Monday, July 23, 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

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...
Updated: 1 hour ago

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