Friday, May 25, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Acts demonstrate that we care about fellow creatures

Boat speeds near manatees readjusted | March 16 and Baby osprey is home again | March 17

We must help fellow creatures

I believe there are lessons to be drawn by the juxtaposition of these two accounts related to the welfare of two species that inhabit our state.

The manatees come by the hundreds to the warm waters of King's Bay every winter. Their presence benefits the economies of Crystal River and its environs. Sadly, in our state many are injured or killed by boat props each year.

Enacting protections, such as lower speed limits or prop guards, is our moral responsibility, stewardship if you will, toward them as innocent animals unable to protect themselves. The provision of these safeguards does not "elevate nature above people," as claimed by tea party activists. It does demonstrate that we care about the welfare and survival of creatures that share the earth with us.

Perhaps you've caught the beautiful sight of an osprey, or "fish hawk," headed to the nest with a freshly caught fish in its beak. Efforts to protect the osprey by replacing nests destroyed by storms (or relocated out the way of power line construction) have been widely successful. The good folks in Weeki Wachee are to be applauded. They have exercised the stewardship of nature that we owe our resident species.

The successful protection of the osprey should encourage a redoubling of our efforts to protect the manatee.

R. Wayne Bowen, St. Petersburg

School officials don't buy reading program March 20

Right call for public schools

It is both reassuring and calming that the School Board of Pinellas County felt the calling to resist this pressure that was being levied on them. In no way do I feel the need to diminish a faith-based group or the message that it hopes to spread, but it is comforting to me to know that there remains an iota of the separation of church and state.

There are many factors to be considered as to why certain schools have less than stellar grades when it comes to reading, I do not believe that allowing this curriculum into the schools will improve these grades. This curriculum is certainly a good one for faith-based private schools, but it has no place in the public schools.

Mark L. Grantham, Gulfport

Obama sets gas prices? March 21 Robert B. Semple column

Some have HDD

Those who blame President Obama for high gas prices appear to be suffering from HDD — History Deficit Disorder. They forget that when the economy was booming, before the Great Recession, gas prices were about $4 a gallon and that was under Bush, with the Drill, Baby, Drill plan in effect.

The economy is now on the rebound. A price of $4 a gallon was already established in 2008 as the new norm in a growing economy.

Those Republicans who wish to return to lower gas prices of $2.50 a gallon are failing to mention that they will do so by returning to the policies that led to the Great Recession.

Only those with History Deficit Disorder believe that gas prices will get lower in a growing economy.

Martin Peters, Tarpon Springs

Accounts differ as Tasered man dies March 20

Why not aim Taser at a leg?

Since Florida has had 65 Taser-related deaths, obviously there is a problem with this weapon. Instead of jolting people with this deadly weapon in the chest or back, why don't they aim it at a leg? It seems irresponsible to shoot it at any part of the body that could trigger a heart attack.

As for it being less painful than pepper spray, I can't speak for anyone else, but I would much rather be temporarily blinded than dead.

Christine Jamesson, Clearwater

Republican National Convention

A forced week off

My company has decided to close during the week of Aug. 27-31 because of the security issues next to the convention center, forcing employees to use their own paid time off. They also are not allowing us to work late to bank time. Is this fair? No! Most of us have families to support, doctor appointments and sick kids that already use the small PTO we earn through the year. We can't afford to miss a week's paycheck either. I think the RNC needs to provide funding to the citizens it is putting out. How can Tampa say that bringing the RNC is a good thing by boosting the local economy when it's really putting us out and further in debt!

Rebecca Roberts, Tampa

Property insurance

Nearly billed out of a home

It used to be the "American Dream" to own your own home. Well, here in Florida it has become the "American Nightmare." Not only are our houses underwater, but the insurance is costing more than our mortgage. I just got my FEMA flood insurance bill and my homeowner's insurance bill. The homeowner's bill went up another $497 a year, with a higher deductible on hurricane damage. My FEMA flood insurance bill went from $313 to $1,324, and I live in a neighborhood far from the gulf.

