Saturday, July 21, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Sunday’s letters: Let’s make America good again

Everyone loves a parade | Feb. 9, editorial

I’ll sit on the sidelines

As a 30-year veteran I was appalled at the president’s plan for a military parade. Having marched in numerous parades in my career I can say without hesitation that members of the services will hate the idea. Having to wear a dress uniform and march miles in formation along a hot street, probably during the summer, is no way to honor their sacrifices.

As an alternative, I suggest that service men and women be given lawn chairs and coolers of beer so they can sit on the sidewalk and watch the president, Congress and their aides walk past, thanking them. That way the people being honored can actually enjoy the event with their families.

Jim Fitton, Coast Guard captain (ret.),
St. Petersburg

HART right to question BRT | Feb. 8, editorial

We need mass transit

I was very disappointed to read that the Tampa Bay Times echoed HART’s reluctance to embrace the bus rapid transit system. Our region’s public transportation system is outdated, fragmented and woefully underfunded. The perfect cannot be the enemy of the good in a region where public transportation has all but become a concept.

The BRT, while not high-speed rail, is a step forward for a region of over 2.8 million people who have limited travel options besides clogging roads with single-occupant vehicles. Public transportation benefits — reduced fuel consumption and traffic congestion, job creation, economic and community growth — clearly outweigh the cost to taxpayers. Ten years ago was the time for action — let’s not delay any longer.

Kyle Simon, Tampa

Red-light camera challenge hits bump | Feb. 8

Just obey the traffic laws

Back in 1961, zipping around town in my first car — a ’56 Plymouth Fury — I was pulled over for blowing a red light. The traffic court judge thoroughly admonished me. I, at the ripe old age of 18, vowed to never run another red light. And I never have. Cameras mounted on the traffic signals bother me not one bit. If you pay attention to your driving, you shouldn’t have a thing to worry about.

John Waitman, Palm Harbor

Zombie campaigns | Feb. 4

A great investigation

Congratulations on expert reporting on sleazy politicians entrusted with our democracy. The investigative work shows that journalists are crucial to our fragile democracy. Regardless of Federal Elections Commission rules, or lack thereof, continuing payments of campaign money to relatives and select others by those now out of office or now dead, are unethical use of campaign funds.

Marilyn Weaver, Bradenton

Rays’ pick likely today | Feb. 9

Ballpark plan strikes out

The Tampa Bay Rays proposal to build a new stadium on the Ybor City site would be a disaster for the team. If they think they have attendance problems now, wait until they’re in their new ballpark. Fans from Pinellas are not going to come to a place that’s hard to get to, and has minimal parking.

Chuck Bayer, Redington Shores

Triumph and peril for Trump | Feb. 4, column

Here’s why I’m angry

Peggy Noonan claims that rage is a poor fuel in politics. Seems odd, since the tea party has brought Congress to its knees and Trump’s campaign was fueled by Red State rage. As a lifelong Democrat, I can trade that "dignity" she claims is in jeopardy for stopping the right and President Donald Trump from destroying our country. Why am I so angry? Well, the threat to democracy posed by Trump disturbs me. The fact that the popular vote doesn’t elect our president and gives outsize power to smaller, taker states angers me. And don’t get me started on the Republican views on reproductive choice and marriage equality — or that their religion outweighs all and must be the only law in our country. As for this Ayn Rand notion that only wealth is a measure of value, it angers me the most. I expect this anger among non-Trump supporters to pay off in the voting booth in the 2018 elections.

Cathy Haggerty, Largo

Who prevails in America | Feb. 3, The Reading File

Making America good again

This piece struck a chord with me. As a minor league historian, I understand republicanism (little "r") and agree that elected leaders, when acting in the best interests of the country, can be an extremely effective way to run a country. I also am keenly attuned to the idea that there is great potential for a tyranny of the majority, so excessive democracy is to be avoided, as well. Generally, I believe that our founding fathers got it right.

As argued in the full Atlantic article, which was excerpted in the Reading File, our modern elected leaders have become entirely beholden to monied interests and have earned the near total level of mistrust that follows them today. There is something foul afoot when basic government makes both the left and right feel that they are disenfranchised.

The authors appropriately admonish against the purely facile answer of returning power to the people. Too much democracy is not a good thing. Simply put, the majority is not always right. However, it is wrong for power to ignore the will of the people, too. The concept of best interests, for the country, is the tempering agent that can strike a balance in this tricky equation.

As well, it is completely necessary to have expertise and elitism within our bureaucratic agencies that rule so much of America. The authors get that right, as tough as that is to hear for some.

What we can agree on, potentially, is that our current system is broken. Full-scale democracy is not the answer. Power can’t rest solely with the people. Pure democracy is a scary thing. Power, however, can and should be influenced by the people and not the monied interests that are entrenched in three branches of government. How we do that is the question of the century. We’d better find an answer, and quick.

Charles Nelson, Apollo Beach


Monday’s letters: More reaction to Trump

Trump sides with Putin over U.S.A. | July 17 editorialVoters will have to protect national securityThe American intelligence agencies are in unanimous agreement that Russia involved itself in the 2016 election, all to benefit the candidacy of Dona...
Published: 07/19/18
Updated: 07/20/18

Sunday’s letters: What to do about the National Flood Insurance Program

Time’s running out on flood insurance | Column, July 18Kill the flood insurance programThe Republican ethos (Sen. Marco Rubio) is that government should not interfere in markets and that privatization should be implemented whenever possible. That...
Published: 07/19/18
Updated: 07/20/18

Saturday’s letters:

Time for more civil debate"Politics" is an activity which involves power and control, arriving at decisions based on differing interests. Normally, leaders weigh the needs of the individual with the abilities of the country. Can America afford a soci...
Published: 07/19/18
Updated: 07/20/18

Friday’s letters: Trump’s excuses about Helsinki

Trump got tripped up | July 18 A dangerous mix-up for a president President Donald Trump would have us believe that he misspoke when he stood on the world stage with Russian President Vladimir Putin and expressed belief in Putin rather than the un...
Published: 07/18/18
Updated: 07/20/18

Thursday’s letters: Watch what Trump does ... and what he says

Trump sides with Putinover U.S.A. | Editorial, July 17 Watch what he does — and what he says, too Anyone who still takes issue with the allegation that Donald Trump is temperamentally unfit to be president need only look at his shameful and ...
Published: 07/16/18
Updated: 07/19/18

Tuesday’s letters: Leave fireworks to the professionals

Nobody is scaring birds with fireworks | Editorial, July 16Leave fireworksto the professionalsThe situation with fireworks has gotten completely out of control. I was at Curtis Hixon Park on the Fourth of July, and numerous people were exploding ...
Published: 07/16/18
Updated: 07/17/18

Monday’s letters: Make investment in the Rays an actual investment with an actual return

Paying for ballpark will take teamwork | Editorial, July 12An actual return on investmentMuch attention has been given to the cost of the proposed Rays stadium in Ybor City and who will foot the bill. The three-legged stool of the Rays, the busin...
Published: 07/12/18
Updated: 07/16/18

Sunday’s letters: Stop burning of sugar cane near the Everglades

Florida’s land of black snow | Bill Maxwell column, July 1Don’t 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

Saturday’s 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

Thursday’s letters: The Rays’ Ybor City stadium will be magnificent

Rays’ 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