Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Wednesday’s letters: Trump’s words insult our Canadian visitors

Trade disputes torpedo G-7 summit | June 10

Canadian visitors are owed apology

Like many Pinellas County residents, I’m pleased that we receive thousands of Canadian "snow birds" as part-year residents. Not only do they enhance our economy, but by and large they are outstanding guests. I wish those Canadians with whom I’ve developed friendships were here now so I could apologize personally for the boorish, even scurrilous attacks by President Trump on Prime Minister Trudeau.

There doubtless is room for honest disagreements about tariffs, but that doesn’t excuse Trump’s "diplomacy" by personal vilification of our allies’ leaders. Even while the president attacks friends who share what we used to think were America’s values, he praises dictators and strongmen like Russia’s Vladimir Putin.

I doubt any apologies will be coming from the White House as one of Trump’s chief aides suggested there is a "special place in hell" for Trudeau. Gov. Rick Scott has spoken in the past of the great importance of Canadians to Florida’s economy. Is it too much to hope that he or Sen. Marco Rubio will apologize to our Canadian friends on behalf of the state of Florida?

Tony Branch, Madeira Beach

Trump seeks balance for U.S.

It’s hard to understand why the Tampa Bay Times in its stories on tariffs fails to point out that Canada already imposes a nearly 300 percent tariff on American dairy products. I would classify this as an imbalance between our two countries. Yet you make Trump the bad guy for going to bat for America. All he wants is fairness with all countries on tariff issues.

One last fact about Canada: Its military budget this year is a little over $20 billion. The U.S. defense budget is $613 billion. Is it too hard to conclude that Canadians feel they can spend less on defense because U.S. taxpayers foot a big bill that also protects Canada?

Joseph Wynne, New Port Richey

Running out of time, cash
for entitlements | June 10

High earners should pay more

I have no problem with millionaires and billionaires collecting their Social Security checks as long as they contributed their 6.2 percent tax on earned income. What I have trouble with is that this 6.2 percent is capped at $128,400. That means if you earn $128,400 or $10 million, you will still only pay $7,960.

What is wrong with paying your fair share no matter how much you earn? If this cap were eliminated it would alleviate if not eliminate future Social Security shortfalls.

I can see why many young workers feel that they are contributing to a system that will not be there for them when they most need it.

Tim Halvey, St. Petersburg

Women’s summit draws protests | June 10

Protesters don’t speak for all

Demonstrators at U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis’ Women’s Summit stated that the topics were belittling. Evidently the 250 people who registered for the summit did not find them belittling.

It is possible that the demonstrators were indeed demeaning those who registered by implying that their interests were of little consequence. Maybe the demonstrators would have been more enthused if "Costume Design for Creative Protesting" was one of the topics offered. However, like this protest, it might not have attracted enough people to be a worthwhile offering.

Janet Burt, Odessa


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...
Updated: 2 hours ago

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 ...
Updated: 11 hours ago

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

Wednesday’s letters: Trump’s words insult our Canadian visitors

Trade disputes torpedo G-7 summit | June 10Canadian visitors are owed apologyLike many Pinellas County residents, I’m pleased that we receive thousands of Canadian "snow birds" as part-year residents. Not only do they enhance our economy, but by ...
Published: 06/11/18
Updated: 06/13/18