Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Monday's letters: Daunting ID process should be easier

Prisoners released lacking even an ID | June 25, Steve Bousquet column

Daunting process should be easier

Steve Bousquet's column was spot on. A Florida identification card is critical to getting on with one's life once a prisoner is released. Without one, an individual's return to society is delayed or halted. It is frustrating at the least, and a confusing process of dealing with various state bureaucracies at the worst.

Thanks to Rep. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala, for realizing that this is one small way the state of Florida could ease the re-entry process and reduce recidivism. Please try again next year.

At Daystar Life Center Inc. in St. Petersburg, volunteers assist clients daily with obtaining Florida identification cards. The Daystar office has on file the steps involved for obtaining a birth certificate for every state and some cities and counties, depending on how that state requires that application for a birth certificate be made. Document requirements and fees for a birth certificate vary from about $10 to $30 depending on the state or issuing government.

The response time for each local government ranges from two weeks at best to three to six weeks for most. For individuals born in Florida, a birth certificate will usually come back in the mail within 10 days if the proper documentation and fees are submitted. Many governments have made the process more complicated and raised fees as the demand has increased.

The entire process is daunting on a good day with proper documentation and money. Without the proper requested documentation and fees for both the birth certificate and the Florida identification card, the process can drag on or be totally stymied.

There must be a better way that treats individuals with dignity and respect and yet protects the United States from terrorists and illegal immigrants.

Jane Trocheck Walker, executive director, Daystar Life Center, St. Petersburg

Deen denies racism | June 27

Apology doesn't ring true

I don't mean to be mean, but Paula Deen's apologies and her seeking the forgiveness of the public remind me of Bill Clinton-speak when he was denying his extramarital affairs.

I would also like to add that in all of my 80-plus years I have never heard the n-word spoken in my presence. Maybe I just have a better class of friends and acquaintances than Paula, or a better respect for humanity.

Mary Bernard, Oldsmar

Southern writers rebuff Deen | June 26

Practice forgiveness

I'm thoroughly upset with people who hold themselves "above" other Southerners. It seems that we have some heartless Southern cookbook authors who have done that to Paula Deen. We are all human, and God told us to forgive our fellow man and help him up if he falls, not to "stone" him. Well here we have three who have "kicked" instead of helping Paula up.

I collect cookbooks — in fact I have over 900, no two of a kind, and I read them like novels. I've always liked to cook; it brings me great joy to feed my friends and family. I believe in building people up, not treating them like they are beneath me.

Crystal Mackey, Dade City

Paula Deen, the deep-fried boor June 26, commentary

Hateful criticism

I'm surprised you printed this hateful criticism of Paula Deen.

Obviously, Frank Bruni dislikes everything about this lady. She admits she used the n-word many years ago, just like millions of other people. That's all in the past.

Why should we care? She doesn't use it now. Times change; people change. I wonder if there are very many people in the United States who can truthfully say they have never spoken that word either in jest or anger. They are not racist and neither is Paula Deen.

Jim Studdiford, St. Petersburg

Toward equality | June 27

The imperial court

The majority of voters in California voted to not recognize same-sex marriages with Proposition 8. Now the Supreme Court invalidates the voters' wishes. The court also invalidated a bill passed by the U.S. Congress and signed into law in 1996, the Defense of Marriage Act, which stated that marriage is between a man and a woman.

The top federal judges have abdicated their real duty to interpret law and have become dictators. Also, President Barack Obama did the same thing when he told the Justice Department over two years ago to stop defending DOMA. He had no right to do that; he took an oath to uphold and enforce the law.

America is on a slippery slope to doom just like the Roman Empire of centuries ago.

Walter Rinehart, Spring Hill


Protecting basic rights

Proabortion supporters' attempt to label prolife activists as "antichoice" would be laughable if it weren't so poignantly sad, given the irony of the immediate lack of choices that proabortion (or so-called "prochoice") proponents strive to deny.

For example, prolife proponents not only fight for adoption as a life-saving choice (which would still provide all of the mother's life's ambitions), but for the assurance that our most basic and fundamental civil rights, including "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" will be protected, even for our society's most vulnerable.

Nick Suszynski, Tampa

Obama pushes climate reform | June 26

Public must be educated

Anyone who says the climate is not becoming more violent in recent years is simply not attentive or in denial.

The coal and oil industries have for decades been subsidized to keep their prices low. At the same time they have passed on to consumers the extremely large, indirect costs of polluting the environment. Wind and solar look more expensive to pursue, but they do not inflict indirect costs onto the consumer by polluting their environment.

Education, not lobbyist-driven smear propaganda, is needed by the consumer and voter to understand fully this very important dynamic.

Jim Demmy, Kenneth City


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 ...
Updated: 3 hours ago

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

Hernando Letters to the Editor for June 15

Opinion: Commissioners arrogant and incompetentMy wife and I live in Hernando County. As such, we are represented by a Board of County Commissioners where all the members manifest two common traits. Those traits are arrogance and incompetence.The arr...
Published: 06/11/18
Updated: 06/12/18