Monday, March 19, 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


Pasco Letters to the Editor for March 23

Re: Residents object to solar farm | March 16, storyLakeland Electric has shown that residential customers can be incentivized to allow placement of utility-owned solar panels on their roofs. Likewise, business owners can be incentivized to allow...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Tuesday’s letters: It shouldn’t be this hard to fly

Tampa International AirportIt shouldn’t be this hard to flyI’ve given the train two tries now from economy parking at Tampa airport. It’s a lot of work. How silly to go down one bank of elevators, then take a good walk to the next set of elevators to...
Updated: 4 hours ago

Monday’s letters: Protect Floridians’ right to privacy

People push for changes at Constitution hearing | March 14Protect Florida’s right to privacyI attended the Constitution Revision Commission’s public hearing at USF St. Petersburg last week. I was there because I thought it was important to have m...
Published: 03/18/18

Sunday’s letters: Effort to stem pet cruelty pays off

Puppy millsEffort to stem cruelty pays offThank you to everyone who contacted their legislators, and a huge shout-out to the Tampa Bay Times for letting us know that state legislators were considering a bill to eliminate the hard-achieved gains on lo...
Published: 03/17/18

Saturday’s letters: Insurer focused on repairs, not fees

Citizens hit with $12.7M verdict | March 15Insurer’s focus: repairs, not feesCitizens Property Insurance Corp. has spent the past several years making sure that insurance proceeds for sinkhole repairs are used to restore a home and make it whole....
Published: 03/16/18

Friday’s letters: Put young people to work rebuilding infrastructure

Smart way to pay for infrastructure | March 13, commentaryMake rebuilding a youth project Raising gas taxes to pay for infrastructure may not be the best way to go. I suggest we re-invent the old WPA (Works Progress Administration) and draft high...
Published: 03/13/18
Updated: 03/15/18

Thursday’s letters: An alternative for giving: Breadcoin

Panhandling paradox | March 11Innovation in giving: BreadcoinPanhandling is destructive to the donor, panhandler and our community — a guilt trip that erodes personal dignity, respect and self-worth, making the recipient more beholden and entitle...
Published: 03/13/18
Updated: 03/14/18
Wednesday’s letters: Daylight bill is bad for business

Wednesday’s letters: Daylight bill is bad for business

Daylight saving timeDaylight bill is bad for businessI encourage Gov. Rick Scott to veto the daylight saving time extension bill. It makes no sense. It puts Florida out of sync with the rest of the country. Commerce will be affected. The entire Easte...
Published: 03/13/18

Pasco Letter to the Editor for March 16

Re: Pasco to test roadside recycling | March 9 column Pasco County (and its residents) have financial incentives to recycle, but the participation rate is low. Clearly, Pasco County either needs to make recycling mandatory — by making residents r...
Published: 03/13/18
Tuesday’s letters: Billionaire’s personal agenda

Tuesday’s letters: Billionaire’s personal agenda

Billionaire targeting young voters | March 7Using youths in personal agendaIs anyone surprised that Tom Steyer is using his extreme wealth to support his personal agenda and the liberal agenda of the Democratic Party? His real motive, hidden in h...
Published: 03/12/18
Updated: 03/13/18