Friday, December 15, 2017

Friday letters: Disrespect mars work

Awaiting fate, Hughes has no regrets for Capitol flight | April, 17

Disrespect mars work

I am highly insulted on behalf of the 315,950 USPS mail carriers by your referring to our work as "lowly' on the front page of Sunday's edition. What would happen if a reporter did not report for one day? Nothing. Who would notice? Nobody.

What would happen if the lowly mail carrier did not deliver the day's mail? Contracts would not be signed; bills not paid; relationships disrupted; vehicle and voter registrations, diplomas, titles, applications and other key documents all missing. Commerce also would be slowed as the bulk mail is unread and the magazines and yes, from distant places, the newspapers, go unread.

You might consider making your apology during the upcoming Public Service Employees Recognition Week. But such events are likely beneath your radar.

Catherine Lockhead, St. Petersburg

Confusion clouds teens' crash | April 17, letter

Death calls for compassion

This letter is concerning the views of two writers about the loss of life of three teenage girls in Pinellas County last month. I was appalled about the lack of compassion for these girls. One writer wants to remind us that they stole a car and that's the end. In the eyes of God, they are worth much more than that. These writers know nothing about the lives of these girls and their families, and yet they sit in righteous judgement.

The death of a child is a difficult and painful time for families and even more sad that strangers feel the need to offer condemnation in the paper. Shame on them.

Susan Thames, Tampa

Key court test on immigration | April 18, commentary

Immigration by the book

Mr. Escalante's column misses the point of the argument against President Obama's executive order on immigration.

While some of his article reflects the feelings of some people in Florida, feelings don't trump the Constitution. Just because Congress refuses action or just ignores the president's wishes does not mean he is able to just sign an order to make it so.

Checks and balances keep our country strong, and no one branch is able to make laws by fiat.

I believe the American citizenry is in favor of immigration, as long as it is legal immigration.

This is a confusing problem for us because the government has failed us on the immigration front for a long time, and they need to make it right. The president's order does not do that.

Tom Frain, Tarpon Springs

Tampa delivers bro 2.0 | April 17

Skaters need protection

Last week, the former Bro Bowl skate park opened with great fanfare. One thing caught my attention: the complete lack of helmets. Skateboarding is a wonderful activity, but it's my opinion that protection of the head should be a basic necessity. Would there be a public outcry if we had helmet optional youth football leagues?

James Miller, Tampa

NRA lobbyist's prints are on suit dismissal | April 18

Gun lobby goes too far

Like most of your readers this morning, my breakfast was rudely upset after reading your article on the cessation of the lawsuit involving the Southwest Florida Water Management District and the Skyway Trap and Skeet Club. The NRA's Florida lobbyist, Marion Hammer, was able to get Swiftmud to drop its lawsuit against the local gun club with very little effort. This action clearly shows that she is the most influential lobbyist working in the state and possibly the most powerful political figure in Tallahassee.

Her actions got me thinking about how one person can have so much control over so many lives. We often hear of how one person made a difference in so many people's lives. Generally they are positive, feel good stories of people helping others. On the other hand, we have a story where our cowardly local politicians can not even go on record when confronted with the influence of the state's most powerful lobbyist. Hammer's lobbying on behalf of the NRA has a negative effect on the lives of millions of our fellow citizens. Many people that I talk to worry about living in a state where gun ownership and gun violence have us thinking that we live in the Wild West.

Michael Savino, Seminole

Campaign financing runs amok | April 17, editorial

Support dwarfs donations

The Times prides itself on using PolitiFact to test political assertions against the available evidence. So it is surprising to me that the Times does not see the fallacy in its assertion that present campaign laws will corrupt "our entire system of representative government."

If the present campaign laws regarding contributions are so bad, then why did Sen. Marco Rubio and Gov. Jeb Bush fare so badly in their efforts, and why has Trump done so well without spending nearly as much money?

