Sunday, May 20, 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


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

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

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

Publix pours cash to Putnam | May 17 A pleasure to shop elsewhere My 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. F...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/18/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for May 18

Re: Pasco panel okays Tampa Electric solar farm after five-hour meeting | April 9 storySolar farm offers many positivesThere has been much publicity regarding the proposed TECO Mountain View solar project slated for 350 acres in East Pasco that was r...
Published: 05/14/18

Thursday’s letters: Florida has arguably become the autonomous vehicle capital of North America

Autonomous vehicles in FloridaThe state for self-driving carsAlmost overnight, Florida has arguably become the autonomous vehicle capital of North America. In the last three months, Voyage, a self-driving taxi service, has begun service in the Villag...
Published: 05/12/18
Updated: 05/17/18

Wednesday’s letters: Florida’s Community Health Centers save $1.78 for every dollar spent

Florida’s Community Health CentersHealth centers are a great dealIf you gave someone a dollar and they gave you back $1.78, wouldn’t you consider that a fantastic deal? That’s the deal Florida’s Community Health Centers provide for the state’s citize...
Published: 05/12/18
Updated: 05/16/18

Monday’s letters: Good ideas to fix schools still require enough money

Another plan for faltering schools | May 9The right ideas, cash still neededThe administration of the Hillsborough County School District should be applauded for persistent efforts to find the right formula to improve educational results of stude...
Published: 05/09/18
Updated: 05/14/18

Saturday’s letters: Short-sighted prison cuts hurt society

Call to rethink prison cuts | May 10Short-sighted prison cuts hurt societyThe Florida Department of Corrections is dismantling successful substance abuse and re-entry treatment programs to fix a $28 million shortfall. The short-sighted action wi...
Published: 05/09/18
Updated: 05/11/18