February Letter of the Month
The winning letter addressed the school shooting in Parkland.
My generation is fearful, angry
I’m a high school senior. I, and people like me, have grown up in a culture of fear — fear of getting shot in our schools, where we are supposed to be safe.
The worst part of that fear is that it’s become normal. This terrifies me.
Something about the shooting at Douglas High has created a different reaction, not just from me, but from my entire generation. We’re tired of seeing murder be something that we just have to accept. We’re tired of the slaughter of innocents being brushed off as something we can’t do anything about. We’re angry.
Quemi (Mimi) Cao, Largo
Economic growth bill
Help for credit unions
Time is running out for the flawed system that has hurt credit unions and small banks while allowing Wall Street to flourish.
That’s why more than 20 senators, both Republicans and Democrats, support S. 2155, the Senate Economic Growth bill, commonsense legislation that will help Main Street credit unions and small banks better serve consumers.
This bill will increase access to affordable mortgages, which will help millions of Americans build equity while supporting a housing market still recovering from the economic crisis. It would also increase the amount of capital available for credit union small business members to allow more Americans to invest in themselves and in their communities. And it would add important consumer protections, all while leaving current consumer protections in place, especially protections against Wall Street.
We need this relief for Main Street to better serve our members. I hope that both Sens. Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio will co-sponsor this legislation and support it when it comes to a vote.
Mary Ott Wood, Brandon
The writer is CEO and president of the Florida West Coast Credit Union.
Bill would add treated sewage into aquiferMarch 3
Ill-advised water proposal
The idea of injecting treated sewage into the aquifer should make people very uneasy. The theory is that the microbes that live in the aquifer would further clean that injected water. As someone who studies the microbial communities that reside in the aquifer, I can say we simply don’t know enough about how those microbes function and certainly don’t know the capacity they have to remediate waste.
The other side of the picture is equally grim. As we withdraw too much fresh water from the aquifer along the coast to support the ever-increasing Tampa Bay population, it is replaced by salt water infiltrating underground from the Gulf of Mexico or from the deeper salty aquifer that underlies our freshwater aquifer. The aquifer cannot supply a limitless amount of freshwater.
Jim Garey, Valrico
The writer is a professor of biology at USF.
Common sense missing
The same people who are calling for "commonsense" gun control are the people who believe:
• A baker should lose his/her business if they have religious objections to baking a cake for a gay wedding.
• Illegal immigrants should have the same rights as citizens and should be allowed to claim citizenship and vote.
• Men who "identify" as women should be allowed to use the ladies room next to your mother, wife or daughter.
Sorry, but I’ll be keeping my guns. Common sense on the left appears to be in fairly short supply.
Martin Stanton, Valrico
Trump announces tariffs on steel, aluminumMarch 2
Isolation is no strategy
A 10 percent tariff on aluminum may sound good until you look at the fact that we have to import almost all the bauxite needed for us to produce aluminum. Unlike steel, where we have enough iron ore, we do not have stores of bauxite or enough mines to fill our demands. There is no way an isolated country can thrive in today’s world market. Look how well it works in North Korea, Iran, Venezuela and Cuba.
This supposed threat is not a result of NAFTA or any trade agreement. I worked in a shop that worked solely in stainless steel. We made everything from cup dispensers for fast food chains to bedpans for hospitals. We started using Japanese stainless almost 50 years ago because our owners found the price too hard to ignore.
Why is it a good idea for a free open market to set prices on our health care needs but not in manufacturing?
Robert Spencer, Dunedin
Pet stores serve a need | March 3, letter
Inhumane puppy mills
While the letter writer might have had a good experience with pets purchased at a pet store, she should consider the actual puppy mills where the puppies came from. Females are kept pregnant and in cages — one litter after another and another. In Florida, there are respectable breeders of most pups you are looking for and you won’t pay any more than you will at a pet store. The state is full of rescue groups of most breeds you’re looking for, so there are options without going to a pet store to buy a puppy.
I hope regulations to ban pet stores from selling puppies received from puppy mills are met with approval from our legislators. If enough states follow suit, perhaps puppy mills will be put out of business.
I urge everyone to look up puppy mills on the internet and make sure you look at the images. Don’t eat before you look because you won’t want to after.
Donna Klenovich, Oldsmar