Friday, June 22, 2018
Editorials

No reason not to act to curb animal cruelty

Ten months after scuttling a planned animal cruelty ordinance, Pasco commissioners are poised to again consider banning the tethering of dogs. The discussion, originally listed for Tuesday's commission meeting, is now slated for Sept. 25. The proposed ordinance, which county staff has spent nearly three years developing, shouldn't be subjected to further unnecessary delays. It is a well-intentioned proposal to promote humane treatment of animals and commissioners should embrace it.

It would be a welcome reversal from a December 2011 hearing in which commissioners caved to objections from people identifying themselves as "hobby breeders.'' Those speakers objected to provisions controlling unsanitary breeding conditions and prohibiting animal sales at flea markets, but they bandied about undocumented evidence that the rules would cost the county tourists, promote neighborhood disputes and be subjected to a legal challenge.

The obfuscation, unfortunately, derailed the proposed ordinance's most imperative objective: forbidding owners from tying an unattended dog to any tree, post or structure. That inhumane practice poses a danger to animals and the public alike.

Animal Services director John Maley previously told commissioners about an unattended tethered dog that died of strangulation after running around the tree several times. Attaching unattended dogs to chains and other restraints also leads to more aggressive behavior from the animals, forcing them to defend their territory rather than flee an intrusion. That message was reinforced Tuesday by an animal advocate who inventoried six injuries and one death attributed to attacks by chained dogs or by animals that had gotten loose from their chains.

Pinellas County and scores of other communities (including the state of California) prohibit tethering of dogs. Pasco County should follow suit and expedite this ordinance as a reasonable way to curb potential animal abuse.

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Editorial: With Supreme Court ruling, Florida should collect sales tax from online retailers

Editorial: With Supreme Court ruling, Florida should collect sales tax from online retailers

It turns out the U.S. Supreme Court has a better grasp of the economic realities of the 21st century than Congress or the Florida Legislature. The court ruled Thursday that states can require online retailers to collect sales taxes even if the retail...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Editorial: Congress should ban splitting kids, parents

Editorial: Congress should ban splitting kids, parents

The shocking scenes of immigrant children crying after being taken from their parents at the border exposed a new level of cruelty by the Trump administration, and though the president reversed course Wednesday, Congress needs to end the shameful pra...
Published: 06/21/18
Sessions kickstarts action on marijuana

Sessions kickstarts action on marijuana

Good job, Jeff Sessions! It seems the attorney generalís misguided attempts to revive the unpopular and unjust federal war on marijuana may be having the exact opposite effect ó prompting a new bipartisan effort in Congress to allow states to legaliz...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/21/18
Editorial: A court victory for protecting Floridaís environment

Editorial: A court victory for protecting Floridaís environment

A Tallahassee judge has affirmed the overwhelming intent of Florida voters by ruling that state lawmakers have failed to comply with a constitutional amendment that is supposed to provide a specific pot of money to buy and preserve endangered lands. ...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/20/18
Editorial: Trump should stop taking children away from parents at the border

Editorial: Trump should stop taking children away from parents at the border

Innocent children should not be used as political pawns. That is exactly what the Trump administration is doing by cruelly prying young children away from their parents as these desperate families cross the Mexican border in search of a safer, better...
Published: 06/17/18
Updated: 06/19/18

Editorial: ATF should get tougher on gun dealers who violate the law

Gun dealers who break the law by turning a blind eye to federal licensing rules are as dangerous to society as people who have no right to a possess a firearm in the first place. Yet a recent report shows that the federal agency responsible for polic...
Published: 06/17/18
Updated: 06/18/18
Editorial: Encouraging private citizens to step up on transit

Editorial: Encouraging private citizens to step up on transit

The new grass-roots effort to put a transportation package before Hillsborough County voters in November faces a tough slog. Voters rejected a similar effort in 2010, and another in 2016 by elected officials never made it from the gate. But the lates...
Published: 06/15/18
Editorial: 40 years later, honoring remarkable legacy of Nelson Poynter

Editorial: 40 years later, honoring remarkable legacy of Nelson Poynter

Forty years ago today, Nelson Poynter died. He was the last individual to own this newspaper, and to keep the Times connected to this community, he did something remarkable. He gave it away.In his last years, Mr. Poynter recognized that sooner or lat...
Published: 06/15/18

There was no FBI anti-Trump conspiracy

The Justice Department released Thursday the highly anticipated report on the FBIís handling of the Hillary Clinton email probe and other sensitive issues in the 2016 election. It is not the report President Donald Trump wanted. But there is enough i...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Voter purge may be legal, but itís also suppression

The Supreme Courtís ruling last Monday to allow Ohioís purging of its voter rolls is difficult to dispute legally. While federal law prohibits removing citizens from voter rolls simply because they havenít voted, Ohioís purge is slightly different. T...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18