Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Monday's letters: Scott's hypocrisy on health jobs

Governor welcomes health care law's jobs | Sept. 19

Scott's hypocrisy on health jobs

It is unbelievable that Gov. Rick Scott is so pleased to announce health care jobs (and take credit for them) when he has done everything in his power to stymie successful implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

How can he possibly think that he has done anything to promote the presence of new health care employees when all his actions related to health insurance opportunities for Floridians have been so negative?

I also have to ask Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn: What exactly did Scott do that helped in the creation of these health care jobs? I'm glad for the jobs, no matter the field, but I find it difficult to deal with this hypocrisy.

Martha Hodge, Tampa

Where credit isn't due

That headline should have read: "Obama adds health jobs; Scott takes credit." Much of the slowly improving jobs situation here is due to federal stimulus and an improving national economy. Scott's austerity cuts and crony capitalism have only slowed the rebound and hurt Floridians.

William Adams, St. Petersburg

Missing in action | Sept. 19, editorial

We're minor-league market

I have never been as embarrassed to be a Rays fan as I was the other night when only 10,000 people showed up for one of the more important games of the year. My friends from around the country called to ask, "What's wrong with you guys?" and I gave them my usual answer: "Tampa Bay" has a good amount of core baseball fans who support the Rays, but beyond that core it is, basically, a minor-league baseball market.

Tampa Bay is football, football and more football. Any day of the week a football fanatic can tune in to see Unknown U take on Nowhere State. The buzz is all about the upcoming high school games and coverage of the college teams. The Rays are treated with "Oh by the way" status. Your publication is no different, with the Bucs score occupying a front-page headline and separate section on Monday, while the Rays are below the fold in the bottom corner.

And all the rhetoric and drum-beating for a new stadium will not change things no matter what side of the bay the stadium is on. Witness Miami and its $2 billion showpiece.

If I owned the Rays I would have had enough. Charlotte, San Antonio and Nashville would be good places to start a discussion, and by 2015 I would be there.

Larry Yurkonis, St. Petersburg

It's not Foster's fault

Your editorial seems to imply that the attendance problem at Tropicana Field is somehow the fault of St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster. You seem to be implying that a new stadium is the answer. Well, just look at what happened to the Marlins: a new stadium and still empty seats.

Let me give you a clue to some other problems: the high cost of everything you want to buy, spending three hours or more beside some moron who serenades you all night with a cowbell, and television coverage. Why should I fight traffic and pay parking fees when I can sit in my living room and have the game brought right to me?

Henry D. Reiss, St. Petersburg

Needs, public and private

Let me get this straight: Attendance at Tropicana Field is lowest in the majors, but this is somehow St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster's fault?

My understanding is this: A for-profit corporation signs a lease on a city (i.e., public)-owned facility but wishes to break the lease early without penalty. Try running that past any landlord.

This city, county and state have needs much more important than building sports facilities for private corporations. The Rays are welcome to move into a new stadium as long as they abide by the terms of their current lease and don't build a new one with my tax dollars.

Dale Kitt, St. Petersburg

Shooter's access prompts reviews | Sept. 19

Focus on mental illness

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel promises to work hard to make government security more secure. Elsewhere there are references to the "red flag" that popped up on the killer at the naval installation.

One favors "security," but where was the vigilance that clearly could have stopped this current massacre and perhaps others before? Mental health is the prime culprit. Where are the "experts" who perceive but do not follow their leads?

Bea Donis, Tampa

Slow down flood insurance rate hikes Sept. 17, editorial

Needed insurance reform

The Biggert-Waters flood insurance reform measure you criticize uses the same kind of long-term phase-ins as Florida's Citizens Property Insurance Corp. The Citizens phase-in was actually the direct inspiration for the language in Biggert-Waters. In addition, it's worth noting that the rates will not soar for the overwhelming majority of homeowners — almost all primary residences are exempt from sizable increases. Even when the higher rates are fully phased in, FEMA's sample rates indicate that a home right at the waterline will pay only about $150 a month for coverage.

