Saturday, April 21, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Sunday’s letters: Social media’s risk to children

Vlogger apologizes for sharing suicide video | Jan. 3

Social media’s risk to children

The recent story about vlogger Logan Paul apologizing for his video on YouTube of a body hanging in a suicide forest in Japan has me deeply concerned. As a fifth-grade teacher, I am seeing firsthand the negative effects of this vlogger and other types of social media on our young children.

Much of what children have free and unsupervised access to has led to desensitization of horrific acts, such as suicide, and makes these acts seem normal and accepted. I am seeing a drastic shift in the classroom in the lack of respect, use of inappropriate language, and student conversations on topics they should not be aware of yet at such a young age.

YouTube has its place, and yes, can be entertaining and informative, but parents, please monitor what your child has access to on social media. Schools represent society, and I am deeply concerned for our youth and future leaders.

Mary Massie, Valrico

Leadership absent in minimum wage fight
Jan. 4, John Romano column

Benefits of higher wages

Now that President Donald Trump and his Republican friends in the U.S. House and Senate have their coveted corporate tax relief legislation, we in the American workforce are well within our rights to put pressure on our elected officials — both at the state and federal level — to raise the minimum wage to at least $15 an hour. With more than a trillion dollars of tax giveaways flowing into American businesses’ coffers, can we finally agree that companies can comfortably afford to give their lowest-paid employees a raise?

With a higher wage, workers can lift themselves out of poverty and be less dependent upon public services. With so many on the right complaining that our government spends too much on earned public benefits, wouldn’t Republicans applaud a poverty-reducing living wage?

Also, with an above-poverty living wage, workers would afford to move more money through our economy, increasing profits and causing a demand-fueled bull market. Moreover, workers paid a living wage would be healthier, miss work less often, be less distracted by financial hardships, and be less stressed and happier as a result.

To waste the opportunity to rebuild our broken middle class would be a shame.

Michelle Kenoyer, Riverview

Wildfires

Heed climate changes

In light of the tragic wildfires that ravaged Southern California, it’s important to take note of a 2015 issue of the U.S. Forest Service’s journal, Fire Management Today, titled "Climate Change: The Future is Here."

This publication states that "increasing temperatures and changes in precipitation and snowmelt patterns are increasing the severity and size of wildfires in the West." Concern is also expressed about "the occurrence of fire that is outside the range of our existing experience" and the danger this poses to firefighters and communities.

The Thomas Fire recently became the largest wildfire on record in California, and 14 of the state’s 20 largest wildfires have occurred since 2000. It’s no wonder that climate change has been called an accelerator of crisis.

Even more troubling, we are experiencing these severe impacts when the Earth has warmed just 1 degree centigrade. Consider the warning from the U.S. National Climate Assessment that, without significant emissions reductions, the increase in global temperature could reach 5 degrees centigrade of or more by the end of this century.

It’s crucial for members of Congress to hear the plea from our nation’s forests and wildlands and take a leadership role regarding climate.

Terry Hansen, Oak Creek, Wis.

Tweet compares sizes of ‘nuclear buttons’
Jan. 3

Power of the button

In light of the president’s recent alarming tweets directed at an unstable dictator about the size of the U.S. nuclear arsenal, I support the idea of Congress passing a law to prohibit a proactive nuclear strike without the approval of Congress.

I was raised in an era when we feared a nuclear war every day. We huddled under our desks, pulled off the road and ducked when the civil defense sirens went off. This is not how I want to live now.

Donald Trump’s frightening tweeted rhetoric needs to be constrained by some practical legislation putting a check on what he can and cannot do.

Gloria Garber, Naples

Floating pier art has $3M price tag | Jan. 3

There are other priorities

$3 million for a floating art piece made out of astronaut spacesuit material? How long will it last?

How many homeless people could be housed with that money, or sick or hungry kids helped? Teachers are buying supplies for their classrooms because their isn’t enough money in the school budget for them. I like art as much as anyone, but this is a ridiculous.

Cheyrl Bowman, Largo

How much to take down?

I have one question. What will it cost to take the pier art down, store it until the hurricane passes, and then reinstall it, several times a year, year after year?

Randall Aebersold, Palm Harbor

Comments

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

Friday’s letters: Open and shut: Enforce the law

Sheriff’s ICE aid policy blasted | April 10Open and shut: Enforce the lawPeople and institutions that insist on the using the euphemism "undocumented immigrant" do nothing but affirm their lack of objectivity by using such a phrase to support an ...
Published: 04/11/18
Updated: 04/12/18