Expensive day out
In reference to the article this week about the whereabouts of Rays fans, I can tell you where our family of Rays fans has gone: our comfortable and affordable family room.
Our family of four, including 5- and 3-year-old boys, love and support our ball club. We recently took our sons to their first major-league game at Tropicana Field. The experience was memorable, and the hospitality at the stadium was amazing. Everyone, from the ticket takers to the ushers, was awesome. However, by the end of the night we had spent close to $300 for four hours of entertainment. Our family budget simply can't accommodate attending a game more than annually.
We'll watch the games at home, and hopefully the players know that we are cheering. Go Rays!
Regarding "State law ignored" (Your Views, July 8):
At the intersections of Gandy and Westshore and Gandy and Manhattan in Tampa, there are red-light cameras that officials say are for our safety. During the holidays at these intersections, there are no less than three fireworks tents, sometimes four. Under those tents, dangerous, illegal fireworks are sold under a convenient loophole in the law that allows a person who signs a sworn legally binding affidavit verifying he is going to use the fireworks legally for agricultural or railroad uses. Then, when that person goes home and shoots off those illegally obtained fireworks, he has broken at least two laws: illegally shooting fireworks and committing perjury on an affidavit to obtain those fireworks. These fireworks stands are about the money.
In South Tampa on the night of July 4 there were a lot of people firing off fireworks to scare birds out of their strawberry fields. Perhaps if someone would shoot off fireworks across the street from the city commissioners' or the chief of police's homes, they could then see the hypocrisy of red-light cameras for safety at these intersections and the fireworks tents.
We are sick and tired of this law enforcement hypocrisy. We want the authorities to enforce the fireworks law and prosecute the people who sign these affidavits with no intent to use the fireworks legally. They should be fined just as people are for being unsafe red-light runners.
TampaThankfully, once a year
Count me among those not at all surprised about celebratory bullets being fired on the Fourth of July. In fact, I had predicted to a friend that we would probably be reading stories about those ignorant folks shooting bullets into the air, as well as at least one fireworks display-related accident - which happened in Simi Valley, Calif. - and all with injuries. I also figured that I would once again be awakened by the fireworks. Indeed, I missed my calling as a fortune teller, as I was right on all three counts. Thank goodness, though, none of the injuries were life-threatening.
Even though July 4th is a big deal to some, I tried to get to sleep early because I get up early to go to work. Although I live in an area where lots of folks congregate to see the fireworks display, some obnoxious individual was ringing a bell, which was as annoying as the boom from the fireworks. Thank goodness July 4th comes but once a year.
JoAnn Lee Frank
A real threat
"A plea for sanity" (Letter of the Day, July 5) begs for a reply. No longer referring to it as "global warming," this plea states there is no greater threat today to us as a country. We must cut back on carbon emissions even if it destroys our quality of life. It may interest Fern Williams to know that the volcanic eruption in Iceland a few years ago erased all the carbon-reducing efforts of the previous five years. That the eruption of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines wiped out all the efforts of carbon reduction since we first thought of it. That there are more than 200 active volcanoes in the world today, and all are spewing ash that "pollutes" our atmosphere, but only if carbon is truly a pollutant. Can something as natural as breathing or flatulent cows really affect our lives more than Mother Nature going through her normal cyclic climate changes?
A more immediate, and real, threat is the destruction of the last superpower by an administration that is spending us into insolvency, adding more than $6 trillion to our national debt in the past five years; that is creating more "entitlements" and "benefits" that are breaking the bank; and that is adding millions more to the SNAP program, to name one. No, the real plea for sanity is to reduce spending and eliminate phony programs (e. g., free phones that cost the taxpayers $2 billion a year, at last count). That is something behind which we can truly unite.
Paul S. Frappollo
I believe I have heard it all after reading Stephen Thompson's article "Deputy scolded for chewing tobacco in Iraq" (July 9). A Pinellas County deputy goes to Iraq, also known as a combat zone, where one's life is at all times in jeopardy, and is serving our country, for which we certainly owe him a debt of thanks. And he is chewing tobacco. Army Reserve Sgt. Bonanno, in 2009, is put in charge of two gun trucks in Baghdad, and to relieve stress begins chewing tobacco. In 2013 he applies for a transfer in his role as a Pinellas deputy, and his polygraph reveals he violated a policy of the department and receives a reprimand. If anyone should receive a reprimand, it should be Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri for stupidity. Come on. We're talking Iraq.