Monday, January 22, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Friday's letters: Romney meant freeloaders like this

Romney: Nearly half 'believe they are victims' | Sept. 18

He meant freeloaders like this

I am 76 years old and have a 51-year-old ex-friend. He receives disability checks every month along with free medical, eyeglasses, dental, prescriptions, cellphone, cable TV and transportation to doctors, and half off his apartment rent from the government.

Three nights a week he can be found at Veterans Field in Spring Hill playing softball and running the bases. I recently asked him if it bothered him that across the country Americans were getting up at 4 a.m. and going to work to support him while he lies in bed until 3 p.m.

His answer: No way; that's how I am able to get the check.

Those are the people Mitt Romney is talking about. You know it and I know it.

John Masterson, Spring Hill

Romney: Nearly half 'believe they are victims' | Sept. 18

We're all dependent

There are so many things wrong with Mitt Romney's 47 percent claim, it is difficult to know where to start. However, I would like to mention two points that have not (or only rarely) been mentioned.

Every day, 100 percent of Americans depend on the government for innumerable benefits. We drive on streets built by the government, we are protected by the FDA from (most) tainted food, we count on the government to ensure that our garbage is picked up and that the sewage is treated before being dumped back into our waterways, and we expect safe drinking water. We want our children, grandchildren and fellow citizens to be educated. And of course, we want the government's assistance when a hurricane or tornado or oil spill threatens our people and land. If expecting the government to provide significant goods makes one a moocher, then every American is a moocher.

Also, if the irresponsible 47 percent (according to Romney) are firmly in Obama's pocket, why is it that only one of the states that has the smallest percentage of citizens who pay income tax are strongly blue states? This makes no sense.

Hugh LaFollette, St. Petersburg

Bottom line: suspicious

First Mitt Romney refuses to let the American people see his personal income tax returns. Then he attacks Americans who pay no income tax.

Is there a connection here?

Richard Feigel, St. Petersburg

Tampa looks to add new museum | Sept. 14

Artists starving for support

I am a Tampa artist and art instructor who has been in the Tampa Bay area for over 30 years. I teach art classes at Hyde Park Art Studio, which is a thriving hands-on studio with jewelry, clay, and painting and drawing classes — despite substandard facilities — that produces the wonderful "Made by Hand" Art Show, now in its eighth year. Imagine what the Hyde Park Art Studio could be if we actually had support and new facilities instead of a third museum in the same area at Curtis Hixon Park, using a waterfront piece of property that could be more fulfilling as an entertainment/restaurant complex.

Why aren't local artists being supported in Tampa? If you want to build an art museum there, then make it an art museum for local artists. Tampa has a vibrant art, film and music community, but we have no place or support to show our artwork or for the bay area community to view and enjoy it. Another art museum would not have any viability when the Tampa Art Museum is right next door.

Tim Gibbons, Tampa

Voter fraud

Scrutiny for all

I'm a 23-year resident of Pinellas County and recently moved 6 miles within the county. Based on my experience changing my address on my driver's license, there should be no such thing as voter fraud or illegal immigrants receiving government benefits. Besides my current valid driver's license, I had to produce my original Social Security card, my passport, auto registration and two current bills with the new address. I have no problem with this — provided that everyone else around the country is subject to the same scrutiny. Apparently this is not the case, or there wouldn't be so many horror stories in the news every week.

Peter Ford, St. Petersburg

School volunteers decry screening fee | Sept. 20

Two key questions

I am the mother of a middle school student and I fully support efforts to protect our children. I am also sure that smart parents and school employees will solve the problem of fees to pay for volunteers' background checks. But your article left me with two questions. What criteria are schools using to disqualify a volunteer? And would background checks have prevented any of the cases cited in this article? I worry about the tendency to give the results of these screenings more value than they merit.

Margaret Abbey, St. Petersburg

Scott hogs credit for FACT changes | Sept. 17

Funny math

It was wonderful to read from PolitiFact Florida Gov. Rick Scott's willingness to accept much of the credit for changes that have been going on for years. In his most recent commercial he exclaimed how he and the Republican House and Senate gave the school system a billion dollars in the last budget. Isn't that the same billion they took away from the school system the year before? I think this fits "Pants on Fire."

