Friday, April 20, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Monday's letters: To avoid delays, cast vote by mail

No winner till Saturday | Nov. 9

To avoid delays, cast vote by mail

Much has been said in recent days about the long lines Florida voters had to endure in order to cast their vote in the 2012 election. Some see it as a plot to suppress the vote, while others see it as a technical problem that must be fixed. Both views are nonsense — a fix already exists, and has existed for years.

All Florida voters may cast their vote by mail-in ballot; one no longer needs a documented reason to obtain a so-called absentee ballot. Requesting one through your supervisor of elections is simple and can be done online, in person, by telephone, or in writing. I never fail to cast my vote, and I never leave the comfort of my own home to do so. No more lines. No more blistering Florida heat or drenching rain.

Best of all, the ballot arrives weeks in advance of Election Day, so one has plenty of time to study the wording of proposed amendments and referenda. If you wait in a long line in the future, you will have no one but yourself to blame.

Scott A. Boulding, Palm Harbor

No winner till Saturday | Nov. 9

Too few tabulators

I was a poll watcher in Fort Myers Beach, where I observed voting at the three precincts. The lines were long at each and it took an average of over three hours to vote.

The cause of the delay was very specific and easily observed. While the polling stations were well organized and efficiently run, the vote tabulator machine took an average 45-50 seconds to tabulate each vote, if no mistakes were made. And there was only one machine at each precinct.

Thus no matter how fast one got through the ID check and actual vote completion, all had to stand in line to wait for the tabulator, and the entire process was controlled by the machine. This should have been corrected by testing the tabulators and sending more than one machine to each precinct.

Leo Cecchini, Fort Myers Beach

Voters see past cash, chicanery | Nov. 9, Daniel Ruth column

Big money on both sides

It is interesting that Daniel Ruth enlightened us on all the big-money guys pouring millions into defeating our president. I think it is only right to counter that information with the half-billion dollars contributed by labor unions in critical swing states, anchored by Ohio. The AFL-CIO president said, "Without organized labor, none of those states would have been in the president's column."

If I were president, I am not sure who I would rather be indebted to: the union bosses or the rich guys.

Perry J. Dahl, Tampa

Bills will come due | Nov. 8, letter

Giving and taking

On a Fox News rant, Bill O'Reilly restated Mitt Romney's infamous "47 percent" remarks. O'Reilly said that the Barack Obama voters wanted "free stuff" and the Republicans provide the funds for that "stuff" with their hard work and taxes.

Now this letter writer throws in that Obama voters will "get theirs (health care insurance) free." This is a less than subtle belief that the majority who cast their vote for the president are lazy, shiftless, unemployed leeches.

If the writer checks the blue bits and red bits on the voting map he will see that the confederacy of red states are the same ones who collect far more in government assistance than do the blue ones. They take more than they contribute. And they vote Republican overwhelmingly.

Thomas Maciocha, Tampa

Election 2012

Summing it up

The election can only be described as: Wow! The winners were: women, Obama, weed.

Jim Day, St. Petersburg

Shed the tea party

You have to govern with what is possible, not what is ideal. The GOP will either adapt to reality or it will die. It needs to shed the tea party. Let the tea party become a third party. They can perpetually capture 15 percent of the vote.

Harry E. Hackney, Spring Hill

Playbook for 2016

Now that the 2012 election is over, preparation for 2016 should start now for the Democrats. Make no mistake, the Republicans will rebound and make adjustments.

First, the economy must continue to improve if the Democratic Party is going to have any chance at retaining the White House.

Second, Barack Obama and the Democrats must aggressively push forward immigration reform; it is a win-win situation for them. If it passes, they will get the credit; it if fails, the Republicans will be blamed.

Third, the candidate: Hillary Clinton. She will be strong with women, African-Americans, Latinos, the young and blue-collar Americans. Additionally, her biggest asset is her husband. A vote for Hillary is a vote for Bill Clinton.

