Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Letters To The Editor

Monday's letters: Bill supports childhood education

READ Act

Bill supports early learning

Just a few days after the inauguration, the House of Representatives passed the READ Act (HR 601) — legislation that has the potential to improve the lives of children around the world who don't have access to a quality education. ("Reinforcing Education Accountability in Development" is the new name for the reintroduced "Education for All" Act, which passed in the House last year but was blocked in the Senate).

The READ bill will strengthen the accountability and transparency of U.S. global basic education programs to ensure our investments are working, and improve education services for girls and for children affected by conflict or emergencies.

We can still make good things happen, even in the current deeply divided political climate — but the Senate needs to hear from us. I'm hoping others will join me in calling or writing to Florida Sens. Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson and asking that they support the READ Act. Let's affirm that, as Americans, we still care deeply about improving the lives of children.

Beatrice Boles, Coral Springs

Anger isn't persuasive | Jan. 26, letter

Optimistic march

Obviously, the letter writer was not at the Women's March in St. Petersburg. I was. I did not see anger or yelling, and everyone's opinion was welcomed. We even saw Trump supporters. I did see lots of singing, laughter and optimism. It was the most productive march I have attended.

We know democracy is messy and requires input from the people. Maybe, instead of judging, the writer should come out and see for herself.

Mary Sheppard, Riverview

Democracy in action

I am one of the 20,000-plus people who participated in the Women's March in St. Petersburg. Contrary to the letter writer, it was a joyous, empowering group whose most "militant scream" was "love trumps hate."

It was democracy in action.

Roberta Rhodes, St. Pete Beach

Rules on pot fall short | Jan. 27, editorial

Respect voters' wishes

Access to medical cannabis (marijuana) is very limited due to the number of certified physicians, cost, pharmacy access and the number of conditions treated. The Florida Board of Health and the Board of Medicine want to restrict access even further. The 71 percent of us who voted for Amendment 2 stated it very clearly: Physicians may recommend cannabis for conditions similar to the 10 diseases listed in the amendment if the benefits outweigh the risks.

The Department of Health's tentative rules say that only they determine similar conditions — not your treating physician. We must speak up and demand what our supermajority asked for.

Jim Funk, Gainesville

Everglades

Build a reservoir

Florida is known for its natural beauty. Unfortunately, its waterways have recently been known for something else — toxic blue-green algae.

Luckily, there is a solution to this crisis by way of building a water storage reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee. During the 2017 legislative session, lawmakers will have the chance to act on such an opportunity and help to stop Florida from becoming synonymous with closed beaches and water that is not safe for anyone to enter.

John Hand, Ruskin

Comments

Tuesday’s letters: Writer should look to his own mistakes

Is anyone ever wrong anymore? | Dec. 8Writer should look to own errorsIn Mitch Daniels’ article about people who have been wrong, he finishes with the statement that our lives would be greatly improved with more people saying, "I was wrong."He mi...
Published: 12/08/17
Updated: 12/11/17

Monday’s letters: Don’t drill in Arctic refuge

Arctic National Wildlife RefugeStop plan to drill for oil in refugeOur nation faces yet another effort to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge reserve to oil and gas drilling. Drilling in the Arctic simply doesn’t make sound financial sense. W...
Published: 12/08/17

Sunday’s letters: Tax bill puts U.S. on right course

The GOP’s regressive tax plans | Dec. 5, editorialTax bill puts U.S. on right courseThe Times is already crying wolf over the new tax cuts, claiming that the new laws "could" result an increase in the national debt of $1.5 trillion over the next ...
Published: 12/07/17

Saturday’s letters: Don’t inject political money into churches

Tax billKeep political cash out of pulpitA provision buried in the 429-page House tax bill, Section 5201, nullifies the Johnson Amendment, which protects houses of worship from partisan politics by prohibiting them from endorsing or opposing politica...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/07/17

Friday’s letters: Most unpopular tax bill ever

Tax bill clears Senate | Dec. 3The most unpopular tax bill ever"Democracy dies in darkness" is the motto of the Washington Post. At 2 a.m. on the dark morning of Sunday, Dec. 3, 51 Republicans approved the most wildly unpopular tax bill in U.S. h...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/07/17

Thursday’s letters: Give your child the gift of reading

Fatherhood Involvement in Literacy CampaignGive your child the gift of readingPart of a successful game plan in sports is identifying plays that can put points on the scoreboard. Whether I was playing quarterback at Florida State or running the point...
Published: 12/05/17
Updated: 12/06/17

Wednesday’s letters: Bill gives small businesses tax relief

Tax bill clears Senate | Dec. 3Small businesses get tax reliefThe Senate and House have now passed their respective tax bills. Once Congress sends a final package to the White House, President Donald Trump will deliver us the most powerful tax re...
Published: 12/04/17
Updated: 12/05/17

Tuesday’s letters: Transplant bill will help Medicare patients

November Letter of the MonthThe winning letter addressed the unresponsiveness of elected officials.Representatives aren’t listeningFor whom do our legislators work? I ask because my Florida senator doesn’t appear to work for me. I drove 27 miles on N...
Published: 12/04/17

Monday’s letters: A citizen’s heroic act

Suspect arrested | Nov. 29A courageous citizen’s actOn Nov. 28, a courageous act occurred in the Tampa Bay area. It was one that law enforcement professionals applaud and hope becomes more frequent. An ordinary citizen did the right thing and spo...
Published: 12/01/17

Saturday’s letters: Historic preservation process needs fixing

A preservation problem | Nov. 25, editorialApplication process needs fixingThere is a reason why smaller rather than larger groups of property owners are getting together to seek historic district designation: It is St. Petersburg’s application p...
Published: 11/30/17
Updated: 12/01/17