Friday, April 20, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Friday's letters: Law is just an excuse to escalate

Don't erode right to self-defense | Feb. 24, letter

Law is just an excuse to escalate

The repeal of this very bad law, "stand your ground," will not erode our right to self-defense. We have always had the right to defend ourselves when there was no way of escape. What this law does is give an excuse to escalate instead of defuse a situation.

There is something even bigger going on here that is quite alarming. It's not just the proliferation of guns, as stated in several articles recently, but a whole gun culture with an increased sense of aggression and vigilantism, as if it is perfectly all right to shoot first and ask questions later. People conflate the right of self-defense with a right to intimidate, scare and disregard the rights of others, as if they were one in the same.

Those who choose to carry a gun feel as if only their rights matter. What about everyone else's right to not feel intimidated, scared or disregarded? If there is a disagreement, or argument, the one with the most might wins the fight. And there is no regard to consequences, because they believe there won't be any. This law has ensured it.

Yvonne M. Osmond, Clearwater

Bumpy start for transit plan | Feb. 25, editorial

Openness required

I was inclined to vote to support the Greenlight Pinellas referendum — even though it fails to address the real reason most visitors come to Pinellas, the beaches — until it was announced that all fundraising would be kept secret.

As a past president of the St. Petersburg Democratic Club, I am not a part of the paranoid tea party crowd, but unless the leaders operate this campaign in a very transparent manner, they have lost my vote. Too much of politics on all levels is conducted behind closed doors, which does not serve the public interest.

James Donelon, St. Petersburg

Adjusters will be available | Feb. 25, letter

Response falls short

In response to recent criticism of Citizens, Barry Gilway says Florida's insurance market has never been financially stronger due to a combination of factors. He mentions comprehensive oversight, a vigorous reinsurance market and increasing financial reserve requirements, as though Florida's insurance industry itself is solely responsible for its newfound financial strength. That there has been no major storm damage in the past eight-plus years must be just a coincidence.

Gilway goes on to reassure us "if a hurricane hits, private carriers have strategies in place to augment in-house staff with that pool of qualified independent adjusters." Fantastic, but that completely ignores policyholders' primary concern, which is whether new companies will have the money to cover claims.

Then the Citizens' president states his belief that the company has become "kinder and gentler based on a number of consumer-friendly decisions … and improved customer service." Considering how low they set the bar, how could they not become kinder and gentler? Besides, given all the attention they've received for consumer-unfriendly behavior, they had no choice but to improve their service.

Gilway is obviously sensitive to the well-deserved criticism his company gets, but his reply, like his handling of the company, leaves much to be desired.

Chip Thomas, Tampa

Medical marijuana

Help with seizures

Medical marijuana has been shown to do more than help people with pain problems. It has also been shown to help people with uncontrolled seizures. For seizures, it would be taken as a pill and in small doses. The person would not be getting a high.

For those whose seizures are not controlled, getting them under control would make a very big difference, as they would then be able to get a driver's license. Not having a driver's license has a large impact on the amount of independence someone has. I doubt that many people think about how often they drive, and how things would change for them if they didn't have a license. For this reason among others, medical marijuana is important.

Michelle Reed, Tarpon Springs

Scott seeks flood relief | Feb. 25

Where is governor's pen?

It's interesting that Gov. Rick Scott traveled to Washington on behalf of impoverished homeowners "asking the president to use his pen and stop these unreasonable, unfair increases" in flood insurance premiums.

Perhaps Scott can "use his pen" to help the 20 to 25 percent of Florida residents who have no health insurance, or to restore some of the funds that have been cut from our educational system.

I guess the pen is mightier than free-market ideology or tea party principles, depending on whose interests are at stake.

Steve MacIsaac, Tampa

Jolly was driver in fatal '89 accident | Feb. 26

Forgiveness, healing

I admire Kent Ropes, the brother of Blair Ropes who died as a result of being hit by a car driven by David Jolly.

Ropes has forgiven Jolly, given his grief to God and carried on, knowing nothing will bring his brother back. Instead of living with anger and resentment, he has chosen to forgive and let go.

I am not saying it was an easy choice, but in doing so his life has probably been a lot more happy, less stressful and a good example for the people around him. Forgetting may not come as easy, but forgiving is an option that is the beginning in healing one's heart.

Lynn Plazewski, San Antonio

Young immigrants to press Obama | Feb. 24

Enforce the law

What part of "illegal" do immigration advocates not understand? Laws are enacted to keep the peace. You break the law, you are held responsible. Why shouldn't you be sent back to your country if you did not abide by our laws?

We don't need immigration reform. There is nothing wrong with the laws we have; we just need to enforce them.

Barbara Troop, Tarpon Springs


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

Sunday’s letters: The future of oyster production

Shell game | April 15Future of oyster productionThanks to Laura Reiley for an excellent synopsis of the current state of oyster production in Florida. The collapse of the Apalachicola oyster fishery is merely the latest example of the demise of a...
Published: 04/14/18

Monday’s letters: Public education is foundation of the nation

Voters beware of ballot deceptionApril 13, commentarySchools’ role underminedIt was with great pain that I read (not for the first time) that we must be aware of "ballot deception." Public schools were founded to make sure that future generations of ...
Published: 04/13/18

Saturday’s letters: Health Department should butt out

Judge: Grow pot, Mr. Redner | April 12Health officials should butt outThe Times reports that the Florida Department of Health filed an appeal to the decision allowing a man who is a Stage 4 lung cancer survivor to grow pot in his backyard for his ...
Published: 04/11/18
Updated: 04/13/18

Friday’s letters: Open and shut: Enforce the law

Sheriff’s ICE aid policy blasted | April 10Open and shut: Enforce the lawPeople and institutions that insist on the using the euphemism "undocumented immigrant" do nothing but affirm their lack of objectivity by using such a phrase to support an ...
Published: 04/11/18
Updated: 04/12/18

Thursday’s letters: Focus on offender, not weapon

Use data to curb gun deaths | April 8, commentaryFocus on offenders, not weaponsThis article tiptoes around the issue: human violence. The authors point out that automobile manufactures were pressured by regulation and law to make automobile coll...
Published: 04/11/18