Last, but not least, if the Republican Party's ideology continues to intrude into America's bedrooms, it will continue to lose national elections.

Al Suarez, Odessa

Attach conditions to aid to Israel Oct. 28, Bill Maxwell column

Aid better spent at home

As Congress reviews the allocation of our tax dollars, foreign aid will be on the table. The U.S. Foreign Assistance Act forbids military aid to countries that consistently violate human rights. Bill Maxwell's excellent column noted the concern of many religious leaders that exceptions are being made for military aid to Israel.

As leader of a United Methodist study tour, and on independent trips to the region, I have witnessed the human rights violations that gave rise to this concern.

It is inconceivable that struggling American families should be asked to send $8 million each day to a government that is routinely destroying homes, roads and water cisterns that other families depend on. The use of American money to expand and defend illegal settlements built beyond Israel's internationally recognized borders must be stopped. The $30 billion Congress has approved for aid to Israel over 10 years could be better spent here at home.

Susanne Hoder, Interfaith Peace Initiative, Punta Gorda


Friday’s letters: We owe it to our children to teach them history

If we don’t understand past, future looks grim | April 19, Daniel Ruth columnThe history we owe our childrenIt’s not often I agree with Daniel Ruth, but this article was spot-on. I’m not sure when the schools started ignoring Germany’s World War ...
Published: 04/19/18

Thursday’s letters: Gun research can save lives

Gun ownershipCommon ground: Find the factsThere are many areas in the current debate about guns and gun ownership where both sides must agree to disagree. But there is one area where common ground ought to exist. That concerns the need for continuing...
Published: 04/18/18

Wednesday’s letters:

Poverty and plenty in bay area | April 7, editorialStruggling poor are not a priorityI commend your newspaper for continuing to produce real and relevant news, particularly the recent editorial pointing out that a prospering Tampa Bay should not ...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18

Hernando Letters to the Editor for April 20

Bar Association celebrates Law WeekPresident Dwight D. Eisenhower proclaimed May 1, 1958, as the first Law Day to mark the nation’s commitment to the rule of law. Every year on this day, we reflect on the significance of the rule of law and rededicat...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18

Tuesday’s letters: Stop cooperating with ICE

Sheriff’s ICE policy blasted | April 10Pinellas should end partnership with ICEPinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri recently participated in a community conversation on his controversial agreement with ICE to voluntarily detain immigrants in the...
Published: 04/16/18

Sunday’s letters: The future of oyster production

Shell game | April 15Future of oyster productionThanks to Laura Reiley for an excellent synopsis of the current state of oyster production in Florida. The collapse of the Apalachicola oyster fishery is merely the latest example of the demise of a...
Published: 04/14/18

Monday’s letters: Public education is foundation of the nation

Voters beware of ballot deceptionApril 13, commentarySchools’ role underminedIt was with great pain that I read (not for the first time) that we must be aware of "ballot deception." Public schools were founded to make sure that future generations of ...
Published: 04/13/18

Saturday’s letters: Health Department should butt out

Judge: Grow pot, Mr. Redner | April 12Health officials should butt outThe Times reports that the Florida Department of Health filed an appeal to the decision allowing a man who is a Stage 4 lung cancer survivor to grow pot in his backyard for his ...
Published: 04/11/18
Updated: 04/13/18

Friday’s letters: Open and shut: Enforce the law

Sheriff’s ICE aid policy blasted | April 10Open and shut: Enforce the lawPeople and institutions that insist on the using the euphemism "undocumented immigrant" do nothing but affirm their lack of objectivity by using such a phrase to support an ...
Published: 04/11/18
Updated: 04/12/18

Thursday’s letters: Focus on offender, not weapon

Use data to curb gun deaths | April 8, commentaryFocus on offenders, not weaponsThis article tiptoes around the issue: human violence. The authors point out that automobile manufactures were pressured by regulation and law to make automobile coll...
Published: 04/11/18