Tuesday, March 20, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Friday's letters: Help goes to all, regardless of faith

Charity bell-ringer, meet ethical dilemma | Dec. 18, commentary

Help goes to all, regardless of faith

I am a retired Salvation Army officer; consequently, I do not speak officially for the organization. However, I would like to comment on this column.

First, the money collected by the Salvation Army in the red Christmas kettles is used to aid needy people regardless of their race, sex, age, faith (or lack thereof) or sexual orientation. Everyone is welcome to attend Salvation Army meetings (church services) with the same lack of discrimination. The Salvation Army welcomes into membership all who profess faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

Second, the Salvation Army requires of all its members compliance with the biblical standards of sexuality.

Practicing homosexuals, as well as heterosexuals who are in sexual relationships outside of the bounds of traditional marriage, still are loved but their illicit sexual relationships are not condoned.

Robert E. Thomson, Clearwater

School numbers just don't add up | Dec. 22, editorial

Not everyone can graduate

Your editorial is correct that the numbers don't add up and that our school accountability systems are chaotic and generally meaningless. However, tying graduation rates to other accountability measures is not the best way to assess the situation.

A certain percentage of students should not be expected to graduate, because not all students are capable of the academic achievements required for graduation.

In fact, as we increase standards in schools, we are likely simultaneously decreasing the number of students who will graduate. In other words, the higher the standards, the fewer children who can meet them. As an example, the day our Legislature decreed that all students must pass Algebra II in order to graduate is the day that dropout rates were predetermined to increase.

Our society needs to accept that a high school degree should not be the goal for everyone. No matter how well we support them, some students simply cannot master high school-level material. The solution is not to push everyone to graduate in the traditional manner. What is really needed is more energy and funding into viable educational options for nongraduates.

Marlene Rubin, Tampa

One extra day to sign up | Dec. 24

Tweaks reveal it's a bad law

The numerous and varied delays, waivers, exemptions and so forth to Obamacare, while done for blatantly and disgustingly political reasons, point out how inherently bad the law is. Has there ever been a law that was "tweaked" so much and not just thrown out and started from scratch?

Ernest Lane, Trinity

St. Petersburg Opera

Performing arts thriving

On Saturday night, we sat with an enthusiastic audience at the Palladium Theater, wallowing in the utter joy of St. Petersburg Opera's annual "Seasonal Sparkle." Each year, the artistic director, Mark Sforzini, assembles the best musicians available, instrumental and vocal, and presents a program of seasonal music and favorite scenes and arias from world opera. For me, this is the high point of the entire performance arts year. St. Petersburg Opera has flourished and is producing music that's comparable to some of the best in North America.

On the West Coast of Florida, we can be justly proud of the pool of performance artists available to our professional opera, dramatic, musical theater and symphonic companies. Even better, we now have stable institutions that can hire those artists and who are poised to make their mark on the national scene.

James W. Patrick, Tampa

Putin's moves show he's in control | Dec. 22

Political power plays

This article could have read almost the same had it been speaking of President Barack Obama instead of Russian President Vladimir Putin:

The difference is that here the press calls it "executive privilege."

Edward Germond, Apollo Beach

Myth of Henry Ford's $5 | Dec. 23, commentary

Cost containment

Not only are companies "good at public relations," as this column states, they're also good at containing costs, which is a primary function of management.

Walmart and Costco are prime examples of the benefits of cost containment. Costco's staff turnover rate is less than half of Walmart's, which is hugely costly to Walmart no matter how measured.

Ford and Costco are prime examples of why well-paid and well-trained employees are both a vital company asset and a vital asset to a stable, vibrant, civilized community.

Underpaid and undertrained employees create costs that are largely subsidized by taxpayers, which is a form of "corporate welfare" that undermines communities.

Mike MacDonald, Clearwater

Atomic sailors | Dec. 22

Hold leaders to account

I am grateful to the Times for its excellent investigative reporting. Our democracy would be seriously compromised without the freedom of the press and its constant vigilance.