The National Flood Insurance Program needs to charge more if it hopes to ever find firm fiscal footing. Higher rates may not please every homeowner, but they are necessary.

Eli Lehrer, president, R Street Institute, Washington, D.C.

GOP leads House vote to cut back food stamps | Sept. 20

Many need help

How disgusting that 217 representatives voted to limit SNAP funds. They might as well have said "Die!" to all those who, because of poor economic status or illness, need what we used to call "food stamps."

These 217 are not representing us, our children who need to have good education and good health which is nearly impossible without nutrition; our handicapped and elderly who cannot work for a living and depend on programs like SNAP; our neighbors who can find only poorly paid work that cannot support them and their families; our citizens who have been ravaged by storms, fire, theft, accident or other misfortune and need temporary assistance.

Esther Kirk, Riverview


Wednesday’s letters:

House Bill 21Opioid proposal merits supportIn 2016, Florida recorded 952 heroin-related and 1,390 fentanyl-related deaths. Four in five new heroin users began by misusing prescription pain medications, also known as opioids. Despite the widespread op...
Published: 02/20/18

Hernando Letter to the Editor for Feb. 23

Re: Hernando business leaders push to loosen development rules | Feb. 9; Re: Deny Brooksville mine expansion, planning commissioners say | Feb. 16Wish to register my opposition to both the draft of the new Hernando County Comprehensive Plan that elim...
Published: 02/20/18

Tuesday’s letters: Making politics personal is one way toward reasonable gun control

The Parkland shootingMake gun politics personalAs an educator of 32 years, it encourages me to see our young people engaged after the horror at Stoneman Douglas High School. The tragedy at Parkland has awakened the sleeping giant that is the millenni...
Published: 02/19/18

Sunday’s letters: Congress must act on firearms

Deadly toll: 17 | Feb. 15Congress must act on firearmsIt’s time for Congress to be counted.The failure of Congress to act to: (1) limit access to assault rifles and (2) require meaningful background checks for all gun purchases is appalling.Surel...
Published: 02/17/18

Monday’s letters: Call it by its name: terrorism

Deadly toll: 17 | Feb. 15Call it whatit is: terrorismLet’s just call it what it is. It’s terrorism. No school in the country is immune. They all have procedures for sheltering in place or emergency evacuation from a shooter. It’s prudent to be pr...
Published: 02/16/18

Saturday’s letters: Payoff to porn star not front-page news?

Lawyer: I personally paid porn star | Feb. 14Where we’re at: This is 4A newsOnly under the Trump presidency does a story about the president’s lawyer paying off a porn star to cover up an affair with the president show up on page 4A. Never mind t...
Published: 02/16/18

Friday’s letters: Water quality too important to gamble on

State to update water rules | Feb. 10Don’t gamble with water safetyI wondered whether this front-page article was an early April Fool’s joke. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection "updated" its pollution regulations in 2016, with str...
Published: 02/15/18

Thursday’s letters: Bill protects pharmacy customers

House Bill 351Bill protects pharmacy customersWe all need the protections provided in Florida House Bill 351 to ensure pharmacy benefit managers, or PBMs, are transparently operating with patients. Currently, PBMs are not regulated by the state and o...
Published: 02/14/18

Wednesday’s letters: The ocean is no place for amateurs

Youthful dream sinks in two days | Feb. 12Ocean is no place for amateursFirst of all, let me say I am sorry this couple lost their boat and I do applaud their adventurous spirit. However, I have spent over 20 years at sea and would like to commen...
Published: 02/13/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for Feb. 16

A vote against Pasco’s jail bond issueThere are two stories on the front page of the Feb. 9 Pasco Times that drew my attention.The top headline reports that the Pasco County commissioners are discussing submitting a $185 million bond issue to the vot...
Published: 02/13/18