Sunday, June 24, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Friday's letters: Bible and guns don't go together

A right turn back into the spotlight | April 22

Bible and guns don't go together

I have little respect for anyone, especially a person claiming to be a minister of God, who holds a Bible in one hand and a gun in the other. Jesus never held a sword. The Bible teaches that if you live by the sword, you die by the sword.

"Stand your ground" is an unnecessary law. If someone is coming into our homes uninvited, we have always had the right to protect ourselves. With this law, it gives certain people the feeling they have the right to antagonize a person to the point of a fight. When they kill the person, they use the "stand your ground" law because they claim they felt threatened.

And no, you cannot legislate morality. What's moral for one may not be moral for another. To do so we would have to become like the Taliban. I for one love the United States because we are so diverse.

All we need is a little respect for each other. So, Dennis Baxley, you can drop the NRA and replace it with a hug and a smile for all. I'm pretty sure that is what Jesus would want.

Mary Ann Sheppard, Riverview

Inquiry looks at Rays' future | April 19

Rays belong in Pinellas

Is anyone else as disgusted as I am with Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn and Hillsborough County Commissioner Ken Hagan talking out of both sides of their mouths? While professing they are going to rally Hillsborough residents to attend Rays games in St. Petersburg, they have made it very clear they want the Rays in Tampa. They are smugly undermining efforts by St. Petersburg officials to increase game attendance. Maybe they ought to spend more time figuring out how to increase attendance at Bucs games so that every home game isn't blacked out.

Do they realize what a traffic nightmare it would be trying to get into Tampa (and Channelside, yet) for a 7:10 p.m. game, especially if nearby venues also have events going on?

The challenge is on for Pinellas County businesses and individuals to pull together, increase attendance, and send a message to Hillsborough's roguish officials. The Rays belong in Pinellas County.

Douglas Meredith, St. Petersburg

Florida budget

Cuts hurt those in need

As president and CEO of Suncoast Center Inc., I am concerned that Gov. Rick Scott used his line-item veto to eliminate additional funding for statewide sexual assault services.

The $1.5 million appropriation would have gone through the Florida Council Against Sexual Violence to 30 certified rape crisis centers to fund the direct services victims need most: rape crisis hot lines, advocacy assistance and accompaniment through the medical and legal processes, crisis intervention, support groups and counseling.

Suncoast Center would have received $50,000 to address the services children and adults need in our community when confronted with such a horrific experience.

Studies illustrate that victims who do not receive recovery/survivor services are more likely to have substance abuse problems, mental illness, separation from employment, lower educational attainment, and are at greater risk of suicide. Without access to services, the societal costs far exceed $1.5 million, while the toll in personal suffering is incalculable.

We care deeply about victims and believe that anyone who is victimized deserves to have someone standing with them. We need the state of Florida standing with us as we continue this vital work.

Barbara Daire, Pinellas Park

Social Security falls faster | April 24

Funding solution is evident

I'm fed up with all the gloom and doom predictions and scare tactics about Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. There is a simple solution that would solve the problem and make all of them solvent forever. The problem is it would take moral and political courage, and those traits are sorely lacking in our politicians today.

The solution is to take the cap off the withholding that we all pay into the system so that everyone would pay on every dollar they make, regardless of how it is made. That solves the problem and makes the system fair and equal from bottom to top.

Mark Schumerth, St. Pete Beach

Investment choice

Why not just put Warren Buffet in charge of the Social Security fund? He seems to do well at making money grow. Just a thought.

Gail Burke, Hudson

It's the wrong time for Rubio | April 24, Daniel Ruth column

Lack of accomplishment

I agree with Daniel Ruth. What has Sen. Marco Rubio done? He worked his way up and out of the murky, good ol' boy, you-scratch-my-back-and-I'll-scratch-yours Republican snake pit that is Tallahassee, and he's only been in the Senate for 18 months. Spiro Agnew and Dan Quayle notwithstanding, does that qualify him for vice president?

The Batista community in South Florida has had way too much influence on American policy toward Cuba for way too long, but do they deserve to have one of their own just a heartbeat away from the White House? I don't think so.

R.G. Wheeler, St. Petersburg

Farewell New Frontier | April 23, commentary

Fact and fiction

What a hoot! Right next to Charles Krauthammer's column, in which he states, as fact, that our nation's current budget deficit is "the result of a massive three-year expansion of federal spending," is the Rex Hupke column "Facts Died," the it-would-be-funny-if-it-weren't-so-true eulogy to the death of the fact in today's discourse.

There I was actually agreeing with Krauthammer for a change on the wrongheadedness of Congress' decision to waste the tremendous momentum we'd established in space exploration, when he had to go and sneak in that little piece of sci-fi. Perhaps Krauthammer was managing the moon with his dear friend Newt Gingrich during the eight years of the Bush presidency when our large surplus was turned into an even larger deficit.

Indeed, "As the world mourned … some were unwilling to believe Facts was actually gone." I now believe.

Terri Benincasa, Palm Harbor

Crisis of authority turns America into a 'vetocracy' | April 24, commentary

Thoughtful critique

I cannot recall reading a more lucid and thorough description of why the U.S. Congress is so ineffective. I am not a big government proponent, but the United States does need an overarching government tending to the business of the nation.

Thank you for publishing this thoughtful and compelling opinion. I suggest that members of Congress tape this article to their bathroom mirror and read it each morning before they go to work for the country.

Thomas W. Klein, Tampa


Monday’s letters: College instructors need classes in active shooter training

Active shooter perceptions disproven | June 21We need active shooter trainingThe only guns that I had seen before coming to the United States of America were in glass cases in museums. When I came to America to get a Ph.D. in English at the Unive...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/22/18

Friday’s letters: What a new Rays ballpark would mean

Rays exec hints at stadium timeline | June 15What a new ballpark would doThe Tampa Bay Rays 2020 organization is working diligently with local business leaders and civic organizations to rally support for the Rays’ new ballpark in Ybor City. The ...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/22/18

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...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/21/18

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