Saturday, June 23, 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: 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