Friday, May 25, 2018
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


Friday's letters: Thanks to jurors for fulfilling civic duty

May is Juror Appreciation Month Thanks, jurors, for your service Trial by a jury of one’s peers is among the bedrock guarantees that make our representative democracy exceptional. Without it, the courtroom fates of defendants and civil litiga...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Thursday’s letters: Heated chemotherapy won’t treat most ovarian cancers

Heated chemotherapy has promising results | May 16Cancer treatment not a cure-all While we were pleased to see the story about ovarian cancer treatment, we are concerned that the article could mislead many patients. The treatment described has be...
Published: 05/22/18
Updated: 05/24/18

Wednesday’s letters: A princess gives us a lesson to live by

Royal treatment | May 21Princess offers advice for us allThe radiant and joyful Princess Anna Noela Lokolo of the Democratic Republic of Congo, recent Eckerd College graduate, has given us a huge gift in her parting words. "If people have a negat...
Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/23/18

Hernando Letters to the Editor for May 25

Re: Central High School bomb threat suspect to be tried as adult | May 4Angry mob rhetoric not helpfulWe have observed the public discourse surrounding the case of Mizella Robinson with increasing unease. A sampling of the more common sentiment...
Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/22/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for May 25

Re: Proposed TECO Solar Plant Opposed to the TECO solar plantAs a 21-year resident and property owner, I am writing in opposition to the proposed Tampa Electric Company solar plant in rural northeast Pasco County.The solar plant will be .2 miles from...
Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/22/18

Tuesday’s letters: If you don’t like the Electoral College, then amend the Constitution

The popular vote | May 20, letterIf you don’t like it, amend ConstitutionA recent letter supports the idea that a state should be able to change its Electoral College vote to match that of the national popular vote winner as opposed to the result...
Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/22/18

Monday’s letters: Focusing on the mental state of shooters misses the point

Texas high school shooting | May 18Criminals, angry people kill peopleSchool shootings are a distinctly American phenomenon. But shootings by people with serious mental illness represent less than 1 percent of all yearly gun-related homicides in ...
Published: 05/19/18
Updated: 05/21/18

Friday’s letters: Putnam and Publix, two P’s lose my nod

Publix pours cash to Putnam | May 17A pleasure to shop elsewhereMy family and I moved to Tampa in 1974, and have made Publix our favorite grocery store ever since. Forty-four years! That is why it makes me a little sad to have to say goodbye.Firs...
Published: 05/18/18

Saturday’s letters: For Florida to move forward, focus on a healthy and sustainable environment

Tampa’s future is bright | May 12Protect Florida, boost economyThis past year, Florida set another record-breaking year for tourism, welcoming more than 116 million visitors. While Florida boasts a unique quality of life and more than 1,300 miles...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/18/18

Sunday’s letters: What conservatives stand for

How can conservatism survive after Trump | May 13, Nickens columnhed#6324 I think it obvious that traditional conservatism was squeezed out of the 2016 campaign narrative and has become a niche thesis owned by a small group of intellectuals. A gr...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/18/18