Sunday, July 15, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Saturday’s letters: Letter of the month concerns civility in public discourse

June letter of the month

The winning letter addressed incivility in public discourse

Mud sticks to those who sling it

I am an 83-year-old black, straight male. I lived with Jim Crow laws that deprived me of education, jobs, housing and service in public places like restaurants with signs that said, "N----- and dogs not allowed." I was drafted and honorably served my county in the Army. I participated and was a leader in the peaceful protests that finally won me the right to sit any place on a bus and dine in any restaurant. I won the right to attend St. Petersburg Junior College and graduate from University of South Florida with a degree in accounting and retirement from Honeywell and Lockheed Martin.

I believe that discrimination because of race, religion, political affiliation and sexual orientation should not be allowed or practiced in America. I believe in peaceful protests outside of public places like restaurants and political events ó and not harassing those and their family with whom I disagree in places like restaurants. Hence, I am opposed to those who practice incivility whether it is Lester Maddox, President Donald Trump or Rep. Maxine Waters.

Howard F. Harris Jr., Tampa

Fourth of July

They cherish freedom

As we watched the fireworks displayed around our mostly Spanish-American neighborhood, it dawned on me that our neighbors were the ones who have truly struggled for real independence and to which the day has more meaning than most of us who were born in this country. They have shared their stories of getting into a tiny flotation, canít really call it a boat, but it floated an entire family across the Florida Straits to freedom, or declaring their defiance against tyranny, requesting asylum on a road tour in the United States. These people have something in common with Irving Berlin, a Russian Jewish immigrant who wrote the love song, God Bless America, to his adopted country, thankful for the opportunities this country brought him. On such a day, it seems fitting that we all reflect on who appreciates what freedom means anyway. Who among us has struggled like our forefathers against all odds to be free? Isnít it those that we are now looking upon as intruders?

I wonder if we had to struggle half as much as they for these same freedoms, would we have a different attitude? And what will awaken us to appreciate what we have in America? Are we just entitled to those freedoms? Maybe we should all have to struggle in some way or another to reach the point of view that nothing here is free. Someone is paying in some way or another, either in the past or in another place. If nothing else, we need to take a really good look around us and see whatís really going on.

Susan Fuller, Tampa

Not just a womenís issue | Letter, July 6

Who should have a say?

Why is it if a man impregnates a woman, and she decides that she wants an abortion, the would-be father has absolutely no say so in the matter? Abortion, for any reason, is a right under the current law. I believe that abortions should be allowed but only up to a certain point. They should not be allowed as a form of birth control. Birth control products and medical procedures have been around for many years. Condoms, vasectomies, the tying of tubes and birth control pills are valid methods of prevention. Abortion is not.

Keeping your legs crossed and keeping your pants zipped are also ways to prevent pregnancy, but we know that isnít happening. Rape, incest and endangerment of health are valid reasons for abortion, even if the Catholic Church doctrine disagrees. But to wantonly engage in sex without concern is just as bad. Sometimes there should be consequences for oneís actions. The child could always be placed for adoption. The willful killing of an unborn baby simply because you donít want it is simply wrong.

Wayne Parlow, Ridge Manor

Pre-existing condition protections
in danger | Column, June 29

Enlightened self-interest

I have a very dear friend with a masterís degree who is a teacher in a Christian school. The facility pays minimum wage, and the job offers no health care benefits. When the Affordable Care Act was passed, my friend was able to purchase a plan that provided not only affordable health care, but enormous peace of mind to this dedicated middle-aged worker.

I was astounded to hear that this friend voted for Donald Trump, who had promised throughout his campaign to destroy "Obamacare." "Why," I asked later, "would you vote against your own most important personal interest?"

"Everyone including the pastor of my church insisted this was the right thing to do," was the answer.

Trump and his political allies want to drop pre-existing conditions from health coverage. Gov. Rick Scott, former House Speaker Richard Corcoran and Attorney General Pam Bondi have joined the Republican plan to end this coverage.

We can all remember when Trump stated that he could shoot and kill someone in broad daylight on Fifth Avenue in New York, and his voters would not waver in their support. Amazingly, a form of this audacious claim has not only proven true, but has spread throughout the entire Republican party.

