Monday, July 16, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Wednesday’s letters: In defense of greyhound racing

Florida’s chance to end cruel greyhound racing | Nov. 25, commentary

In defense of greyhound racing

Here we go again. Almost four years ago the Tampa Bay Times published a sensationalist front-page article headlined "RACED TO DEATH." I responded to that article, pointing out that the number of deaths at Derby Lane (12 in a seven-month period) amounted to a death rate of four one-hundredths of 1 percent (0.04 percent), an incredibly good safety record.

Now we have been subjected to another article, by the Florida state director of the Humane Society of the United States, restating the death statistics (one every three days in total at all 12 Florida tracks combined) and making an incredible and unjustifiable statement that "their lives are one of abject misery." I have been an owner of racing greyhounds for over 20 years and I can attest, based on personal experience and observation, that greyhounds love to run and are treated very well. And as for the comment about the meat they are fed, they thrive on it, as evidenced by the superb running ability they exhibit.

Less than two years ago, the Humane Society and co-defendants paid a $15.75 million settlement to Feld Entertainment in a case involving elephants after a federal court determined their case was "groundless and unreasonable." The argument against dog racing is no different.

Dick Adler, Lecanto

Tax proposals

Trickle-down failures

Referring to "trickle-down economics," economist John Kenneth Galbraith once said, "If you feed enough oats to the horse, some will pass through to feed the sparrows." This is an excellent depiction to understand the effects of the Republican "tax reform" proposals. The theory, of course, is that by increasing income and wealth of the few at the top it will flow downward to the workers and "small" business. Historically, trickle-down has not significantly elevated wages and therefore did not result in additional consumer spending, which is essential to stimulate the economy and to promote capital investment. These proposals are snake oil intended to garner support by repeating the mantra, "Tax cut for the middle class."

The corporate tax reduction will do little to repatriate money from foreign income or promote capital investment. Large corporations are reported to hold billions in foreign cash reserves, some of which is already in the United States via various investment vehicles. Most of the tax benefit would likely facilitate stock buybacks or to compensate the already highly paid; little would benefit workers. The estate tax provisions enhance the wealth of the very top and ease the path to a plutocratic system whereby the people are ruled by the wealthy few.

I have listened to the tax committee hearings. There were many surprise midnight amendments, ugly rudeness, no expert witnesses and lies galore. There is no time for public awareness of the fraud being perpetrated. The Republican hypocrisy will swell the debt by at least $1.5 trillion. Say goodbye to fiscal conservatism.

Some 20 million children live in poverty, our infrastructure is in great need, workers’ wages have not increased, white supremacists are emboldened, and the planet is being degraded. Meanwhile, the Trump administration is behaving more akin to a criminal enterprise lead by a narcissistic, incompetent president playing silly Twitter games and destroying trust with our allies.

Sam A. Giunta, Tampa

Woman stabs attacking family dog | Nov. 25

Dangers of a family dog

Looking at the photo of Buster the pit bull, two things stood out to me. The first thing is that Buster was not neutered, and the second was his ear cropping. Sierra Willson states that Buster was known to be aggressive, but she apparently did not see the need for neutering, which helps with the overabundance of testosterone. Ear cropping is an expensive procedure, painful for the animal and unnecessary, but Buster had cropped ears.

If the family cannot make sound, reasonable decisions with Buster, I feel a bit uneasy about the upcoming birth of a child that will be in a home with two other pit bulls.

Paul Steffenhagen, Floral City

Nation has lost its way | Nov. 25, letter

U.S. an outlier on guns

There are some important facts that this letter writer leaves out. These violent movies can be seen all over the world, yet only here do we see one mass murder after the other. The only difference is that in other countries they have sensible gun laws.

As far as religion, one could easily argue that the United States is probably the most religious of all developed nations and that excessive religion could have the opposite effect intended, as some of the most violent countries in the world are also the most religious.

Wanting more sensible gun laws is not a knee-jerk reaction as this letter writer suggests; it is based on facts and evidence.

Yvonne Osmond, Clearwater

A preservation problem | Nov. 25, editorial

Have any suggestions?

