Friday, November 17, 2017
Letters To The Editor

Laws that limit churches' charity are heartless


Re: Soup kitchen's food could go elsewhere | story, April 28, and Soup kitchen backers riled | May 2

Laws limiting charity heartless

Let's encourage churches to help the homeless, rather than thwart their desire to be charitable. The whole idea presented by the homeless consultant hired by the city of Clearwater, Robert Marbut, seems heartless to me — stop churches from feeding not just the homeless, but hungry families!

I think laws that prevent churches from helping further should be re-examined. Do you know that churches are not allowed to let the homeless take showers on church property? Being able to get clean is very important for job interviews. Churches can't let the homeless sleep on their property either, unless the temperature is below 40 degrees.

Talk to some homeless people. You'll find that most want to work. What programs do we have to encourage businesses to hire the homeless? What are we doing to encourage industries to come to this area to hire and train the homeless?

What about converting hard-to-sell properties, especially large ones, into work exchange shelters that move the homeless toward production and independence? These properties often need painting, repairs, etc.

Charity is a big part of the Jewish and Christian religions. Jesus was, after all, homeless. Helping is not only basic to these religions, it is basic to mankind. Mr. Marbut, have you ever heard the expression, "But for the grace of God, go I?"

Elyse Van Breemen, Clearwater

Re: Dunedin bans ads on bus shelters | story, May 4

Kudos, now keep trail ad-free, too

Congratulations to Dunedin for banning ads on bus shelters. There is too much visual clutter around us.

Recently, the Tampa Bay Times ran an article about the possibility of putting "tasteful" ads on the Pinellas Trail. There are few places where a person can walk or bike and feel like they are in a refuge from the assault of commercial intrusion. Please keep the trail commercial free. No ads, please.

John Wynne, Dunedin

Re: Dunedin bans ads on bus shelters | story, May 4

Partnerships benefit riders

We seem to have a discrepancy between the city manager (whom we hired) saying more shelter advertising "moves us in a bad direction," and the elected city mayor, who says the advertising has "real value to people."

The fact is these (advertising) partnerships are a win-win-win for the taxpayer, riders and company. Without these partnerships, those bus shelters would have never been built.

Sunshine is great for tourism, but not when you have to hide in the shade of a telephone pole waiting for the next bus. Think about that the next time you drive by with your AC on.

Christopher Pettet, Dunedin

Re: Dispute in the Sand Key Civic Association

Board's purpose: to protect, defend

Being referred to as one of "the gang of five" does not accurately reflect my passion for this island.

Over the past four years, the island has dealt with many challenges concerning development, redevelopment and beach renourishment. Unfortunately, even though the Sand Key Civic Association provided in some instances "seed money" to protect the island, what it did not provide was the leadership required for the island and the total amount of resources needed to meet those challenges.

Consequently, the fate of Sand Key was left to those residents who were not leaders of SKCA.

When the zip line was first proposed, the benefits for the local hotels and tourists were touted. What should have been recognized and been the major concern was the quality of life of the residents who would be affected. The same holds true for the impact of the site of the Cabana Club restaurant and the potential redevelopment of the Shoppes on Sand Key.

Over the past couple of years, SKCA moved its focus toward social activities, which became the primary focus of the time and resources (including financial resources) of the board. While I agree it is important to build community, the purpose of SKCA since its founding in 1991 has been to preserve, protect and defend Sand Key.

I believed a refocus of the board was needed, and I decided to run for a seat on the board in 2011. As the result of the election process, the wheel of change rotated and the new majority of the Board of Directors — five directors — determined it should return SKCA to the original purpose stated in the founding documents: to protect, preserve and defend Sand Key. In order to do that, SKCA has been realigned with its purpose and the bylaws updated, with funds dedicated for preservation of the unique characteristics of Sand Key in place.

I hope in time, everyone recognizes the value of the efforts.

Doug Chandler, Clearwater

Ready to roll out the white sand | May 6

RNC is a gamble with the weather

Tampa Bay has a reputation for steering clear of gambling, yet it is playing for the highest stakes imaginable by staging the Republican National Convention on the three or four days in the year when the Tampa Bay area has experienced some of the worst weather of the season. Google Tampa Bay hurricanes and you will see that Aug. 23-30 is one of the most likely windows for a blowout!

End of August is not a good time for a several-thousand-person conga line along Clearwater Beach. Best to keep your moneybags weighted and your ID around your neck.

Elin Toona Gottschalk, Palm Harbor


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Updated: 7 hours ago

Saturday’s letters: Reservoir project off to a good start

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Updated: 9 hours ago

Sunday’s letters: Roundabout way to help the rich

Senate GOP’s tax plan to kill ACA mandate | Nov. 15Devious way to hurt middle classSo, let’s see if we have this straight. The proposed amendment to the Senate tax plan, to kill the individual mandate, will cause young people to not buy health in...
Updated: 9 hours ago

Friday’s letters: Stop laying blame on teachers

Hillsborough teachers are set to protest | Nov. 14Stop laying blame on teachersI am a veteran teacher, coming up on 30 years of service to public education. My mother was also an educator, clocking over 40 years of service in public education. Sh...
Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/16/17

Pasco Letters to the Editor for Nov. 17

Questioning fees draws snarky responseYou are probably aware of the new Pasco utility fees that became effective last month.Under the dubious title of "convenience fee" for making utility payments by credit card or e-check, Pasco Utilities adds $2.75...
Published: 11/15/17

Wednesday’s letters: Generosity makes all the difference

National Adoption MonthThe difference generosity makesAs a football coach, I always had to be ready to overcome unexpected challenges. With injuries, crowd noise and especially weather, the game plan is always adjusting to overcome adversity.Our stat...
Published: 11/13/17
Updated: 11/14/17

Monday’s letters: Moore is not fit for public office

Woman: Candidate pursued her as a teen | Nov. 10Moore is not fit for public officeIt is sad that Roy Moore, a self-professed religious man, is running for a Senate seat when he is clearly unfit for any job involving the public for so many reasons...
Published: 11/10/17
Updated: 11/13/17

Monday’s letters: Don’t fall for the tax cut ruse

Tax billDon’t take your eye off the ballThe rush is on. The Republican Congress is rushing to pass a modest tax cut for the middle class while giving corporations a massive tax cut. While taking away some of the tax deductions from ordinary taxpayers...
Published: 11/10/17

Sunday’s letters: End greyhound racing in Florida

Tom Lee wants to phase out greyhound racing | Nov. 8Put a stop to this cruel industryKudos to Sen. Tom Lee for shepherding a constitutional amendment to end greyhound racing in Florida. Greyhounds forced to race live in misery and frequently die ...
Published: 11/09/17
Updated: 11/10/17

Friday’s letters: Hillsborough school making strong progress

Hillsborough school district in financial, leadership crisis | Nov. 5, editorialSchool district’s achievementsWhile I respect the Times’ editors and acknowledge our district is facing financial challenges (facing them head-on, in fact), I feel it...
Published: 11/08/17
Updated: 11/09/17