Wednesday, March 21, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Friday's letters: Remember them at election time

House passes fiscal deal | Jan. 2

Remember them at election time

I trust that no one in Washington is taking any credit or satisfaction for this last-minute reprieve from the cliff.

The performance of Congress, the president and the media has been and will continue to be regarded as a study in juvenile bickering, blind party loyalty and despicable self-serving. And failing to consider the Hurricane Sandy aid bill was absolutely beyond comprehension.

Whether you are Republican, Democrat or independent, I urge you to keep these last weeks fresh in your memory at least until it's time to vote again in 2014. None of these "public servants" of either party deserve to be re-elected. The long-term damage they have done to this country will be felt for decades or perhaps longer.

Michael P. Catalano, Palm Harbor

Rubio's disaster aid vote | Jan. 2, letter

Clear bill of pork

A letter writer suggested that Sen. Marco Rubio's "no" vote on the Sandy aid bill was a reflection of Republican apathy and a me-first mentality. The truth is, the bill presented was loaded with unnecessary pork having nothing to do with hurricane relief. I view Rubio's action as one protecting the taxpayer and not as being uncaring and unfeeling.

I'm sure he would vote yes on an unadulterated bill intended for the purpose of helping hurricane victims.

Joan P. Comitos, Palm Harbor

Ready for light rail progress | Jan. 2, editorial

Light rail isn't only option

This editorial communicates a foregone conclusion that this is our only option for a regional transportation system. I agree that a modern transportation system for our region would be beneficial to residents and visitors alike, but light rail limits moving people between fixed locations — without serving the entire county. This would take years and cost billions.

We need a modern transportation system that is flexible, efficient and affordable. The county should consider leasing bus routes to private bus companies that run their buses on CNG fuel. This will allow competitive pricing, flexible routes, variable-sized vehicles and low environmental impact — all at no cost to taxpayers.

Bus lanes could be established. Passenger loading could be adjusted for countywide events and venues such as to beaches, museums, sports events and to and from taverns, reducing DUI on our roads.

If our leaders keep an open mind and use their imagination, this issue could be solved to benefit all.

Ken Gagliano, Clearwater

A regional approach

I lived in Baltimore when that city was contemplating a light rail system, which just happened to coincide with the need of building of a new baseball park for the Orioles. For me, it's deja vu all over again.

Build a ballpark for the Rays just north of Tampa and St. Petersburg. In phase one, both cities build a light rail system from their downtown/business centers to the park so they connect. In phase two, Tampa builds a connection to the airport and St. Petersburg to a hub on the Gulf Coast with trolleys servicing various beaches.

With this plan businesses connect, St. Petersburg can get to the airport, Tampa can get to the gulf beaches, and everyone gets the Rays.

Initial costs will be expensive, but in the long run worth it.

Paul Smith, Kenneth City

Stray bullet hits woman | Jan. 2

Trace bullets to owners

It seems that a simple solution to track errant bullets back to the owner would be to put numbers on all ammo and keep records on whom it was sold to. Of course, it would be a fight to overpower the NRA on this simple method to ensure responsibility.

Overall, crime rates are dropping because the perpetrators are finally realizing that with all the video surveillance bad deeds come with swift penalties.

James Teske, Tampa

Aim lower

If you simply must fire a gun in celebration, please have the good sense to fire it into the ground, not into the air. What goes up must come down; but not the other way around.

Jim Tight, Palm Harbor


New Year's nuisance

I think it is time to stop allowing fireworks in residential areas. First of all, what is the fun of lighting a little wrapped package of gunpower and having it go boom and doing it over and over? This New Year's Eve my neighborhood was loaded with loud bangs and booms. It keeps the elderly awake and scares the pets. Our cat was terrified all evening. I went out and the air was heavy with the smell of gunpowder. It was disgusting.

My question is: Why can't an isolated park or area away from homes be provided for these adults (still acting like children) to go and shoot off their fireworks until they are satisfied, and not be a bother to others?

