Follow energy legislation
Please continue to report and be even more aggressive in covering the energy-related bills filed by state Rep. Dwight Dudley, D-St. Petersburg, and U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Tampa. Your paper touts itself as fiscally conservative so you should definitely be on the side of taxpayers and common sense when it comes to pulling the plug on Duke Energy’s stranglehold on consumers. Someone must stand up to this corporate takeover of the local economy.
Also, I find it completely ludicrous that in this sunny state only utility companies can sell solar power. It should be mandated — yes, mandated — that every new building constructed be required to have 50 percent of its power generated by solar panels. What craziness is it that Germany is the nation with the most solar power per capita while the U.S. falls somewhere between the UK and Cyprus, near the lower end of the ranking? Florida should be the leader in solar power. What are we thinking?
Your story “More guns found in airport baggage” earlier this week does disservice to the community and more importantly to readers. Reporter Ted Jackovics notes nationally that an average of 35 firearms per week are intercepted, and Tampa contributing 36 for all of 2013. The author commits gross negligence when he fails to mention the total number of passengers flying. The US Travel organization put the figure at 1.6 billion leisure travelers and 460 million business travelers in 2012. Tampa International Airport’s website notes almost 17 million fliers in 2012.
Jackovics goes even further when he quotes the survey asking 4,600 fliers whether they’ve accidentally brought a “banned item” on board. Whether he intended to mislead the public, no one can tell. However, a banned item can be too many ounces of toilet articles, fruit where quarantine is in effect, nail clippers, scissors or hundreds of other items. The article doesn’t pass newsworthiness when the chances of the event happening are on par with winning the Florida lottery.
Chains vs. belts
The 2014 models are out, and it amazes me that the engineers who design the engines that go into the modern-day autos still use timing belts instead of timing chains. If you ever had one of these belts break, especially on an engine that has an interferal motor, you will remember the cost to repair this malfunction. Even if you follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and change the belt before it breaks, you’re looking at a very expensive repair, one that is unnecessary every 70,000 miles simply by using a chain.
Some models from the same manufacturers use a chain in one size engine and a belt in another, like the Nissan Versa 1.8 engine (timing chain), and the Nissan Sentra 2.0 engine (timing belt ). Why? Years ago all engines used chains, and you had some indication when it was time for a new chain. Also, if it did break, you would not take out your valve train.
I’m sure that when push comes to shove money is at the bottom of this; it always is. But as a consumer I would be willing to pay the extra few cents on my new car than the thousands that has to be laid out every time a belt breaks down the road.
Failing test of time
When you purchase almost any household items these days you get a one-year warranty, and in a very short time after the warranty expires, something happens. The last two vacuums I purchased had the handle break in two. When you contact the manufacturer, the first thing they ask is, “When did you purchase it?” Like they know ahead of time the warranty expired. Then you are told you must have dropped the unit. Well, yeah, things like that happen. I didn’t think I needed to handle it like it was made of glass. It’s plastic.
Another case in point: An outdoor thermometer stopped working a few months after the warranty expired. Tough!
The one thing all these items have in common is they were made in China or some other country other than America. If everyone who has these experiences took the time to find the name and address of the CEO and sat down and wrote them a letter, maybe we might see some improvement in the quality of this junk. And spread the word when a product does not stand the test of time.
Shouldn’t be a lifetime job
Regarding “Eight years is enough for any president” (Other Views, Jan. 7): This is very true, but was not taken far enough. Eight years is enough for any member of Congress. I think all of Congress should be elected for a maximum of eight years, with one half changed every four years. Congress was not meant to be a lifetime job.
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