Learn from Michigan’s fiery mistake
In response to “Douse Florida fireworks bill,” on Jan. 1, 2012, fireworks became legal in the state of Michigan, much the same as being proposed by the Florida Legislature. The much-ballyhooed legislation would stop Michiganders from fleeing the state in droves into border states to purchase their holiday arsenal, while providing an estimated $8 million to $40 million for the state treasury. Well, folks, after a 6 percent fireworks safety fee and 6 percent state sales tax, the grand total was a paltry $2 million!
During the first summer the inferno burned roofs and garages and started grass fires across the state while completely destroying St. Mary Magdalene church, resulting in a $1.7 million loss. With all of the public outcry due to loss of sleep, property damage and a constant cacophony of noise, the nincompoops in the Michigan Legislature tried to put the genie back into the bottle by allowing local municipalities the right to pass their own ordinance to regulate within their limits. A better approach would have been to say “no” when the vote was called in Lansing.
Perhaps Florida legislators in Tallahassee could learn from the mistake made in Michigan.
The New York Times, that newspaper with the reputation of printing all the news in a fair and an unbiased manner, is urging the United States government to offer clemency to that great American patriot, Edward Snowden. Gee, where was The New York Times when Benedict Arnold needed it?
According to the Times, Snowden deserves credit for exposing America’s top secrets to the world. I’ll bet Iran and the Taliban are pushing for him to be nominated for “Person of the Year.” OK, so he disagrees with NSA’s surveillance programs, but why would he think the answer to this problem was to expose America to those whose only wish is to see the flag of Islam flying on top of the White House and the destruction of one of our few true friends, the Israelis?
France and Germany expressed outrage over the NSA’s surveillance systems, but truly, do not these same countries have their own surveillance systems? Their real problem is they do not have the advanced technology of America. The day will come when the liberal media will have won their so-called battle for the rights of citizens, and America will once again visit 9/11.
A class act
I think the Tampa Bay area owes a big thank you to Greg Schiano, who was fired last week as Bucs head coach. The man gave the job his best effort. He’s a class act and from what I observed had the respect of his players. You can’t win without impact players, and he didn’t have enough of them.
There aren’t enough men with the honesty, integrity and sense of responsibility Mr. Schiano showed under adverse circumstances — calm in the eye of the storm while he and his family endured much abuse. He took it all on his shoulders and left with class. Good luck in the future, and thank you, Mr Schiano.
What happened to news?
I have been a subscriber to the Tribune since 1987 and never have I read such meaningless drivel as your front page above the fold since you rearranged the format. This is supposed to be a newspaper. I want to see news on the top of the page, not some story that should have been on Page 3 of the Business section or something better fitted to Baylife. The same with sports — it should be in the sports pages.
News is what I want to see above the fold every day. Can’t believe you cannot find some. If not you should consider a more suitable line of work.
Printed Fox News
I noticed that the Sunday Tribune announced that a new politically conservative column will be included in the Metro section each Sunday. This is irritating to me because that kind of thing belongs in the editorial section. To make matters worse, there were several news articles in the front section that were clearly favorable to Republicans or conservatives. There were no such articles favoring Democrats.
I have never had a problem with the Tribune being right of center as long as the news pages remained objective (and, in fact, I frequently have agreed with the Tribune’s editorial positions). But the lack of balance in Sunday’s Tribune reminded me of national Fox News network.
I’m thinking seriously about dropping the Tribune and picking up the TB Times. I prefer the Tribune, but I don’t want to read a printed version of Fox News network. I’ll wait a couple of weeks before making up my mind, however. Please be assured that I don’t care what positions the Tribune takes on its editorial pages, but its news pages should be absolutely objective if it wants to maintain any credibility as a news source.