Sunday, July 22, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Wednesday’s letters: U.S. doing well on curbing pollution

U.S. is a leading global polluter | Nov. 1, letter

U.S. doing well curbing pollution

A recent letter labeled the United States a "leading global polluter." Online information shows that we add about 16 percent to the C02 emission totals, making us the second-largest C02 contributor. But it should be noted the United States also produces about 20 percent of the world’s goods and services in the process, more than any other country.

Whether consumed or exported, China, with about 40 percent of the world’s electric cars, still adds 28.2 percent to emission totals but produces only about 13 percent of global GDP. India adds 6 percent to emission levels and supplies 3 percent of global GDP.

Based on this, the United States appears to be making more progress than others in C02 management. Additional information shows that, currently, not one of the world’s 500 most polluted cities is in the United States. I believe that before we tighten our environmental regulations further, all major contributors should match our progress in reducing emissions.

Climate emission understanding suggests the Earth produces and consumes even amounts of C02, balancing these levels over time. Man-made C02 adds significantly less than nature, but it’s believed that only 60 percent of this is reabsorbed, leading to this gradual gas buildup. However, other science recognizes there are naturally occurring, periodic C02-level imbalances as the result of temperature changes or other natural causes that are contributors to consider.

Understanding any environmental impact will require belief in a common set of facts and figures created in an unbiased process by scientists, politicians and all affected parties.

Rick Nuyttens, Tarpon Springs

Hillsborough school district in financial, leadership crisis | Nov. 5, editorial

Keeping pay scale intact

While I agree with nearly all the points in this editorial concerning Hillsborough County public schools, there is one with which I take umbrage and hope to offer a brief rebuttal: "administrators spent too much money on teachers." As Marlene Sokol recently noted in one her articles, the district is the third-largest in Florida yet ranks eighth overall in average teacher salary. And, for added perspective, the Sunshine State ranks 39th in the United States for average teacher salary.

When the district administration bargained the current pay scale in 2013-14 to make restitution for the years of pay freezes during the Great Recession, it did so on the premise that it was sustainable and we were encouraged to give up tenure to increase our salaries. Therefore, it was incumbent upon our elected School Board members — especially those who sat on the dais when this contract was ratified — to ensure that money was properly allocated to keep the pay scale intact. Of their two statutory obligations, School Board members must oversee the budget, something they clearly have great difficulty doing in recent years. Rather than taking care of the people who work with children daily, some continue to splurge on travel, frivolously waste millions of taxpayer dollars, and get embroiled in scandal, all at the cost of employee morale, public trust and our students’ education.

Although plenty of blame can be laid at the feet of our School Board members, the real culprits of the fiscal challenges faced by our district and others is the Legislature. Had it properly funded public education over the last decade — which is currently $1,100 less per pupil when adjusted for inflation — the Times wouldn’t need to have written the editorial or print this reply.

Ryan Haczynski, Tampa

26 are slain in latest horror | Nov. 6

What needs to happen

Welcome to the United States of America, where on any given day, this time in a group of Texas worshippers in a small town, one can be gunned down by a madman with an assault-type weapon. Just a few short weeks ago it was concertgoers in Las Vegas. Of course this will happen again. When and where is anybody’s guess.

Two things must happen for Americans to experience the freedoms that are allegedly granted to them.

1. Assault-type weapons or any attached gear that permits a weapon to be fired in rapid succession must be banned. That means the manufacture of such equipment is no longer permitted.

2. The 2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which was written at a time when soldiers used muskets, and created for the purpose of ensuring a "well regulated militia," has been twisted to make sure nearly every American has the right to accumulate assault-type weapons and ammunition and thus undermine any commonsense gun legislation. It must be repealed. Then this "hook" that the NRA uses to continue to hang its hat, regardless of its effect on public safety, would be gone.

Joan Lund, Tampa

‘Standing strong’ is useless

It has happened yet again. This time, 26 people were killed in a Texas church. President Donald Trump, in yet another perfunctory statement, said that in a crisis "Americans will do what we do best: We pull together and join hands and lock arms and through the tears and sadness we stand strong."

Trump needs to learn that words are not enough and the suggested actions are ineffective. Standing strong is no strength at all, because it keeps happening again and again and again. How strong are we when our government does nothing but posture in mock sympathy and does nothing to stop it? When will we, as Americans, demand that enough is enough?

Betsy Clement, Dunedin

A public servant of firm beliefs | Nov. 4

High level of public service

I never laughed so hard as when I heard Joe Chillura reflecting on his race against Jan Platt: "It was like running against Mother Teresa." Those two stalwart Hillsborough County leaders at the turn of the century showed the area leadership’s "deep bench" during the true glory days of Tampa’s smartly planned growth.

The only thing I that I would add to Chillura’s comment would be: If she was Mother Teresa, I would describe him as a candidate the caliber of Pope John Paul II.

Dale Kimball, Wesley Chapel

Comments

Monday’s letters: More reaction to Trump

Trump sides with Putin over U.S.A. | July 17 editorialVoters will have to protect national securityThe American intelligence agencies are in unanimous agreement that Russia involved itself in the 2016 election, all to benefit the candidacy of Dona...
Published: 07/19/18
Updated: 07/20/18

Sunday’s letters: What to do about the National Flood Insurance Program

Time’s running out on flood insurance | Column, July 18Kill the flood insurance programThe Republican ethos (Sen. Marco Rubio) is that government should not interfere in markets and that privatization should be implemented whenever possible. That...
Published: 07/19/18
Updated: 07/20/18

Saturday’s letters:

Time 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. Can America afford a soci...
Published: 07/19/18
Updated: 07/20/18

Friday’s letters: Trump’s excuses about Helsinki

Trump got tripped up | July 18 A dangerous mix-up for a president President Donald Trump would have us believe that he misspoke when he stood on the world stage with Russian President Vladimir Putin and expressed belief in Putin rather than the un...
Published: 07/18/18
Updated: 07/20/18

Thursday’s letters: Watch what Trump does ... and what he says

Trump sides with Putinover U.S.A. | Editorial, July 17 Watch what he does — and what he says, too Anyone who still takes issue with the allegation that Donald Trump is temperamentally unfit to be president need only look at his shameful and ...
Published: 07/16/18
Updated: 07/19/18

Tuesday’s letters: Leave fireworks to the professionals

Nobody is scaring birds with fireworks | Editorial, July 16Leave fireworksto the professionalsThe situation with fireworks has gotten completely out of control. I was at Curtis Hixon Park on the Fourth of July, and numerous people were exploding ...
Published: 07/16/18
Updated: 07/17/18

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...
Published: 07/12/18
Updated: 07/16/18

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