Saturday, June 23, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Monday's letters: Time to act on climate change

Climate change

Time for debate over; time to act

No matter how much evidence accumulates in favor of human-induced climate change, no matter how much climate disruption occurs before our very eyes, there will always be doubters and deniers. But as their numbers wane and their delusion and irrationality increases, can we afford to continue the climate change debate?

The longer it lasts, the less time we have to act. At this point, wouldn't it be wiser, more prudent and in our best interest to instead engage in a discussion of risk-reward analysis?

Comparing the risks and rewards of taking action versus "business as usual," both under the premise of climate change being real and nonexistent, one thing becomes very clear. The worst scenario — by far — is the strategy of doing nothing while climate change turns out to be real.

Climate disruption (a more accurate, revealing phrase than climate change) is certain to have profound, life-altering consequences. It is foolish to think they will all be favorable. This is an issue on which we should desperately want to err on the side of caution.

We have already squandered a couple of decades. Given what we know about the levels of carbon dioxide, acidification of the world's oceans and melting of glaciers around the planet, we should be embarking on an aggressive and urgent campaign to reduce our carbon emissions.

Chip Thomas, Tampa

Nick Anderson cartoon | Aug. 7

Obstructionist politics

What an excellent depiction of reality in Nick Anderson's cartoon Tuesday, with the GOP asking President Barack Obama, "Why can't you bring home the gold?" while refusing to budge.

Obama has become the most filibustered president in history, which during the worst recession in 80 years makes no sense. This from a party that publicly stated over a year ago that their No. 1 goal is to make sure Obama doesn't get a second term — not the economy and not job creation. Numerous jobs bills have been blocked repeatedly.

We all understand opposition party politics, but this has gone way over the line, and the only people hurt are the very people who are supposed to be protected.

Bobby Lonardo, Seminole

Republican National Convention

Success has many fathers

I hope that the RNC delegates find our hospitality unmatched and enjoy their visit in every way. I will be busy avoiding all of them while trying to run my small business.

I started my software business of three people in Tampa in 1991 using my meager savings and my Visa card to get going. I paid myself just enough to qualify for benefits — yes, we offered health insurance to employees on day one. Today we employ nearly 100 U.S. citizens (as well as a few overseas).

My success certainly is in large part a testament to my dedication and hard work, and certainly the dedication and hard work of the men and women I have been fortunate to have work with me. However, it is also made possible because of our stable capital markets, efficient banking system, well-educated workforce, our roads, airports, utilities, and of course dedicated public servants in our schools, sanitation, police and fire departments. No, I did not build any of that.

The American Dream needs to be available to all Americans, regardless of race, creed or social status. Our values are hollow if benefits continue to accrue to an ever-narrowing group of citizens. The Republicans want to give me a tax cut, and I want them to instead invest it in the American Dream for all.

Jack Berlin, Tampa

For a wider, stronger democracy | Aug. 8, editorial

The missing middle

The smartest thing Democrats can do is open their primaries to independents.

Independents will decide many elections. They matter; they are the "middle." If independents are allowed to vote in Democratic primaries, they are much more likely to vote in the general election.

This could cause candidates to develop platforms appealing to the middle. You can be sure the Republicans won't invite independent input in selecting candidates. The Republican Party only wants radical conservative candidates who will not negotiate.

Opening the Democratic primaries would create better platforms, better candidates, less polarization and better government.

Jim Whiting, Redington Shores

Postal service losses hit $5.2B | Aug. 10

Bankruptcy protection

If the U.S. Postal Service were a publicly traded company, stockholders would have abandoned it in droves and it would have gone into bankruptcy. Retiree health benefits mandated by Congress for this quarter alone amount to $3.1 billion of the loss. It doesn't take higher math to figure out that the postal service is already bankrupt.

So where is Congress? It sends out mandates but no money to back them up.

It is time to act. The same rules that we apply to corporations apply to the USPS. Get your act together through bankruptcy protection.

Sankaran S. Babu, Wesley Chapel

Campaign 2012

Do your research

What has this country become? Shall we elect candidates because they have the best advertisements? Advertisements may be false.

If we do not consider a candidate's record of accomplishments and believe his or her plans for the future, we will obtain the "best politicians money can buy" and liars who continue to pull the wool over our eyes. Do your research and vote for a candidate you can accept.

Vote to protect our freedom, instead of voting to give it away for a false perception of security.

David Figueroa, Valrico

Rays plan adds to friction at City Hall Aug. 10

Mayor looking out for us

I applaud St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster for upholding his fiduciary responsibility to the residents of the city. It is not his job to surrender our interests to any developer/lawyer/city official/sports team that wants a do-over with a binding contract.

Many of us love the Trop and the way Foster is looking out for our interests and don't want any more of our tax money going to line the pockets of already wealthy individuals.

Dave Hoover, St. Petersburg


Monday’s letters: College instructors need classes in active shooter training

Active shooter perceptions disproven | June 21We need active shooter trainingThe only guns that I had seen before coming to the United States of America were in glass cases in museums. When I came to America to get a Ph.D. in English at the Unive...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/22/18

Friday’s letters: What a new Rays ballpark would mean

Rays exec hints at stadium timeline | June 15What a new ballpark would doThe Tampa Bay Rays 2020 organization is working diligently with local business leaders and civic organizations to rally support for the Rays’ new ballpark in Ybor City. The ...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/22/18

Thursday’s letters: On immigration there has to be a better way

‘Zero tolerance’ ignites outrage | June 20Find better way on immigrationOver the years I’ve voted for candidates from both parties. My observation of the Trump administration’s policy on immigration is not about politics. It has to do with having...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/21/18

Wednesday’s letters: Charters and traditional public schools each have their place

Public school as public good | Letter, June 17Both kinds of schools can workAs a mother and grandmother of children raised in both traditional public and charter schools in Pinellas County (and a 25-year supporting-services employee for public sc...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/20/18

Tuesday’s letters: Keep programs that fight AIDS

For author Biden, it’s a father’s gift | June 6Keep programs that fight AIDSAfter former Vice President Joe Biden’s recent visit to St. Petersburg, I noticed an article that he co-wrote with former Sen. Bill Frist. It reminded everyone about the ...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/19/18

Is anyone watching the money?Hernando County’s budget shortfall is ever changing going from $6 million to $11.5 million to $14 million to what is assumed a final number of $12.6 million. Who knows the budget shortfall could change again.Who’s watchi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Re: County OKs solar zones | June 8Plea ignored at solar plant hearingThe Pasco County Commission on June 5 voted to identify a utility-sized solar electric plant as a "special exception" use on agricultural-zoned land in Pasco County. What thi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Monday’s letters: Skip those plastic bags and save the environment

To save our seas, overcome congressional apathy | Column, June 16Do your part and skip plastic bagsEvery day we read about the shame of our landfills and oceans filling up with plastic bags, yet most people don’t care. My wife and I always carry ...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

White House defends splitting up families as ‘biblical’ | June 15The suffering of the childrenI am a mother and attorney with more than 20 years of practice living in Tampa. For the past three years, I worked as a magistrate in a Unified Family C...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Saturday’s letters: Community-based care requires community involvement

Fix foster care, and do it quickly | Editorial, June 15Involve the community itselfWhile the detailed article about the scathing state review of Hillsborough County’s foster care problems touched on leadership, a critical point was not addressed....
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18