Saturday, April 21, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Wednesday’s letters: Generosity makes all the difference

National Adoption Month

The difference generosity makes

As a football coach, I always had to be ready to overcome unexpected challenges. With injuries, crowd noise and especially weather, the game plan is always adjusting to overcome adversity.

Our state had to do the same thing in September when Hurricane Irma made landfall. Despite unprecedented damage across the state, Florida families rallied together. A natural disaster can easily bring out the worst in humanity. I am proud that our community chose generosity rather than selfishness. Potentially dark days were illuminated by the many incredible Floridians who opened their homes and provided safe havens for those who needed it most.

November is National Adoption Month, and I hope this spirit remains strong in our hearts. Just as many families leaned on neighbors’ hospitality for shelter in the wake of the hurricane, many children across Florida are waiting for someone to become their hero through foster care or adoption.

We know that children do better when they feel safe and loved. As adoptive and foster parents, my wife Lauren and I have witnessed the transformative effect of welcoming children into our own home.

I am always humbled when former players thank me years after I coached them. Usually they mention how grateful they were for an opportunity. Though the joy I gained from mentoring young people far outweighs what I can give.

The same is true in fostering and adoption. Being a dad is my best job and my family is the greatest team. If you believe every child deserves a safe, loving home, visit: http//www.allprodad.com/foster/florida/ or call 1-844-4FL-KIDS (1-844-435-5437) to learn how you can be a hero to a child.

Tony Dungy, Tampa

Phony service dogs pose real problems
Nov. 11

Licensing and etiquette

To avoid the "fake service dog" scam, all trainers/animal behaviorists should be licensed by the county. Congratulations to Hillsborough County for taking the lead. Upon the dog’s graduation, the dog owner should be given a certificate to obtain a license for official service dog registration. Licenses will be proof the dog is officially trained and not a scam.

Secondly, when a dog is in training, proper etiquette is mandatory. Dog lovers and children should refrain from running up to the dog or offering treats. If one would like to pet the dog, stand at a distance and ask the owner if it would be okay. Chances are yes, depending on the level of training the dog has achieved. It is a matter of respect for both the dog and the owner of the dog who are working diligently and paying a premium for the training.

Claudia McCorkle, Redington Beach

St. Petersburg mayor’s race

Partisanship has no place

I accept the fact that more Democrats than Republicans voted in the recent St. Petersburg mayoral election, but what truly depresses me is the divisive, partisan campaign run by our mayor.

I don’t know what anyone in D.C. knows or cares about our sewer system or Pier. The "them vs. us" rhetoric aimed at dividing us for purely political purposes is wrong.

The outside money (was it really $3 million?) will make it difficult for local future candidates to participate. I don’t know how we can tell our young people to be inclusive and to listen thoughtfully to varied opinions when we set such a terrible example.

The mayor and the council work for every citizen in this city. I hear the mayor now calling for unity, and I hope he is sincere, but it’s hard to believe anything will change after the example he has set.

Connie Kone, St. Petersburg

Tax plan

Teachers among the losers

The tax plan proposed by the House strips teachers of the educator expense deduction. Educators are eligible to deduct up to $250 per year to reimburse the cost of classroom supplies.

If Congress does not maintain this deduction, teachers will be compelled to furnish their own classrooms even more so than they already do.

Research indicates that teachers spend an average of $600 of their own money per school year on basic school supplies and classroom essentials. Is it not morally reprehensible for teachers, who are already underpaid and undervalued, to be expected to create a proper learning environment with their own money?

The attempt by the Republican Party to simplify the tax code for everyone will benefit the wealthy and hurt the working class.

Corporations will still be allowed to deduct business expenses, but we cannot afford to shell out a mere $250 to benefit students?

Gina Spano, Seminole

Corporations and tax

People who complain that the corporate tax rate is being lowered at the expense of the "little guy" or the middle class are not seeing the forest for the trees. Corporations don’t pay taxes; you the consumer do. The price of the product produced by the corporation already has the tax that will be owed worked into the price. This is a fairly basic economic tenet. So, go ahead and lower those corporate rates and get the billions of dollars these companies have parked overseas into our country.

Dave Mullan, Tampa

Houston built to invite a flood | Nov. 12

It will happen again

This article is right. Houston was designed to flood. All you have to do to verify this is go to Google Earth or Google Maps and scan over Houston. There are endless square miles of residential development without a retention pond, creek, gully or canal. It is as flat as a table. There is no place for water to go except down the streets and into homes. The good residents of Houston are paying the price of unregulated development and will pay again.

Pete Wilford, Holiday

Comments

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

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

Sunday’s letters: The future of oyster production

Shell game | April 15Future of oyster productionThanks to Laura Reiley for an excellent synopsis of the current state of oyster production in Florida. The collapse of the Apalachicola oyster fishery is merely the latest example of the demise of a...
Published: 04/14/18

Monday’s letters: Public education is foundation of the nation

Voters beware of ballot deceptionApril 13, commentarySchools’ role underminedIt was with great pain that I read (not for the first time) that we must be aware of "ballot deception." Public schools were founded to make sure that future generations of ...
Published: 04/13/18

Saturday’s letters: Health Department should butt out

Judge: Grow pot, Mr. Redner | April 12Health officials should butt outThe Times reports that the Florida Department of Health filed an appeal to the decision allowing a man who is a Stage 4 lung cancer survivor to grow pot in his backyard for his ...
Published: 04/11/18
Updated: 04/13/18