Saturday, June 23, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Friday's letters: No reason to stay longer in Afghanistan

Two U.S. officers slain in Kabul | Feb. 26

No reason to stay in Afghanistan

The Afghanistan situation, with all its violence toward the United States, is extremely disturbing. In my opinion, there is no reason we, or any other civilized nation, should have any further presence there. Throughout history, the Middle East, and Afghanistan in particular, has proved to be the graveyard of all the many empires that tried to introduce change to the tribal systems.

The current situation of extremely violent and uncivilized reaction to the presence of Americans makes it obvious that we should immediately and completely remove ourselves from the country and not have anything further to do with it. The cost of our presence there has been outrageously high, particularly in terms of loss of life and limb. There is no longer any reason to add to it any further.

John Bednar, Dunedin

Owner of cat sanctuary faces charges Feb. 28

Policies lead to suffering

I applaud PETA for exposing the terrible conditions at Caboodle Ranch and for ensuring that the nearly 500 cats that have been suffering in this hellhole are seized.

What PETA's undercover investigator documented at Caboodle Ranch is simply unacceptable and a vivid reminder of how "no-kill" policies can lead to suffering. Cats were kept in putrid areas covered in vomit, trash and waste, and infested with roaches and maggots. Suffering and dying cats were denied veterinary care despite the investigator's repeated pleas to rush them for treatment. Cats with the fatal and communicable feline immunodeficiency virus and leukemia were allowed to roam and come in contact with noninfected cats, among many other abuses.

Other animals across Florida will be in danger of ending up in miserable facilities like Caboodle Ranch if the misleading "Animal Rescue Act" (SB 818/HB 597) becomes law. This legislation would allow self-proclaimed and unregulated "rescues" to force animal shelters to hand over animals. We must not let this happen. I urge every caring person to ask Rep. Joseph Abruzzo and Sen. Mike Bennett to withdraw this misguided bill.

Kimberly Rueden, Tampa

A Keynesian in the closet Feb. 26, commentary

Overspending caused crisis

Paul Krugman is usually portrayed as an expert on economics, but one statement in this column on Mitt Romney shows he doesn't understand even basic facts. He writes that Romney "has to be aware of the havoc austerity policies are wreaking in Greece, Ireland and elsewhere." What?

For years and years, these countries have continued to spend and spend until they've reached the point they're at now — broke.

By following the very policies that Krugman advocates, they now have no choice but to install austerity policies. If all the spending was such a good idea, then they shouldn't be having any problems and there would be no need for austerity, right?

Krugman has it exactly backward. Austerity didn't cause the havoc. Austerity was instituted because of the existing havoc brought on by wild overspending.

Jim Malachowsky, St. Petersburg

Wrong-way cyclist hit by patrol car | Feb. 28

Bicyclists must obey rules

I believe the trooper was in the right for citing the cyclist for riding against traffic. In a nutshell, it is against the law for anyone to ride or drive against the flow of traffic. If a car was traveling against the flow of traffic and hit the trooper, you can bet he would be cited. Bicycles operating on the road are no exception.

If cyclists want to share the road with cars and be given the same rights as people driving cars, they must obey traffic laws, plain and simple. Cyclists simply can't pick and choose which traffic laws they want to obey or disobey. In fact, it should probably be mandated that they obtain some for of liability insurance if they want to operate on roadways.

A simple solution for pedestrians and cyclists is to use some common sense in sharing the road with objects that outweigh you by a couple thousand pounds.

Nathan Stevic, Lutz

Woman jailed in burning of ancient cypress Feb. 29

Irreplaceable loss

One could accept, albeit sadly, if lightning had been the cause of the tragic loss of the great "Senator" cypress. Had an awesome element of nature taken down this giant, it would perhaps even have been fitting in the play of mighty earthly forces.

But to be told that this majestic and irreplaceable national treasure was burned from the inside, according to police by a 26-year-old drug user, is difficult to process.

Why in heaven's name was this esteemed monarch not properly protected? How was it that this person was able to access the interior of this extraordinary tree and "party" inside? Someone was definitely asleep at the wheel in maintaining stewardship of this priceless living wonder.

This precious creation could have existed for 1,000 more years had it not been destroyed. One hopes that the punishment will fit the crime.

Nanci E. Sherman, Dunnellon

Mum's the word on VA misdeed | Feb. 28, Daniel Ruth column

Outrageous silence

This retired Vietnam veteran is outraged that the agency entrusted to care for veterans seems to have taken an oath of silence over a medical center employee taking $1,371 over two years to refer patients to a private radiology company. I hope, probably in vain, to see this person charged, tried and imprisoned if found guilty, and the incompetent or complicit supervisors fired without benefits, at least. This "circling of the wagons" only encourages others to steal.

Joseph F. Bohren, Lt. Col. USAF (Ret.), Odessa

Candidates spar over Michigan | Feb. 26

Promoting ignorance

I don't know whether to laugh or to cry. Rick Santorum accused President Barack Obama of being a snob because he wants to send people to college, where they will be "brainwashed" by liberal professors.

Santorum is a college graduate. How did he escape becoming a liberal snob? Most people encourage their children to get as much education as possible, whether it's college or technical school.

It sounds like Santorum is supporting the dumbing down of America. How sad for our country.

Carole J. Gallotta, Bradenton


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