Friday, April 20, 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


Friday’s letters: We owe it to our children to teach them history

If we don’t understand past, future looks grim | April 19, Daniel Ruth columnThe history we owe our childrenIt’s not often I agree with Daniel Ruth, but this article was spot-on. I’m not sure when the schools started ignoring Germany’s World War ...
Published: 04/19/18

Thursday’s letters: Gun research can save lives

Gun ownershipCommon ground: Find the factsThere are many areas in the current debate about guns and gun ownership where both sides must agree to disagree. But there is one area where common ground ought to exist. That concerns the need for continuing...
Published: 04/18/18

Wednesday’s letters:

Poverty and plenty in bay area | April 7, editorialStruggling poor are not a priorityI commend your newspaper for continuing to produce real and relevant news, particularly the recent editorial pointing out that a prospering Tampa Bay should not ...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18

Hernando Letters to the Editor for April 20

Bar Association celebrates Law WeekPresident Dwight D. Eisenhower proclaimed May 1, 1958, as the first Law Day to mark the nation’s commitment to the rule of law. Every year on this day, we reflect on the significance of the rule of law and rededicat...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18

Tuesday’s letters: Stop cooperating with ICE

Sheriff’s ICE policy blasted | April 10Pinellas should end partnership with ICEPinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri recently participated in a community conversation on his controversial agreement with ICE to voluntarily detain immigrants in the...
Published: 04/16/18

Sunday’s letters: The future of oyster production

Shell game | April 15Future of oyster productionThanks to Laura Reiley for an excellent synopsis of the current state of oyster production in Florida. The collapse of the Apalachicola oyster fishery is merely the latest example of the demise of a...
Published: 04/14/18

Monday’s letters: Public education is foundation of the nation

Voters beware of ballot deceptionApril 13, commentarySchools’ role underminedIt was with great pain that I read (not for the first time) that we must be aware of "ballot deception." Public schools were founded to make sure that future generations of ...
Published: 04/13/18

Saturday’s letters: Health Department should butt out

Judge: Grow pot, Mr. Redner | April 12Health officials should butt outThe Times reports that the Florida Department of Health filed an appeal to the decision allowing a man who is a Stage 4 lung cancer survivor to grow pot in his backyard for his ...
Published: 04/11/18
Updated: 04/13/18

Friday’s letters: Open and shut: Enforce the law

Sheriff’s ICE aid policy blasted | April 10Open and shut: Enforce the lawPeople and institutions that insist on the using the euphemism "undocumented immigrant" do nothing but affirm their lack of objectivity by using such a phrase to support an ...
Published: 04/11/18
Updated: 04/12/18

Thursday’s letters: Focus on offender, not weapon

Use data to curb gun deaths | April 8, commentaryFocus on offenders, not weaponsThis article tiptoes around the issue: human violence. The authors point out that automobile manufactures were pressured by regulation and law to make automobile coll...
Published: 04/11/18