Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Friday's letters: Tampa Bay shows its compassion

Officer felt calling to help people | Dec. 1

Tampa Bay shows its compassion

Critical Intervention Services would like to extend its sincerest thanks to the Tampa Bay community for its outpouring of support in the wake of the slaying of officer Michael Valentin. Countless heartfelt messages received through emails, phone calls, Facebook and Twitter posts have helped the Valentin family cope with their devastating loss and inspired the CIS corps to brave on through the painful process of laying to rest an honorable brother so tragically lost to senseless violence.

The compassion this community has shown — from friends and strangers alike — is a testament to the depth of Tampa Bay's heart and the benevolence of its people. CIS also offers a special thanks to contributors to the Fallen Officer Fund as those funds will directly assist the grieving wife and children Michael Valentin leaves behind. While we continue to mourn, know that your showing of care has brought comfort to many. Our deepest gratitude to you, Tampa Bay.

K.C. Poulin, CEO, Critical Intervention Services, Largo

Management is overpaid | Nov. 30, letter

Insurance CEO's big salary

Today I read another letter attacking BayCare for the fiasco going on between them and UnitedHealthcare. Some have complained about the salary BayCare executives make. Why has no one pointed out that in 2011, UnitedHealthcare CEO Stephen J. Hemsley was the highest-paid CEO of the top 400 listed by Forbes, making over $111.4 million in compensation? His average compensation was $120.47 million per year for the last five years.

After 10 years of using BayCare, we are extremely satisfied with the care provided. Maybe the stockholders of United can give up some of their record profits. Fourth-quarter profits rose last year by 21 percent to $1.26 billion. I am so sick of for-profit organizations making so much money off sick and injured people. I bet the HCA for-profit hospitals in the area are very pleased. Now we have no choice except to use them if we want our insurance to cover.

Elizabeth Jacobsma, New Port Richey

Romney shuns public eye | Dec. 3

Enough of Romney

Please spare us any further Mitt Romney-related treacle and allow this man to take his rightful place as a historical footnote and also-ran. I don't need to be updated on his or his wife's despair at having lost the election they felt they were so entitled and certain to win. I'm sure they'll find great solace in their massive fortune and will be back to skinning the taxpayers in no time.

Rob Douglas, St. Petersburg

Subject: Israel pushes back with West Bank settlements | Dec. 1

Development no roadblock

This article's thesis is that resuming community development in the E-1 area, between Jerusalem and Ma'ale Adumim, defies the United States and dooms any prospect of a two-state solution.

A look at any reliable map shows that this small, largely uninhabited area (4.6 square miles) in no way infringes on the planned, but unmentioned, road to take Palestinian traffic from the north (Jenin, Nablus and Ramallah) to the south (Bethlehem and Hebron). In fact, the new road will reduce the driving time because there would be no Israeli roadblocks to delay Palestinian motorists.

Furthermore, this community development has been supported by every Israeli prime minister since Yitzhak Rabin and is supported by the 1995 Oslo II Interim Agreement.

Byron Kolitz, Clearwater

Tough talk, no deals yet | Dec. 5

Take care on Medicare

I agree with the recent AARP ad stating that Medicare reform or cutbacks should not be hastily decided upon. I am tired of major legislation being rushed into against a deadline. The future of something as wide-ranging as Medicare should be discussed with forethought and transparency, not cobbled together in some back-room deal. The health care of our seniors is more important than Congress having their holiday break.

Deborah Green, Sun City Center

Doctors back texting-driving ban Dec. 4, letter

Device will solve problem

The fix for texting and driving is easy. The government already requires seat belts to be installed in cars and that they be worn under penalty of a ticket. Just require a phone signal blocking device as mandatory on new cars, tied to the car's ignition. If the car is running, your cell phone will not work; if you turn off the car, it will.

The devices are already on the market and very inexpensive.

Mark Ross, Port Richey

Dems should address bloated sacred cows Dec. 3, commentary

Target corporate giveaways

The headline for this column prompted me to look — in vain — for Robert Samuelson to hit such obvious corporate sacred cows as subsidies to farms, sweetheart defense contracts for weapons the Pentagon doesn't want, and subsidies to Big Oil. Instead, Samuelson mirrors Republican leaders by focusing only on Social Security as an entitlement needing to be cut.

Social Security is an earned benefit, not an entitlement. If it is an entitlement, then it should be included in any overall budget deal and Social Security taxes should be levied on all income. Right now, many in the top 2 percent with income from dividends and capital gains pay little or no Social Security tax. Highly paid corporate CEOs, athletes and entertainers pay the 6.2 percent tax only on the first $110,000 of their annual income.

Social Security can be made solvent for decades simply by levying the FICA tax on all income.

Anthony Branch, Madeira Beach

Situation isn't dire

Robert Samuelson's analysis of Social Security funding is misleading. He claims Social Security benefits exceeded payroll taxes in 2010, which is true, but he conceals the $115 billion annual interest earned by $2.7 trillion in payroll tax surpluses accumulated over the last 30 years, and he ignores almost $23 billion in taxes paid annually on Social Security benefits.

According to the trustees of the Social Security system, the current surplus of $2.7 trillion will rise to $3.7 trillion by 2022. Only then will the enormous number of baby boomers begin to draw down the surplus until it finally disappears in 2036. But by that year, the youngest baby boomers will be 72 and the temporary crisis will abate steadily thereafter.

Jim Perry, Tampa

The debate over the new St. Petersburg pier wasn't pretty – with misinformation still swirling after more than four years of public input and a last-minute insistence on micromanaging by elected officials. But the final outcome of Thursday's city council meeting was the right one: The Sunshine City will move forward with plans for a new pier for the 21st Century. The council and Mayor Bill Foster will need to continue that leadership in months to come.

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Comments

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...
Updated: 2 hours ago

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

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

Publix pours cash to Putnam | May 17 A pleasure to shop elsewhere My 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. F...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/18/18