Monday, April 23, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Tuesday’s letters: Florida needs to catch up on recycling

Knowing trash from treasure | Dec. 28

Florida lags on trash recycling

It was refreshing to see Tracee Stockwell’s article. I’m a snowbird from Wisconsin, where recycling has been mandatory for years, and I’m appalled at the abysmal rate of recycling in Florida. On my street in Holiday, there are only two households that recycle at all; in Wisconsin, it is rare to see two households that don’t recycle.

As a single person, I generate a 13-gallon blue tote filled with recyclables every two weeks, and that’s without paper and cardboard that I recycle at the local public elementary school and aluminum cans that I donate to a local church group.

I’d like to see a series of recycling articles for each county since the rules differ greatly. It was great to see Pinellas County doesn’t charge extra for electronics or yard waste recycling; Pasco County charges $5 for TVs under 36 inches and yard waste is charged at $59.30 per ton (prorated at $2.97 per 100 pounds). At best, most people are putting yard waste and electronics in their residential trash; at worst, they’re dumping it on the side of the road. The recycling costs should be included in our tax bill since I don’t know anybody who doesn’t have yard waste or hasn’t gotten a new flat-screen TV in the last 10 years.

It’s time that Florida got caught up with the rest of the world with their recycling.

Thomas Hansen, Holiday

As other nations’ life-spans rise, it falls in U.S.
Dec. 28

Lifestyle choices to blame

I find it interesting that this article regarding falling life-spans in the United States fails to properly emphasize the real issue causing shorter life-spans. It is obesity (beginning in childhood) and lack of physical activity.

It’s not lack of paid maternity leave, nor lack of gun control, nor less than generous unemployment benefits, nor non-mandatory health care. It’s adult Americans being fat, eating processed foods, and young Americans spending too much time indoors playing computer games instead of running and playing outside.

Diabetes, heart disease and lifestyle cancers are the real killers, and those relate to obesity and lack of physical activity. The other factors noted are simply socialism excuses.

Eric Statham, Tampa

We need mass transit upgrades
Dec. 28, letter

San Francisco’s example

I couldn’t agree more with this letter about upgrading mass transit system in this area. I’m from San Francisco and moved here in 2004. In San Francisco, we have multiple mass transit systems that interconnect with each other.

On street level are buses and streetcars. One story below the street is Muni. Two stories below the street is BART, which extends far outside San Francisco. It connects with the San Francisco and Oakland airports. There are also multiple ferry lines to take you across the bay. I exclude cable cars because they’re taken over by tourists, making them difficult for San Franciscans to use. Every time I go back to San Francisco, I marvel at how I don’t need a car or even a taxi to get around.

A constant complaint I hear from Floridians is how terrible traffic is. I hate being at the mercy of my car. In the heat and humidity of summers, I can’t walk or bike and will not sweat in the heat waiting for a bus. As the writer said, it’s time to do something.

Stan Koyama, Tampa

Utility rates may climb | Dec. 30

Enough is enough

Duke Energy wants ratepayers to fix "their" equipment? Don’t they have business insurance, a rainy day fund or some other plan to cover storm damage? If not, then isn’t this a form of malpractice? The only reason their shareholders haven’t revolted is Duke’s dividends have stayed at 4 percent or above since the fourth quarter of 2012.

A power company with above-ground wires running from the Carolinas to Florida has to expect storm damage almost every year. The problem with rate increases is they go on even after the work is done and end up as a larger dividend and bonus for senior management.

Enough is enough. Tallahassee should remember 2018 is an election year.

Robert Spencer, Dunedin

Investors should pay

Duke should not be able to increase its rates. Most of us agree that Duke Energy did a substandard job when it came to hurricane preparation and response. They did not maintain the infrastructure, cutting back on tree trimming and other maintenance. The response to the power outages was painfully slow. Duke couldn’t even communicate adequately with customers, rarely updating its social media and not updating information on repairs.

Yet Duke’s stock rises and it pays a hefty dividend to its investors because the company will likely not be held responsible for the poor response. Why should we as customers provide Duke, an already high-priced utility, with support? In a capitalist society shouldn’t the investors pay their fair share?

The Public Service Commission should come in on the side of the consumer and deny this requested increase.

Lynn Bosco, Clearwater

Postal service

Slow delivery overseas

Last week the president posted a critical tweet about the post office and Amazon. If he needs to be critical of anything it should be the way the military handles packages to our servicemen and women.

My son is in the Air Force, stationed in Turkey. I have sent several packages to him during his tour. The last one (Publix cookies, which he loves) was mailed in early November and took five days just to get to Chicago. It then took almost another three weeks to get to him. This is ridiculous. It cost almost triple the price of the cookies to mail them.

I think our military personnel need better treatment than this.

Rick Johnson, St. Petersburg


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...
Updated: 9 hours ago

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

Tuesday’s letters: Stop cooperating with ICE

Sheriff’s ICE policy blasted | April 10Pinellas should end partnership with ICEPinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri recently participated in a community conversation on his controversial agreement with ICE to voluntarily detain immigrants in the...
Published: 04/16/18