Friday, September 21, 2018
Opinion

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

Comments
Artificial intelligence might not threaten the human race, but it could be coming for your job

Artificial intelligence might not threaten the human race, but it could be coming for your job

You likely have heard how artificial intelligence is changing the world, from smart phones that keep getting smarter to all the experimenting with driverless vehicles.The rapidly improving technology has also begun replacing workers, especially anyon...
Published: 09/21/18
Editorial: Putnam hire stinks of patronage, secrecy

Editorial: Putnam hire stinks of patronage, secrecy

In addition to a lesson on political patronage, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam needs a refresher on the particulars of state public records law.In January 2017, Putnam hired the 27-year-old son of a former Publix executive to a high-pay...
Published: 09/20/18
Editorial: Investigate first, then hold Kavanaugh confirmation vote

Editorial: Investigate first, then hold Kavanaugh confirmation vote

There should be a timely investigation of the allegation of sexual assault against Judge Brett Kavanaugh before senators hear from him and his accuser, let alone vote on whether they should confirm his nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court. The proces...
Published: 09/20/18
Ruth: DeSantis should study Florida Constitution, quit lying about Gillum

Ruth: DeSantis should study Florida Constitution, quit lying about Gillum

You could certainly be forgiven if you observed the early stages of the Ron DeSantis campaign for governor and concluded the candidate was practicing the politics of shameless fear-mongering.After all, DeSantis, R-Trump Minnie-Me, has all but suggest...
Published: 09/20/18
Romano: We need education solutions not slogans from DeSantis, Gillum

Romano: We need education solutions not slogans from DeSantis, Gillum

And 200,000 third-graders just rolled their eyes.I swear, even they can see through the education proposals offered by gubernatorial candidates Ron DeSantis and Andrew Gillum this week.Letís see, the Republican wants more privatization. And the Democ...
Published: 09/20/18
Too many homeowners forced to tap home equity to pay for day-to-day expenses

Too many homeowners forced to tap home equity to pay for day-to-day expenses

Tapping home equity to pay for day-to-day expenses like groceries and utilities is a recipe for financial peril. It can work for a while, especially if home prices are rising. Eventually the spigot runs dry, bills pile up and your home can be lost to...
Published: 09/19/18
Updated: 09/20/18
Editorial: Immigrants help to make America great

Editorial: Immigrants help to make America great

The heated debate on immigration could benefit from some more facts, which the U.S. Census has helpfully provided. And the facts show that rather than building walls, the United States would do far better to keep opening doors to legal immigrants. Th...
Published: 09/19/18
Updated: 09/20/18
Editorial cartoons for Thursday, Sept. 20

Editorial cartoons for Thursday, Sept. 20

From Times wires
Published: 09/19/18
Column: What we could learn from the Brett Kavanaugh situation

Column: What we could learn from the Brett Kavanaugh situation

So what do you make of the Brett Kavanaugh situation?The question is going around. I’ve been asked it, and I’ve been asking it, and I’ve heard a lot of answers:She’s lying. He’s lying.She’s misremembering. He...
Published: 09/19/18
Daniel Ruth: City owes Gonzmart and Princess Ulele more than a notice of code violation

Daniel Ruth: City owes Gonzmart and Princess Ulele more than a notice of code violation

This has to be height of bureaucratic pettiness, especially for a city whose track record in promoting quality public art falls somewhere between stick figures and finger puppets.Richard Gonzmart is a community treasure. As the force behind a number ...
Published: 09/19/18