Saturday, June 23, 2018
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


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