Friday letters: Keep oil drilling far from Florida’s gulf coast

Published June 6 2018
Updated June 8 2018

Oil drilling ban in eastern gulf is shot down | May 23

Florida, oil drilling donít pair well

As a Gulf Coast businessman, I am firmly opposed to the shortsighted and dangerous push to open the eastern Gulf of Mexico for offshore oil drilling.

The threat of this activity coming even closer to our shorelines recently became more likely. Floridaís members of Congress are being pressured to engage in behind-the-scenes negotiations to allow the eastern Gulf to be drilled for oil and gas. This pressure is coming from congressional leaders who have no real connection to our important coastline and beautiful beaches.

Floridaís Gulf Coast tourism, recreation and fishing industries support 304,556 jobs and generate $17.5 billion annually in GDP. This economic strength would plummet in the event of an oil spill. When people think of Florida, they think of beaches, seafood and boating. Iíd prefer we keep it that way.

When the BP Deepwater Horizon exploded and spilled millions of gallons of oil into the ocean, tourism plunged even in places where oil never reached the beaches.

It is up to us to tell our representatives in Congress to oppose any offshore drilling activities in the currently protected areas off Floridaís Gulf Coast. Our voices matter and we donít want loopholes that will allow industry to come in and drill. We donít want it now and we donít want it ever.

Joseph Dise, Treasure Island

The writer is chairman of the Treasure Island & Madeira Beach Chamber of Commerce.

County coffers to swell | June 6

Windfall should lower taxes

In reading this news of bringing about a property tax windfall to local governments because of a hot real estate market, does that not beg the question to area taxpayers: Will our city and county governments (a.k.a. the taxing authorities) lower the rates on our property taxes? If not, why not?

N. Lupo, Clearwater

King has bold plan
to curb gun violence | June 2

New tax wonít stop shootings

Candidate for Governor Chris King says the way to curb gun violence is to tax ammunition. King just proved that liberals have never found a tax they didnít like.

It is insanity to believe that anyone who wishes to commit mass murder will stop because he has to pay a little more for ammunition. One could drive to a neighboring state and buy ammunition. Such a law could actually create a sort of black market. Buy somewhere else and re-sell it in Florida, minus the tax, and still make a profit.

New laws will not stop violence created by a mentally disturbed person. Only two things will really work. Early detection and a person with a weapon that knows how to use it.

Wayne Parlow, Ridge Manor

Traffic calming measures debated
in the wake of fatalities | June 3

A solution: speed bumps

I have not seen any suggestions to lower the speed on Bayshore Boulevard by providing speed bumps at regular intervals.

Bumps can be engineered to any height and width, either slowing traffic to a crawl, as in a parking lot, or to 15-to-20 mph on narrow residential streets. Certainly, with enough thought, a speed bump that would keep traffic at 35-40 mph without damaging vehicles or leading to accidents can be achieved.

Letís face it, anything short of physical barriers wonít work long term and I certainly donít want to see Bayshore Blvd partially removed, throwing massive traffic onto already overcrowded residential streets.

Richard Goldberger, Tampa

U.N. calls for end to separation
of families | June 6

Pro-life should apply to all

Separating immigrant children from their parents continues the hypocrisy of the Trump administration and his conservative right supporters. All the rights the "pro-lifers" say the unborn child has always seem to vanish after the child is born. Does "life" stop at birth?

Michael Lang, Seminole

Bilirakis plan to help women
called a stunt | June 2

Will there be sewing tips?

When I read that my congressional representative, Gus Bilirakis, would be holding a Womenís Summit pitched as "an opportunity for women to learn about relevant topics that have a direct impact on their lives," I was pleased. I figured he might discuss gun violence, reproductive rights, tariffs on imported goods, nuclear issues with both Iran and North Korea, meaningful health care reform, the exploding national debt, the cost of our endless wars, the #MeToo movement, among the many issues that would have a direct impact on my life.

But gardening? Weight loss? A womanís guide to financial planning (as if that were different from a menís guide)? Really?

Once again a Republican who doesnít get it.

Diana Reif, Palm Harbor

GOP lawmakers get poor grades
from union | May 31

Union money flows to Dems

When considering the teachersí unionís ratings of lawmakers, let us not overlook the financial support that Democrats get from these unions.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, in the 2015-2016 election cycle, the American Federation of Teachers spent $33,580,880 to elect Democrats, while giving $10,700 to Republicans. The National Education Association contributed $29,427,730 to Democrats and $347,306 to Republicans. The Florida Education Association is a merged affiliate of the AFT and NEA.

That 17 of 20 Republican House members received Fs and three Ds is no more surprising than that four of five Democratic senators received As and one B. Unions and Democrats have been in lockstep for decades and that old saying still holds true: Follow the money!

Judith Allen, Sun City Center