Thursday, May 24, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Monday's letters: Water projects need careful study

Board: Expedite wetland permits | May 21

Water projects need careful study

I am wary about the recent Swiftmud board decision to speed up the permitting of wetlands destruction. I am in favor of better responsiveness. Environmentalists need permits for projects too. Waiting is as frustrating for them as it is for any other homeowner or developer.

However, system inefficiency is only one of the problems that slow things down. Another is the recent drastic cuts in staff levels. The system lost wisdom when it laid off the people. Further, some of the projects are indeed complex and require careful study and interagency coordination. That can legitimately take time.

The board voting that permits have to be acted on in 60 days or they are automatically approved is like saying if the waiter doesn't bring your bill within five minutes after you finish dessert, the meal is free. Cute idea, but not fair.

Chair Carlos Beruff has it backward when he says that Swiftmud should be a service industry. It is a regulatory agency, one that oversees use of limited water and wetland resources for the good of the environment and all of us (developers, greens and the uninvolved) who live in west-central Florida.

Like the song says, take your time and do it right.

Rich Brown, Tampa

Obama backs Shinseki | May 22

We've heard this before

President Barack Obama has finally expressed his displeasure with the alleged VA misconduct by saying: "So if these allegations prove to be true, it is dishonorable, it is disgraceful, and I will not tolerate it — period." Is this the same "period" he used when he said if you like your health care plan, you'll be able to keep your insurance, period? (PolitiFact Lie of the Year, 2013)

Dave Loeffert, Dunedin

President finally acts strongly on VA May 22, editorial

Problems date back years

President Barack Obama's seeming outrage concerning the VA health care system would be laughable if the situation wasn't so tragic. He has been making speeches since 2007 on his intent to fix the system while doing nothing until patients started dying due to negligent bureaucratic mismanagement. This isn't something new; according to the inspector general it has been going on for years.

It is a good example of how inept the government is when trying to run a health care system.

Dayle R. Stevens, Largo

Diversity on campus? Perish the thought May 18, commentary

Assessing Rice and war

While I want to applaud this opinion piece by Timothy Egan, who speaks eloquently about the importance of listening to free speech even when we might not agree with it, I also applaud the students at Rutgers University. It is unfortunate, perhaps, that those students didn't follow the model set by students and faculty at Boston College in May 2006, when demonstrations were held against former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

The fact is, however, that the students and faculty of Rutgers did need to raise their voices in protest against Rice. While she is intelligent and gifted, she helped to foist upon us, and the world, one of the worst tragedies in recent history: the Bush-Cheney-led war against Iraq.

Not only did thousands of Americans die or suffer devastating injuries needlessly, but the people of Iraq suffered mercilessly and continue to suffer today in a protracted civil war.

Ralph N. Madison Jr., St. Petersburg

Change in health law adds bailout | May 22

Political manipulation

There seems to be no limit to President Barack Obama's willingness to manipulate the Affordable Care Act to minimize the political fallout. Now we are told that the insurance companies will be protected from any losses they may incur. Can you say "bailout"?

I think it is unfortunate that news of such potentially far-reaching political and financial import was relegated to page 10 of the Times.

Edward Germond, Apollo Beach

Gov. Rick Scott

Numbers tell the story

Gov. Scott is shamelessly using his grandson in his latest political campaign ad, saying that he "worries every day" what his grandson will think of him in light of what the media says about him. What will Scott tell the lad about his involvement in the biggest Medicare fraud in history? As Scott says in another ad, "the numbers tell the story."

Numbers as in: $1.7 billion fine, largest in history, for the fraud committed by Columbia/HCA, his company; and 75, the number of times he pleaded the Fifth in another Columbia/HCA matter; and $300 million, the amount HCA paid him to hit the road, and perhaps, keep his mouth shut; and $70 million, the amount of that money he spent buying the office with vicious attack ads. Be sure to explain those to the boy.

David Alfonso, Largo

Redistricting papers ruled confidential May 23

No secret meetings

I don't understand how elected officials Don Gaetz and Will Weatherford can meet in secret about Florida's Fair District standards as if it is okay with the public. Thirty years ago it was smoked-filled rooms; now it is small groups meeting in secret, and then their "deal" is forwarded to Rep. Steve Precourt, chairman of the House redistricting committee, also in secret.

Then we have political operative Pat Bainter, who has a document he says can't be entered into the record because it contains his trade secrets. Where is the outrage from the people of Florida? Let's get everything out in the open and actually see what happened and how we might change things to make Fair Districts work.

Frank Carman, Sun City Center

Matter of fairness | May 23, letter

Parade is for everyone

The letter writer should know that the St. Pete Pride Parade — no longer the "Gay Pride Parade" — is his parade. It celebrates inclusiveness, diversity, acceptance and freedom for all. All colors, religions and preferences of love are welcome to enjoy and be a part of a unified community.

Scott Morse, St. Petersburg


Wednesday’s letters: Thanks to jurors for fulfilling civic duty

May is Juror Appreciation MonthThanks, jurors, for your serviceTrial 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 litigants would ...
Updated: 1 hour ago

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...
Updated: 12 hours ago

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

Friday’s letters: Putnam and Publix, two P’s lose my nod

Publix pours cash to Putnam | May 17A pleasure to shop elsewhereMy family and I moved to Tampa in 1974, and have made Publix our favorite grocery store ever since. Forty-four years! That is why it makes me a little sad to have to say goodbye.Firs...
Published: 05/18/18

Saturday’s letters: For Florida to move forward, focus on a healthy and sustainable environment

Tampa’s future is bright | May 12Protect Florida, boost economyThis past year, Florida set another record-breaking year for tourism, welcoming more than 116 million visitors. While Florida boasts a unique quality of life and more than 1,300 miles...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/18/18

Sunday’s letters: What conservatives stand for

How can conservatism survive after Trump | May 13, Nickens columnhed#6324 I think it obvious that traditional conservatism was squeezed out of the 2016 campaign narrative and has become a niche thesis owned by a small group of intellectuals. A gr...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/18/18