Monday, December 11, 2017
Letters To The Editor

Friday's letters: Rental home issues addressed promptly

Land rush puts pressure on rents | April 20

Prompt rental home response

I never thought I would ever write a letter supporting a major corporation, but I believe your article on rentals in general and on Invitation Homes in particular warrants a fair and balanced response.

In December my wife and I decided to downsize. We sold our home in Odessa with the intention of renting until we decided whether to build a smaller home in the same area.

Despite my concern about renting from a big corporation, we rented a home in Wesley Chapel that is owned by Invitation Homes. It turned out that the home had some major problems.

When we notified Invitation Homes, we were pleasantly surprised (amazed) that it addressed each of these issues promptly and professionally, then followed up the next day to see whether the work was done to our satisfaction.

I would not hesitate to recommend Invitation Homes to anyone looking to rent a home in the Tampa Bay area.

Frank Shea, Wesley Chapel

Medical marijuana | April 20

No issues in Colorado

Since we live in Colorado for part of the year, many of our Florida friends have asked about the effects of medical marijuana. My answer is that there have been no noticeable effects.

Where we live in Colorado we have two clinics, both listed in the phone book and located far from the center of town. There has been no increase in the number of clinics, and they haven't become "magnets for crime."

I called the clinics to ask how they operate. I was told they require a doctor's prescription that would be sent to the state with an application and a check. After being reviewed, an authorization card may be issued. Clinics require a card and an ID to even enter and record each visit.

The people at the clinics did say that most doctors are not willing to write a script because marijuana is new to the medical community and there is an absence of dosing information. I guess it is not easy to step into unfamiliar territory. However, many patients have died from pain medication currently dispensed; I have never read of anyone dying from marijuana.

The town paper prints a daily police blotter. We have never seen any crime involving marijuana although there are many involving alcohol. We read about the many people whose health conditions could be helped by legalizing marijuana. It seems unfair to deny them the help they need. Those who warn against the current proposal in Florida seem to be confusing recreational use with medical use.

Faith Alford, St. Pete Beach

Taxis cry foul on ride sharing | April 17

Inflexibility on Uber

Tampa Bay has truly become a world-class region. We have hosted Super Bowls and the Republican National Convention, and are in the middle of hosting the International Indian Film Academy awards. We offer the beautiful beaches and waterways the Sunshine State is known for while also showcasing vibrant and growing communities with urban amenities and a thriving business economy.

We are, however, falling behind in one critical area: transportation.

An exciting new innovation available in many American cities is Uber, a technology platform that provides streamlined car service to the modern-day consumer. Uber and other similar services are receiving rave reviews from the many cities throughout the United States where they have been deployed. The technology allows the traveler to order car service, see exactly where the available cars are located, get information about the car and the driver, and pay for the service — all through a few clicks on your mobile device.

But if you are in Tampa Bay, you cannot use these services because of arcane rules that distinguish between cabs and limousine services. These inflexible rules need to be updated, or Tampa Bay will be left behind. It would be a shame to allow an issue like this to hamper our forward progress.

Two Tampa Bay legislators have shown great leadership on this issue: Rep. Jamie Grant and Sen. Jeff Brandes, who have sponsored House Bill 1389 and Senate Bill 1618, legislation that would allow companies like Uber to operate in Florida. I encourage our other Tampa Bay legislators to make this issue a priority in the remaining days of the legislative session.

Deborah Cox Roush, Lithia

Oil driller does more than allowed | April 17

Safety requires regulation

This article about an oil company violating the rules while drilling on sensitive Florida lands is an example of why we should err on the side of caution when dealing with big business. Government regulations are the only defense we have against this type of action, and this has been true over many years, in all types of business.

Rick Scott and members of the legislation in Tallahassee have told us that regulations are hampering business, and they can be trusted to do the right thing for the people and the environment that they serve. The officials who say these things are either very naive, or are being paid by big business to sell us a bill of goods.

