Monday, July 16, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Thursday’s letters: Bay area needs mass transit upgrades


We need mass transit upgrades

Now that the New Year is upon us, it is time to address a mass transit system in this area once and for all. The traffic will only get worse, impeding the quality of life and commerce.

A good starting system would link downtown St. Petersburg, Tampa and Clearwater with intermediate stops in areas like the clusters of apartments in Feather Sound and the airports.

To work, mass transit has to be efficient, saving the rider time and money. It has to be convenient to access. Look at the BART transportation system in the other Bay Area (San Francisco) to see how it works. It is time- and cost-efficient.

Mass transit is not and will never be a moneymaker. The taxpayers will have to subsidize it. Just like we subsidize the gridlocked interstates we drive on every day. None of this is free; it is called infrastructure.

Our fathers and grandfathers used their brains and sacrificed tax dollars to build the interstate highway system in the 1950s — and some of them never lived to enjoy the benefits. Where would we be now without a system we take for granted? But the system is outdated.

It is time for this generation to quit being selfish and stop the bickering and build an efficient network of mass transit for future generations who will need it to function in the Tampa Bay region.

Jeff Francis, St. Petersburg

Oh my, what a broadcast talent and special person | Dec. 23

A broadcaster with class

In 1970 I was stationed in Japan and watched boxing from Los Angeles on Armed Forces Television. Dick Enberg was the lead announcer and his colleague commented that Enberg had just been named California Sportscaster of the Year. Enberg replied, "In all honesty, that is the third best thing that’s happened to me today. My 5-year-old learned to tie her shoes and my 2-year-old became potty-trained."

What a classy and down-to-earth human being. RIP Dick.

Terry Romine, Sarasota

Mike Luckovich cartoon | Dec. 23

Cheap shot at Christians

The media’s obsession with President Donald Trump apparently knows no boundaries of vulgarity, even willing to politicize for its own amusement one of Christianity’s most significant and reverent events: the birth of Jesus Christ.

This cartoon, for the sake of a laugh, denigrates the faith of all practicing Christians, including the vice president. No wonder the average person distrusts the media. This cartoon is just another cheap shot at Christians. That it happened during the Advent season makes it all the more cutting, which I suspect was its intended purpose.

Scott Bullerwell, Largo

Lower rates for all | Dec. 23, letter

Cuts will surely follow

At first blush, U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis’ letter makes the Donald Trump tax bill sound like a good deal for all taxpayers instead of a scam to further enrich wealthy Republican donors. But a closer look reveals the letter is only more disingenuous drivel from a political pettifogger.

A similar Republican tax cut in Kansas, touted to grow the state’s economy and boost revenue, ended up a complete failure. The promised jobs and revenue never materialized, while public services and infrastructure were decimated. Why should we expect different results at the federal level?

The most galling part of the letter was Bilirakis’ statement couched as a commitment to protect Social Security and Medicare. Obviously the tax bill didn’t touch these popular programs — it would have been DOA. Equally obvious is that Republicans will soon be clutching their pearls at the peril of exploding deficits (thanks to their snake-oil tax cut) and demanding cuts to Social Security and Medicare "entitlements" (that we’ve already paid for).

But don’t worry, seniors. You’re Bilirakis’ key constituency, and you vote. Instead, Bilirakis and his congressional cronies certainly intend to cut these vital services for younger citizens. They’ve already said as much.

P.W. Kevlin, Palm Harbor

Tax bill may do some good | Dec. 24, commentary

Companies are giving back

Thank you, Peggy Noonan. Other than in your column, I couldn’t find information in the Times about the companies that are handing out bonuses this year due to President Donald Trump’s tax plan. All week on TV, Facebook and various other sources I’ve heard about AT&T, Comcast, Wells Fargo, etc., giving bonuses to their employees. Because those news sources are fleeting, I had hoped to at least sit down and read, at my leisure, the facts regarding this boon. After searching all week for some hint at what these companies are doing, I found a slight mention of them in Noonan’s column. But not much, and alongside a snide remark about all the posturing of the crowd around Trump celebrating the passage of the tax reform.

James Hildebrand, Spring Hill

Capitalism’s last chance?

Peggy Noonan perfectly captures the enormous opportunity embodied in the holiday gift dropped at the doorsteps of American businesses. Yes, on the surface the Republican tax bill is a colossal giveaway to corporations at the expense of working folks. However, this gift was given with the hope that corporations will actually do the right thing with it and give back to the economy in ways that benefit all Americans, not just those at the top. Instead of buying back shares and increasing dividends, corporations could invest in growth at home, train and hire more U.S. workers, increase wages and benefits and even offer pensions again.

If corporations squander this opportunity and use this gift to bolster the "greed is good" culture of Wall Street, we should not be surprised by the rise of an angry U.S. socialist labor movement in the coming years as the political pendulum swings hard back to the left.

Doug Robison, St. Petersburg


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...
Updated: 5 hours ago

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

Wednesday’s letters: Let’s prepare Florida’s next generation for the jobs that have been created yet

Make Florida’s workforce globally competitivePrepare for jobs not yet createdIf you aren’t 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 can’t parents feed and care for their own children? When did it become others’ responsibility to do this? No one fed our th...
Published: 07/09/18

Tuesday’s letters: It’s great that Tampa’s Democratic mayor works with a Republican governor

Dems wary of Scott, Buckhorn bromance | July 8It’s 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

Sunday’s 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