Best Republican Democrat
Regarding "Road to ruin?" by R. Pollard (Your Views, July 27):
The writer is blaming everything ruinous on the Democrats. True, they could and should be doing a lot more - and a lot more radically - to stay true to their roots. Don't forget it was free-market capitalism that drove the auto manufacturers out of Detroit and Flint, Mich., for cheaper labor (watch the film "Roger and Me" by Michael Moore for more on that topic).
The "carbon tax" is destroying the coal industry? How so? Powder River Basin coal in the Dakotas and the Great Plains is not slowing down. We are exporting coal to China, as well.
Energy policy is choking the oil industry? How so? President Obama has been quite compliant with the oil industry, agreeing to open up much of the eastern U.S. coastline and fast-tracking the Keystone XL pipeline to bring crude to Gulf Coast refineries. His energy policy has been an "all-of-the-above" approach.
I didn't know EPA mileage standards were destroying the auto industry. How so? SUVs get, what, 11 to 12 MPG?
I think the writer is a bit misguided as to how Democrats are to blame for so much of everything.
In fact, Obama in many ways is the best Republican to ever be a Democrat. Just ask the people being hit by all those drone strikes in the Middle East.
TampaCode enforcement flaws
Regarding "Oft-cited landlord is not unique" (front page, July 28):
Most slumlords would not live on their own properties.
The fact that Hoe Brown was not cited as a repeat offender is simply due to the city's administration not having a definition of what a repeat offender is. This has been a problem for the city of Tampa for years. The attitude of the administrations have been that if you just fix a problem, then the case is closed and no accountability is required. This just makes it easier for the department but does nothing for the problem or the neighborhood.
By state statute, the administration creates the process. The amount of time to comply to the code violations by a property owner is set by the administration. The amount of time to comply or face a hearing can be shortened by the administration.
Property owners who have to wait to be informed of violations are simply making the Code Enforcement Department nothing more then a property management department.
For the administration to allow these property owners not to be held accountable by a hearing has allowed repeat offenders to get away with repetitive violations. Cities can declare a problem property a public nuisance.
Tampa's legal department has more power to enforce city codes and zoning regulations than in the past 30 years. This includes posting a property as a form of notification. Charges can be made by the code officer making out an affidavit. The adding of a civil citation, although not easily enforced, is a good alternative. However, without the administration requiring a re-inspection of these properties, compliance won't be ensured.
Many other cities in Florida have been able to make major improvements to the quality of life of citizens by taking a stronger approach to code enforcement.
Pete D. Johnson
TampaDreams and nightmares
Regarding "Immigration reform would extend the American dream" by Dick Rivera (Other Views, July 25):
Did Rivera even read this bill? He would have us all believe that giving legal status to illegal immigrants would produce a tremendous bounty for America. But the sobering fact is that for every $1 illegal immigrant labor produces, almost $2 are being taken out by illegal immigrants from social services, such as our public schools, welfare and food stamps, etc., according to Glenn Beck.
There are other alternative sources on this issue. One is called Fairus.org, a website that radio show host Mark Levin highly recommends on the issue of illegal immigration. There also is Securebordersnow.com and Tedcruz.org.
According to Fairus.org, the actual cost to our country of granting amnesty through this bill will be $6.3 trillion!
Where is the great prosperity that Rivera keeps saying is going to happen with this bill?
Rivera's sense of American history seems prejudiced and spiteful. He talks about America's oldest city being where the American Dream began. His refusal to even mention the name of this city reveals, I think, something sinister about his thinking and motives.
Let us remember that dreams can also be nightmares - something Rivera does not seem to grasp!
George A. Capsas
Thank you for that wonderful, inspiring story ("Meant to be," July 28) by Michelle Bearden.
It was heartwarming to read of the successful U.S. adoption of a baby who could have possibly had a serious illness. Sometimes those of us who have successfully bore children don't realize the agony of those who want desperately to have biological children.
There are so many U.S. children who need a loving home. We need to make the process easier and more successful for those who wish to complete their families.
Thanks, Michelle, for that story and the many others you bring us through The Tampa Tribune.