Monday, September 24, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Thursday’s letters: Why term limits are a bad idea

Prescription for change | Oct. 21, letter

Terms limited via the ballot box

Recently you published a column by Adam Goodman advocating term limits and then a letter from a reader supporting his position. Here is why I think set term limits are a bad idea:

First of all, we already have term limits. They are called elections. Every two, four or six years, our elected leaders may come before the people and ask to be returned to their positions. If the voters see fit to do so time after time, then the result, good or bad, is their responsibility. If these leaders are so bad that they have to be limited, then we the people need to vote them out. If we donít, well, it has been said that we get the government we deserve.

Secondly, I may feel my representative has been doing an excellent job over time. Nevertheless, if he is limited out, then my right to vote for the candidate of my choice has been arbitrarily removed. This does not sound much like democracy to me.

Thirdly, it has been said by many that government ought to be run more like a business. And while fresh ideas are always needed, can anyone think of a successful endeavor whose business model is to remove experienced employees after a set period and replace them with inexperienced ones?

Finally, the primary rationale for term limits seems to be that a politician who knows he wonít be around forever will do a better job representing the people rather than listening to the special interests. I think the opposite is true. A "lame duck" legislator is far more likely to be swayed by special interests who can perhaps offer him a lucrative position when his term in office is done, rather than listen to his constituents who can no longer return him to that office.

We have had term limits in Florida for a while. How has that worked out?

Michael Ross, St. Petersburg

Fired school official files suit | Oct. 20

Poor example on board

How does a woman like Susan Valdes get elected to the School Board? Isnít a School Board member supposed to be an example for the students of Hillsborough County? Using the language she is quoted as using in this article should get her removed from the board. And certainly if she canít be removed she should be voted out at the next election, and I for one will certainly spread the word.

Using the f-word toward another member is pure trash, and I donít even know what the p-word she uses is. Itís time to get rid of Valdes.

Ann Anderson Urbanski, Tampa

Divide shown in Kellyís comments | Oct. 22

Official response fell short

As a veteran of the 82nd Airborne Division during the Korean War, I can easily understand why Sgt. La David Johnsonís widow could have been upset when President Donald Trump allegedly said her husband knew what he signed up for. This comment, even if made in good faith, can easily be legitimately interpreted as a heartless, uncaring remark.

No phone call or letter from any president can help the grief of a Gold Star family. What a Gold Star family deserves is that the nation mourns their loss and has an unwavering gratitude and respect for their sacrifice and that the family shall always have our continued support.

As for John Kellyís part in this episode, I will forever respect his and his sonís great contributions, even though while carrying water for Trump he chose to unfairly attack Rep. Frederica Wilson to protect Trump. But when Kelly agreed to become Trumpís chief of staff, he knew what he was signing up for.

Tom Meyers, Tampa

St. Petersburg mayorís race and the unknown price tags | Oct. 21, editorial

World-class sculptor

Janet Echelman is a world-class sculptor making huge-scale, soft fabric art that contrasts handsomely with the cold facades of buildings around the world.

She is from the Tampa Bay area. Yet the Tampa Bay Times is trying to keep her out of consideration for a much-needed focal point for St. Petersburgís downtown Pier, at a time when this cityís artistic growth (in all the arts) is burgeoning.

The illustration on your editorial page last Saturday leaves readers clueless as to the impact of her work. To truly see how her art would impact our area, check her out on YouTube and Ted Talks.

Mary Ann Marger, St. Petersburg

Ornery cats find a niche | Oct. 22

Feline behavior

The subheadline in this article on the working cats program uses the phrase "nastiest felines" to describe these homeless and forgotten animals. But just because cats hiss and swat at humans from behind cage doors does not mean they are "nasty."

Felines that are not accustomed to being around humans ó or those that have been abused by them ó at first often react this way. But as the article reveals, these cats soften once they are given friendship, patience and a home.

