Friday, January 19, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Monday's letters: Discouraging work isn't a plus

Optimistic report on Obamacare | Feb. 6, editorial

Discouraging work isn't positive

It takes a lot of spin to make the loss of 2.5 million full-time equivalent workers into something positive. The positive, allegedly, is that people now have a choice of working fewer hours. Should the Affordable Care Act be about allowing or coercing people to work fewer hours?

The Times has also pointed out the perils of the widening wealth gap between the poor and the top 1 percent. Under the Affordable Care Act, if lower-income people are working fewer hours, they will have a smaller income. The wealthy will still be wealthy. How will this not widen the gap?

People should be encouraged to work as hard as they can and want to. The CBO report says that, even if I can, perhaps I won't want to since the added income will be offset by unsubsidized health care. How is it good to give people a disincentive to work as hard as they can?

David Hagan, Tampa

Obamacare's toll on jobs | Feb. 5

Emancipation of workers

This front-page article gives a narrow picture of what the real impact of Obamacare will be for workers and corporations going forward. The real story is that this is probably the largest emancipation act since 1863. The Congressional Budget Office report suggests the workforce will shrink by an equivalent of more than 2 million, but what is the CBO measuring? It is measuring the millions of people who will quit jobs or reduce working at jobs they hate, that suck the life out of them, that offer little in the realm of psychic value but that carry insurance. For decades employees have been enslaved by the need for insurance for themselves and families offered by companies. We all know someone who works at a job he or she hates but does it for the insurance it provides.

Now they are free — free to choose to labor at what they love, to be entrepreneurial, independent and creative. Employees have just gotten a major win in the battle for a workplace that serves the needs of employees as well as corporations. The option for people to get health care other than at work opens up a huge opportunity. These people are not necessarily gone from the workplace. They will probably be working even more hours but they will be doing something they love and that provides more than just a paycheck and insurance. It's a win-win.

Deborah Talbot, Tampa

Action, not excuses, on flood fix | Feb. 7, editorial

Fighting for a fix

I could not agree more with the headline of your editorial, but the content is, at best, misleading. The truth is simple: There have been no votes on flood insurance in the U.S. House of Representatives this past week. Therefore, unfortunately, no members of the delegation have had an opportunity to cast a vote in favor of reform. To say otherwise is to perpetuate a cheap political ploy designed to insert partisanship and politics into this important matter.

You are correct that Floridians deserve action, which is exactly why fixing the flood insurance problem has been my top priority. I have been working tirelessly to address the flood insurance crisis facing my constituents. I remain committed to finding a long-term solution, such as the one I proposed in my legislation, and I am supportive of all serious attempts to pass a short-term delay because my constituents deserve immediate relief. In addition to a legislative fix, I have held FEMA accountable for their poor implementation, bringing them to my district for a town hall meeting and following up with FEMA's actuarial staff to address rate calculation concerns.

My constituents cannot afford for Congress to kick the can down the road on this time-sensitive issue. Additionally, petty parliamentary gimmicks that only serve to generate distracting headlines instead of solutions are not helpful during this difficult time. My constituents deserve timely action and thoughtful attempts to solve this very real problem.

Based on my discussions with House leadership, I remain hopeful and confident that we will be able to solve this problem in a timely manner. My constituents can be assured that I will not rest until we do.

U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Palm Harbor

FEMA required to delay some flood rate hikes | Feb. 7

No relief in sight

So Congress delayed higher premiums until 2015, for temporary relief and to work on a more reasonable solution.

If you bought your home in October 2012, for example, this was before anyone knew about the Biggert-Waters Act. Neither Realtors, insurance agents nor mortgage brokers mentioned it when a home was purchased during this time period.

Yet the flood rates went from $900 to $9,000 and have already taken effect. They are not talking about "those" people. They don't count. It only works for people who bought their home more recently when they knew about the steep increase. They get the relief; we don't. Do they have any idea what they are doing up there?

