Wednesday, March 21, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Monday's letters: Repeal of red-light cameras could cost lives

Red-light cameras a target yet again | Sept. 5

Dangerous plan could cost lives

State Sen. Jeff Brandes is proposing legislation that would repeal red-light cameras in Florida. My fiancee was killed four years ago by a red-light runner. Our families remain devastated.

There are only two reasons why red-light laws are violated. The first is a pure accident, a driver not paying attention. There is little we can do about that. People do make mistakes, but they should not get away with it. Red-light cameras catch those people who have merely made a mistake, and the resulting fine may ensure their full attention is on the road in the future. How is this a bad thing? How can it not raise awareness?

The other reason that red lights are run is that drivers feel they can "get away with it." No one knowingly runs a red light if a police officer is visible. The greater the prevalence and publicity given to red-light cameras, the greater the doubts in drivers' minds that they can get away with it.

Brandes said there is no clear-cut evidence that red-light cameras result in safer intersections. They have been around for about three years. Slowly, the driving public will accept the fact that if they run a red light by accident or on purpose, they will be caught. If one life is saved, it is worth it.

This legislation is a dangerous and irresponsible attempt to appeal to the no-tax crowd.

Michael Moore, Tampa

Red-light cameras a target yet again | Sept. 5

The cameras are working

What difference does it make if the camera vendor gets a cut, along with the municipality in which the offense takes place, of the $75 remaining after the state collects $83 for each ticket issued? The point is the cameras have reduced the number of red-light runners if the declining numbers of citations per camera is any indication.

Obviously state Sen. Jeff Brandes has not had the pleasure of being broadsided by someone in too big a hurry to wait out a red light. My own experience came in 2005, but more recently a young acquaintance of mine was sent to the hospital for the first of what will be multiple surgeries to repair a shattered ankle. Needless to say he now has no car (it was totaled) and he can't work to replace it. When he can work, paying his hospital bills will take priority since the scofflaw who hit him was "underinsured."

Sally Martin, Tampa

The 'war weary' myth | Sept. 5, commentary

Sacrifices aren't shared

Robert Samuelson is correct: Few alive today understand the meaning of the sacrifice of war. I was a young child during World War II and remember the sound of sirens signaling an air-raid drill. All lights in every home and all streetlights were extinguished. Spotlights crisscrossed the skies looking for possible enemy aircraft.

Everything was rationed. Gasoline, rubber tires, sugar, coffee and many other household products could only be purchased using ration coupons. Kids in school purchased war stamps, adults purchased war bonds, all to help fund the war effort. Every home had a "Victory Garden" so farm products were more available for the military.

No one — man, woman, or child — was not personally involved and impacted by the war effort. Living through this war, I truly know personal sacrifice during wartime. The vast majority of our population have no understanding of wartime sacrifice. If they did, most support for any military action would quickly disappear.

Jay Hall, Tampa

A welcome no-show and A rising flood of insurance price hikes Sept. 5

Stormy finances

I find a bit of irony when you compare two articles in the Times.

On the one hand you have "A welcome no-show," which states that for only the sixth time in the last 63 years not a single hurricane has formed in the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea or Gulf of Mexico so far this storm season.

And (sadly) on the other hand you have "A rising flood of insurance price hikes." How ironic that one article stresses the good news about the lack of bad weather and flooding and the other how flood insurance rates might more than double in our area in the near future.

What's wrong with this picture?

Brett Hayman, St. Petersburg

A rising flood of insurance price hikes Sept. 5, John Romano column

Rates reflect risks

John Romano's well-written article on flood insurance price hikes left out one key point. The raising of flood insurance rates is critical to the sustainability of flood insurance. The rates are being raised to reflect the true flood risk and stabilize the program.

Unfortunately, this does mean that some rates will rise, but it also means that some rates will not. This action means that consumers who have been subsidized through the years with artificially low rates will be faced with hard decisions.

These include evaluating if the cost of living in a home that has a high risk of flooding is worth the additional premium increase. Take the emotion out of the discussion and you have a simple exercise in risk/benefit analysis that all homeowners should engage in.

I do not believe that others should subsidize decisions by homeowners to own homes that they cannot afford. The plain fact is that if you have a home on the water or a home in an area that is prone to flooding, then you are at risk and must decide if that risk is worth the extra cost or not.

Pat Allen, Trinity

Scott vows help for springs | Sept. 5

Make mess, clean up, repeat

If there is a dominant theme to Rick Scott's pre-election actions, it is cleaning up messes which he, himself, created.

He decimated our voting laws, partially restored them, and claims an achievement. He slashed schools' budgets, partially restored them, and claims an achievement.

And now, after allowing his own environmental protection folks to increase Mosaic's use of water to dilute pollution — damaging the springs by water overuse and heightened phosphates — he throws a bit of money at the problem and expects us to believe that he's "fixed it."

Stephen Phillips, St. Petersburg


Thursday’s letters: School safety requires funding

Constitution Revision CommissionSchool safety requires fundingThe Constitution Revision Commission should consider amending a proposal (45, 93 or 72) to allocate the necessary recurring funding for the new school safety mandates, separate from the ba...
Updated: 4 hours ago

Wednesday’s letters: Let the teachers decide on guns

Trump touts arming staff as key in plan for school security | March 12It’s the teacher’s call on weaponsPlease, let’s try an alternate view about guns in the classroom. First, it hasn’t gone unnoticed that the preponderance of letters about guns ...
Published: 03/20/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for March 23

Re: Residents object to solar farm | March 16, storyLakeland Electric has shown that residential customers can be incentivized to allow placement of utility-owned solar panels on their roofs. Likewise, business owners can be incentivized to allow...
Published: 03/19/18

Tuesday’s letters: It shouldn’t be this hard to fly

Tampa International AirportIt shouldn’t be this hard to flyI’ve given the train two tries now from economy parking at Tampa airport. It’s a lot of work. How silly to go down one bank of elevators, then take a good walk to the next set of elevators to...
Published: 03/19/18

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