Next time, letís save the words "nasty" and "ornery" for those creatures that truly deserve it. You can find them prowling Twitter.

Deborah Van Pelt, Tampa

ĎFakeí news is not always fake | Oct. 22, Perspective

Sorting fact from fantasy

PolitiFact editor Angie Holan raises an interesting and concerning issue when it comes to verifying what one hears/reads/sees in todayís "news." As avenues for communicating continue to proliferate, differentiating "fact" from "fantasy" becomes even more challenging for the average news consumer.

Social media has significantly increased the challenge. As I have cautioned my students for close to a decade now, "Do not assume that what you see or hear, regardless of who the source might be, is true. Crosscheck your information. Verify the source of that information. Just because the purveyor of that information is in a position of supposed power and knowledge does not automatically mean that individual is correct in what he or she is proposing. Caveat lector."

Kirk Hazlett, Riverview


Tuesday’s letters: Amendment 4 is a matter of reason

Amendment 4 will save taxpayers money | Column, Sept. 23Amendment 4 is a matter of reasonMy lifelong Republican brother is a moderate, more mainstream thinker, not wedded to extreme right-wing orthodoxy, so I asked him how he plans to vote on Ame...
Updated: 7 hours ago

Monday’s letters: Dr. Robert Judson made great contributions to Pasco-Hernando State College

A pioneer in Pasco-Hernando education | Sept. 19Robert Judson pushed education forwardI had the pleasure of working with the late Dr. Robert Judson, the former president of what is now known as Pasco-Hernando State College, for many years. During...
Published: 09/21/18
Updated: 09/24/18

Saturday’s letters: We need stats that reflect our lives

We’re measuring the economy all wrong | Column, Sept. 18We need stats that reflect our livesMajor news outlets have uniformly declared the U.S. economy to be sizzling, on fire. This column was correct in wanting us to take a second, hard l...
Published: 09/21/18

Sunday’s letters: Inequality hurts democracy

We’re measuring the economy all wrong | Column, Sept. 18Democracy needs equalityEconomic inequality and the concentration of wealth have achieved levels beyond the comprehension of most American wage earners today. Income inequality has ri...
Published: 09/21/18

Friday’s letters: Florida’s workers aren’t reaping benefits of a booming economy

Scott didn’t put them to work | Sept. 16Florida workers not reaping the benefitsFlorida has just surpassed a GDP of $1 trillion. However, workers in Florida are not reaping the rewards. A new report released by anti-poverty organization Ox...
Published: 09/21/18

Thursday’s letters: For the sake of all involved, don’t rush the Kavanaugh vote

Delay Senate vote on Kavanaugh | Editorial, Sept. 18Don’t rush something that will last a lifetimeThe Senate Judiciary Committee finds itself in a sticky wicket. The committee should take a slow measured course of action. Trying to rush th...
Published: 09/19/18
Updated: 09/20/18

Wednesday’s letters: How home rule can help fight Red Tide

Red Tide on march | Sept. 18How home rule can help fight Red TideAt the end of 2005, as Red Tide ravaged the beaches and intracoastal waterways of Southwest Florida, volunteers from the Suncoast Sierra Club formed a coastal task force to begin de...
Published: 09/18/18
Updated: 09/19/18

Tuesday’s letters: Honor Flight restored my faith in America

Dogs are the best | Letter, Sept. 15Honor Flight restored my faith in AmericaJust as I was about to give up on our country due to divisiveness and and the divisions among its people and politicians, my pride was restored. As a member of the recen...
Published: 09/17/18
Updated: 09/19/18

Editorial cartoons for Sept. 18

From Times wires
Published: 09/17/18

Mondayís letters: Are we paying for the wrong kind of military today?

$1 trillion here and there | Letter, Sept. 16Are we buying the right defense?I am weary of politicians of all persuasions handing our military a blank check ó in particular the conservatives who rail against budget deficits and want to cut discre...
Published: 09/14/18