Robert Lloyd, Ruskin

iPhone sales

Perverse priorities

I am confused.

I keep hearing that the economy is still sluggish and that many Americans are struggling to make ends meet. Yet once again, Apple releases the new iPhone and sales are through the roof. I cannot believe that only the "1 percenters" are buying this phone.

Where are our priorities?

Ronald Medvin, Tampa

County to raise tax rate 5 percent | Sept. 19

Blame the state

Of course they will deny it, but Rick Scott and the Republicans in Tallahassee just raised taxes.

Did they actually finalize this tax increase? No, they don't have the guts to do it themselves. But they sent the counties a huge Medicaid bill, knowing full well that the counties would need to either raise taxes or raise fees or rates.

Bottom line is that we will be paying more taxes because of the state's incompetence in the Medicaid billing system.

Dan Favero, St. Petersburg


Monday’s letters: Tampa Bay deserves rail as an option

New transit option: BRT | Jan. 12Tampa deserves rail as an optionI was disheartened by Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn’s statement about his exhaustion with public transit discussions. It sounds like the government of Tampa has given up on ever realizin...
Published: 01/21/18

Sunday’s letters: Bay area shortchanged on foster care funds

Opioid crisis herds kids to foster care | Jan. 9Bay area foster care shortchangedAs mentioned in this article, the growing opioid epidemic is unfortunately bringing more children into the Florida foster care system. While substance abuse has hist...
Published: 01/20/18

Saturday’s letters: It’s not the word, it’s the racism

Presidential precedent | Jan. 14It’s not the word; it’s the racismThe Times went in the wrong direction and printed information that is rather useless. And that is strange. You usually get it right.I am talking about President Donald Trump’s prof...
Published: 01/19/18

Friday’s letters: Help for boaters against modern-day ‘pirates’

Marine towing and salvageHelp against modern-day piracyAs an avid recreational boat owner and sixth-generation Floridian, I know there’s no better way to enjoy our state’s spectacular waters than taking your boat out. Unfortunately, the fun of boatin...
Published: 01/17/18
Updated: 01/18/18

Thursday’s letters: All Americans need health care

Doctor: Trump got perfect score on cognitive test | Jan. 17All Americans need health carePresident Donald Trump’s extensive health exam has apparently declared him physically fit for office. As I was reading about the battery of tests he received...
Published: 01/17/18

Wednesday’s letters: St. Petersburg’s culture, vibrancy impresses

St. PetersburgImpressive culture and vibrancyI recently visited Tampa Bay and celebrated New Year’s weekend in downtown St. Petersburg. I was awestruck by what I encountered and experienced. It has been several years since I last visited, and the tra...
Published: 01/16/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for Jan. 19

Re: Walking leads to shocking catalogue of trash | Jan. 12 column Bring back anti-littering campaignJust came back from the beautiful, clean city of Singapore, where there is a $1,000 fine, plus community service for littering. I think a presiden...
Published: 01/16/18
Tuesday’s letters: Trump’s accomplishments unheralded

Tuesday’s letters: Trump’s accomplishments unheralded

President Donald TrumpAchievements go unrecognizedAre Americans even aware that our economy is healthier and growing much faster, that ISIS has been defeated and lost their territory, that China and other countries are buying more American goods and ...
Published: 01/16/18

Monday’s letters: Don’t be fooled by drilling turnaround

Deal blocks drilling off Fla. | Jan. 10Don’t be fooled by turnaroundWhile I am very grateful that Florida has been taken off the table regarding offshore oil drilling, it is clear this is a political move to champion Gov. Rick Scott as he conside...
Published: 01/14/18

Sunday’s letters: Left wing late to the #MeToo cause

#MeTooDemocrats come late to the causeThe Times devoted an entire page to the #MeToo issues on Sunday. The ironies here for longtime observers are nearly boundless. Twenty years ago, folks like myself were called "prudes" and worse because we found P...
Published: 01/13/18