Thursday, May 24, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Friday's letters: Support transit innovations

Help choose the letter of the month

Letters to the editor offer a significant contribution to the discussion of public policy and life in Tampa Bay. To recognize some of that work by our most engaged readers, the Times will select a letter of the month and the writers will be recognized at the end of the year.

Help us choose from the nominations for letter of the month for April 2014 by visiting the website listed below by Monday. Read through the three letters and vote on the ballot at the bottom of the web page. We will choose the finalists each month based on relevance on topical issues, persuasiveness and writing style.

The writer's opinion does not need to match the editorial board's opinion on the issue to be nominated. But clarity of thinking, brevity and a sense of humor certainly help.

To see the three April nominees and vote, go to

Cars for hire must put safety first | April 23, editorial

Support transit innovations

While I agree that Hillsborough County's Public Transportation Commission rules stifle innovation and we need reform, I am deeply concerned with your characterization of current service and your recommendation to remedy it.

I am excited that Lyft and Uber's ridesharing service, UberX, have begun operating in Tampa Bay. Both companies operate at the highest industry standards and are not fly-by-night operators, but rather international companies with hundreds of millions invested in changing the way we travel. People are increasingly combining different modes to get around, and services like car sharing, frequent transit and bike share are just a few of the options from which we can benefit. We need to give Tampa Bay residents the same freedom to move around that other cities enjoy.

Both services have been operating successfully across the country to meet natural demand and do so under sound business practices. They do background checks on drivers, facilitate trainings and vehicle inspections, and Lyft even carries an additional million-dollar liability policy. Furthermore, both companies use driver rating systems to ensure that employees maintains the highest standards.

Asking innovators to sit back and wait for government to create new regulations to provide options is absurd. We have been promised action before, but no movement has happened in the past two years since the issue came to prominence.

We applaud Lyft and Uber's tenacity and encourage the PTC to be open to dialogue and move quickly to collaborative solutions. This is how we will grow as a community: not by closing doors, but by exploring and embracing new technologies.

Brian Seel, co-founder, Connect Tampa Bay, Tampa

Transit should progress | April 28, letter

Winners and losers

The letter writer states that good technology disrupts the market, increasing options for consumers and providing new economic opportunities, leading to more prosperity.

It is the claim of more prosperity that I dispute. Uber is a technology that allows the consumers to hire a car for rides to their destinations. Instead of calling a taxi, you use Uber. So the Uber company, the Uber driver and the consumer who pays a lower fare becomes more prosperous while the cab driver becomes less prosperous because he has fewer fares and tips. As a result of fewer people using taxis, the taxi company may not require as many dispatchers and may lay off people. This is not prosperity for all.

There are examples of technology reducing prosperity all around us. If you go into a big box store you may see self checkout lanes with one person servicing four lanes. Before there were two or three checkout people to serve the consumer. Technology has reduced employment opportunities, which does not contribute to prosperity for all.

Technology has also allowed many higher-paying jobs like computer programming to be outsourced. This lowers prosperity for U.S. programmers while increasing it for the non-U.S. developers.

I personally like technology. I probably spend too much time on my computer now. But I realize that technology does not increase prosperity for all.

Dennis J. Blaha, Wimauma

When player goes down, all is not lost April 28

Heartwarming story

That was a top-notch headline on page one of the Tampa Bay Times. How special is was to be able to read something as heartwarming as what the pitcher, Chelsea Oglevie, and second baseman, Leah Pemberton, from the opposing team did for injured Kara Oberer. It was proof that goodness and kindness do still exist in our world.

We need more of those headlines on page one. And those two young women need to be officially recognized for their sportsmanship.

Marcia Kay Dahlstrom, Dunedin

U.S. vows aid to Ukraine, sends troops to E. Europe | April 23

Take a look in the mirror

Perhaps Vice President Joe Biden should be applauded for challenging the Ukraine political class to confront "the cancer of corruption that is endemic in your system," but this aspersion hits close to home when considering campaign financing in this country.

Until a change is made in the United States making it illegal for any lawmaker to take more than a standard, fixed amount of campaign money, we run a high risk of hypocrisy in directing comments at others regarding the cancer of corruption.

C.E. Henderson, Palm Harbor

For benefits, military vets cross the line April 28

Appalled and ashamed

Speaking as a Vietnam War veteran, I am appalled and ashamed of any fellow veterans who purposely defraud the VA in receiving undeserved benefits, especially when there are veterans denied deserving benefits.

Veterans who are found guilty of fraudulent benefits should not only serve prison time and pay restitution but be dishonorably discharged from the branch of service they served, stripping them of any benefits whatsoever.

Jack Burlakos, Kenneth City


Wednesday’s letters: Thanks to jurors for fulfilling civic duty

May is Juror Appreciation MonthThanks, jurors, for your serviceTrial by a jury of one’s peers is among the bedrock guarantees that make our representative democracy exceptional. Without it, the courtroom fates of defendants and civil litigants would ...
Updated: 8 hours ago

Thursday’s letters: Heated chemotherapy won’t treat most ovarian cancers

Heated chemotherapy has promising results | May 16Cancer treatment not a cure-all While we were pleased to see the story about ovarian cancer treatment, we are concerned that the article could mislead many patients. The treatment described has be...
Published: 05/22/18
Updated: 05/24/18

Wednesday’s letters: A princess gives us a lesson to live by

Royal treatment | May 21Princess offers advice for us allThe radiant and joyful Princess Anna Noela Lokolo of the Democratic Republic of Congo, recent Eckerd College graduate, has given us a huge gift in her parting words. "If people have a negat...
Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/23/18

Hernando Letters to the Editor for May 25

Re: Central High School bomb threat suspect to be tried as adult | May 4Angry mob rhetoric not helpfulWe have observed the public discourse surrounding the case of Mizella Robinson with increasing unease. A sampling of the more common sentiment...
Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/22/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for May 25

Re: Proposed TECO Solar Plant Opposed to the TECO solar plantAs a 21-year resident and property owner, I am writing in opposition to the proposed Tampa Electric Company solar plant in rural northeast Pasco County.The solar plant will be .2 miles from...
Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/22/18

Tuesday’s letters: If you don’t like the Electoral College, then amend the Constitution

The popular vote | May 20, letterIf you don’t like it, amend ConstitutionA recent letter supports the idea that a state should be able to change its Electoral College vote to match that of the national popular vote winner as opposed to the result...
Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/22/18

Monday’s letters: Focusing on the mental state of shooters misses the point

Texas high school shooting | May 18Criminals, angry people kill peopleSchool shootings are a distinctly American phenomenon. But shootings by people with serious mental illness represent less than 1 percent of all yearly gun-related homicides in ...
Published: 05/19/18
Updated: 05/21/18

Friday’s letters: Putnam and Publix, two P’s lose my nod

Publix pours cash to Putnam | May 17A pleasure to shop elsewhereMy family and I moved to Tampa in 1974, and have made Publix our favorite grocery store ever since. Forty-four years! That is why it makes me a little sad to have to say goodbye.Firs...
Published: 05/18/18

Saturday’s letters: For Florida to move forward, focus on a healthy and sustainable environment

Tampa’s future is bright | May 12Protect Florida, boost economyThis past year, Florida set another record-breaking year for tourism, welcoming more than 116 million visitors. While Florida boasts a unique quality of life and more than 1,300 miles...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/18/18

Sunday’s letters: What conservatives stand for

How can conservatism survive after Trump | May 13, Nickens columnhed#6324 I think it obvious that traditional conservatism was squeezed out of the 2016 campaign narrative and has become a niche thesis owned by a small group of intellectuals. A gr...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/18/18