A partisan Scott veto on licenses | June 6, editorial
Immigration system needs repair
I was appalled to hear of Gov. Rick Scott's veto of HB 235, a bill that would have allowed Dream Act residents to obtain a drivers' licenses. These young people were brought to this country before the age of 16, have no criminal record and have much to contribute to our great state.
Nearly 70 percent of Floridians support immigration reform, and this bill was approved overwhelmingly by the Legislature.
In the absence of a federal comprehensive immigration law, states like Arizona, Alabama and now Florida have dealt with immigration issues in ways that are often oppressive, restrictive and morally reprehensible. Now more than ever, the U.S. House and Senate have the obligation to pass comprehensive immigration reform and ensure that individual states cannot trample on the rights of the people.
I am urging Congress to work quickly and efficiently toward a solution for our broken immigration system. Scott has now made it crystal clear that many here in Florida can't afford to wait much longer.
Karen Coale, St. Petersburg
Simplify the tax code
Of late there have been numerous attacks on American businessmen and businesses by various politicians including the president over the issue of "tax loopholes."
It might be useful to remember that every single one of those "loopholes" is contained in that monstrous creature known as the U.S. Tax Code and each was put into place by our national politicians.
If the president and the other sanctimonious pontificators in D.C. are sincere, they could simply simplify the tax code, removing all those "loopholes" that offend them so.
Ray Kelly, Spring Hill
U.S. mines Internet data | June 7
Sheep and wolves
It was not so long ago that the apartheid government of South Africa sought to control its citizens through surveillance and FISA-style laws. The people of the United States marched against South African policies to help force change.
These are now the policies under which U.S. citizens live under. We should remember that a country of sheep breeds a government of wolves.
Mike Connell, Lutz
Recycling can't wait | June 6, editorial
It shouldn't be this hard
I don't know why this area has to make recycling so hard. My daughter lives in a town that has recycling bins in all the major grocery store parking lots. No one has to go out of their way to recycle. The streets are not clogged with lumbering trucks that pick up from only a few houses that subscribe to their services, burning lots of fuel in the process.
People who want to recycle shouldn't have the added expense of paying for a truck to come and pick it up or driving to a recycling center. The little town I moved here from in Wisconsin 15 years ago made recycling easy and fined people who put recyclables in the trash.
Lenore Atkinson, Largo
Fund cancer research
Pancreatic cancer remains one of the deadliest cancers, with a five-year survival rate of just 6 percent.
Thanks to the Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act, enacted in January, there is hope for those touched by this disease. I would like to thank Sens. Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio, and Tampa Bay area House members for supporting this legislation, which requires the National Cancer Institute to evaluate its current efforts in researching pancreatic cancer and focus on ways to improve outcomes for patients.
Due to sequestration, however, federal funding for medical and cancer research has been cut, and the progress we have made is now being threatened. Without adequate NCI funding, it will be difficult to leverage the opportunities that develop as a result of the passage of the Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act.
On June 18, I will be joining thousands of advocates across the country for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network's National Call-in to Congress to urge them to save medical research that saves lives. This disease has had a devastating impact on my life, but with Congress' help we will be able to develop the tools and treatments so desperately needed to give hope to future generations.
Cheryl Martin, St. Petersburg
Making Social Security numbers more secure | June 7, commentary
Congratulations to U.S. Reps. Dennis Ross and Kathy Castor for taking positive action to reduce identity theft. Their bipartisan introduction of the Safeguarding Social Security Numbers Act of 2013 demonstrates that when Democrats and Republicans work together, good legislation can be filed.
Identity theft is a serious problem in the Tampa Bay area, Florida and the entire nation. I hope this bill passes.
Tom Anderson, Dunedin
Key to tourism seen in logo | May 31
Messaging falls short
Changing the name from Tampa Bay & Co. to Visit Tampa Bay is on-message. It was a good move and long overdue.
On the other hand, the Unlock Tampa Bay creative approach appears to be preaching to the choir rather than demonstrating a more positive theme. I suggest that words like "explore," "future" and "historic" might be used instead.
In 35 years in the ad business, I learned that the path to designing a creative promotional strategy was actually quite simple: Communicate what you want your prospect to know, feel, believe and do. Unlock Tampa Bay falls short.
H.A. Smith, Palm Harbor