Monday, December 11, 2017
Letters To The Editor

Thursday’s letters: Civilian hero in murder investigation

Suspect arrested | Nov. 29

Civilian was the hero in this case

The entire Seminole Heights neighborhood, as well as the Tampa Bay area, can now breathe a sigh of relief over the capture of what appears to be the Heights assassin. That said, it occurred to me that the suspect’s capture, per police and media reports, was primarily due to one private citizen giving the lead to a police officer, who, with the help of the Tampa Police Department, turned it into an arrest.

I’d estimate the cost of law enforcement to taxpayers over the 51 days of terror must be a few million dollars. I’m not condemning the cost or the supreme effort it took to rein this suspect in, but the essential point is that it took the one non-police person to finally stop the madness.

Not only does this individual deserve all the reward money, there should be a key to the city and a street named after her in Seminole Heights.

Michael Merino, Tampa

Tax bill

Let’s see Democrats’ plan

Congress is in the middle of an alleged tax reform bill. The Democrats have complained that the plan does nothing for the poor and the middle class. What I have not heard from the Democrats is a counter-proposal. Just what is their plan to reform the tax code?

I would be willing to bet that their plan would tax those people who work every day, investors and businesses that make this country run so they could pay for the 47 percent of people who pay no income taxes. Why are people who pay nothing or very little entitled to an earned income credit and a refund?

Democrats, show me your plan.

Wayne Parlow, Ridge Manor

Florida’s chance to end cruel greyhound racing | Nov. 25, commentary

Racing good for state, dogs

Live greyhound racing is good for Florida and good for the greyhounds.

Over $80 million was bet on live greyhound racing at the tracks last year, with no reported compulsive gambling. Some $11 million in state revenue was generated and over 3,000 Florida jobs. More than 8,000 beautiful greyhounds were involved, with over 95 percent adopted to loving families or returned to the farms to live out their lives. These are the standards for the no-kill animal movement.

Greyhounds are well-trained and well-treated. Greyhound owners do not get paid unless the greyhound comes in first, second, third or fourth in a race. Therefore, greyhound owners take immense pride in ensuring that greyhounds receive the very best treatment.

Everything from the size of the crate, the quantity and quality of food, veterinary care, to the amount of walking, exercise and play time is closely monitored for optimum athletic performance. The greyhounds’ performance puts food on the tables for trainers, owners and breeders and their families. Some of the greyhound men and women have been in the industry for generations. They love their animals and love their jobs.

The state of Florida inspects all greyhound kennels at all tracks. The Florida Greyhound Association has zero tolerance for any animal abuse.

One animal dying prematurely is too many, but all athletes, human or animal, can get injuries and even die. In order to avoid this, the greyhound owners have proposed a three-point safety bill that would have eliminated the vast majority of deaths and injuries at the track, but the hypocritical animal rights people oppose it.

Jack Cory, Tallahassee

The writer represent members of the Florida Greyhound Association. He also volunteers with Florida Pets Alive, a no-kill rescue in Tallahassee, and with Fix Florida, a coalition of citizens dedicated to reducing the killing of pets.

Smoking dangers

The fight isn’t over yet

I was thrilled to see the full-page ad in Sunday’s Tampa Bay Times that confirmed the dangers of tobacco products. After years of deceit and deception, the tobacco industry is finally being forced to admit that they lied for decades about their deadly products.

This is important to me because I have witnessed too many people in my life who have become hopelessly addicted to tobacco. Many paid the ultimate price while the tobacco industry’s profits grew. That’s just wrong.

I hope these ads will remind Florida’s lawmakers that they must do what they can to reduce the scourge of tobacco. While progress in the fight against tobacco has been made, it is far from over. Nearly 16 percent of Florida adults still smoke and 6,700 kids under 18 become new daily smokers each year. Moreover, Big Tobacco continues to spend $558.8 million marketing their deadly products in Florida.

