Saturday, May 26, 2018
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

Comments

Monday’s letters: NFL finally listens to its fans

NFL moves to endanthem protests | May 24NFL’s action comes too lateThe NFL owners are, after two years, finally growing some courage.Before these kneel-downs became the elephant in the room, team owners could have taken action to minimize the imp...
Published: 05/24/18
Updated: 05/25/18

Sunday’s letters: As Jews, we should not be afraid to criticize Israel

Published: 05/24/18
Updated: 05/25/18

Saturday’s letters: Bayshore fatalities didn’t have to happen

After two fatalities, speed limits cut | May 25Cameras needed on BayshoreOnce again, two pedestrians have died as the result of careless drivers who were speeding. Once again, the Times and other media outlets are filled with opinions about the c...
Published: 05/23/18
Updated: 05/25/18

Friday's letters: Thanks to jurors for fulfilling civic duty

May is Juror Appreciation Month Thanks, jurors, for your service Trial 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 litiga...
Published: 05/23/18
Updated: 05/25/18

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