I have never met a single American who doesnít understand the need for health insurance including pre-existing conditions, yet Republican party operatives are able to kill millions of their working class votersí chances for health insurance and get away with it. I donít understand why people vote against their own most important personal needs.

Philip Courter, Crystal River

Political views are a part
of you | Letter, July 5

Time for new friends

Political views are part of us. This letter mirrored my feelings, which Iíve had a hard time expressing since the last presidential election. We canít choose our family, but we do choose our friends. And things change: Friendships can take a turn at any moment, and politics play a role just like anything else in a relationship. The good news is that circumstances bring us together with new people, and we make new friends. I will gladly take the place of one of your "former" friends.

Marylou Bride, Spring Hill


Sundayís letters: Stop burning of sugar cane near the Everglades

Floridaís land of black snow | Bill Maxwell column, July 1Donít burn sugar cane, periodIn this column, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Chris King got a lot of things right about how sugarcane burning negatively impacts the Glades communities w...
Published: 07/11/18
Updated: 07/13/18

Saturdayís letters: The dangerous days before Roe vs. Wade

The reality of back-alley abortions | Column, July 11The dangerous days before RoeI am a 71-year-old retired nurse. I still remember when abortion was illegal and birth control was restricted to married women in the United States. In 1983, I set ...
Published: 07/09/18
Updated: 07/14/18

Thursdayís letters: The Raysí Ybor City stadium will be magnificent

Raysí big dream is small ballpark | July 11The new stadium will be gorgeousI had the pleasure of attending the unveiling of the Tampa Bay Rays "next-generation, neighborhood ballpark." I was blown away. As an 18-year resident of Tampa Bay, and ma...
Published: 07/09/18
Updated: 07/12/18

Wednesdayís letters: Letís prepare Floridaís next generation for the jobs that have been created yet

Make Floridaís workforce globally competitivePrepare for jobs not yet createdIf you arenít amazed by the speed at which technology is changing our world, just think back 20 years. Would you have imagined cellphones with the capabilities of a laptop c...
Published: 07/09/18
Updated: 07/11/18

Hernando Letters to the Editor for July 13

Re: School meals for all students | July 6 storyParents should pay for their ownThat article really got me to thinking ... why canít parents feed and care for their own children? When did it become othersí responsibility to do this? No one fed our th...
Published: 07/09/18

Tuesdayís letters: Itís great that Tampaís Democratic mayor works with a Republican governor

Dems wary of Scott, Buckhorn bromance | July 8Itís not partisan to look out for TampaThe focus of a mayor should be on success in his jurisdiction, no matter the partner, for the citizens who live in his area of responsibility. Mayor Bob Buckhorn...
Published: 07/06/18
Updated: 07/10/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for July 13

Scaring birds with fireworks is a problemThe justification of buying fireworks to scare birds is the biggest problem with fireworks. My wife and I retired to a small pond across from a nature preserve. On a recent holiday, we were enjoying watching b...
Published: 07/05/18
Updated: 07/09/18

Monday’s letters: Let’s keep plastics out of the ocean now

Is a ban on plastic straws a step too far? | July 4 Plastic in oceanis not fantastic As a Tampa Bay native, I am thrilled to see a concerted effort to eliminate plastics pollution in the area, and encouraged to see small business and restaurant ow...
Published: 07/05/18
Updated: 07/09/18

Sundayís letters: Keep the Rays in Tampa Bay

Ballpark site catches break | July 5Keep the Rays in Tampa BayLast month, the Tampa Bay Partnership led a delegation of nearly 20 Tampa Bay business leaders on a benchmarking trip to Houston, to explore the nationally recognized workforce develop...
Published: 07/05/18
Updated: 07/06/18

Saturdayís letters: Letter of the month concerns civility in public discourse

June letter of the month The winning letter addressed incivility in public discourseMud sticks to those who sling itI am an 83-year-old black, straight male. I lived with Jim Crow laws that deprived me of education, jobs, housing and service in publi...
Published: 07/02/18
Updated: 07/06/18