Your editorial opines about the rise of one-block mini-historic districts in St. Petersburg and "piecemeal historic designation." A property owner on the 700 block of 18th Avenue NE is disgruntled, complaining that the majority of his block’s homeowners (10) voted for the designation and the City Council approved it. He says, "I don’t have the same property rights as the people on the next block."

But is it okay for someone to buy a house on a block to flip it so it can be razed, only to have it replaced by a totally inappropriate structure that is completely out of character with the rest of the homes on the block and those nearby? What about the "property rights" of those other homeowners on the block who may have lived there for decades, having purchased the houses and maintained them because of their character?

The City Council and staff have been struggling to come up with regulations that balance new development while maintaining the distinctive character of older neighborhoods. Your editorial ends with, "There are better ways to preserve the best of St. Petersburg than going block by block." If there are "better ways," what do you suggest?

Rick Carson, St. Petersburg


Monday’s letters: Make investment in the Rays an actual investment with an actual return

Paying for ballpark will take teamwork | Editorial, July 12An actual return on investmentMuch attention has been given to the cost of the proposed Rays stadium in Ybor City and who will foot the bill. The three-legged stool of the Rays, the busin...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Sunday’s letters: Stop burning of sugar cane near the Everglades

Florida’s land of black snow | Bill Maxwell column, July 1Don’t burn sugar cane, periodIn this column, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Chris King got a lot of things right about how sugarcane burning negatively impacts the Glades communities w...
Published: 07/11/18
Updated: 07/13/18

Saturday’s letters: The dangerous days before Roe vs. Wade

The reality of back-alley abortions | Column, July 11The dangerous days before RoeI am a 71-year-old retired nurse. I still remember when abortion was illegal and birth control was restricted to married women in the United States. In 1983, I set ...
Published: 07/09/18
Updated: 07/14/18

Thursday’s letters: The Rays’ Ybor City stadium will be magnificent

Rays’ big dream is small ballpark | July 11The new stadium will be gorgeousI had the pleasure of attending the unveiling of the Tampa Bay Rays "next-generation, neighborhood ballpark." I was blown away. As an 18-year resident of Tampa Bay, and ma...
Published: 07/09/18
Updated: 07/12/18

Wednesday’s letters: Let’s prepare Florida’s next generation for the jobs that have been created yet

Make Florida’s workforce globally competitivePrepare for jobs not yet createdIf you aren’t amazed by the speed at which technology is changing our world, just think back 20 years. Would you have imagined cellphones with the capabilities of a laptop c...
Published: 07/09/18
Updated: 07/11/18

Hernando Letters to the Editor for July 13

Re: School meals for all students | July 6 storyParents should pay for their ownThat article really got me to thinking ... why can’t parents feed and care for their own children? When did it become others’ responsibility to do this? No one fed our th...
Published: 07/09/18

Tuesday’s letters: It’s great that Tampa’s Democratic mayor works with a Republican governor

Dems wary of Scott, Buckhorn bromance | July 8It’s not partisan to look out for TampaThe focus of a mayor should be on success in his jurisdiction, no matter the partner, for the citizens who live in his area of responsibility. Mayor Bob Buckhorn...
Published: 07/06/18
Updated: 07/10/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for July 13

Scaring birds with fireworks is a problemThe justification of buying fireworks to scare birds is the biggest problem with fireworks. My wife and I retired to a small pond across from a nature preserve. On a recent holiday, we were enjoying watching b...
Published: 07/05/18
Updated: 07/09/18

Monday’s letters: Let’s keep plastics out of the ocean now

Is a ban on plastic straws a step too far? | July 4 Plastic in oceanis not fantastic As a Tampa Bay native, I am thrilled to see a concerted effort to eliminate plastics pollution in the area, and encouraged to see small business and restaurant ow...
Published: 07/05/18
Updated: 07/09/18

Sunday’s letters: Keep the Rays in Tampa Bay

Ballpark site catches break | July 5Keep the Rays in Tampa BayLast month, the Tampa Bay Partnership led a delegation of nearly 20 Tampa Bay business leaders on a benchmarking trip to Houston, to explore the nationally recognized workforce develop...
Published: 07/05/18
Updated: 07/06/18