For anyone who thinks the tobacco industry has changed, keep in mind it has been more than a decade since the federal courts first required them to run these ads for violating civil racketeering laws and defrauding the American people. It’s a typical tactic for an industry that has proven to put profits above the health of its customers.

Dave Tilki, Oldsmar

The house on the corner | Nov. 26

Help tragically absent

After reading the depiction of Anthony James Roy’s problems with squatters on his property and what he and his family contended with over those years at his small home in Clearwater, I am outraged at the inaction of the local police in this matter.

At the very least, the police could have arrested these squatters as trespassers and forcibly removed them from Roy’s property. Certainly the previous tenants having complained to the police had established a precedent of harassment and trespass sufficient to raise alarms to this behavior.

And since Bernard Richards declared that he would return to the property and harm Roy’s wife, the "stand your ground" defense would still apply even though Richards had physically left the premises.

Additionally, it is sad to see the denial in the face of Richards’ mother, who would enshrine someone like him.

Roger Oddson, Sun City Center


Monday’s letters: Don’t drill in Arctic refuge

Arctic National Wildlife RefugeStop plan to drill for oil in refugeOur nation faces yet another effort to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge reserve to oil and gas drilling. Drilling in the Arctic simply doesn’t make sound financial sense. W...
Published: 12/08/17

Sunday’s letters: Tax bill puts U.S. on right course

The GOP’s regressive tax plans | Dec. 5, editorialTax bill puts U.S. on right courseThe Times is already crying wolf over the new tax cuts, claiming that the new laws "could" result an increase in the national debt of $1.5 trillion over the next ...
Published: 12/07/17

Saturday’s letters: Don’t inject political money into churches

Tax billKeep political cash out of pulpitA provision buried in the 429-page House tax bill, Section 5201, nullifies the Johnson Amendment, which protects houses of worship from partisan politics by prohibiting them from endorsing or opposing politica...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/07/17

Friday’s letters: Most unpopular tax bill ever

Tax bill clears Senate | Dec. 3The most unpopular tax bill ever"Democracy dies in darkness" is the motto of the Washington Post. At 2 a.m. on the dark morning of Sunday, Dec. 3, 51 Republicans approved the most wildly unpopular tax bill in U.S. h...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/07/17

Thursday’s letters: Give your child the gift of reading

Fatherhood Involvement in Literacy CampaignGive your child the gift of readingPart of a successful game plan in sports is identifying plays that can put points on the scoreboard. Whether I was playing quarterback at Florida State or running the point...
Published: 12/05/17
Updated: 12/06/17

Wednesday’s letters: Bill gives small businesses tax relief

Tax bill clears Senate | Dec. 3Small businesses get tax reliefThe Senate and House have now passed their respective tax bills. Once Congress sends a final package to the White House, President Donald Trump will deliver us the most powerful tax re...
Published: 12/04/17
Updated: 12/05/17

Tuesday’s letters: Transplant bill will help Medicare patients

November Letter of the MonthThe winning letter addressed the unresponsiveness of elected officials.Representatives aren’t listeningFor whom do our legislators work? I ask because my Florida senator doesn’t appear to work for me. I drove 27 miles on N...
Published: 12/04/17

Monday’s letters: A citizen’s heroic act

Suspect arrested | Nov. 29A courageous citizen’s actOn Nov. 28, a courageous act occurred in the Tampa Bay area. It was one that law enforcement professionals applaud and hope becomes more frequent. An ordinary citizen did the right thing and spo...
Published: 12/01/17

Saturday’s letters: Historic preservation process needs fixing

A preservation problem | Nov. 25, editorialApplication process needs fixingThere is a reason why smaller rather than larger groups of property owners are getting together to seek historic district designation: It is St. Petersburg’s application p...
Published: 11/30/17
Updated: 12/01/17

Friday’s letters: Allegations from distant past have political tinge

Published: 11/30/17