Tuesday, August 14, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Tuesday’s letters: Hawaiian volcano is to be watched in awe, not fear

No end in sight as volcano in Hawaii
destroys 26 homes | May 7

Volcanoes erupt

The recent eruption of one of the Earth’s most studied active volcanoes is being reported, at least on TV, in cataclysmic terms posing threats to human activity and life. Although there is certainly much to be learned about one of the most significant natural processes in the geologic history of our planet, the Kilauea volcano is the centerpiece of the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and home to the U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. This research facility focuses on Kilauea and is staffed by some of our best earth scientists constantly examining data from this heavily instrumented and monitored feature. Kilauea has been erupting, on and off, for many decades. This most recent volcanic activity on the Big Island is about as predictable as the near-hourly eruptions of the Old Faithful geyser in Yellowstone National Park. Perhaps this particular event is a bit more powerful than others in the past. But its occurrence should be of no surprise.

For sure, safety is paramount and the National Park Service and the state of Hawaii should keep spectators at a safe distance. But why small settlements and villages exist within the volcano’s dangerous reach is a beyond me. If human habitation is threatened, it is the fault of the state’s planners. Evacuations should be mandatory and future redevelopment anywhere nearby should be banned.

Instead of viewing this most recent activity as a threat posing an emergency, we should be amazed and awestruck at one of our Earth’s incredible processes that has been going on for the past 4.55 billion years. The beauty, power and the knowledge of what Kilauea tells us about how our planet behaves are the real stories.

Albert Hine, Seminole

Budget shortfall affects prisons | May 7

Making money on my taxes

I was amazed that one simple question was not asked. If the prison system contracts with for-profit companies and the shortfall was $28 million, how much profit did those companies make and why did they make a profit at all if they need another $28 million to cover the budget? No legislators asked about the profits but instead were finding programs to cut. Tax dollars should be spent on state-run prisons, not on for-profit companies, just as tax dollars should be spent on traditional public schools, not on charter schools run by for-profit companies. Why is it okay to raise the budget every year to pay more to for-profit companies running state facilities and then cry that we need smaller government?

Richard Gentile, Tampa

Build up city’s staff of inspectors | May 7, editorial

Do inspections actually help?

Your editorial assumes the city inspectors actually perform a vital service. Now a retired property manager of 25 years, I frequently contracted roofing contractors to re-roof properties. Each job requires two inspections, one when the roof is dried in and another upon completion. Most inspections were drive-by. Never did I see an inspector on a roof, really checking to see if the roofers followed specifications. I did experience some roofs that were not properly done, yet all were approved by inspectors. In my opinion, the permit is little more than a tax since there is no actual inspection or warranty.

I also was involved in the construction of new homes. I recommended that clients hire a private inspector, who would review building plans and then ensure the work was properly completed by a series of visits while the work was being done. Private inspections often caught contractors using inferior materials and sloppy work. Every time a private inspector performed, my clients appreciated my advice and felt the money was well spent.

Hardy Bryan, St. Petersburg


Wednesday’s letters: First day of school brings a frightening new world

Goodbye for now | Aug. 14First day of schoola scary time nowMonday morning we took our youngest child to start her school life proper. It was bittersweet and tugged on my heart strings for many reasons, but one was that her first day of kindergar...
Updated: 11 hours ago

Pasco Letters to the Editor for Aug. 17

Re: County authorizes takeover of SunWest Park | Aug. 10‘A poor idea from the startWith no fanfare whatsoever, we now have a new park that no one I know ever seems to use or even know where it is. If it is bringing hordes of tourists to our cou...
Published: 08/13/18

Tuesday’s letters: Habitat should help the poor, not hurt them

Habitat lender choice blasted | Aug. 12Help, don’t hurt, poorAs a Habitat for Humanity admirer, donor and volunteer, I was disappointed to read how Habitat for Humanity’s Hillsborough County affiliate reportedly stumbled in delivering its mission...
Published: 08/10/18
Updated: 08/13/18

Monday’s letters: A gun or a vote: danger is relative

‘I went off the deep end’ | Aug. 10A gun or a vote: danger is relativeAt the demonstrable risk of having someone lose his fragile temper, grab his guns, storm out his door and speed to my home to shoot me for saying so (and why NOT, Florida Legis...
Published: 08/10/18

Sunday’s letters: July’s letter of the month is ‘Time for more civil debate.’

July letter of the monthTime for more civil debate"Politics" is an activity which involves power and control, arriving at decisions based on differing interests. Normally, leaders weigh the needs of the individual with the abilities of the country. C...
Published: 08/09/18
Updated: 08/10/18

Saturday’s letters: A team effort made USF preeminent

USF and preeminenceA team effort vaulted USF The University of South Florida’s designation as a preeminent state research university is a prestigious accomplishment and a tribute to the hard work of faculty, staff and students and USF System Presiden...
Published: 08/09/18
Updated: 08/10/18

Friday’s letters: Don’t let pollution be our legacy

Algae blooms amid cuts | Aug. 8Brown can’t be the new greenThis headline should have said "Republicans continue to pave their way across Florida, pollute the water supply and destroy animals and their habitat." The Republicans have controlled Tal...
Published: 08/07/18
Updated: 08/09/18

Wednesday’s letters: Girl’s drowning death is one of two tragedies

Mother: Dead girl now ‘pure’ | Aug. 7Two tragediesThis is another tragedy of a parent who became overwhelmed by the responsibility of caring for an autistic child. But an equally bad sequence of events is likely to happen in the days and months t...
Published: 08/06/18
Updated: 08/07/18

Hernando Letters to the Editor for Aug. 10

Jacqueline Road being misusedI have issued complaints to the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office, traffic division and also a letter to the sheriff and have had very little positive response.We have an issue on Jacqueline Road with speeding vehicles and...
Published: 08/06/18

Monday’s letters: Enough with praise for Pier sculpture

Aerial art to billow at Pier | Aug. 3Pier art: boon or boondoggle?Well, finally! The Janet Echelman sculpture project has been approved. The dust has settled and now, at the cost of $2.8 million an over-priced, glorified flag will be flapping ove...
Published: 08/03/18