Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Monday's letters: Biden called out inconsistencies

No holding back for Biden, Ryan | Oct. 12

Biden called out inconsistencies

In the first presidential debate, President Barack Obama was concerned with giving clear answers to the questions asked and not appearing too negative toward his opponent. Consequently, he failed to press Mitt Romney about the obvious contradictions in his positions.

On Thursday, Vice President Joe Biden did not fall into those traps. He consistently called our attention to the inconsistencies in his opponent's positions. To start with, it is clear that you cannot reduce tax rates across the board, give tax cuts to small businesses reporting as individuals, refuse any tax cut that will increase the deficit, and not increase taxes on the middle class. It is also apparent that proposing to eliminate deductions without specifying which ones are targeted is just political smoke and mirrors.

Rep. Paul Ryan, in contrast, spent his time accusing the current administration of mishandling domestic, fiscal and foreign policy, without specifying what a Romney administration would do differently. This is characteristic of their "Etch A Sketch" strategy. By trying to hide or change the positions Romney spent the past year defining, they hope to solicit votes without actually committing to any course of policy.

Gregg Niemi, Tampa

No holding back for Biden, Ryan | Oct. 12

Not a draw — a drubbing

I wonder if Times reporter Alex Leary and I were watching the same vice presidential debate. Leary referred to the showdown as a "draw" between Joe Biden and Paul Ryan, but it was clear to me that a masterful Biden soundly secured victory over his arrogant, junior colleague.

Rather than a draw, I think most viewers would agree it was a drubbing.

Jon Paul S. Brooker, Gulfport

Rude and condescending

Joe Biden looked like and more importantly acted like an old man treading water and gasping for air. After four years as vice president and a career in the Senate, he looked nothing like "presidential." His lack of facts was only exceeded by his rudeness and condescending demeanor.

John Osterweil, Tampa

No record to run on

The Times didn't go far enough when it described Vice President Joe Biden as snarky during the debate. He was also arrogant, rude and condescending towards Congressman Ryan. This is no surprise since it's also how his administration treats the American people and, more importantly, the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

To paraphrase President Barack Obama in his 2008 speech, when your record stinks, you attack. If the enemies of the United States were treated with the same vigor we would be much safer today.

Richard Golden, San Antonio

Vote yes on Pinellas school levy Oct. 12, editorial

Music in the schools

As a music educator, I am writing to thank our community for approving the Pinellas County education referendum in 2004 and again in 2008.

This referendum has provided important funds for music education in Pinellas County schools. I can't thank you enough for the music equipment, instruments and technology that have been purchased for students because of this additional funding.

It is exciting to see tangible, positive results every day from the referendum dollars. On Nov. 6, voters will once again get the opportunity to vote on this issue.

Music education is alive and well in Pinellas County schools because of you. Thank you.

Lisa M. Lehmann, president, Pinellas County Music Educators Association, Largo

Campaign 2012

Early voting warning

It will be too bad and too late for the thousands of voters who participate in "early voting," and consequently do not have the benefit of all of the facts needed to make an informed decision. We need to take into consideration the reality that very important information can and does come up during the debates or at the last minute.

MaryJane J. Dodds, St. Petersburg

Bite turned monkey from friend to foe Oct. 12

Leave animals alone

Regarding the woman who was bitten by the roaming monkey and the child recently bitten by a raccoon: What is it going to take to teach people not to encourage and feed a wild animal? People are just looking for trouble in thinking they can befriend a wild animal.

Elizabeth Bridwell, Hudson

Reality, a product of the vast left-wing conspiracy | Oct. 11, commentary

Give us the facts

Leonard Pitts' column brought to mind the dystopian novel 1984, which depicts a totalitarian society bent on total control of thought and facts. One of the most disturbing practices used to accomplish these goals in George Orwell's tale is the "Ministry of Truth," a government agency that alters historical records to fit the needs of the party in power.

The current penchant of our leaders to twist, alter and malign facts is a disturbing trend. Lies are the essence of a totalitarian society. The truth is the bane of a society that controls rather than represents its people.

This "War on Reality" may be one of the most important issues facing us today. Without facts, truth and honest discourse, democracy cannot exist.

Roz Fenton, Hudson


Wednesday’s letters: Charters and traditional public schools each have their place

Public school as public good | Letter, June 17Both kinds of schools can workAs a mother and grandmother of children raised in both traditional public and charter schools in Pinellas County (and a 25-year supporting-services employee for public sc...
Updated: 23 minutes ago

Tuesday’s letters: Keep programs that fight AIDS

For author Biden, it’s a father’s gift | June 6Keep programs that fight AIDSAfter former Vice President Joe Biden’s recent visit to St. Petersburg, I noticed an article that he co-wrote with former Sen. Bill Frist. It reminded everyone about the ...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/19/18

Is anyone watching the money?Hernando County’s budget shortfall is ever changing going from $6 million to $11.5 million to $14 million to what is assumed a final number of $12.6 million. Who knows the budget shortfall could change again.Who’s watchi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Re: County OKs solar zones | June 8Plea ignored at solar plant hearingThe Pasco County Commission on June 5 voted to identify a utility-sized solar electric plant as a "special exception" use on agricultural-zoned land in Pasco County. What thi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Monday’s letters: Skip those plastic bags and save the environment

To save our seas, overcome congressional apathy | Column, June 16Do your part and skip plastic bagsEvery day we read about the shame of our landfills and oceans filling up with plastic bags, yet most people don’t care. My wife and I always carry ...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

White House defends splitting up families as ‘biblical’ | June 15The suffering of the childrenI am a mother and attorney with more than 20 years of practice living in Tampa. For the past three years, I worked as a magistrate in a Unified Family C...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Saturday’s letters: Community-based care requires community involvement

Fix foster care, and do it quickly | Editorial, June 15Involve the community itselfWhile the detailed article about the scathing state review of Hillsborough County’s foster care problems touched on leadership, a critical point was not addressed....
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Friday’s letters: Freight trains are infrastructure that works in Tampa Bay

Railroads are infrastructure that worksFreight trains carry the loadCentral Florida is our state’s fastest-growing region. We’re on track to outpace South Florida’s growth 2-to-1 over the next several years. Great news for our local economy, but it n...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Thursday’s letters: Charter schools aren’t the enemy

Don’t plug your ears when schools ask for tax | May 20, columnCharter schools aren’t the enemyAs an educator, I am astounded when I hear claims from school board members that charter schools take away funding from the local public school system. ...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/14/18

Wednesday’s letters: Trump’s words insult our Canadian visitors

Trade disputes torpedo G-7 summit | June 10Canadian visitors are owed apologyLike many Pinellas County residents, I’m pleased that we receive thousands of Canadian "snow birds" as part-year residents. Not only do they enhance our economy, but by ...
Published: 06/11/18
Updated: 06/13/18