Friday, January 19, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Friday's letters: Papal succession isn't complicated

Pope's unorthodox move raises many questions | Feb. 18

Papal succession not complicated

I am only a lay Catholic, but I feel compelled to comment on this New York Times article.

There is no orthodox teaching in the church that a pope must die in office. As the article states, resignations have been done before and the church has survived to this day.

I doubt that the hierarchy is in a tizzy. They understand that the office of pope carries with it infallibility when the occupant of that office claims it by speaking "ex cathedra" about faith or morals, and only then. Joseph Ratzinger is not infallible unless he happens to occupy the office of pope. When he resigns, he is no longer pope. I am not confused and I am sure the hierarchy isn't either.

After the resignation, the pope's title will be Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger. He will have whatever powers a cardinal has in the church.

Eamon Duffy is wrong in his comments. The papacy cannot be undermined by this resignation. Pope Benedict has not done the unthinkable or the undoable.

Lastly, there will not be two popes alive. Those quoted in the article and others having the same muddled thinking should get it in their heads that there is only one pope.

Alfred Barsocchi, Seminole

A day in the park, with 'spice' | Feb. 17

Good people down on luck

In contrast to Sunday's article about the homeless in Williams Park, I'd like to share my experiences with the homeless that I have come to call my friends.

As a volunteer at the Salvation Army Downtown Cafe, I have met some wonderful, talented, kind, clean and sober men and women. Many have lost jobs and homes and need and want to work again. Some have made poor decisions in life, as I imagine most of us have at one time or another, and need encouragement and a chance to get their lives back. Others are disabled mentally or physically and need love and assistance. All are good people. My homeless friends are careful to tell new people to the cafe to stay away from Williams Park.

If your readers and business people want to help, they should come to the Salvation Army Downtown Cafe and let me introduce them to my friends who are eager to contribute to society. There are carpenters, laborers, housekeepers, restaurant workers, warehouse workers, assemblers, even cartoon artists. They are the good, gracious homeless who just need a chance.

Mary Metzger, St. Petersburg

Seeing red on cameras | Feb. 17

Help enforcing the law

Why would anyone not want red-light cameras?

It is illegal to run a red light. The proof comes from the camera in lieu of an officer. Put the officers where they are most needed, giving out speeding tickets.

The rear-end accidents are from people who tailgate and speed. Ticket these people. Also, controlled intersections should have speed limits under the posted road limit. To approach a busy intersection at 50-55 mph is crazy.

The cameras are not for making money, just as a stop sign or light is not for making money. They are for enforcing the law.

One other thing that is big on my agenda for drivers in Florida: Use the turn signal. Other cities I have lived in cite drivers for not signaling; why not here?

Bob Swinney, Safety Harbor

DEP rejects scenic land for park | Feb. 19

Protect this land

This very week I drove across Horse Creek and marveled at the incredible beauty of this part of wild Florida. For Department of Environmental Protection officials to claim that this area is not of sufficient scenic value to deserve state park status is disingenuous — something else is at play.

Unfortunately, the decision reflects a complete lack of appreciation for Florida's remaining wild lands and the need to put important parcels into public ownership. The Peace River is an important source of water for Florida's growing human population. Safeguarding 5 miles of Horse Creek, the Peace River's major tributary, would be an important step toward conserving Central Florida's water supply, while providing Floridians with an opportunity to enjoy what remains of the state's precious rural lands.

People need to speak up — we need true stewards of the land to represent us and secure the future.

Anne Meylan, St. Petersburg

Election reform

Fix the voting system

As the Florida Legislature gears up for session, all of our elected officials would do well to remember that it is their responsibility to protect — not limit — our freedom to vote. As president of the League of Women Voters of Hillsborough County, I am encouraged to see that the House and Senate have both declared a commitment to evaluate Florida's elections system and am hopeful that the proper reforms will be made.

