Saturday, December 16, 2017
Letters To The Editor

Monday's letters: Terrible lack of accountability

Stroke death result: training and 'He's simply a slumlord' | July 11

A terrible lack of accountability

I read two stories first thing this morning in the Times. One was about the man who was jailed in Hillsborough County and had a stroke and was not given proper care, or perhaps one should say no care. The other was about the squalid trailers owned and rented by William Brown of the Tampa Port Authority.

Although these stories were about two different topics, a common theme jumped out at me: the total lack of accountability and responsibility of any of the people involved.

The sheriff's office is not going to discipline anyone — they are going to "train" them. Shouldn't they have been already trained? Do they really even care that a man died? A man who did nothing wrong and should never have been in the jail in the first place?

William Brown is "sorry" for his actions — what exactly is he sorry for? That he actually did something wrong, and knows it? Or that he got caught? I think I know the answer.

How about people owning up to their actions and bearing the proper consequences? We have become a society in which no one wants to be accountable for anything.

Theresa Hoskinson, Tampa

Brown's rentals ripe for trouble | July 12

Their rules are different

Once again we are treated to the story of a citizen who has somehow managed to skate on property and zoning regulations in the city. Also, once again we hear that Tampa officials are "shocked" that nothing has been done for years.

This is the standard Florida story of how wealthy, politically connected people operate under a different set of rules from the rest of us.

Clyde Walker, Sun City Center

Police scandal roils Lakeland | July 11

Problem at the top

I have 35 years in law enforcement and corporate security. It is inconceivable that the Lakeland police chief would not have known about the "bra-shaking" procedure, apparently routine, or the well-known department sex scandal being conducted by her senior sworn supervisors.

She is either incompetent or so apathetically out of touch with daily operations that firing or resignation is mandated.

C. Dan Slagle, Hudson

'I can't live like this. No fun' | July 10

Life after an injury

In response to the article about the man injured in a bicycle accident, it is possible to still have fun after becoming a quadriplegic. Not easy, but possible.

My husband received a C4 spinal cord injury in a not-at-fault vehicle accident five years ago this month. He cannot move from the shoulders down. Granted, he is not on a respirator, but his life is unalterably changed.

We have adjusted to what we call our "new normal." We could not have gotten to this point without the support of family, friends and the staff at the James A. Haley VA Medical Center's spinal cord injury unit.

Since the accident, we have gone to the college graduation of one child, seen both children married (rolled our daughter down the aisle), gone on a cruise and experienced the miracle of the arrival of our first grandchild. During that entire time we have continued to laugh and have fun. He says he is ready to go when God is ready to take him, but I thank God daily that he is still in our lives.

Madelyn Davidson, Lutz

Brandes will seek greater personal privacy protections | July 10, The Buzz

Privacy protections

Steve Bousquet reported last week that state Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, will file legislation in the 2014 session to expand personal privacy. I am so glad to hear that the senator is suddenly so interested in citizen confidentiality.

He is mistaken, though, in thinking we need new legislation to do this. He only needs to read the Florida Constitution. Article I, Section 23, guarantees every citizen "the right to be let alone and free from governmental intrusion into the person's private life."

We need no new laws — we just need our politicians to understand that Florida citizens already enjoy an expressed right to privacy and thus extra legislation would be redundant.

What we do need, though, is for our Legislature to read the entire Constitution to reinforce in their minds that additionally, Article I, Section 2, confers that right on all persons, stating that "female and male alike are equal before the law." Our legislators always seem to forget that provision when it comes to applying privacy rights to women's health decisions. Our Florida Constitution mandates that a politician cannot force his personal philosophy or theology on constituents and, further, can never interfere with a privileged conversation between a Florida citizen and doctor.

In November 2012, our Legislature tried to erase this privacy protection only as it applies to women's rights, and the electorate soundly defeated Amendment 6. With all the recent indignation over warrantless search and seizures, I would hope that Brandes and other Republicans who are newly concerned with privacy rights remember our Constitution and never again attempt to erode those rights by invading women's private decisions.