The obvious answer is that large political contributions do not necessarily guarantee results. Instead the contributors to Rubio and Bush received a very bad return on their investments.

Edward Morgan, Largo

Investigations wins Times 2 Pulitzers | April 19

Congrats for quality report

We in the Tampa Bay area are fortunate to enjoy the hard work of a newspaper that invests resources in stories well beyond the obvious. As citizens, we also should be grateful to know that our newspaper has the will and ability to press for answers from our government. At this time, the highest level officials in Florida are playing fast and loose with laws requiring transparency. Community agents, such as the Tampa Bay Times, must be counted upon to hold elected officials accountable.

I want to encourage the Times to continue to afflict the powerful with a constant reminder that their actions can be subject to very public sunlight.

Finn Kavanagh, Tampa


Column: Tax reform is the right path forward for Florida

In Washington, the tax reform process continues to move steadily forward, increasing the likelihood that Floridians will be able to keep more of their own money next year. While it has been the subject of a great deal of criticism (and outright misle...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Editorial: Rubio should make good his threat to oppose tax cuts without changes

Editorial: Rubio should make good his threat to oppose tax cuts without changes

For once, it would be nice to see Sen. Marco Rubio stand up as the independent leader he aspires to become. For once, the Florida Republican should hold his position rather than bow to pragmatic politics. Rubio can stick with his threat Thursday to v...
Updated: 12 hours ago

Column: An important thing you probably knew nothing about — tax-exempt Private Activity Bonds

Only tax attorneys and God fully comprehend the federal tax code that has governed private activity bonds since 1968.But most of us can understand results.Such tax-exempt bonds over the years have literally saved millions of dollars in borrowing cost...
Published: 12/14/17
Column: How the 2018 midterms could end the nightmare of Trump

Column: How the 2018 midterms could end the nightmare of Trump

It is slowly dawning on Republicans and the right-wing media echo chamber that President Donald Trump’s assault on democratic norms and the rule of law, his betrayal of his own populist campaign themes (with tax cuts for the rich and Medicaid spendin...
Published: 12/14/17
Column: How Doug Jones lost in nearly every congressional district but still won the state

Column: How Doug Jones lost in nearly every congressional district but still won the state

Preliminary numbers for Alabama’s U.S. Senate election crunched by J. Miles Coleman of Decision Desk HQ reveal something astonishing: Democrat Doug Jones lost in six of Alabama’s seven congressional districts, but he still managed to beat Roy Moore b...
Published: 12/14/17
Joe Henderson: Recent cold snap brings to mind the Big Chill of Christmas ‘89

Joe Henderson: Recent cold snap brings to mind the Big Chill of Christmas ‘89

You know that little snap of frigid — OK, chilly — weather we just had? In Florida, we call that winter, a season we typically measure in hours.If it’s really savage, the thermometer might not rise above 50 degrees for two or sometimes three whole da...
Published: 12/14/17

Another voice: A shameful anniversary

Josephine "Joey" Gay should have celebrated her 12th birthday this week. She should have been surrounded by friends and family in a place festooned with purple, her favorite color.Chase Kowalski should have been working toward a Boy Scout merit badge...
Published: 12/13/17
Updated: 12/14/17
Editorial cartoons for Dec. 15

Editorial cartoons for Dec. 15

These cartoons are from various Times wire services.
Published: 12/13/17
Updated: 12/14/17
Editorial: Congress should block efforts to expand offshore drilling

Editorial: Congress should block efforts to expand offshore drilling

Timing is everything, and Sen. Bill Nelson seized the right moment this week to call on his colleagues to pass legislation he filed earlier this year that would block the Trump administration from opening additional areas to offshore drilling. With t...
Published: 12/13/17
Goodman: The night Alabama woke up America

Goodman: The night Alabama woke up America

After weeks during which the people of Alabama were prejudged as incapable or unwilling to decipher right from wrong, they proved themselves by blazing a new path to virtue.They defied tradition. They defied political party. They defied the elites wh...
Published: 12/13/17