The passage of HB 1355 in 2011 severely hindered the elections process, impeding voter registration, creating excessively long lines and creating a scenario in which African-American and Hispanic voters were disproportionately affected by problems with provisional and absentee ballots. This year, the Legislature has a chance to redeem itself and fix our broken elections system. The League of Hillsborough County is working to ensure that the freedom of eligible voters to participate in the democratic process is protected. It's time our elected officials do the same.

Mickey Castor, Tampa

A singer's sad fate | Feb. 19

A callous comment

I was shocked by the callous demeanor of the writer toward the singer Mindy McCready's death. He actually minimizes the fans, friends and family who loved her by saying: "McCready's death is an extra hot topic because we're in a slow news cycle."

Sean Daly deserves some time off to get back in touch with his humanity for others.

Lee DeGeorge, New Port Richey


Friday’s letters: Help for boaters against modern-day ‘pirates’

Marine towing and salvageHelp against modern-day piracyAs an avid recreational boat owner and sixth-generation Floridian, I know there’s no better way to enjoy our state’s spectacular waters than taking your boat out. Unfortunately, the fun of boatin...
Published: 01/17/18
Updated: 01/18/18

Thursday’s letters: All Americans need health care

Doctor: Trump got perfect score on cognitive test | Jan. 17All Americans need health carePresident Donald Trump’s extensive health exam has apparently declared him physically fit for office. As I was reading about the battery of tests he received...
Published: 01/17/18

Wednesday’s letters: St. Petersburg’s culture, vibrancy impresses

St. PetersburgImpressive culture and vibrancyI recently visited Tampa Bay and celebrated New Year’s weekend in downtown St. Petersburg. I was awestruck by what I encountered and experienced. It has been several years since I last visited, and the tra...
Published: 01/16/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for Jan. 19

Re: Walking leads to shocking catalogue of trash | Jan. 12 column Bring back anti-littering campaignJust came back from the beautiful, clean city of Singapore, where there is a $1,000 fine, plus community service for littering. I think a presiden...
Published: 01/16/18
Tuesday’s letters: Trump’s accomplishments unheralded

Tuesday’s letters: Trump’s accomplishments unheralded

President Donald TrumpAchievements go unrecognizedAre Americans even aware that our economy is healthier and growing much faster, that ISIS has been defeated and lost their territory, that China and other countries are buying more American goods and ...
Published: 01/16/18

Monday’s letters: Don’t be fooled by drilling turnaround

Deal blocks drilling off Fla. | Jan. 10Don’t be fooled by turnaroundWhile I am very grateful that Florida has been taken off the table regarding offshore oil drilling, it is clear this is a political move to champion Gov. Rick Scott as he conside...
Published: 01/14/18

Sunday’s letters: Left wing late to the #MeToo cause

#MeTooDemocrats come late to the causeThe Times devoted an entire page to the #MeToo issues on Sunday. The ironies here for longtime observers are nearly boundless. Twenty years ago, folks like myself were called "prudes" and worse because we found P...
Published: 01/13/18

Saturday’s letters: A wall of towers isn’t progress

Skyline takes shape | Jan. 7A wall of towers isn’t progressFirst of all, once the 17 projects currently under way are completed, there will be no "skyline." There will be a wall of buildings blotting out the sun and sky. St. Petersburg has become...
Published: 01/12/18

Friday’s letters:

Gang raped at 17. Getting help at 65 | Jan. 7Help available for assault victimsEach sexual assault survivor has a unique story to tell, and Evelyn Robinson’s experience illustrates many of the emotions, and society stigmas, faced by survivors.Sex...
Published: 01/09/18
Updated: 01/11/18

Thursday’s letters: Opioid bill could do more harm than good

Opioid bill opponents line up | Jan. 6Bill’s potential to harm patientsLegislators are proposing putting more restrictions on physicians’ ability to prescribe pain medications. Yes, the addiction problem is a serious one, and the law seems well-i...
Published: 01/08/18
Updated: 01/10/18