Janet Graber, St. Petersburg

Doctor guilty in pill mill inquiry | April 19

Incompetent oversight

This article reported that a convicted Brandon doctor ordered thousands of prescriptions for controlled drugs to addicts and doctor shoppers. The enterprise took cash only and went on for at least two years. The "patients often came from as far away as Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee."

There are questions that seem to never get asked: Why couldn't these out-of town pill takers find corrupt doctors to accommodate them in their own home states? Why did they have to travel all the way to Florida to do illicit business?

I would guess that their own state boards of medicine never allowed the situation to exist. That's what boards of medicine are for: to protect the interests of the public, not those of their own. Licenses can be suspended by emergency action, even for a single transgression.

Our own state board was remiss by either their incompetence, or by a lack of resolve, intended or not. I don't see them being held accountable; we deserve better from our overseers.

Anthony S. Comitos, Palm Harbor


Tuesday’s letters: Writer should look to his own mistakes

Is anyone ever wrong anymore? | Dec. 8Writer should look to own errorsIn Mitch Daniels’ article about people who have been wrong, he finishes with the statement that our lives would be greatly improved with more people saying, "I was wrong."He mi...
Updated: 4 hours ago

Monday’s letters: Don’t drill in Arctic refuge

Arctic National Wildlife RefugeStop plan to drill for oil in refugeOur nation faces yet another effort to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge reserve to oil and gas drilling. Drilling in the Arctic simply doesn’t make sound financial sense. W...
Published: 12/08/17

Sunday’s letters: Tax bill puts U.S. on right course

The GOP’s regressive tax plans | Dec. 5, editorialTax bill puts U.S. on right courseThe Times is already crying wolf over the new tax cuts, claiming that the new laws "could" result an increase in the national debt of $1.5 trillion over the next ...
Published: 12/07/17

Saturday’s letters: Don’t inject political money into churches

Tax billKeep political cash out of pulpitA provision buried in the 429-page House tax bill, Section 5201, nullifies the Johnson Amendment, which protects houses of worship from partisan politics by prohibiting them from endorsing or opposing politica...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/07/17

Friday’s letters: Most unpopular tax bill ever

Tax bill clears Senate | Dec. 3The most unpopular tax bill ever"Democracy dies in darkness" is the motto of the Washington Post. At 2 a.m. on the dark morning of Sunday, Dec. 3, 51 Republicans approved the most wildly unpopular tax bill in U.S. h...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/07/17

Thursday’s letters: Give your child the gift of reading

Fatherhood Involvement in Literacy CampaignGive your child the gift of readingPart of a successful game plan in sports is identifying plays that can put points on the scoreboard. Whether I was playing quarterback at Florida State or running the point...
Published: 12/05/17
Updated: 12/06/17

Wednesday’s letters: Bill gives small businesses tax relief

Tax bill clears Senate | Dec. 3Small businesses get tax reliefThe Senate and House have now passed their respective tax bills. Once Congress sends a final package to the White House, President Donald Trump will deliver us the most powerful tax re...
Published: 12/04/17
Updated: 12/05/17

Tuesday’s letters: Transplant bill will help Medicare patients

November Letter of the MonthThe winning letter addressed the unresponsiveness of elected officials.Representatives aren’t listeningFor whom do our legislators work? I ask because my Florida senator doesn’t appear to work for me. I drove 27 miles on N...
Published: 12/04/17

Monday’s letters: A citizen’s heroic act

Suspect arrested | Nov. 29A courageous citizen’s actOn Nov. 28, a courageous act occurred in the Tampa Bay area. It was one that law enforcement professionals applaud and hope becomes more frequent. An ordinary citizen did the right thing and spo...
Published: 12/01/17

Saturday’s letters: Historic preservation process needs fixing

A preservation problem | Nov. 25, editorialApplication process needs fixingThere is a reason why smaller rather than larger groups of property owners are getting together to seek historic district designation: It is St. Petersburg’s application p...
Published: 11/30/17
Updated: 12/01/17