Saturday, December 16, 2017
Letters To The Editor

Monday's letters: Food insecurity is real threat in U.S.

Lunch denied to Mass. students | April 5

Threat of food insecurity

I read with dismay the recent article in the Tampa Bay Times about the nearly 25 students in a Massachusetts school who were denied lunch because their prepaid meal accounts were short of funds. Even more disconcerting is that some of the students were forced to dump their lunch in the garbage because they couldn't pay.

I have been doing research on food insecurity and hunger in the United States and abroad for nearly 20 years, and the problem has gotten worse, especially since the financial meltdown in 2008. The most recent data show that 14.9 percent of U.S. households (over 48 million people) are food insecure: they have limited access to adequate food because of a lack of resources such as money.

This number includes over 16 million children. There is overwhelming evidence showing hungry children are at heightened risk for doing poorly in school (as compared to children with adequate diets), and that depending on the timing of the hunger, their growth and cognitive development may be impaired.

In addition, there is some evidence that food insecure children who have an inadequate diet that is high in processed grains, fat and sugar are more likely to become obese and develop health problems as adults. Finally, there are also data showing that poor nutrition during early development might have adverse effects on the health of the children and grandchildren of these kids.

Unfortunately, because of its persistence, food insecurity often falls off the radar screen until reports like the case in Massachusetts are reported. The long-term implications of food insecurity and hunger are profound not only in terms of the health and well-being of individuals but also for a nation that needs to do a better job of educating and training its children for the high-skilled jobs of the 21st century and for living in an increasingly globalized and complex world.

Although dismaying, there was one bright spot in the article. Upon witnessing a child crying after being told to throw out her lunch, another student offered to share his lunch with her. As adults, we can learn a lot from the empathy and generosity of children.

David Himmelgreen, Tampa

Nelson flips on gay unions April 5

Nelson's change of heart welcome

John Romano's column Thursday stating that it was past time for Sen. Bill Nelson to support gay marriage prompted me to email the senator, urging his support. It must have generated a groundswell, because I see that Nelson has changed his position.

Nelson is a good man, but he needed a push to do the right thing. Thank you to John Romano for providing that push.

Linda Todd, St. Petersburg

On guns, uniting for a greater good | April 7, editorial

Fortify the schools

From what I have read, the shooter at Sandy Hook gained entry to the school by shooting out the glass in the locked school entry door. Once inside the school, there was no one to stop him.

Why not replace school entry and exit doors with the bulletproof material that is widely used in banks and convenience stores, and have an armed security guard at the school door? My bank has an armed security guard to protect our money; why can't we have an armed guard to protect our kids?

Terry Hobt, Tarpon Springs

Board approves $500,000 reward if Lopano stays at TIA April 5

This is just too much

I was thoroughly disgusted when I read the article on Tampa airport CEO Joe Lopano's huge salary of $350,000 a year plus $500,000 at the end of five years if he stays.

There is no individual worth that kind of money, especially because in one way or another it will be taken out of the hides of the people of Tampa Bay. It sickens me to think of the people out of work in the Tampa area who are living on handouts, feeling desperate because they can't find work.

Then I read that President Barack Obama is giving back 5 percent of his salary because of the sequester. Again, are we to feel thankful for his generosity when he won't even feel pinched because of this? To make this action palatable, I would suggest that all members of Congress also donate 5 percent of their salaries.

Kathleen Johnson, Wimauma

Walmart strains to stock groceries | April 5

Consumer action

The business section tells us that Walmart strains to stock groceries. Why? I don't need to guess. It's greed with a capital "G." Sales surge, customers flood the stores, and what does this company do? It cuts its workforce.

Are Walmart executives so blase as to think that the public doesn't mind bad quality and service just because of good prices? One would think that the business moguls of Walmart would know enough about their jobs to understand what it takes to have continued success.

I have been a faithful customer of some of their products, and have complained to managers about the dirty lettuce, spoiled fruit, soggy onions, poorly stocked shelves, etc. Treating customers with contempt seems to be their latest tactic. As customers, we can demand better, and it starts where we spend our money.

Lilyan V. Dayton, New Port Richey


Monday’s letters: Tax plan bad for the country

Trump, GOP make good on tax cuts Dec. 14Tax plan is bad for the countryUnless senators such as Susan Collins, R-Maine, and our own Marco Rubio develop some backbone, the Republican tax bill could well pass.The bill would inflict harm on the people wh...
Published: 12/15/17
Sunday’s letters: Rule of law at stake in Mueller inquiry

Sunday’s letters: Rule of law at stake in Mueller inquiry

Justice official parries attacks | Dec. 14Rule of law at stake in inquiryConservative media outlets and a number of Republicans in both chambers of Congress have launched an all-out assault on special counsel Robert Mueller and his team in an eff...
Published: 12/14/17
Updated: 12/15/17

Saturday’s letters: Project silent on rising sea levels

Published: 12/13/17
Updated: 12/15/17

Friday’s letters: Put yourself in a business owner’s shoes

GOP plan favors owners | Dec. 11Perils of small business ownersI wonder if the author of this article has even a clue about owning a business. Businessmen — especially small business owners — risk it all. They risk their savings, their car, their...
Published: 12/13/17
Updated: 12/14/17

Thursday’s letters: Trump’s values hardly admirable

Finally, a president who cares | Dec. 13, letterTrump’s values hardly admirableThe letter writer is happy to have someone in the White House who "truly cares about our country’s business" and is "unafraid … of mentioning God and religious values....
Published: 12/13/17

Wednesday’s letters: Proposal would restore Florida Forever funding

Florida ForeverPlan boosts land protectionMost of us thought funding for land conservation in Florida would be restored when we voted the Water and Land Conservation Amendment (Amendment 1) into law in 2014. It passed easily, with 75 percent of voter...
Published: 12/11/17
Updated: 12/12/17

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

Pasco letters to the editor for Dec. 15

Re: Helping Others Fulfills our purpose here on Earth | Nov. 17 guest columnThe good doctor acknowledges a CreatorThank you for publishing Dr. Rao Musunuru’s guest column. As Congressman Gus Bilirakis said in the Congressional Record, this good d...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/13/17