Thursday, November 23, 2017
Letters To The Editor

Friday's letters: Progress on climate legislation


Climate change

Progress on climate legislation

Last week's failed attempt in Congress to pass an amendment to strike pro-climate language in a defense spending bill was meaningful. A total of 46 Republican members of the House voted alongside Democrats, including 22 members of the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus and 24 additional Republicans.

This event is being celebrated by climate activists like members of Citizens' Climate Lobby, a nonpartisan volunteer organization that aims to reduce the burning of fossil fuels. CCL supports a legislative proposal, carbon fee and dividend, in which a fee is placed on carbon and all the revenue generated from that fee is distributed back to American households. It's a simple, revenue-neutral approach to reducing carbon dioxide emissions while at the same time boosting the economy and job growth.

Last week's blocking of the amendment is an indication that bipartisan support for federal legislation is a real possibility.

Caroline Liberti, Tampa

12 TIA trams arrive from Japan | July 18

Japan-Florida partnership

It was my great pleasure to be among those celebrating the arrival of Tampa International Airport's new SkyConnect trams at Port Tampa Bay on July 17.

The new automated people mover system is a joint undertaking of the airport and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. I am particularly pleased as this is the start of another new economic link between Florida and Japan.

Japanese companies are the largest investor in Florida in terms of property, plant and equipment. Statewide, Japanese companies have invested a total of $4.11 billion and currently employ more than 24,000 people.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries has a proven record of supplying automated people mover systems in Japan, the United States and other countries. Mitsubishi, together with a subsidiary based in Miami, will perform operation and maintenance for these systems, contributing to local jobs. No doubt, when the new trains start running, passengers will enjoy the smooth, safe and reliable ride between terminals.

I look forward to working with Gov. Rick Scott, who also attended the ceremony, and all those concerned to further promote our mutually beneficial relationship.

Ken Okaniwa, consul general of Japan, Miami

Health care

Costs and controls

Two points about health care cost. My wife just received a walker from our Medicare HMO. The cost to the HMO was double the price of the exact same walker at Wal-Mart, which is right across the street from her doctor's office. And the physical therapist says it isn't even the right walker.

Second, in the letter a few days ago about medical care in Germany, I hasten to point out that the $8,000 total cost for repair of a fractured femur is the government dictated price, including the surgeon and hospital. Of course, in Germany, neither can effectively be sued if the outcome isn't perfect. Government dictating the price does violate our notions of free enterprise here in America.

Rolf H. Parta, Bradenton

Republicans in disarray

If one could simply state the major difference between the Democratic Party and the Republican Party, it would be summarized in one word: unity. The Democrats stood together when the Affordable Care Act was passed during the Obama administration; by contrast, the Republicans, after seven years and now in control of both houses of Congress as well as the presidency, cannot get themselves unified to either revise or repeal that which they strongly opposed while not in control.

This is a sad commentary on a party that is seemingly clueless on what it takes to exercise power granted by the electorate. Republicans will surely reap the whirlwind from their indecisiveness and disunity in the forthcoming 2018 midterm elections.

Earl A. Myers Jr., Tampa

Trump administration

Being a sore winner

We are all familiar with sore losers, but President Donald Trump is breaking new ground as a habitual "sore winner." His constant bashing and baseless accusations against Hillary Clinton after his election victory are unprecedented in American presidential politics.

I was always proud of this country when it "went back to normal" the day after a presidential election. It was a quiet time across America. The loser "went away" for some period of time, and the winner praised his opponent and then got down to the business of forming a new administration. I could not conceive of presidents such as Washington, Lincoln, Eisenhower, the Roosevelts and Kennedy, to name just a few, resorting to gutter tactics against their defeated foe. In the case of FDR, he appointed his 1940 opponent, Wendell Willkie, a sort of "FDR light," as a roving ambassador all over the world during that troubled time.

One would think that occupying the White House would give anyone pause to reflect on where they were and the people who occupied the Oval Office in the past. Unless we demand better in the future, this is what we will get from those who attempt to lead us, even at the highest levels of government.

Michael S. Greenberg, Clearwater

Support young leadership

Society may have hit a new low with the media focusing on a woman criticizing the color of Ivanka Trump's dress. We used to refer to that kind of comment as being catty. The president and his family are knocking themselves out to do the best they can to make choices they believe will benefit the country. It's refreshing to see a dynamic young woman like Ivanka Trump getting involved and demonstrating strong leadership skills.

If we want our younger generations to step into leadership and management positions, it's time to stop the criticisms and heckling and get back to being encouraging and supportive.

Joanne Walker, St. Petersburg


Friday’s letters: Find private investors for a new stadium

Opening offer from Rays on stadium sounds too low | Nov. 17, editorialFind private investors for stadiumThe Rays "offered" to pay 18.75 percent of the costs? How outrageously presumptuous to say that they offered! Put another way, they demanded t...
Published: 11/21/17
Updated: 11/22/17

Thursday’s letters: Tax plan won’t help wages

Tax billThis won’t help stagnant wagesThe unfair tax proposal that cuts taxes for the rich and most powerful and cuts the ability of working people to claim any comparable deductions is no more than another greedy power grab by the rich and powerful....
Published: 11/20/17
Updated: 11/22/17

Wednesday’s letters: Breaking down health data

Don’t let news on blood pressure raise yours | Nov. 17, commentaryBreaking down health numbersThank you for publishing the timely commentary by Dr. H. Gilbert Welch on blood pressure. The point he makes about relative risks versus absolute risks ...
Published: 11/20/17
Updated: 11/21/17

Tuesday’s letters: Disgraceful tax proposals

Tax billDisgraceful, harmful proposalsThe very fact that the Congress of the people of the United States would propose, not to mention pass, the current tax bill is nothing short of disgraceful. What sort of representatives of the people support cutt...
Published: 11/20/17

Monday’s letters: Doctors should speak up on harassment

Sexual harassmentDoctors need to speak upThe recent widespread recognition, followed by disapproval, of sexual harassment across many workplaces signals a paradigm shift in social attitudes toward abuse of power that is long overdue.The male-dominate...
Published: 11/17/17

Saturday’s letters: Reservoir project off to a good start

Lake OkeechobeeReservoir project off to good startThis year, more than 70,000 Floridians contacted their legislators to support expediting a reservoir project south of Lake Okeechobee. Another 150 business people, anglers, health care professionals a...
Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/17/17

Sunday’s letters: Roundabout way to help the rich

Senate GOP’s tax plan to kill ACA mandate | Nov. 15Devious way to hurt middle classSo, let’s see if we have this straight. The proposed amendment to the Senate tax plan, to kill the individual mandate, will cause young people to not buy health in...
Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/17/17

Friday’s letters: Stop laying blame on teachers

Hillsborough teachers are set to protest | Nov. 14Stop laying blame on teachersI am a veteran teacher, coming up on 30 years of service to public education. My mother was also an educator, clocking over 40 years of service in public education. Sh...
Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/16/17

Pasco Letters to the Editor for Nov. 17

Questioning fees draws snarky responseYou are probably aware of the new Pasco utility fees that became effective last month.Under the dubious title of "convenience fee" for making utility payments by credit card or e-check, Pasco Utilities adds $2.75...
Published: 11/15/17

Dollars need to stay at home if south Brooksville is to survive

As a member of the Moton High School Class of 1967, I grew up a poor but very happy child because of the love given to me by all. So all I had to do was be a child and not rush to be an adult.There were many black businesses along a four-block area o...
Published: 11/14/17
Updated: 11/22/17