B.J. Star, Dunedin

Woman eludes MacDill security | July 9

Security consultant?

If the security has been stepped at MacDill Air Force Base since the 2001 terrorist attacks, I can only imagine how poor it was before. Suzanne Jensen, accused of using a trash can to climb a wall to get into the base, has put MacDill to shame.

While Jensen may be homeless, the woman has smarts and knows how to stay alive, despite her dire situation. In fact, MacDill ought to give her a job. No doubt, she could give them pointers on how to better secure the base — so that those like her can't get in.

In any case, it's the same old, same old — as our government gives away billions of dollars every year to nations abroad that could be used on the home front to help get the homeless off the streets.

JoAnn Lee Frank, Clearwater


Monday’s letters: Tax plan bad for the country

Trump, GOP make good on tax cuts Dec. 14Tax plan is bad for the countryUnless senators such as Susan Collins, R-Maine, and our own Marco Rubio develop some backbone, the Republican tax bill could well pass.The bill would inflict harm on the people wh...
Published: 12/15/17
Sunday’s letters: Rule of law at stake in Mueller inquiry

Sunday’s letters: Rule of law at stake in Mueller inquiry

Justice official parries attacks | Dec. 14Rule of law at stake in inquiryConservative media outlets and a number of Republicans in both chambers of Congress have launched an all-out assault on special counsel Robert Mueller and his team in an eff...
Published: 12/14/17
Updated: 12/15/17

Saturday’s letters: Project silent on rising sea levels

Published: 12/13/17
Updated: 12/15/17

Friday’s letters: Put yourself in a business owner’s shoes

GOP plan favors owners | Dec. 11Perils of small business ownersI wonder if the author of this article has even a clue about owning a business. Businessmen — especially small business owners — risk it all. They risk their savings, their car, their...
Published: 12/13/17
Updated: 12/14/17

Thursday’s letters: Trump’s values hardly admirable

Finally, a president who cares | Dec. 13, letterTrump’s values hardly admirableThe letter writer is happy to have someone in the White House who "truly cares about our country’s business" and is "unafraid … of mentioning God and religious values....
Published: 12/13/17

Wednesday’s letters: Proposal would restore Florida Forever funding

Florida ForeverPlan boosts land protectionMost of us thought funding for land conservation in Florida would be restored when we voted the Water and Land Conservation Amendment (Amendment 1) into law in 2014. It passed easily, with 75 percent of voter...
Published: 12/11/17
Updated: 12/12/17

Tuesday’s letters: Writer should look to his own mistakes

Is anyone ever wrong anymore? | Dec. 8Writer should look to own errorsIn Mitch Daniels’ article about people who have been wrong, he finishes with the statement that our lives would be greatly improved with more people saying, "I was wrong."He mi...
Published: 12/08/17
Updated: 12/11/17

Monday’s letters: Don’t drill in Arctic refuge

Arctic National Wildlife RefugeStop plan to drill for oil in refugeOur nation faces yet another effort to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge reserve to oil and gas drilling. Drilling in the Arctic simply doesn’t make sound financial sense. W...
Published: 12/08/17

Sunday’s letters: Tax bill puts U.S. on right course

The GOP’s regressive tax plans | Dec. 5, editorialTax bill puts U.S. on right courseThe Times is already crying wolf over the new tax cuts, claiming that the new laws "could" result an increase in the national debt of $1.5 trillion over the next ...
Published: 12/07/17

Pasco letters to the editor for Dec. 15

Re: Helping Others Fulfills our purpose here on Earth | Nov. 17 guest columnThe good doctor acknowledges a CreatorThank you for publishing Dr. Rao Musunuru’s guest column. As Congressman Gus Bilirakis said in the Congressional Record, this good d...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/13/17