Sunday, March 18, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Monday's letters: PTC puts safety, fair pricing first

A better way to regulate county's cabs | Nov. 16, editorial

PTC puts safety, fair pricing first

In this editorial the Times endorsed legislation that would abolish the Hillsborough County Public Transportation Commission and remove taxicab and limousine regulation. Many Florida counties have no regulations to protect consumers from unscrupulous and unregulated drivers. These counties also have no way to protect the disadvantaged from high prices or to help small, independent taxi owners make a decent living.

County-run regulation would be a mistake because it would lead to higher costs and greater bureaucracy. The PTC is currently funded with fees paid by the industry. It also enables uniform regulation across the county and its cities. Most importantly, the PTC is run by a board made up of elected officials instead of appointees or civil servants. Elected officials are accountable directly to the people they serve — the voters in the community.

The truth is that proposals to do away with regulation are happening in every major city in the country. The reason is that a few application service providers are funding lobbyists and public relations people in those cities to push to remove regulation. The controversy is being funded by companies that are not in favor of being required to have licensed drivers, insurance, safety inspections and fair pricing.

Instead of harming the consumer and the independent taxi owners who are struggling in this economy to make ends meet, the Times should be asking why these new entrants don't want to play by the rules. Why do these companies want to put the public at risk just to increase their market share or stock value? Isn't the safety and security of the public more important?

Fassil Gabremariam, chairman, Tampa Bay Taxicab & Limousine Coalition, Tampa

Retail project facing a fight Nov. 21

Fighting the developers

What does it say about the Hillsborough County commissioners that yet another group of east Hillsborough taxpayers has to resort to filing a lawsuit to protect our neighborhoods?

Is this government of, for and by the people or government of, for and by the developers?

Theresa Cecchini, Valrico

Tampa parks

Parks are a pleasure

I frequent two Tampa city parks on an almost daily basis: Gadsden Park near MacDill Air Force Base and Picnic Island Park. I walk my dog and get to see almost all of the parks when I am there.

I want to commend the hard work of Tampa parks and recreation employees and the contractors the city uses to keep these parks in such great condition. The grass is mowed, sidewalks edged, the trash is picked up, the restrooms and the pavilions are always clean.

Each park has a dog park, and these too are always clean; even the dispensers for picking up after your dogs are always filled. Keep up the great work.

David Riling, Tampa

Keep airplanes a phone-free zone Nov. 30, editorial

Just hang up and fly

Cellphones on planes is a recipe for disaster.

A few days ago I had to switch seats three times to avoid people screaming into their cellphones — and that was just in the lounge waiting to board the plane.

Douglas Lonnstrom, Palm Harbor

A shift in attitudes on marijuana Nov. 26, letter

Make your voice heard

This letter invites the question: What will it take to formalize the shift? Justice Louis Brandeis spoke approvingly of the "laboratory of the states" as the test bed for proposed changes in social policy. Florida has a chance to become one of those states, and Florida voters need not wait for their Legislature to wake up.

Florida's Constitution provides that Florida voters can make law themselves by citizens' initiative. The first step to do that is the petition, now on the street, to put the question of medical marijuana on the November ballot. The petition needs over 300,000 more Florida voters to sign it in the next few weeks just to put the question on the ballot. If it reaches the ballot, it likely will pass, given the recent shift in attitudes.

John G. Chase, Palm Harbor

Tighter ballot rules ordered | Nov. 26

Switch to mail ballots

Florida voting can be made more accommodating to the public by going entirely to mail-in ballots. Election supervisors can mail ballots according to the requirements of each election to their registered voters. This will eliminate the necessity of hiring election workers for each precinct and renting the space.

With the money saved, the return ballots can be sent in a prepaid envelope. This convenience will encourage more voting participation at less expense.

Dennis McDaniel, St. Petersburg

Solution seeking a problem

The proposed restriction on ballot dropoff sites operated by county elections offices is not necessary and will create a hardship for voters. The proposed limitation does not solve a problem, because there is no problem. All it does is to create an inconvenience for those of us who want to vote.

