Thursday, May 24, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Friday's letters: Confrontations escalate with 'stand your ground'

Help choose July's Letter of the Month

Letters to the editor offer a significant contribution to the discussion of public policy and life in Tampa Bay. To recognize some of that work by our most engaged readers, the Times will select a letter of the month and the writers will be recognized at the end of the year.

Help us choose from the nominations for letter of the month for July 2013 by visiting the website listed below by Monday. Read through the three letters and vote on the ballot at the bottom of the Web page. We will choose the finalists each month based on relevance on topical issues, persuasiveness and writing style.

The writer's opinion does not need to match the editorial board's opinion on the issue to be nominated. But clarity of thinking, brevity and a sense of humor certainly help.

To see the three July nominees and vote, go to

Scott stands ground on law | July 29

Confrontations escalate

I was sorely disappointed when I read the results of the poll on the "stand your ground" laws in Monday's Times. Vengeance is mine, sayeth Floridians.

My son visited last year. We hit the golf course and were paired with a lovely Canadian couple in their mid 70s. The husband was a former professional hockey goalie. Alas it was the "season" and the course was packed, producing the bane of all golfers, slow play.

A group behind us was very upset, as was everybody else, and one boorish, perhaps drunken player kept making loud remarks. By the 12th hole my 35-year-old son had had enough.

While we were waiting on the tee to hit our drives, clubs in hand, the most obnoxious player behind us stepped toward us and stared us down. My son started walking toward the man asking, "Are you staring at me? Do you have a problem with me?" The Canadian, still very fit and feisty, joined him. I immediately grabbed my son, and the wife grabbed the Canadian.

I had to lecture them both. This is Florida. If you had approached their cart and forgotten to drop your golf clubs, they could have simply drawn a gun and killed you on the spot. And it would have been legal.

My son from Ohio and the Canadian were dumbfounded. Why aren't we?

Lee Nolan, St. Petersburg

UAW largely broke Detroit's back July 29, letter

Building the middle class

As chairman of the Florida Suncoast Council, which represents UAW retirees in Pinellas, Hillsborough and Manatee counties, I take great exception to this letter.

I have been a member of the UAW for more than 50 years, and know a great deal about what transpired in the plants during the 40 years I worked for GM. I did not witness acts of sabotage that the letter describes, and there were no wildcat strikes or walkouts. These are expressly forbidden in the UAW contracts.

In the 41 years I had in the workforce, there was only one national strike called against General Motors, and that was during the 1970 national contract negotiations. As far as the two plants that I worked in, Fisher Body and Buick Motor Division, there was one short local strike called in all those years. Hardly an abuse of the bargaining procedure.

The UAW deserves a lot of credit for establishing the middle class in this country. The UAW helped raise the standard of living across the entire country. No matter where you're employed, or what profession you may have, whether you are a union member or not, you are being paid more today because of union efforts in the past.

Ray Davis, Largo

McBudget is McCondescending July 29, commentary

Run the numbers

This was a great article about McDonald's salary structure, and it's equally applicable to no end of American corporations.

I was for several years a General Electric employee. I recall a stockholder submitting a proposal for the GE annual stockholders' meeting in the late '90s urging caps on the ratio of top executive compensation to minimum compensation.

In advance of the meeting, GE lawyers wrote every stockholder with their argument against adopting such a cap: Attracting and retaining top-tier talent, which maximizes shareholder value, would be impossible if GE could no longer pay top dollar to compete for other corporations' talent pool. Shareholders voted the proposal down.

I wonder how hard it would be to obtain a data dump on McDonald's payroll, top to bottom, for a couple of recent years. It would be revealing to publish a pyramid of before-and-after salary levels that would result from redistributing the total pay pie, on the premise of bumping minimum pay from $8.50 an hour to, say, $15. By how much would the pay of the top five McDonald's execs decline? Those who make $150,000 to $300,000? By how much would the profit of a franchise owner decline to absorb the extra pay?

A few pyramids of before-and-after graphics might make for a powerful assault on the kingpins of commerce. Or perhaps not. Maybe the execs could document that such communal compensation practices would be fatal to American business.

Richard Junker, Valrico

Survey says: At 63 you're obsolete July 30, Daniel Ruth column

Questions of the age

While I appreciate, as always, Daniel Ruth's riveting observations, I am compelled to point out to the Granddaddy of the Golden Years that perhaps the reason that Mick Jagger would not be asked his view on guitars is because he is the lead singer, not guitarist, for the Rolling Stones.

Now if the Neophyte Maiden of the Mall had inquired of, say, Keith Richards or Ron Wood, then I would have seen the point. Perhaps the Ruthless Historical Revisionist was not interviewed further because he was not the target demographic. At any rate, why complain? Mr. Ruth was asked his age, which means, at least, that the Codger of Citrus Park is aging well. Keep up the good work.

Christopher J. Gerber, St. Petersburg

Pier referendum

Backward ballot

Has anyone besides me noticed that the referendum question is backward? Vote "no" to go forward with the Lens, vote "yes" to say no to it?

Carol Abernathy, St. Petersburg


Wednesday’s letters: Thanks to jurors for fulfilling civic duty

May is Juror Appreciation MonthThanks, jurors, for your serviceTrial 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 litigants would ...
Updated: 8 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

Saturday’s letters: For Florida to move forward, focus on a healthy and sustainable environment

Tampa’s future is bright | May 12Protect Florida, boost economyThis past year, Florida set another record-breaking year for tourism, welcoming more than 116 million visitors. While Florida boasts a unique quality of life and more than 1,300 miles...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/18/18

Sunday’s letters: What conservatives stand for

How can conservatism survive after Trump | May 13, Nickens columnhed#6324 I think it obvious that traditional conservatism was squeezed out of the 2016 campaign narrative and has become a niche thesis owned by a small group of intellectuals. A gr...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/18/18