Thursday, June 21, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Wednesday’s letters: Mass transit success comes from thinking big and taking small steps

Support lacking for BRT | May 1

On transit, think big by taking small steps

Without mutual cooperation among the leaders of the tri-county Tampa Bay area, mass transit will never take place. A perfect example of such cooperation exists in the Portland, Ore., metropolitan area. State and local officials in three counties have, during the course of the previous four decades, exhibited exemplary leadership by collaborating to create a robust regional transit system that works exceedingly well. There are four main systems of transportation designed to keep as many automobiles off the road as possible: light rail, a streetcar, an aerial tram and a comprehensive bus system.

In addition, Portland also promotes a culture that encourages cycling and walking, with many bicycle lanes, something the Tampa Bay area is sorely lacking, frequently with fatal consequences. Indeed, apartment buildings with no parking facilities are being built in parts of Portland, encouraging people to either walk, cycle or take public transportation.

Thousands of motor vehicles are off the streets because Portland had the vision decades ago to implement these multiple modes of transit one by one as funding became available. The system has helped the massive influx of newcomers in recent years get around much easier than they would have otherwise, thanks to the foresight of these innovative leaders. In 2016, Portland was a finalist in the national Smart City Challenge. The Tampa Bay area? Nowhere on the list. Until such time as the tri-county Tampa Bay area decides that collaboration is in the best interests of its citizens, the area will not achieve its goal of attracting well-paying jobs and smart growth. It should do what Portland did — think big but take small incremental steps. I know. I lived there for 33 years until moving to Florida five years ago as worsening health made it necessary to live closer to my sister.

Gail Lowy, Largo

Par for this course | May 1, letter

Here’s some good news

Unemployment is way down, the number of folks on food stamps is down, the economy is humming and after previous administrations kicked the can down the road on North Korea, we have a good possibility of peace on the Korean peninsula. Yet a letter writer complains President Donald Trump didn’t attend the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. He was smart in not attending that fiasco. Why would anyone want to sit there and get insulted? So far Trump is getting America on the right track, and that is what matters to me.

Robert Butler, Tampa

A vicious Wolf gives Trump
the last laugh | May 1, column

Candidly? Not funny

Peter Funt’s old dad, Alan, always seemed charming enough. Maybe because we didn’t know his politics. We know Peter’s now. He does not approve of Michelle Wolf’s jokes at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. He says she was "cruel, unfunny, profane, a Saturday Night Massacre of Dignity and Common Sense." Take Funt’s adjectives and descriptions, and multiply them by a million, and you have Trump’s life and presidency from the start to the present. And obviously, Trump is in a position to do catastrophically more damage with his sickening moral defects than Wolf ever will be, and he’s doing it aggressively.

Steve Douglas, St. Petersburg


Thursday’s letters: On immigration there has to be a better way

‘Zero tolerance’ ignites outrage | June 20Find better way on immigrationOver the years I’ve voted for candidates from both parties. My observation of the Trump administration’s policy on immigration is not about politics. It has to do with having...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Wednesday’s letters: Charters and traditional public schools each have their place

Public school as public good | Letter, June 17Both kinds of schools can workAs a mother and grandmother of children raised in both traditional public and charter schools in Pinellas County (and a 25-year supporting-services employee for public sc...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/20/18

Tuesday’s letters: Keep programs that fight AIDS

For author Biden, it’s a father’s gift | June 6Keep programs that fight AIDSAfter former Vice President Joe Biden’s recent visit to St. Petersburg, I noticed an article that he co-wrote with former Sen. Bill Frist. It reminded everyone about the ...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/19/18

Is anyone watching the money?Hernando County’s budget shortfall is ever changing going from $6 million to $11.5 million to $14 million to what is assumed a final number of $12.6 million. Who knows the budget shortfall could change again.Who’s watchi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Re: County OKs solar zones | June 8Plea ignored at solar plant hearingThe Pasco County Commission on June 5 voted to identify a utility-sized solar electric plant as a "special exception" use on agricultural-zoned land in Pasco County. What thi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Monday’s letters: Skip those plastic bags and save the environment

To save our seas, overcome congressional apathy | Column, June 16Do your part and skip plastic bagsEvery day we read about the shame of our landfills and oceans filling up with plastic bags, yet most people don’t care. My wife and I always carry ...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

White House defends splitting up families as ‘biblical’ | June 15The suffering of the childrenI am a mother and attorney with more than 20 years of practice living in Tampa. For the past three years, I worked as a magistrate in a Unified Family C...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Saturday’s letters: Community-based care requires community involvement

Fix foster care, and do it quickly | Editorial, June 15Involve the community itselfWhile the detailed article about the scathing state review of Hillsborough County’s foster care problems touched on leadership, a critical point was not addressed....
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Friday’s letters: Freight trains are infrastructure that works in Tampa Bay

Railroads are infrastructure that worksFreight trains carry the loadCentral Florida is our state’s fastest-growing region. We’re on track to outpace South Florida’s growth 2-to-1 over the next several years. Great news for our local economy, but it n...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Thursday’s letters: Charter schools aren’t the enemy

Don’t plug your ears when schools ask for tax | May 20, columnCharter schools aren’t the enemyAs an educator, I am astounded when I hear claims from school board members that charter schools take away funding from the local public school system. ...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/14/18