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
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.
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