Diana Legore, Treasure Island

Here's another slant on cursive writing Feb. 7, Daniel Ruth column

Never goes out of style

Being of the same vintage as Daniel Ruth, I agree with his support for the reintroduction of teaching cursive. Here are two more reasons.

People who become interested in their family history are now greatly aided by online sources of data. Nonetheless, many documents they look up online are public records of birth, death and military service which, up through the 1950s, were often handwritten by employees utilizing cursive.

Another area where knowledge of cursive will continue to be important lies with young folks who mature into authors of history or biography where much data comes from diaries, journals and preserved letters.

Where would Stephen Ambrose and others have been were it not for such items as the letters between Adams and Jefferson and/or letters from husbands and sons writing loved ones at home during times of war?

Thomas F. Fredrick, Port Richey

Share your opinions

Letters for publication should be addressed to Letters to the Editor, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731. They can be sent by fax to (727) 893-8675 or through our website at: They should be brief and must include the writer's name, address and phone number.


Saturday’s letters: It’s not the word, it’s the racism

Presidential precedent | Jan. 14It’s not the word; it’s the racismThe Times went in the wrong direction and printed information that is rather useless. And that is strange. You usually get it right.I am talking about President Donald Trump’s prof...
Published: 01/19/18

Friday’s letters: Help for boaters against modern-day ‘pirates’

Marine towing and salvageHelp against modern-day piracyAs an avid recreational boat owner and sixth-generation Floridian, I know there’s no better way to enjoy our state’s spectacular waters than taking your boat out. Unfortunately, the fun of boatin...
Published: 01/17/18
Updated: 01/18/18

Thursday’s letters: All Americans need health care

Doctor: Trump got perfect score on cognitive test | Jan. 17All Americans need health carePresident Donald Trump’s extensive health exam has apparently declared him physically fit for office. As I was reading about the battery of tests he received...
Published: 01/17/18

Wednesday’s letters: St. Petersburg’s culture, vibrancy impresses

St. PetersburgImpressive culture and vibrancyI recently visited Tampa Bay and celebrated New Year’s weekend in downtown St. Petersburg. I was awestruck by what I encountered and experienced. It has been several years since I last visited, and the tra...
Published: 01/16/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for Jan. 19

Re: Walking leads to shocking catalogue of trash | Jan. 12 column Bring back anti-littering campaignJust came back from the beautiful, clean city of Singapore, where there is a $1,000 fine, plus community service for littering. I think a presiden...
Published: 01/16/18
Tuesday’s letters: Trump’s accomplishments unheralded

Tuesday’s letters: Trump’s accomplishments unheralded

President Donald TrumpAchievements go unrecognizedAre Americans even aware that our economy is healthier and growing much faster, that ISIS has been defeated and lost their territory, that China and other countries are buying more American goods and ...
Published: 01/16/18

Monday’s letters: Don’t be fooled by drilling turnaround

Deal blocks drilling off Fla. | Jan. 10Don’t be fooled by turnaroundWhile I am very grateful that Florida has been taken off the table regarding offshore oil drilling, it is clear this is a political move to champion Gov. Rick Scott as he conside...
Published: 01/14/18

Sunday’s letters: Left wing late to the #MeToo cause

#MeTooDemocrats come late to the causeThe Times devoted an entire page to the #MeToo issues on Sunday. The ironies here for longtime observers are nearly boundless. Twenty years ago, folks like myself were called "prudes" and worse because we found P...
Published: 01/13/18

Saturday’s letters: A wall of towers isn’t progress

Skyline takes shape | Jan. 7A wall of towers isn’t progressFirst of all, once the 17 projects currently under way are completed, there will be no "skyline." There will be a wall of buildings blotting out the sun and sky. St. Petersburg has become...
Published: 01/12/18

Friday’s letters:

Gang raped at 17. Getting help at 65 | Jan. 7Help available for assault victimsEach sexual assault survivor has a unique story to tell, and Evelyn Robinson’s experience illustrates many of the emotions, and society stigmas, faced by survivors.Sex...
Published: 01/09/18
Updated: 01/11/18