Monday, June 25, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Friday’s letters: Don’t retreat on reproductive rights

House Bill 490

Don’t retreat on women’s rights

It is appalling that in 2017, 44 years after the Roe vs. Wade decision, we are still fighting for a woman’s right to decide when and if she will have children. The latest attack on our rights is House Bill 490. This federal bill makes abortion illegal at six weeks, even before many women know they are pregnant, and calls for up to five years in jail for abortion providers. There is no exception for rape. This bill is the most extreme antiabortion bill ever introduced or heard in Congress and is unconstitutional, as evidenced by similar state bills that have been declared unconstitutional by the courts.

Instead of focusing on jobs, the economy, the opioid crisis, world conflicts or any of the other major challenges our country is facing, these lawmakers are concentrating on rolling back women’s rights and banning abortion.

As a 73-year-old who knows what women seeking an abortion before Roe vs. Wade faced, I am worried that we are on the way back to those conditions. It is frightening.

Judy Gallizzi, St. Petersburg

Trump falls short on opioid crisis | Oct. 30, editorial

Greed is driving policy

Regarding the opioid deaths caused by manufactured pills that are legal, it is supremely ironic that a benign natural plant is illegal — marijuana. Ask yourself, how many deaths has it caused?

Common sense would reverse this idea.

However, the legislators who could change this are totally owned by the greedy manufacturers, therefore preventing change.

The only path to sanity nationwide is to vote smart and get some modern ideas into Congress. The incumbents have been blinded by money and will not take meaningful action.

Doug Hicks, Tampa

Fatal fire risk: no sprinklers | Oct. 29

It’s all about the money

This article about how condo owners and associations are voting against having sprinklers installed should surprise no one. Money supersedes safety in many businesses.

I remember when the big automakers fought tooth and nail against air bags. Too expensive, they said, even though they save lives. I remember when asbestos was used extensively. When it was found that it causes cancer and needed to be banned, businesses said: too expensive.

There are too many examples to list, but if people think that businesses have their safety in mind when making decisions, they are sadly mistaken. It will always be about the money.

Alan Roberts, Largo

Smoking in public

Extinguish this menace

I would like to see Florida ban smoking in crowded outdoor spaces such as parks, beaches and outdoor eating areas. When people are smoking in close proximity to other people, it doesn’t matter whether they are indoors or out. Their smoke is offensive and unhealthy to everyone.

My wife and I recently attended the Clearwater Jazz Holiday at Coachman Park. The row in front of us had three groups of people with a smoker in each group. In the group to our left, a woman held her cigarette behind her chair in between drags, completely oblivious to the people behind her. Closer to us was a man puffing on an e-cigarette. To the right was a man belching cigar smoke.

If Florida will not ban smoking in crowded outdoor spaces, perhaps local municipalities will step up and take action, the way New York City banned smoking in Central Park. Sponsors could also demand smoke-free environments as a contingency for their financial support.

John Orlando, Largo

5 trends driving this economic rebound
Oct. 28

Where airport falls short

Robert Trigaux nails it: "What’s TIA’s weak link? Lack of mass transportation to get there and back." As someone from snow-bedeviled Boston and its catacombed Logan International, I swooned when I first saw TIA: bright, airy, welcoming.

Then when I stepped out of the terminal and looked around, I saw nothing. No waiting taxis. No buses. No trace of transportation opportunities other than two levels of rental car outlets.

Travelers are not going to be tempted to visit Tampa once they discover that there is no option other than either driving themselves or resigning themselves to the negative-PR-plagued but unsettlingly ubiquitous Uber.

Kirk Hazlett, Riverview

Cars and hurricanes

Look out for storm damage

A reminder on buying used cars: I was driving south on I-75 near Brooksville and passed two semis hauling upscale cars (Cadillac, Lexus, Mercedes) with Texas tags. These cars may have been damaged by floods from Hurricane Harvey. Cars like this could just as easily have Florida tags with damage from Irma. Before you buy a used car, take it to a mechanic and have it inspected for flood damage. Obvious signs can be mud in wheel wells and rust in the floor panels under carpet. If anything looks wrong, move on to a different car.

John Day, Clearwater


Monday’s letters: College instructors need classes in active shooter training

Active shooter perceptions disproven | June 21We need active shooter trainingThe only guns that I had seen before coming to the United States of America were in glass cases in museums. When I came to America to get a Ph.D. in English at the Unive...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/22/18

Friday’s letters: What a new Rays ballpark would mean

Rays exec hints at stadium timeline | June 15What a new ballpark would doThe Tampa Bay Rays 2020 organization is working diligently with local business leaders and civic organizations to rally support for the Rays’ new ballpark in Ybor City. The ...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/22/18

Thursday’s letters: On immigration there has to be a better way

‘Zero tolerance’ ignites outrage | June 20Find better way on immigrationOver the years I’ve voted for candidates from both parties. My observation of the Trump administration’s policy on immigration is not about politics. It has to do with having...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/21/18

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...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/20/18

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 ...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/19/18

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