Thursday, June 21, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Thursday’s letters: Gun limits, maybe; confiscation, never

Gun control

Limits, possibly; seizures, never

The antigun left-leaning media constantly refers to the "gun lobby" and the National Rifle Association when trying to ban and even take guns away from legitimate owners. They blame organizations for the acts of deranged individuals instead of blaming the root problems of society. They need to get it right. The NRA is a small part of the reason very restrictive gun legislation will never succeed. Mainly, it’s the overwhelming grass-roots movement by law-abiding citizens who will never let the government overstep their constitutional right to own guns.

History has proven that governments become tyrannical when the population has become totally subjected and fearful of them. Try working on the obvious social problems of bad parenting, poverty, ignorance and mental issues. No one with common sense would object to increasing background checks and some amount of waiting periods preceding purchasing a weapon. Confiscation is not in the cards.

Don Niemann, Seminole

Florida Senate values guns over kids
March 6, editorial

Put focus on saving lives

On March 3, the Florida Senate shamefully failed, on a 17-20 vote, to ban the sale of military-style assault weapons in Florida

The NRA’s position is that the Second Amendment is absolute (which it is not) and that citizens need these weapons to thwart a perceived threat of future governmental tyranny. In other words, we must endure a real and present threat to our children’s safety and security in order to secure us against a perceived and future threat to our democracy, remembering that personal gun ownership already exceeds law enforcement/military ownership by a factor of 44 to 1.

Make no mistake. Had the Parkland shooter not been able to purchase an AR-15, Parkland would not have happened or, at least, fewer lives would have been lost.

The NRA and the gun lobby let a menacing genie out of the bottle. We need to try and put it back.

Bernard Fensterwald, Dunedin

Reduce size of magazines

The rifle is not the problem; its large-capacity magazine is. Years ago I owned a Remington model 742 Woods Master semiautomatic hunting rifle, in 30.06 caliber, the same round used in the M1 Garand, the premier battle rifle used in World War II and Korea. The Woods Master held four rounds in its magazine. The M1 Garand held eight rounds. The AR-15 and its variants hold up to 30 rounds in the magazine.

And here is a part of the solution to lethality: If we reduce the AR’s 30-round magazine down to four rounds, the only real difference between the AR-15 and the Model 742 Woods Master is their appearance. Let’s work on eliminating the large-capacity magazines. This way people who like the military aesthetics of the AR-15 could keep them, and at the same time we’d reduce the level of carnage caused by the massive firepower of large-capacity magazines.

Jim Aureli, Thonotosassa

Bad law hits home | March 3, editorial

Look to school results

This editorial suggests that the temporary "takeover" by Learning Science International is a "hostile" act. However, if it creates a better learning experience for our children, I as a taxpayer have no issues and welcome the change.

After doing a little research I found that in 2016 a new turnaround administrator made recommendations to fix the problems at these schools — which did not work. Also in 2016, LSI contracted with Bear Creek Elementary in Pinellas County and was able to improve their program from a C to an A in one year. Why anyone would be opposed to such improvement is beyond my comprehension. Sometimes introducing a new process can provide significant improvement. This in no way should reflect on the ability of our teachers, but rather provide a new viewpoint on teaching.

John Muzyka, St. Petersburg

Bill would add treated sewage into aquifer
March 3

Danger to the water supply

"Adding treated sewage to the aquifer would require cleaning the effluent to the point that it meets federal drinking water standards," according to Mary Jane Angelo, director of the Environmental and Land Use Law Program at the University of Florida.

Aside from the fact that those standards do not require screening out of antibiotics, antidepressants and other drugs, there remains the hidden danger that whoever certifies that those standards have really been met may be influenced and pressured to allow non-standard (dirty) water into the aquifer. (The recent exposure of falsification at Volkswagen regarding their diesel engine performance illustrates how this could happen.)

Sierra Club lobbyist David Cullen stated correctly: "Once the aquifer is contaminated, it’s broken." We have been warned.

Alfred J. Lilienthal, Brandon

USF sharpens its brand | March 4

Problem is at the top

The problem with USF’s branding is the president. From athletics to academics, she feels she must have her fingers in everything. During her tenure, major mistakes have been made in both areas.

For many reasons, primarily political and economic, USF will not be viewed in the same light as UF and FSU. She needs to accept this and work with what she has. It is time for a new president with a more enlightened view of things.

I am not anti-USF, by the way; two in our family have USF degrees.

Dick Powers, Tampa


Thursday’s letters: On immigration there has to be a better way

‘Zero tolerance’ ignites outrage | June 20Find better way on immigrationOver the years I’ve voted for candidates from both parties. My observation of the Trump administration’s policy on immigration is not about politics. It has to do with having...
Updated: 11 hours ago

Wednesday’s letters: Charters and traditional public schools each have their place

Public school as public good | Letter, June 17Both kinds of schools can workAs a mother and grandmother of children raised in both traditional public and charter schools in Pinellas County (and a 25-year supporting-services employee for public sc...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/20/18

Tuesday’s letters: Keep programs that fight AIDS

For author Biden, it’s a father’s gift | June 6Keep programs that fight AIDSAfter former Vice President Joe Biden’s recent visit to St. Petersburg, I noticed an article that he co-wrote with former Sen. Bill Frist. It reminded everyone about the ...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/19/18

Is anyone watching the money?Hernando County’s budget shortfall is ever changing going from $6 million to $11.5 million to $14 million to what is assumed a final number of $12.6 million. Who knows the budget shortfall could change again.Who’s watchi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Re: County OKs solar zones | June 8Plea ignored at solar plant hearingThe Pasco County Commission on June 5 voted to identify a utility-sized solar electric plant as a "special exception" use on agricultural-zoned land in Pasco County. What thi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Monday’s letters: Skip those plastic bags and save the environment

To save our seas, overcome congressional apathy | Column, June 16Do your part and skip plastic bagsEvery day we read about the shame of our landfills and oceans filling up with plastic bags, yet most people don’t care. My wife and I always carry ...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

White House defends splitting up families as ‘biblical’ | June 15The suffering of the childrenI am a mother and attorney with more than 20 years of practice living in Tampa. For the past three years, I worked as a magistrate in a Unified Family C...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Saturday’s letters: Community-based care requires community involvement

Fix foster care, and do it quickly | Editorial, June 15Involve the community itselfWhile the detailed article about the scathing state review of Hillsborough County’s foster care problems touched on leadership, a critical point was not addressed....
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Friday’s letters: Freight trains are infrastructure that works in Tampa Bay

Railroads are infrastructure that worksFreight trains carry the loadCentral Florida is our state’s fastest-growing region. We’re on track to outpace South Florida’s growth 2-to-1 over the next several years. Great news for our local economy, but it n...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Thursday’s letters: Charter schools aren’t the enemy

Don’t plug your ears when schools ask for tax | May 20, columnCharter schools aren’t the enemyAs an educator, I am astounded when I hear claims from school board members that charter schools take away funding from the local public school system. ...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/14/18