Regarding “Don’t blame Comcast and Time Warner for cable monopolies” (Other Views, March 5):
The elephant in the room that no one is talking about is the sweetheart deals that developers have made with cable providers. Millions of Floridians have been affected by these contractual arrangements.
Sadly, a pro-business Federal Communications Commission has not had the moral courage to outlaw these deplorable attempts to circumvent the free market in an attempt to make a profit.
Yes, of course, local governments should get out of the business of granting monopolies to cable providers for a fee.
But just as importantly, our federal government should protect consumers from the predatory efforts of developers to line their pockets with cash at the expense of homeowners for many years after a subdivision is built out.
Quite frankly, builders have no right to engage in this practice in spite of what the FCC states.
All of us who pay inflated cable bills know that we are being exploited by the greedy.
John R. Gallo
A better way
If red-light cameras are for stopping red-light runners, they are wonderful inventions. Unfortunately, when some municipalities find out what a huge revenue generator they are, the stated purpose of the cameras can become secondary to the goal of raising revenue without raising taxes — and as we have seen recently the yellow-red light sequence gets rigged in favor of the municipality.
On a typical yellow-red light sequence, 98 percent of drivers approaching the light when it turns yellow have no idea how to instantly calculate their speed and the number of seconds before the light turns red.
The other 2 percent who say they can aren’t being honest.
It’s impossible to calculate because lights may have different timing sequences from town to town and light to light, and your speed will be different at every light.
When a light turns yellow a driver must instantly make a decision — hit the gas or hit the brake.
Hit the gas, and take a chance of having a wreck in the intersection or getting a ticket.
Hit the brake, and possibly get hit in the rear by the hit-the-gas driver behind you.
There is a better way: an early warning system.
Traffic light systems are programmable, meaning the sequence of how the lights change can be changed (or re-programmed).
If they are not programmable, they should be, because this technology has been around for at least 20 years.
So why not give the drivers a little bit more time to decide what to do by changing (re-program), the sequence of the lights, so the driver gets an early warning and doesn’t have to make that possibly disastrous instant stop-or-go decision.
Let’s say the duration of the yellow to red light is 4 seconds, for example … so 8 seconds before red, the yellow and green lights flash together.
Then, 4 seconds before red, the yellow and red lights flash until turning full red.
Now we have given the drivers a full 8 seconds to make a decision, instead of 4.
This simple change will make the process for stopping at a red light more orderly and smooth. It will give an indecisive or inexperienced driver more time to begin the process of stopping. It’s simply a much fairer and safer way of treating the driving public.
If a driver still runs the red light, there will be no question as to his or her guilt. Also, this change should not be very expensive.
This reprogramming of the light sequence should be implemented immediately at every intersection where cameras are installed.
It should then be phased in at all intersections with traffic lights in the state within a year or two.
The exact timing of the green-yellow, and the yellow-red, should be state-regulated, not set by each municipality.
A hero no more
Regarding the trade of Martin St. Louis from the Tampa Bay Lightning to the New York Rangers: All the shine and glory of St. Louis is gone. He morphed into a whining brat, a captain who was the first to abandon ship. Did he think of his fans? No. Did he think of his team? No. I would like to tell him what to do with his gold medal.
I am glad Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman will soon follow him out the door.
It is so unfair that Lightning fans and the team have to suffer the collateral damage of St. Louis’ and Steve Y’s feud.
Goodbye, Martin; in the end you go out like a deserter, a hero no more.
If someone is in a position where he feels he needs to use deadly force, a warning shot is not a good idea.
The bullet fired from a warning shot can go astray and cause injury or death to an unintended target.
If the person who is presenting a threat of death or severe bodily injury is close enough to where you think a warning shot might stop him, that person most certainly will be close enough to hear a warning shout — “Stop! Or I will shoot you!”