Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Letters To The Editor

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

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

Florida, oil drilling don’t 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. Florida’s 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.

Florida’s 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. I’d 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 Florida’s Gulf Coast. Our voices matter and we don’t want loopholes that will allow industry to come in and drill. We don’t want it now and we don’t 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 won’t 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 didn’t 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.

Let’s face it, anything short of physical barriers won’t work long term and I certainly don’t 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 Women’s 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 woman’s guide to financial planning (as if that were different from a men’s guide)? Really?

Once again a Republican who doesn’t get it.

Diana Reif, Palm Harbor

GOP lawmakers get poor grades
from union | May 31

Union money flows to Dems

When considering the teachers’ union’s 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


Wednesday’s letters: Charters and traditional public schools each have their place

Public school as public good | Letter, June 17Both kinds of schools can workAs a mother and grandmother of children raised in both traditional public and charter schools in Pinellas County (and a 25-year supporting-services employee for public sc...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Tuesday’s letters: Keep programs that fight AIDS

For author Biden, it’s a father’s gift | June 6Keep programs that fight AIDSAfter former Vice President Joe Biden’s recent visit to St. Petersburg, I noticed an article that he co-wrote with former Sen. Bill Frist. It reminded everyone about the ...
Updated: 11 hours ago

Is anyone watching the money?Hernando County’s budget shortfall is ever changing going from $6 million to $11.5 million to $14 million to what is assumed a final number of $12.6 million. Who knows the budget shortfall could change again.Who’s watchi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Re: County OKs solar zones | June 8Plea ignored at solar plant hearingThe Pasco County Commission on June 5 voted to identify a utility-sized solar electric plant as a "special exception" use on agricultural-zoned land in Pasco County. What thi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Monday’s letters: Skip those plastic bags and save the environment

To save our seas, overcome congressional apathy | Column, June 16Do your part and skip plastic bagsEvery day we read about the shame of our landfills and oceans filling up with plastic bags, yet most people don’t care. My wife and I always carry ...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

White House defends splitting up families as ‘biblical’ | June 15The suffering of the childrenI am a mother and attorney with more than 20 years of practice living in Tampa. For the past three years, I worked as a magistrate in a Unified Family C...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Saturday’s letters: Community-based care requires community involvement

Fix foster care, and do it quickly | Editorial, June 15Involve the community itselfWhile the detailed article about the scathing state review of Hillsborough County’s foster care problems touched on leadership, a critical point was not addressed....
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Friday’s letters: Freight trains are infrastructure that works in Tampa Bay

Railroads are infrastructure that worksFreight trains carry the loadCentral Florida is our state’s fastest-growing region. We’re on track to outpace South Florida’s growth 2-to-1 over the next several years. Great news for our local economy, but it n...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Thursday’s letters: Charter schools aren’t the enemy

Don’t plug your ears when schools ask for tax | May 20, columnCharter schools aren’t the enemyAs an educator, I am astounded when I hear claims from school board members that charter schools take away funding from the local public school system. ...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/14/18

Wednesday’s letters: Trump’s words insult our Canadian visitors

Trade disputes torpedo G-7 summit | June 10Canadian visitors are owed apologyLike many Pinellas County residents, I’m pleased that we receive thousands of Canadian "snow birds" as part-year residents. Not only do they enhance our economy, but by ...
Published: 06/11/18
Updated: 06/13/18