Thursday, December 14, 2017
Letters To The Editor

Friday's letters: Republicans are ruining this state

Insurance shock ahead? | Feb. 6

Republicans ruining this state

I have a few thoughts for our crazy Legislature in Tallahassee and more specifically for Senate Banking and Insurance Committee Chairman David Simmons, R-Altamonte Springs. I am a Republican and used to be proud of it, but in Florida, you all up there are tyrants! Republicans are ruining our state and will be sure to run everyone out, or at least spark another flood of foreclosures for those of us homeowners who have been barely holding on to our "underwater" homes.

Between the electric rates and making people pay for someone else's mistake on the power plant to forcing most, if not all, homeowners to drop their sinkhole coverage (and those who keep it have a deductible so high it's not worth it), you have made it not worth buying a home in this state. Hence, there will be more foreclosures because it's just easier to walk away. Even if we sell our home, we will still owe thousands upon thousands on the loan.

Lisa Fackender, Spring Hill

Bass Pro foes make big waves | Feb. 7

Blackmailing taxpayers

Does anyone remember "concurrency"? It was an idea, made law in the 1980s, that developers seeking profit should at least share the costs of building new infrastructure, such as roads, with taxpayers and longtime residents. Normal folks might get no benefit from the new development, but without "concurrency" they would surely have to pay the whole public costs.

Hillsborough County Commissioner Ken Hagan's brazen attempt to blackmail local taxpayers — if you don't give some of your money to Bass Pro Shops, well, my goodness, they just might put their store in Pasco County! — exemplifies what is wrong and bankrupt in some Republicans' approach to local business and government.

Ordinary taxpayers and small-business owners are fed up with comfortably compensated politicians like Hagan, who give away our money to out-of-state corporations that can afford to pay their own way. And ought to.

Jim Harper, Tampa

Drone hits disturb Congress | Feb. 6

Obama needs to explain

A scant four years ago, candidate Barack Obama mesmerized voters with his message of "hope and change." He professed disgust at the use of waterboarding, promised to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay, and offered due process and civilian trials to foreign nationals identified as enemy combatants. How times have changed.

I applaud Congress for recognizing the need to investigate the president's continuing use of drone attacks, which have been expanded to target American citizens. Alongside those Obama supporters previously mesmerized by the campaign rhetoric of 2008, I await the president's justification for casting constitutional due process protections aside to justify the selective assassination of Americans abroad.

Robert E. Heyman, St. Petersburg

Baker Act isn't gun ban | Feb. 7

Obvious source of danger

Here we go again. Still in the dark shadow of the terrible Newtown shooting, we rant incessantly about keeping guns out of the hands of those who are deemed to have mental issues. Now I understand that guns are returned to or, in some cases, not even taken from those who are taken into custody under the Baker Act by law enforcement and held for less than 72 hours.

The fact that someone is so distraught as to be even temporarily remanded to a hospital or mental health facility should require some sort of serious restriction in gun ownership. With only 1 percent of 140,000 (in 2010) involuntary placements being restricted from owning guns, we're missing the obvious. Each Florida county appears to employ different criteria, often on a case-by-case basis. If we're seriously looking at keeping guns out of the wrong hands, we might look at the consistency of interpretation and changing the law as to how those placed under the Baker Act along with their guns should be managed. Those who are temporarily distraught enough to be placed and held even less than 72 hours won't really care what kind of weapon or magazine capacity they have if they choose to threaten, injure or even kill another person.

Let's seriously look more carefully at an obvious source of danger to others and quit blaming guns and magazines for all the mayhem caused by those who shouldn't own guns in the first place.

Harvey A. Smith, Palm Harbor

On Saturdays, letters may have to wait | Feb. 7

Remove prepayment burden

While many Americans may not be concerned over stoppage of letter mail on Saturdays, the real culprit of this is a Congress that refuses to act in the best interests of its citizens. The last election did not generate enough turnover in Congress even with a dismal approval rating.

U.S. Reps. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and Dennis Ross, R-Fla., are the main proponents behind the elimination of the U.S. Postal Service as we know it and are stopping any resolves from going forward other than their own on the floor of Congress. If our local congressional representatives (Gus Bilirakis, C.W. Bill Young and Kathy Castor) do not stand up to them and end the $5.5 billion prepayment to the pension plan, you will soon see the most trusted government agency delivering mail at a substantially increased privatized rate. Who will you trust then? Privatization of government jobs has failed miserably for the most part, as history in Florida alone shows us. Withdraw the prepayment and the USPS will turn a profit.

Michael Sullivan, Largo

Girl's beating was bad — then came the video Feb. 7

Mom did the right thing

Thank you for writing and printing this story. My sincere sympathies and admiration to Chase Cristia. I applaud her mother's action to call 911 and press charges. Please print a followup report on the sanctions against the attacker and accomplice by school and legal authorities. If the attacker and accomplice have not already been barred from riding the bus and suspended from school, I question the integrity of the school administrators and their commitment to protect students.

John Diehl, Brandon

Balmy winter's 6-legged bane | Feb. 6

Ladybugs misunderstood

The photograph and caption that accompanied Meredith Rutland's article did a great disservice to the ladybug and its natural pest control services. This particular bug should not be aligned with the other "pesky insects" mentioned in the article. Ladybugs are actually beetles. Most species feed on garden pests like aphids and scale insects. I look forward to seeing them in my garden because I know that they will help control harmful insects. It is unfortunate that the article will leave readers with a negative impression of this natural gardening ally.

Andrea Calvert, San Antonio


Thursday’s letters: Trump’s values hardly admirable

Finally, a president who cares | Dec. 13, letterTrump’s values hardly admirableThe letter writer is happy to have someone in the White House who "truly cares about our country’s business" and is "unafraid … of mentioning God and religious values....
Published: 12/13/17

Wednesday’s letters: Proposal would restore Florida Forever funding

Florida ForeverPlan boosts land protectionMost of us thought funding for land conservation in Florida would be restored when we voted the Water and Land Conservation Amendment (Amendment 1) into law in 2014. It passed easily, with 75 percent of voter...
Published: 12/11/17
Updated: 12/12/17

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...
Published: 12/08/17
Updated: 12/11/17

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

Pasco letters to the editor for Dec. 15

Re: Helping Others Fulfills our purpose here on Earth | Nov. 17 guest columnThe good doctor acknowledges a CreatorThank you for publishing Dr. Rao Musunuru’s guest column. As Congressman Gus Bilirakis said in the Congressional Record, this good d...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/13/17

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