Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Friday's letters: Grateful nation gives its thanks

Valor worthy of a star | April 3

A grateful nation gives its thanks

I applaud the Times and staff writer William Levesque for calling attention to Sgt. Ralph Morgan's act of heroism in Vietnam some 40 years ago. It's unfortunate that so many others like him remain unrecognized for their acts of valor in a most unpopular war.

Your newspaper knows how to do it right, with a full picture in the local section of Sen. Bill Nelson pinning on the award. For all those who returned torn, battered and unrecognized for acts of valor, this is a small token that a grateful nation does indeed know how to say thank you for service.

John Osterweil, Tampa

NRA-paid plan: armed guard at every school April 3

Schools as shooting galleries

Only the National Rifle(makers) Association could advocate more guns in schools in the wake of the massacre of 20 children in a Connecticut school. The plan could make schools into veritable shooting galleries.

When will this nation realize that the Second Amendment was written at a time of the simple musket, when there was no standing army nor law enforcement agencies? It's inconceivable that the founders would have penned the same 27 words, citing the need for a "well-regulated militia," if they had been confronted by the arsenals (high-powered assault rifles, high-capacity ammunition magazines) that exist today.

Donald Rosselet, Dunnellon

Homeowners insurance

Soaring cost killing sales

When I moved into my home in 2008, I paid $1,395 for Citizens homeowners insurance. My house was assessed at $159,000. Now my home is assessed at just under $100,000, but my Citizens Property Insurance Corp. premium has soared to $2,379. Moreover, my sinkhole deductible has gone from $2,500 to just over $20,000.

Taxes have declined and are now much less than property insurance, but homeowners insurance continues to soar. The soaring cost of insurance is why we can't sell our condos and houses in Florida.

Frederick L. Roth, Hudson

Hospice care

Families need more options

Pet owners have the choice of hundreds of providers for end-of-life care for a beloved pet. However, there is little choice of providers for end-of-life care for a family member in Florida. The state has created a monopoly of only one hospice provider in Hillsborough County, LifePath. That monopoly duplicates costs and in my experience does not serve the patient well.

Florida's hospitals are in the best position to provide quality hospice services in a cost-effective manner. Allowing hospitals to provide hospice services would allow patients to continue care with organizations and physicians that they know and trust. The hospitals already have the physical plant and administrative overhead necessary to operate a hospice, thus saving a good portion of the overhead that LifePath reported in its 2011 IRS documents.

The state of Florida needs to end this monopoly and allow its Medicare recipients free access to this federal program. Free market enterprise will drive the cost down while forcing quality to improve.

Randal Ruge, Swanton, Ohio

Fewer to get tuition award | April 3

Judge potential, motivation

I strongly oppose the proposed changes to Bright Futures and strongly support the proposed "sliding scale" program that would better balance both potential and documented motivation.

Extensive experience working with people in a goal-oriented environment has taught me that these attributes are of equal value.

James Williams, Tierra Verde

Hidden assumptions

You reported that the raising of standards for the awarding of Bright Futures scholarships will result in a decrease in the number of awards for minorities.

It would appear that contained in that contention is an assumption that minorities are unable to measure up to ethnic-neutral standards.

Is that not, by definition, racism?

Ray Kelly, Spring Hill

School chief seeks deputy | April 3

Too much overhead

Pinellas school chief Mike Grego wants to hire a deputy and associate superintendent to oversee elementary, middle and high school. These "strong leaders" are going to "help students learn." How? By tutoring them? Or will they help administer the myriad of ludicrous tests Florida is fond of giving?

My guess is they will spend the entire day emailing each other to schedule meetings to talk about changes that will never happen. Get rid of these petty bureaucrats and their inflated salaries. These positions are filled with politically ambitious people and lifelong self-promoters.

Let principals run their schools and hire quality teachers. The deputy superintendent's salary with benefits will be $113,740. With the average pay of Florida teachers starting around $35,000 to $40,000, this is another slap in the face to hard-working teachers. What is needed is more educators, not more administrators.

Leslie Sisto, St. Petersburg

Stop the housing shell game April 3, editorial

Raids on housing fund

Thank you for your editorial in support of not robbing the Sadowski Housing Trust Fund again.

Our nonprofit corporation processes down payment assistance loans for many governmental agencies in the Tampa Bay area, and it has become clear that many of them do not have funds for down payment assistance due to the Sadowski Fund being raided the past several years.

While this should not have occurred in the first place, it is clear that with the state budget improving, it should stop now.

Robert Kinney, chairman of the board, Tampa Bay Community Development Corp., New Port Richey

Obama unveils $100M program to map human brain | April 3

A good place to start

Since President Barack Obama has proposed $100 million for human brain research, can he please start with Congress? It would certainly be money well spent.

Stan Sofer, Belleair Beach

Comments

Pasco Letters to the Editor for April 27

Stop Ridge Road extension, reader saysWhen I spoke at the Dade City meeting of the Pasco County Commissioners on my opposition to the Ridge Road Extension, three of them responded, but only when my three minutes of free speech expired, and I could sa...
Published: 04/23/18

Monday’s letters: Term limits don’t work

U.S. Senate campaignTerm limitsdon’t workGov. Rick Scott has begun his run for the U.S. Senate with TV ads promoting term limits for representatives and senators. Aside from the probability that this would require a constitutional amendment, I think ...
Published: 04/22/18
Updated: 04/23/18

Sunday’s letters: Problems with high-speed rail

Thanks, Gov. Scott, for ghastly I-4 drives | April 18, Sue Carlton columnProblems with high-speed railIn her Wednesday column, the writer bemoaned the traffic on I-4 and blasted Gov. Rick Scott for turning down free government money for a high-sp...
Published: 04/21/18

Tuesday’s letters: Student journalists push to save their newsrooms and independence

Save student newsroomsAs professional newsrooms shrink, student newsrooms have become an increasingly important source of local coverage, holding not only our universities accountable but also local government. We write these articles, attending meet...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Saturday’s letters: Don’t weaken rules on fisheries

Florida fisheriesDon’t weaken rules on fish stocksMembers of Congress are proposing changes to an important ocean law, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, that would adversely affect coastal states including Florida.Since it...
Published: 04/19/18
Updated: 04/20/18

Friday’s letters: We owe it to our children to teach them history

If we don’t understand past, future looks grim | April 19, Daniel Ruth columnThe history we owe our childrenIt’s not often I agree with Daniel Ruth, but this article was spot-on. I’m not sure when the schools started ignoring Germany’s World War ...
Published: 04/19/18

Thursday’s letters: Gun research can save lives

Gun ownershipCommon ground: Find the factsThere are many areas in the current debate about guns and gun ownership where both sides must agree to disagree. But there is one area where common ground ought to exist. That concerns the need for continuing...
Published: 04/18/18

Wednesday’s letters:

Poverty and plenty in bay area | April 7, editorialStruggling poor are not a priorityI commend your newspaper for continuing to produce real and relevant news, particularly the recent editorial pointing out that a prospering Tampa Bay should not ...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18

Hernando Letters to the Editor for April 20

Bar Association celebrates Law WeekPresident Dwight D. Eisenhower proclaimed May 1, 1958, as the first Law Day to mark the nation’s commitment to the rule of law. Every year on this day, we reflect on the significance of the rule of law and rededicat...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18

Tuesday’s letters: Stop cooperating with ICE

Sheriff’s ICE policy blasted | April 10Pinellas should end partnership with ICEPinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri recently participated in a community conversation on his controversial agreement with ICE to voluntarily detain immigrants in the...
Published: 04/16/18