Saturday, February 24, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Monday's letters: Too many excuses from the top

Elia unaware of girl's death | April 3

Too many excuses from the top

From Hillsborough County school superintendent MaryEllen Elia, to General Motors' CEO Mary Barra, to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel come the repeated, sad excuses that they didn't know and that something is not working.

It is inexcusable and appalling that the only defense that these highly paid executives have is that these loved ones have died due to their on-the-job ignorance. Elia didn't know about Isabella Herrera's death for nine months. Barra, a 32-year GM employee, pleads ignorance at a congressional hearing into vehicle deaths.

In the aftermath of the Fort Hood killings, Hagel was quoted as saying, "Something is not working." With tragic strikes on three U.S. bases by our own veterans, inadequate treatment of vets with posttraumatic stress disorder are failing these honored American heroes.

A report last month stated that 1,892 vets had committed suicide since Jan. 1. That amounts to 22 deaths a day. How many times do suicidal people want to take innocent people out with them? A cry for help could not be any louder and clearer.

If it were Elia's, Barra's or Hagel's loved ones who died senselessly, how calmly and nonchalantly would they give the same excuses?

Brian England, Tampa

Rich donors to gain sway | April 3

Corporate criminals

Since the decision by the Supreme Court designating "corporations as people" has been in effect, not one corporation or "person" has been charged with any crime.

General Motors has hidden the problem with their ignition on one of their cars for 10 years. Not one "person" at GM has been held responsible for the deaths that have occurred from the secrecy kept about the ignition problem.

If corporations are "people," then someone from the corporation should be charged with these deaths. No amount of money can replace the loved ones who have been lost.

Delphine Graber, St. Petersburg

Bishop's home is modest by comparison April 3

Take away the tax break

This article says Bishop Robert Lynch's home "is assessed at $492,236. … tax-free." Tax-free? Why am I being required to subsidize the bishop's home, or anything related to the Catholic Church — or any church? Tax the churches. It's only fair.

Joe Reinhardt, Pinellas Park

Florida child welfare overhaul clears key panel | April 3

Vigilance against abuse

In the past month the media has been saturated with the horrific news of 477 child abuse and neglect deaths in Florida over a six-year period. On April 1, Child Abuse Prevention Month kicked off at the Glazer Children's Museum in Tampa. On March 28, the Children's Board of Hillsborough County held a Child Safety Summit, bringing 113 child advocates together to develop a campaign to end preventable child death in the Tampa Bay area. Media coverage of both events was minimal. We, as a community — including media — need to march down this path together.

In Tampa Bay, only one-quarter of the children who died from child abuse and neglect were known to the Department of Children and Families. Nearly three-quarters of children under the age of 5 are dying from three preventable causes: unsafe sleep, abusive head trauma and drowning.

All three of these are preventable. Education and training of our citizens can eliminate this needless loss of life. We need to instill a sense of responsibility in everyone to report any suspicion of child abuse. We need all citizens — and media — to hear and respond to a "call to action" for the prevention of child death and the education of our community.

Kelley Parris, executive director, Children's Board of Hillsborough County, Tampa

'Warning shot' bill passes in Senate | April 4

What goes up …

Am I the only person who sees a problem with someone firing a warning shot? Where is the person who feels threatened going to fire the shot? My guess would be into the air just like all those idiots who do that on the Fourth of July. So now we will all have to wear bulletproof helmets year round. Let's hear it for our NRA-controlled legislators.

David Lovejoy, Palm Harbor

The real face of poverty | April 3, commentary

Where is the father?

Leonard Pitts' passionate article about a woman in Scottsdale, Ariz., who locked her children in her car so she could go to a job interview left me unsettled. The picture of the tear-faced woman was heartbreaking. I could feel Pitts' anger. His statement about "putting a face on poverty" led me to believe he was looking for someone to blame. Was it the mother who used poor judgment? Our government? Our welfare system? The fact that the woman was jailed and lost her children?

Then it occurred to me that the article did not mention the children's father. Where is he? Is he supporting his children? If not, why not? If Pitts wants to put a "face on poverty," I suggest it's the father's face.

I understand this is a far-reaching problem in our society, the depth of which we'll probably never totally understand, but I believe the degradation of the family unit is an integral part of the problem.

Barbara Walker, Clearwater

Scott cuts into car tag fees, Crist | April 3

Pay now or pay later

Gov. Rick Scott is reducing vehicle tag fees by $25. According to Florida Department of Transportation there are about 15 million registered vehicles in state. That means a whopping $375 million that the state will have to acquire from other sources.

While the average two-car family will save $50 per year, imagine what the savings will be for the rental/fleet companies. Once again the burden will fall on Joe Taxpayer to make up any shortfall.

Tim Walendzik, Tarpon Springs

Obama declares victory in health care enrollment | April 2

Consider the source

The president, holder of the "Lie of the Year" title, has told the world that there are now 7.1 million enrollees signed up for Obamacare. Does he expect anyone to believe him?

Thomas Varnum, North Redington Beach


Sunday’s letters: Slogans won’t ensure safety

LegislatureSafety requires more than slogansOn Wednesday, our Florida House passed House Bill 839 requiring all public schools to post the state motto, "In God We Trust," in a "conspicuous place." The day before, the same Florida House declined to ev...
Published: 02/24/18

Saturday’s letters: Preserve home rule in Florida

LegislaturePreserve home rule in FloridaOn behalf of the members of Business Watch, a trade association for government contractors, I would like to voice our dismay over the Legislature’s wholesale attack on home rule. As local government contractors...
Published: 02/23/18

Thursday’s letters: Second Amendment is outdated

Second AmendmentCongress can act on firearmsThe Second Amendment is outdated, since it is predicated on the need for a "well regulated militia." Militias are defined as civilian soldiers trained under the command of competent military leadership. The...
Published: 02/20/18
Updated: 02/22/18

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