Monday, May 28, 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


Monday’s letters: NFL finally listens to its fans

NFL moves to endanthem protests | May 24NFL’s action comes too lateThe NFL owners are, after two years, finally growing some courage.Before these kneel-downs became the elephant in the room, team owners could have taken action to minimize the imp...
Published: 05/24/18
Updated: 05/25/18

Sunday’s letters: As Jews, we should not be afraid to criticize Israel

Published: 05/24/18
Updated: 05/25/18

Saturday’s letters: Bayshore fatalities didn’t have to happen

After two fatalities, speed limits cut | May 25Cameras needed on BayshoreOnce again, two pedestrians have died as the result of careless drivers who were speeding. Once again, the Times and other media outlets are filled with opinions about the c...
Published: 05/23/18
Updated: 05/25/18

Friday's letters: Thanks to jurors for fulfilling civic duty

May is Juror Appreciation Month Thanks, jurors, for your service Trial by a jury of one’s peers is among the bedrock guarantees that make our representative democracy exceptional. Without it, the courtroom fates of defendants and civil litiga...
Published: 05/23/18
Updated: 05/25/18

Thursday’s letters: Heated chemotherapy won’t treat most ovarian cancers

Heated chemotherapy has promising results | May 16Cancer treatment not a cure-all While we were pleased to see the story about ovarian cancer treatment, we are concerned that the article could mislead many patients. The treatment described has be...
Published: 05/22/18
Updated: 05/24/18

Wednesday’s letters: A princess gives us a lesson to live by

Royal treatment | May 21Princess offers advice for us allThe radiant and joyful Princess Anna Noela Lokolo of the Democratic Republic of Congo, recent Eckerd College graduate, has given us a huge gift in her parting words. "If people have a negat...
Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/23/18

Hernando Letters to the Editor for May 25

Re: Central High School bomb threat suspect to be tried as adult | May 4Angry mob rhetoric not helpfulWe have observed the public discourse surrounding the case of Mizella Robinson with increasing unease. A sampling of the more common sentiment...
Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/22/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for May 25

Re: Proposed TECO Solar Plant Opposed to the TECO solar plantAs a 21-year resident and property owner, I am writing in opposition to the proposed Tampa Electric Company solar plant in rural northeast Pasco County.The solar plant will be .2 miles from...
Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/22/18

Tuesday’s letters: If you don’t like the Electoral College, then amend the Constitution

The popular vote | May 20, letterIf you don’t like it, amend ConstitutionA recent letter supports the idea that a state should be able to change its Electoral College vote to match that of the national popular vote winner as opposed to the result...
Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/22/18

Monday’s letters: Focusing on the mental state of shooters misses the point

Texas high school shooting | May 18Criminals, angry people kill peopleSchool shootings are a distinctly American phenomenon. But shootings by people with serious mental illness represent less than 1 percent of all yearly gun-related homicides in ...
Published: 05/19/18
Updated: 05/21/18