Saturday, June 23, 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


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