I am troubled and disappointed in how our governmental agencies obfuscate and deny responsibility to those who were drafted or voluntarily turned their lives over to the defense of this country. It is a betrayal of our uniformed service men and women when those in command don't protect those they are charged with.

Marilyn Weaver, Tarpon Springs

Rates should come down | Dec. 22, letter

No floods; no payouts

Of course Florida has been paying more into the National Flood Insurance Program than we've been getting out. In Florida, flooding is primarily caused by the occasional hurricane. We've had no hurricanes since 2006; ergo, few floods.

Going from that data to the conclusion that the flood insurance program discriminates against Florida is, however, a major statistical error. If we again have three or four hurricanes in a single year, or two following the same track in a 10-day span, you'll wade through the inevitable.

Rolf Parta, Bradenton


Wednesday’s letters: Let the teachers decide on guns

Trump touts arming staff as key in plan for school security | March 12It’s the teacher’s call on weaponsPlease, let’s try an alternate view about guns in the classroom. First, it hasn’t gone unnoticed that the preponderance of letters about guns ...
Updated: 4 hours ago

Pasco Letters to the Editor for March 23

Re: Residents object to solar farm | March 16, storyLakeland Electric has shown that residential customers can be incentivized to allow placement of utility-owned solar panels on their roofs. Likewise, business owners can be incentivized to allow...
Published: 03/19/18

Tuesday’s letters: It shouldn’t be this hard to fly

Tampa International AirportIt shouldn’t be this hard to flyI’ve given the train two tries now from economy parking at Tampa airport. It’s a lot of work. How silly to go down one bank of elevators, then take a good walk to the next set of elevators to...
Published: 03/19/18

Monday’s letters: Protect Floridians’ right to privacy

People push for changes at Constitution hearing | March 14Protect Florida’s right to privacyI attended the Constitution Revision Commission’s public hearing at USF St. Petersburg last week. I was there because I thought it was important to have m...
Published: 03/18/18

Sunday’s letters: Effort to stem pet cruelty pays off

Puppy millsEffort to stem cruelty pays offThank you to everyone who contacted their legislators, and a huge shout-out to the Tampa Bay Times for letting us know that state legislators were considering a bill to eliminate the hard-achieved gains on lo...
Published: 03/17/18

Saturday’s letters: Insurer focused on repairs, not fees

Citizens hit with $12.7M verdict | March 15Insurer’s focus: repairs, not feesCitizens Property Insurance Corp. has spent the past several years making sure that insurance proceeds for sinkhole repairs are used to restore a home and make it whole....
Published: 03/16/18

Friday’s letters: Put young people to work rebuilding infrastructure

Smart way to pay for infrastructure | March 13, commentaryMake rebuilding a youth project Raising gas taxes to pay for infrastructure may not be the best way to go. I suggest we re-invent the old WPA (Works Progress Administration) and draft high...
Published: 03/13/18
Updated: 03/15/18

Thursday’s letters: An alternative for giving: Breadcoin

Panhandling paradox | March 11Innovation in giving: BreadcoinPanhandling is destructive to the donor, panhandler and our community — a guilt trip that erodes personal dignity, respect and self-worth, making the recipient more beholden and entitle...
Published: 03/13/18
Updated: 03/14/18
Wednesday’s letters: Daylight bill is bad for business

Wednesday’s letters: Daylight bill is bad for business

Daylight saving timeDaylight bill is bad for businessI encourage Gov. Rick Scott to veto the daylight saving time extension bill. It makes no sense. It puts Florida out of sync with the rest of the country. Commerce will be affected. The entire Easte...
Published: 03/13/18

Pasco Letter to the Editor for March 16

Re: Pasco to test roadside recycling | March 9 column Pasco County (and its residents) have financial incentives to recycle, but the participation rate is low. Clearly, Pasco County either needs to make recycling mandatory — by making residents r...
Published: 03/13/18