesses

I totally agree with the poor living wage and cost of living here. It's been that way forever. The problem is we have people here who came from all over the world. A lot of them went into business because they couldn't get a decent living working for someone else. They thought they could do better on their own yet have no real business knowledge. In the service trades, the phone book is full of them. Then you have the so-called handyman who jumps in and decides he's a plumber, painter or electrician who has no licenses, no insurance and no knowledge. But the public thinks they'll get it done cheap.

That beats down the wage scale. Most of us would love to pay more if we weren't strangled by unlicensed handymen, fees, taxes and bureaucracy. Can you afford to pay $150 per hour for service so we can pay, say $20-$30 per hour plus health insurance, workers comp and a vacation once a year? We pay too many taxes!

Bill Durnell, Holiday

On auto insurance

Insurance laws punish the good drivers

The other day my mom and I were in an accident caused by a very fast driver coming around a curve. A BMW hit a Chevy Corvette and my mom and I were following behind the Corvette. The police arrived and then a couple minutes later, two ambulances. The man in the Corvette who was almost 70 years old was taken to the hospital along with the man in the BMW. My mom and I were fine but our Ford Excursion was beaten up and towed along with the other two cars. The next day, we found out the insurance of the 27-year-old man who was driving the BMW might not cover our car and the Corvette.

Because his insurance would not cover our car, it has made it difficult to get to work and school, along with possibly putting off our vacation. We should not have to pay for our car when the accident was not our fault and we have insurance. The insurance laws in the state of Florida should be changed to better the people who drive safely and pay for insurance.

Hannah Bowman, Odessa

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