Sunday, April 22, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Saturday’s letters: Rays’ ownership not up to the job

Tampa Bay Rays

Ownership is not up to the task

What the Tampa Bay Rays need, more than a new stadium and more than new players, is a new set of owners. The present group is obviously out of its league. Major League Baseball is an expensive game, as everyone knows. Competing in the American League East Division is the most expensive of all. If the present owners only have $160 million to put toward a new stadium, estimated to cost more than $600 million, then they can’t afford to play. If the present owners are only able to pay $50 million for player payroll in a division where the next lowest payroll is three times that amount, then they can’t afford to play.

Present ownership should accurately and transparently evaluate their financial capacity to operate the Rays, and if they’re not up to it they should sell. If the new owners determine the Tampa Bay market is unable to support the team at the level they deem appropriate, they should move the team to a location they feel will provide that support. Such is business, and there’s no need to pretend this is anything but.

William Arnold, St. Petersburg

CDC officials get a list of the 7 words they can’t use | Dec. 17

Don’t let science be silenced

I was shocked and dismayed to hear that our presidential administration has advised the Centers for Disease Control that certain words/terms are forbidden in preparing their 2019 budget. As a physician myself, I know it is vital to the mission of caring for Americans that politics not be a part of medical research, policy or allocation of funding.

If terms such as "fetal," "transgender," "diversity," "vulnerable" and "entitlement" cannot be used in preparation for how the CDC budget will be prepared, it is inevitable that some areas of need will be left out of the process.

It is unfathomable that medical scientists are being told to avoid the terms "evidence-based" and "science-based." I fully expect Congress to investigate and put a stop to this move on the part of the current administration. Do not let this be another step toward silencing scientists and doctors. Rep. Dennis A. Ross, Sen. Marco Rubio and Sen. Bill Nelson must take immediate action.

Richard A. Dudrak II, M.D., Lakeland

Police: Paranoid man shot woman | Dec. 23

A child or not?

I would like to offer my deepest condolences to the man who lost his wife and unborn child in a recent shooting. I, as well as most Americans, have never (and hopefully will never) experience such a tragedy. I have my opinion as to what should happen to the person who did this heinous act, but that is for another letter.

I am confused, however. The shooter is charged with two murders — the pregnant to-be mother and the fetus. If the mother had decided to have an abortion, even if the father had objected, the fetus would have been considered as nothing more than tissue that could not have lived outside the mother’s womb. Since the mother died from a gunshot wound, the law now considers it an unborn child.

How can it be both?

Tom Craig, Riverview

Probability problems | Dec. 27, commentary

Look behind the numbers

As a fire insurance underwriter trainee many years ago, I learned about the law of large numbers. This says that the larger the sample size the more accurate a prediction is likely to be. If we had fire insurance policies on X structures, we knew with a high degree of certainty that in the life of the policy Y would burn to the ground, Z would be partially lost and Q would be untouched.

The problem was that this did not tell us which would be Y or Z, and that’s what people like me worked to predict. We looked at a lot factors such as nearest fire hydrant, quality of the nearest fire department, loss records, financial records, etc.

In other words, we knew with a great accuracy what the probabilities were, but the secrets were in the stories, just as David Leonhardt related. In business, gambling or politics we can massage the statistics all we want, but in the end it is the stories that have meaning.

A classic statement from years ago: "The government (is) very fond of statistics. They add them, multiply them, find the square roots, but in the end it is the night watchman who puts down whatever he damn well pleases."

Be wary of the statistics; look deep for the stories.

G.B. Leatherwood, Spring Hill

Vigilance on pollution law suffers | Dec. 27, editorial

Trump’s focus on himself

I thoroughly enjoyed the Times editorial that clearly documented President Donald Trump’s non-concern for climate change and our natural environment.

My last 40 years of employment included teaching graduate courses in mental health counseling and a part-time private practice as a licensed psychologist.

As I have observed Trump over this past year, he has readily demonstrated the thinking and behaviors consistent with those of a self-centered narcissist. To wit, his primary and at times exclusive attention has been focused on himself and his wealth. People pay attention to, and attend to, things that are important to them.

That said, it simply would be out of character for him to pay attention to anything else — unfortunately including climate change and our natural environment.

William Emener, St. Pete Beach

Unveiling of Pier art plan delayed again
Dec. 27

City has other priorities

My wife and I are truly disgusted that our mayor and City Council are planning on spending over $1 million on an unnecessary piece of hanging art for the Pier when we still have homeless hungry adults and children who could certainly use help instead of wastefully spending taxpayer dollars on art.

Our city leaders should get their priorities in order.

Van Williams, St. Petersburg


Sunday’s letters: Problems with high-speed rail

Thanks, Gov. Scott, for ghastly I-4 drives | April 18, Sue Carlton columnProblems with high-speed railIn her Wednesday column, the writer bemoaned the traffic on I-4 and blasted Gov. Rick Scott for turning down free government money for a high-sp...
Published: 04/21/18

Saturday’s letters: Don’t weaken rules on fisheries

Florida fisheriesDon’t weaken rules on fish stocksMembers of Congress are proposing changes to an important ocean law, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, that would adversely affect coastal states including Florida.Since it...
Published: 04/19/18
Updated: 04/20/18

Friday’s letters: We owe it to our children to teach them history

If we don’t understand past, future looks grim | April 19, Daniel Ruth columnThe history we owe our childrenIt’s not often I agree with Daniel Ruth, but this article was spot-on. I’m not sure when the schools started ignoring Germany’s World War ...
Published: 04/19/18

Thursday’s letters: Gun research can save lives

Gun ownershipCommon ground: Find the factsThere are many areas in the current debate about guns and gun ownership where both sides must agree to disagree. But there is one area where common ground ought to exist. That concerns the need for continuing...
Published: 04/18/18

Wednesday’s letters:

Poverty and plenty in bay area | April 7, editorialStruggling poor are not a priorityI commend your newspaper for continuing to produce real and relevant news, particularly the recent editorial pointing out that a prospering Tampa Bay should not ...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18

Hernando Letters to the Editor for April 20

Bar Association celebrates Law WeekPresident Dwight D. Eisenhower proclaimed May 1, 1958, as the first Law Day to mark the nation’s commitment to the rule of law. Every year on this day, we reflect on the significance of the rule of law and rededicat...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18

Tuesday’s letters: Stop cooperating with ICE

Sheriff’s ICE policy blasted | April 10Pinellas should end partnership with ICEPinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri recently participated in a community conversation on his controversial agreement with ICE to voluntarily detain immigrants in the...
Published: 04/16/18

Sunday’s letters: The future of oyster production

Shell game | April 15Future of oyster productionThanks to Laura Reiley for an excellent synopsis of the current state of oyster production in Florida. The collapse of the Apalachicola oyster fishery is merely the latest example of the demise of a...
Published: 04/14/18

Monday’s letters: Public education is foundation of the nation

Voters beware of ballot deceptionApril 13, commentarySchools’ role underminedIt was with great pain that I read (not for the first time) that we must be aware of "ballot deception." Public schools were founded to make sure that future generations of ...
Published: 04/13/18

Saturday’s letters: Health Department should butt out

Judge: Grow pot, Mr. Redner | April 12Health officials should butt outThe Times reports that the Florida Department of Health filed an appeal to the decision allowing a man who is a Stage 4 lung cancer survivor to grow pot in his backyard for his ...
Published: 04/11/18
Updated: 04/13/18