George Grodesky, Port Richey

Forge a Florida identity | Jan. 1, commentary

Protect the environment

As the titular head of a group of some 100 seniors who belong to our state chapter of the national nonprofit organization Great Old Broads for Wilderness, I confront daily the difficulties of diversity David Colburn considers in this article.

I doubt even a third of our group is made up of native Floridians, yet these older folks, including a number of snowbirds, have taken the time to learn and care about our natural environment and our issues, especially overdevelopment. We help with river, parks and coast cleanups. We bird-sit native summer nesters. We help rehab trails and generally support all attempts to maintain what's left of Florida.

Currently, we're helping to petition to resurrect the once-popular Florida Forever plan — organized by the Bob Graham Center for Public Service — that used a percentage of Florida document taxes to manage state-owned wilderness and park areas. Our current so-called leaders tossed that important responsibility.

It's time we check the identities of those running for office, state and local. If they don't know a native plant from a power plant, they have no place in our state.

JoAnn Valenti, Tampa


Thursday’s letters: School safety requires funding

Constitution Revision CommissionSchool safety requires fundingThe Constitution Revision Commission should consider amending a proposal (45, 93 or 72) to allocate the necessary recurring funding for the new school safety mandates, separate from the ba...
Published: 03/21/18

Wednesday’s letters: Let the teachers decide on guns

Trump touts arming staff as key in plan for school security | March 12It’s the teacher’s call on weaponsPlease, let’s try an alternate view about guns in the classroom. First, it hasn’t gone unnoticed that the preponderance of letters about guns ...
Published: 03/20/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for March 23

Re: Residents object to solar farm | March 16, storyLakeland Electric has shown that residential customers can be incentivized to allow placement of utility-owned solar panels on their roofs. Likewise, business owners can be incentivized to allow...
Published: 03/19/18

Tuesday’s letters: It shouldn’t be this hard to fly

Tampa International AirportIt shouldn’t be this hard to flyI’ve given the train two tries now from economy parking at Tampa airport. It’s a lot of work. How silly to go down one bank of elevators, then take a good walk to the next set of elevators to...
Published: 03/19/18

Monday’s letters: Protect Floridians’ right to privacy

People push for changes at Constitution hearing | March 14Protect Florida’s right to privacyI attended the Constitution Revision Commission’s public hearing at USF St. Petersburg last week. I was there because I thought it was important to have m...
Published: 03/18/18

Sunday’s letters: Effort to stem pet cruelty pays off

Puppy millsEffort to stem cruelty pays offThank you to everyone who contacted their legislators, and a huge shout-out to the Tampa Bay Times for letting us know that state legislators were considering a bill to eliminate the hard-achieved gains on lo...
Published: 03/17/18

Saturday’s letters: Insurer focused on repairs, not fees

Citizens hit with $12.7M verdict | March 15Insurer’s focus: repairs, not feesCitizens Property Insurance Corp. has spent the past several years making sure that insurance proceeds for sinkhole repairs are used to restore a home and make it whole....
Published: 03/16/18

Friday’s letters: Put young people to work rebuilding infrastructure

Smart way to pay for infrastructure | March 13, commentaryMake rebuilding a youth project Raising gas taxes to pay for infrastructure may not be the best way to go. I suggest we re-invent the old WPA (Works Progress Administration) and draft high...
Published: 03/13/18
Updated: 03/15/18

Thursday’s letters: An alternative for giving: Breadcoin

Panhandling paradox | March 11Innovation in giving: BreadcoinPanhandling is destructive to the donor, panhandler and our community — a guilt trip that erodes personal dignity, respect and self-worth, making the recipient more beholden and entitle...
Published: 03/13/18
Updated: 03/14/18
Wednesday’s letters: Daylight bill is bad for business

Wednesday’s letters: Daylight bill is bad for business

Daylight saving timeDaylight bill is bad for businessI encourage Gov. Rick Scott to veto the daylight saving time extension bill. It makes no sense. It puts Florida out of sync with the rest of the country. Commerce will be affected. The entire Easte...
Published: 03/13/18