Roger Wilson, Seminole

Emotions swirl at FSU | Nov. 25

The wrong message

I was deeply disappointed by one segment of this article. The core issue is how law enforcement and the FSU administration responded to the alleged rape of a college student by a football player. Despite best efforts, sexual assault on campus is a troubling issue that persists.

What is never appropriate is the suggestion that a woman's attire can ever be used as an excuse that somehow she "asked for it."

Does this article's description — "milling by sororities, female students wore skirts, knee-high or ankle-length, Saran Wrap snug and slit down the sides, their belly buttons like peeking beacons" — contribute to a rational discussion of sexual assault, or does it serve to perpetuate the harmful stereotype that provocative female attire can provide a justification for sexual assault?

Stephen Thompson, Hernando Beach


Monday’s letters: Protect Floridians’ right to privacy

People push for changes at Constitution hearing | March 14Protect Florida’s right to privacyI attended the Constitution Revision Commission’s public hearing at USF St. Petersburg last week. I was there because I thought it was important to have m...
Published: 03/18/18

Sunday’s letters: Effort to stem pet cruelty pays off

Puppy millsEffort to stem cruelty pays offThank you to everyone who contacted their legislators, and a huge shout-out to the Tampa Bay Times for letting us know that state legislators were considering a bill to eliminate the hard-achieved gains on lo...
Published: 03/17/18

Saturday’s letters: Insurer focused on repairs, not fees

Citizens hit with $12.7M verdict | March 15Insurer’s focus: repairs, not feesCitizens Property Insurance Corp. has spent the past several years making sure that insurance proceeds for sinkhole repairs are used to restore a home and make it whole....
Published: 03/16/18

Friday’s letters: Put young people to work rebuilding infrastructure

Smart way to pay for infrastructure | March 13, commentaryMake rebuilding a youth project Raising gas taxes to pay for infrastructure may not be the best way to go. I suggest we re-invent the old WPA (Works Progress Administration) and draft high...
Published: 03/13/18
Updated: 03/15/18

Thursday’s letters: An alternative for giving: Breadcoin

Panhandling paradox | March 11Innovation in giving: BreadcoinPanhandling is destructive to the donor, panhandler and our community — a guilt trip that erodes personal dignity, respect and self-worth, making the recipient more beholden and entitle...
Published: 03/13/18
Updated: 03/14/18
Wednesday’s letters: Daylight bill is bad for business

Wednesday’s letters: Daylight bill is bad for business

Daylight saving timeDaylight bill is bad for businessI encourage Gov. Rick Scott to veto the daylight saving time extension bill. It makes no sense. It puts Florida out of sync with the rest of the country. Commerce will be affected. The entire Easte...
Published: 03/13/18

Pasco Letter to the Editor for March 16

Re: Pasco to test roadside recycling | March 9 column Pasco County (and its residents) have financial incentives to recycle, but the participation rate is low. Clearly, Pasco County either needs to make recycling mandatory — by making residents r...
Published: 03/13/18
Tuesday’s letters: Billionaire’s personal agenda

Tuesday’s letters: Billionaire’s personal agenda

Billionaire targeting young voters | March 7Using youths in personal agendaIs anyone surprised that Tom Steyer is using his extreme wealth to support his personal agenda and the liberal agenda of the Democratic Party? His real motive, hidden in h...
Published: 03/12/18
Updated: 03/13/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for March 16

Re: Pasco to test roadside recycling | March 9 columnOur community, Briar Patch, in New Port Richey has really gotten on board with the recycling program. Many homeowners diligently separate garbage from recycling material and place it curbside f...
Published: 03/12/18

Thursday’s letters: Gun limits, maybe; confiscation, never

Gun controlLimits, possibly; seizures, neverThe antigun left-leaning media constantly refers to the "gun lobby" and the National Rifle Association when trying to ban and even take guns away from legitimate owners. They blame organizations for the act...
Published: 03/07/18