Monday, April 23, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Friday's letters: The costs of family breakdowns

Classrooms and Tallahassee ideology are worlds apart | July 9, editorial

The cost of family breakdowns

Your editorial correctly says that "educating these children (in the five struggling elementary schools) is hard." But I couldn't help but notice the link between this article and the one a few pages back (U.S. fertility rate reaches a record low) that stated that "69.7 percent of black babies and 52.5 percent of Hispanic (babies)" are born to single mothers.

The economic challenges of single moms, regardless of race, are well documented. On balance, these mothers earn significantly less, are less educated and are more challenged to provide appropriate and stable child care. I'm sure that many of the "overextended parents who work multiple jobs and unconventional hours to keep the electricity on and food on the table" are single mothers trying to beat very long odds. If we don't at least recognize the social cost of our changing family structure, it won't matter how much money we throw at the problem.

Scott Stolz, Tarpon Springs

Panther status in dispute | July 9

Put protection over profits

The genetics of the Florida panther is not the real issue. If the panthers have moved here, they are Florida residents like the rest of us. The deeper issue involves big money. Panther territory is prime potential fracking territory. Somewhere in the background, fracking money is very interested in lowering panther protection. Fracking permits will be easier to get if panther protection is lessened. The character of the animal or the quality of the environment are not the priorities of those who see Florida only as a place of potential profit.

Save the panther. They are real Floridians.

Bill Shaw, Brooksville

Health care

Simplify system and save

I'm a registered Republican, but I haven't lost my sanity. Anyone with the least amount of common sense knows that the only solution to rising health insurance costs is to extend Medicare to every American. We need to cut out every insurance company that we can and go to a single-payer system with negotiated drug prices. The richest country in the world cannot continue to allow health insurance moguls to pay themselves multimillions while fighting to deny the simplest health care to our people.

Carlton Bennett, St. Petersburg


Defense budget needs audit

I strongly urge U.S. Reps. Kathy Castor, Charlie Crist and Gus Bilarakis to support HR 3079, the Audit the Pentagon Act of 2017. Unlike every other Cabinet department, the Pentagon has never passed a basic audit of its finances. This bipartisan legislation, backed by over 30 co-sponsors on both sides of the aisle, promises to hold the Pentagon accountable for failing to track our taxpayer dollars and would cut the Pentagon's budget by 0.5 percent every year an audit is not completed. HR 3079 will ensure that we are able to efficiently and effectively support our military at home and abroad and eliminate waste of our taxpayer dollars.

Robin Kennedy, Tampa

District fights new law | July 6

Better message, plus results

It would not have been possible to enact HB 7069 without charter schools' positive narrative that champions their "superiority" over the supposedly "dysfunctional" public school system. Without a positive, proactive narrative of their own, public schools' only choice is to continue to react to legislative demands for money to support charters.

Are public schools at fault? Did they bring this on themselves? Possibly. Public education is lax in crafting a positive message or narrative that defines itself and, most critically, actually walking the walk that creates value for students, teachers, schools and society. Without a message backed up by results, public schools are in for more of the same. Proven school and district improvement initiatives are well known. Time to hit the books!

Joel W. Gingery, Holiday

President Trump

Six months later …

Well, Trump supporters, after six months of zero legislation, countless lies and his top people lawyering up because of those lies — how do you justify what he is doing to our nation? You still call this "great"?

Doug Hicks, Tampa

Combining facts, faith to oppose death penalty | July 11, commentary

Abolition is the answer

The Rev. Bob Schneider is correct in opposing the death penalty for many reasons. The process drags on and a life sentence would give family members more closure. Also, if I were a family member given the opportunity to speak during the penalty phase in court and stated that I want the death penalty invoked and then years later it happened, I would feel guilty that I had a small part in putting a human being to death.

To me one of the most important reasons to abolish the death penalty is that it is a proven fact that innocent people have been executed. For that reason alone, the death penalty should be abolished everywhere.

David Anderson, St. Petersburg


Pasco Letters to the Editor for April 27

Stop Ridge Road extension, reader saysWhen I spoke at the Dade City meeting of the Pasco County Commissioners on my opposition to the Ridge Road Extension, three of them responded, but only when my three minutes of free speech expired, and I could sa...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Monday’s letters: Term limits don’t work

U.S. Senate campaignTerm limitsdon’t workGov. Rick Scott has begun his run for the U.S. Senate with TV ads promoting term limits for representatives and senators. Aside from the probability that this would require a constitutional amendment, I think ...
Published: 04/22/18
Updated: 04/23/18

Sunday’s letters: Problems with high-speed rail

Thanks, Gov. Scott, for ghastly I-4 drives | April 18, Sue Carlton columnProblems with high-speed railIn her Wednesday column, the writer bemoaned the traffic on I-4 and blasted Gov. Rick Scott for turning down free government money for a high-sp...
Published: 04/21/18

Tuesday’s letters: Student journalists push to save their newsrooms and independence

Save student newsroomsAs professional newsrooms shrink, student newsrooms have become an increasingly important source of local coverage, holding not only our universities accountable but also local government. We write these articles, attending meet...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Saturday’s letters: Don’t weaken rules on fisheries

Florida fisheriesDon’t weaken rules on fish stocksMembers of Congress are proposing changes to an important ocean law, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, that would adversely affect coastal states including Florida.Since it...
Published: 04/19/18
Updated: 04/20/18

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