Monday, April 23, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Monday's letters: New pier will draw buzz, visitors

Time for offense on pier project | May 18, editorial

New pier will draw buzz, visitors

Opponents of the new St. Petersburg pier will lose regardless the outcome of any potential vote in August. If the new pier is voted down, the "victory" will be hollow. The old pier will still be demolished, and St. Petersburg will be without a pier for many years.

The city would have to start over and ask for new designs, but from whom? What architectural firm is going to spend the time and money drawing preliminary plans only to have them voted down by yet another referendum? What guarantees are there that another design will not create controversy? No design is going to please everyone, so expect more opposition. Years will go by, and still no pier.

If the new pier is approved and opens on schedule in 2015, people will see for themselves what it has to offer, and many will remember the opposition's false claims and misinformation.

Opponents say the new pier looks strange and doesn't fit our city, but people will come from all over to see for themselves, and they will discover the many amenities the new pier will have. Love it or hate it, the unique design will create buzz and draw people to it.

Stephen Urgo, St. Petersburg

Will Weatherford says expanding Medicaid would 'drastically' expand country's deficit May 16, PolitiFact

Political calculation

The Times' PolitiFact failed to go far enough with its reasoning as to why state House Speaker Will Weatherford refused federal health care money. The answer is quite simple. The money was rejected by Florida and many other Republican-run states because, by and large, the people who would most benefit would be the same people who elected the president into office, twice. Why would Republicans want to help "those people"?

Brian Valsavage, St. Petersburg

Insurer gets $52M deal | May 23

Consumers left hanging

Why do our legislators and governor look out for insurance companies at the expense of the citizens they are supposed to represent? Heritage, a nine-month-old insurance company with many violations, is receiving up to $52 million to take over Citizens policies. Heritage has been a big contributor to the governor and the Republican Party.

As the article says, it will be sending as many as 60,000 "takeover" letters to Citizens policyholders to take their policy, and homeowners need to respond if they don't want that change. I have been through this twice already and will be looking in my mail for the latest so I can be sure they receive my denial of their coverage.

But what about our elderly who don't understand the letter they get or don't even open it because they think it's junk mail since they have no dealings with Heritage? This opt-out tactic is misleading and should not be something our elected officials condone. "Takeover" letters are just that: a takeover of our rights to choose and be informed.

Jo Anne Flynn, Masaryktown

Memorial Day

They are not forgotten

It seems like only yesterday, but I can vividly remember standing on the street corner in my hometown, Savannah, Ga., and watching the troops march down the main thoroughfare heading to ships that would eventually lead them to Korea. That was 1950 and I was eight years old. I also remember a few years later hearing my mother and father talk about all the boys who didn't come back.

Fast forward to the 1960s and '70s, and I remember so many of my good friends going off to fight in Vietnam and the many who didn't come back.

So it is on this Memorial Day and all such days to come that forever memorialized in my brain shall be the countless men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our freedoms.

John Osterweil, Tampa

States' teen birth rates fall sharply | May 23

Programs make difference

The Tampa Bay Times ran an article on May 23 about the falling teen birth rates, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The article said, "What's driving the declines? No one can say for sure."

I can. Programs like the ones offered by Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida, which advocate safe sex messages and sex education, are making the difference. Last year its education and training department reached more than 30,000 individuals, answering sensitive questions and providing comprehensive, scientifically accurate sexual health and prevention information.

Evidence-based programs that focus on the whole teen have proven to be most effective, like Planned Parenthood's Wyman Teen Outreach Program, which operates in Hillsborough, Pinellas and Polk counties. It addresses not only risky sexual behaviors but other behaviors such as violence and substance abuse. And Planned Parenthood's outreach education program, "Real Life-Real Talk," provides adolescents with human sexuality and life development education. Programs take place in public and private schools, youth-serving agencies, churches and Planned Parenthood offices.

Planned Parenthood believes that education and communication, along with the provision of high-quality, affordable sexual health care, equip people to make responsible decisions and lead fulfilling lives.

Nancy Natilson, board of directors, Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida, Tampa

A missed prom's teachable moments May 24, Sue Carlton column

Lessons in excess

The articles and columns on the River Ridge prom situation have been informative but have not addressed the problems that are more significant than the immaturity and overly rigid attitudes of the adult parties. It's not just this prom but most that have these issues.

First, why did a school in New Port Richey feel the need to hold a prom 50 miles away in Tampa? Are we to believe that there are no venues in that area that could host a meaningful and memorable event such as this?

Secondly, why were tickets $75? This is a large chunk of money for teens and seems excessive in this locale and economy. Can it be that the answer to this question can be found in the first question?

These are high school proms, not country club debutante balls. They are supposed to be for all students, not just the affluent ones. School boards need to make certain that they are.

Theressa Placke, Tampa


Pasco Letters to the Editor for April 27

Stop Ridge Road extension, reader saysWhen I spoke at the Dade City meeting of the Pasco County Commissioners on my opposition to the Ridge Road Extension, three of them responded, but only when my three minutes of free speech expired, and I could sa...
Updated: 6 hours ago

Monday’s letters: Term limits don’t work

U.S. Senate campaignTerm limitsdon’t workGov. Rick Scott has begun his run for the U.S. Senate with TV ads promoting term limits for representatives and senators. Aside from the probability that this would require a constitutional amendment, I think ...
Published: 04/22/18
Updated: 04/23/18

Sunday’s letters: Problems with high-speed rail

Thanks, Gov. Scott, for ghastly I-4 drives | April 18, Sue Carlton columnProblems with high-speed railIn her Wednesday column, the writer bemoaned the traffic on I-4 and blasted Gov. Rick Scott for turning down free government money for a high-sp...
Published: 04/21/18

Tuesday’s letters: Student journalists push to save their newsrooms and independence

Save student newsroomsAs professional newsrooms shrink, student newsrooms have become an increasingly important source of local coverage, holding not only our universities accountable but also local government. We write these articles, attending meet...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Saturday’s letters: Don’t weaken rules on fisheries

Florida fisheriesDon’t weaken rules on fish stocksMembers of Congress are proposing changes to an important ocean law, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, that would adversely affect coastal states including Florida.Since it...
Published: 04/19/18
Updated: 04/20/18

Friday’s letters: We owe it to our children to teach them history

If we don’t understand past, future looks grim | April 19, Daniel Ruth columnThe history we owe our childrenIt’s not often I agree with Daniel Ruth, but this article was spot-on. I’m not sure when the schools started ignoring Germany’s World War ...
Published: 04/19/18

Thursday’s letters: Gun research can save lives

Gun ownershipCommon ground: Find the factsThere are many areas in the current debate about guns and gun ownership where both sides must agree to disagree. But there is one area where common ground ought to exist. That concerns the need for continuing...
Published: 04/18/18

Wednesday’s letters:

Poverty and plenty in bay area | April 7, editorialStruggling poor are not a priorityI commend your newspaper for continuing to produce real and relevant news, particularly the recent editorial pointing out that a prospering Tampa Bay should not ...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18

Hernando Letters to the Editor for April 20

Bar Association celebrates Law WeekPresident Dwight D. Eisenhower proclaimed May 1, 1958, as the first Law Day to mark the nation’s commitment to the rule of law. Every year on this day, we reflect on the significance of the rule of law and rededicat...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18

Tuesday’s letters: Stop cooperating with ICE

Sheriff’s ICE policy blasted | April 10Pinellas should end partnership with ICEPinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri recently participated in a community conversation on his controversial agreement with ICE to voluntarily detain immigrants in the...
Published: 04/16/18