Wednesday, August 15, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Monday's letters: End the fixation on toll roads

The future of the Howard Frankland | July 18

End the fixation on toll roads

The Howard Frankland Bridge has two spans — a northbound span, opened in 1960, and a southbound span, opened in 1990. Each span has four lanes. A six-lane replacement span has been proposed for the 57-year-old northbound span.

So far, so good, right? Two more lanes to handle the traffic increases since 1990.

Well, there is a small problem. Department of Transportation planners cannot seem to stop fantasizing about toll revenues.

Their plan calls for two of the six lanes to be express toll lanes — one in each direction. How would you like to pay a toll only to find yourself hurtling along at 70 mph down a concrete tunnel slightly wider than your car, with other cars flashing by you going the other way at the same speed, only a few feet away? What happens when there is a breakdown in one of these narrow lanes? Can you imagine the backup? How many newborns will be named "Howard" after their birth in one of these backups?

The bigger problem, however, is that an unimpeded six-lane road is much more efficient than a four-lane road plus two one-lane roads. So, the current plan spends hundreds of millions of dollars and doesn't do much to improve congestion.

The DOT planners, in conjunction with budget planners, need to get off the toll idea. Roads should compete for funding out of normal tax revenue streams with any other need of the people. Roads are not a privilege, they are a right due to taxpayers.

Michael Hartman, Tampa

Elements of a long-term solution | July 19, letter

Follow other nations' lead

If more unfettered "free markets" will solve our health care crisis, I have two questions for the letter writer.

First, why do all other industrialized nations embrace single-payer health care, with per capita costs less than one-half that of the United States?

Second, why is the United States the only nation where its citizens must resort to bankruptcy courts to resolve excessive health care bills?

Government and "free markets" must work in partnership in order to "promote the general welfare," as proven by the experience of all industrialized nations except the United States.

Mike MacDonald, Clearwater

Putnam backs campus guns | July 19

No guns on campus

Here we go again: guns on college campuses. Adam Putnam wants them there; I don't. I teach on one. Ideally, college should be a place where ideas are shared and considered. Tempers have been known to rise when deeply felt beliefs are questioned, even challenged. That's okay. It's part of learning how to question both others and oneself, how to be not just critical but also self-critical, how to express oneself, and most importantly, how to listen. Some students prove better at this than others. Carrying a gun should not be a part of this process. Heated debates are fine, even necessary. Heated debaters with guns? Not so fine.

I recommend that Putnam get behind what a clear majority of Floridians want: background checks for all would-be gun owners. Many of us have become just plain tired of political decisions that profoundly affect our lives being dictated by Big Oil, Big Sugar, Big Pharma — and the NRA, which, in the case of guns on campus, should stand for Not Really Appropriate.

Richard Downing, Hudson


Thursday’s letters: Cigars are bad for your health

Tobacco rules don’t suit premium cigars | Editorial, Aug. 13Xyxyx xyxy xyxy xyxy xyxy xyxxxThe argument made in this editorial to exempt the premium cigar industry from FDA scrutiny is, in essence: They are not cheap, they are not fruit-flavored,...
Updated: 7 hours ago

Pasco Letters to the Editor for Aug. 17

Re: County authorizes takeover of SunWest Park | Aug. 10‘A poor idea from the startWith no fanfare whatsoever, we now have a new park that no one I know ever seems to use or even know where it is. If it is bringing hordes of tourists to our cou...
Published: 08/13/18

Tuesday’s letters: Habitat should help the poor, not hurt them

Habitat lender choice blasted | Aug. 12Help, don’t hurt, poorAs a Habitat for Humanity admirer, donor and volunteer, I was disappointed to read how Habitat for Humanity’s Hillsborough County affiliate reportedly stumbled in delivering its mission...
Published: 08/10/18
Updated: 08/13/18

Monday’s letters: A gun or a vote: danger is relative

‘I went off the deep end’ | Aug. 10A gun or a vote: danger is relativeAt the demonstrable risk of having someone lose his fragile temper, grab his guns, storm out his door and speed to my home to shoot me for saying so (and why NOT, Florida Legis...
Published: 08/10/18

Sunday’s letters: July’s letter of the month is ‘Time for more civil debate.’

July letter of the monthTime for more civil debate"Politics" is an activity which involves power and control, arriving at decisions based on differing interests. Normally, leaders weigh the needs of the individual with the abilities of the country. C...
Published: 08/09/18
Updated: 08/10/18

Saturday’s letters: A team effort made USF preeminent

USF and preeminenceA team effort vaulted USF The University of South Florida’s designation as a preeminent state research university is a prestigious accomplishment and a tribute to the hard work of faculty, staff and students and USF System Presiden...
Published: 08/09/18
Updated: 08/10/18

Friday’s letters: Don’t let pollution be our legacy

Algae blooms amid cuts | Aug. 8Brown can’t be the new greenThis headline should have said "Republicans continue to pave their way across Florida, pollute the water supply and destroy animals and their habitat." The Republicans have controlled Tal...
Published: 08/07/18
Updated: 08/09/18

Wednesday’s letters: Girl’s drowning death is one of two tragedies

Mother: Dead girl now ‘pure’ | Aug. 7Two tragediesThis is another tragedy of a parent who became overwhelmed by the responsibility of caring for an autistic child. But an equally bad sequence of events is likely to happen in the days and months t...
Published: 08/06/18
Updated: 08/07/18

Hernando Letters to the Editor for Aug. 10

Jacqueline Road being misusedI have issued complaints to the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office, traffic division and also a letter to the sheriff and have had very little positive response.We have an issue on Jacqueline Road with speeding vehicles and...
Published: 08/06/18

Monday’s letters: Enough with praise for Pier sculpture

Aerial art to billow at Pier | Aug. 3Pier art: boon or boondoggle?Well, finally! The Janet Echelman sculpture project has been approved. The dust has settled and now, at the cost of $2.8 million an over-priced, glorified flag will be flapping ove...
Published: 08/03/18