Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Thursday’s letters: Bay area needs mass transit upgrades

Transportation

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 But the system is outdated.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

Comments

Wednesday’s letters: How we plan to improve foster care in Hillsborough

Improving foster care inHillsborough | April 19, editorialOur plans for helping kidsThis editorial poses many good questions. The Department of Children and Families’ peer review report is expected to be released soon. And while we welcome the an...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Pasco Letters to the Editor for April 27

Stop Ridge Road extension, reader saysWhen I spoke at the Dade City meeting of the Pasco County Commissioners on my opposition to the Ridge Road Extension, three of them responded, but only when my three minutes of free speech expired, and I could sa...
Published: 04/23/18

Monday’s letters: Term limits don’t work

U.S. Senate campaignTerm limitsdon’t workGov. Rick Scott has begun his run for the U.S. Senate with TV ads promoting term limits for representatives and senators. Aside from the probability that this would require a constitutional amendment, I think ...
Published: 04/22/18
Updated: 04/23/18

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

Tuesday’s letters: Student journalists push to save their newsrooms and independence

Save student newsroomsAs professional newsrooms shrink, student newsrooms have become an increasingly important source of local coverage, holding not only our universities accountable but also local government. We write these articles, attending meet...
Published: 04/20/18
Updated: 04/24/18

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