I am a Republican, but I am getting embarrassed to even say that. Those people up in Tallahassee are to blame. We are going to see a whole lot more foreclosures in Florida. It's not worth it anymore, and I personally am about ready to walk away. I have a feeling a lot more people, when they get their insurance bills, will do the same. Our governor and Legislature would be well advised, as with our gas prices, to rein in this absurdity!

Lisa Fackender, Spring Hill

Parents flexing political muscle | March 20

Raise status of teaching

I was delighted to see that parent groups successfully fought the "parent trigger" bill endorsed by politicos like Jeb Bush. As a parent and former teacher, I would never have sent my kids to a charter school or homeschooled them. I'd want them to have the best education a public school could provide.

The way to improve education is not through competition — it's through raising the status of these public servants much higher in society, as is done in Asian schools. That way over time, you attract the best and brightest to the profession. There's no substitute for that route to improve schools. We know that "tried and true" method works.

Andy Reeves, St. Petersburg


Monday’s letters: NFL finally listens to its fans

NFL moves to endanthem protests | May 24NFL’s action comes too lateThe NFL owners are, after two years, finally growing some courage.Before these kneel-downs became the elephant in the room, team owners could have taken action to minimize the imp...
Updated: 27 minutes ago

Sunday’s letters: As Jews, we should not be afraid to criticize Israel

Updated: 3 hours ago

Friday's letters: Thanks to jurors for fulfilling civic duty

May is Juror Appreciation Month Thanks, jurors, for your service Trial by a jury of one’s peers is among the bedrock guarantees that make our representative democracy exceptional. Without it, the courtroom fates of defendants and civil litiga...
Updated: 12 hours ago

Thursday’s letters: Heated chemotherapy won’t treat most ovarian cancers

Heated chemotherapy has promising results | May 16Cancer treatment not a cure-all While we were pleased to see the story about ovarian cancer treatment, we are concerned that the article could mislead many patients. The treatment described has be...
Published: 05/22/18
Updated: 05/24/18

Wednesday’s letters: A princess gives us a lesson to live by

Royal treatment | May 21Princess offers advice for us allThe radiant and joyful Princess Anna Noela Lokolo of the Democratic Republic of Congo, recent Eckerd College graduate, has given us a huge gift in her parting words. "If people have a negat...
Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/23/18

Hernando Letters to the Editor for May 25

Re: Central High School bomb threat suspect to be tried as adult | May 4Angry mob rhetoric not helpfulWe have observed the public discourse surrounding the case of Mizella Robinson with increasing unease. A sampling of the more common sentiment...
Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/22/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for May 25

Re: Proposed TECO Solar Plant Opposed to the TECO solar plantAs a 21-year resident and property owner, I am writing in opposition to the proposed Tampa Electric Company solar plant in rural northeast Pasco County.The solar plant will be .2 miles from...
Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/22/18

Tuesday’s letters: If you don’t like the Electoral College, then amend the Constitution

The popular vote | May 20, letterIf you don’t like it, amend ConstitutionA recent letter supports the idea that a state should be able to change its Electoral College vote to match that of the national popular vote winner as opposed to the result...
Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/22/18

Monday’s letters: Focusing on the mental state of shooters misses the point

Texas high school shooting | May 18Criminals, angry people kill peopleSchool shootings are a distinctly American phenomenon. But shootings by people with serious mental illness represent less than 1 percent of all yearly gun-related homicides in ...
Published: 05/19/18
Updated: 05/21/18

Friday’s letters: Putnam and Publix, two P’s lose my nod

Publix pours cash to Putnam | May 17A pleasure to shop elsewhereMy family and I moved to Tampa in 1974, and have made Publix our favorite grocery store ever since. Forty-four years! That is why it makes me a little sad to have to say goodbye.Firs...
Published: 05/18/18