Thursday, December 14, 2017
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


Friday’s letters: Put yourself in a business owner’s shoes

GOP plan favors owners | Dec. 11Perils of small business ownersI wonder if the author of this article has even a clue about owning a business. Businessmen — especially small business owners — risk it all. They risk their savings, their car, their...
Updated: 6 hours ago

Thursday’s letters: Trump’s values hardly admirable

Finally, a president who cares | Dec. 13, letterTrump’s values hardly admirableThe letter writer is happy to have someone in the White House who "truly cares about our country’s business" and is "unafraid … of mentioning God and religious values....
Published: 12/13/17

Wednesday’s letters: Proposal would restore Florida Forever funding

Florida ForeverPlan boosts land protectionMost of us thought funding for land conservation in Florida would be restored when we voted the Water and Land Conservation Amendment (Amendment 1) into law in 2014. It passed easily, with 75 percent of voter...
Published: 12/11/17
Updated: 12/12/17

Tuesday’s letters: Writer should look to his own mistakes

Is anyone ever wrong anymore? | Dec. 8Writer should look to own errorsIn Mitch Daniels’ article about people who have been wrong, he finishes with the statement that our lives would be greatly improved with more people saying, "I was wrong."He mi...
Published: 12/08/17
Updated: 12/11/17

Monday’s letters: Don’t drill in Arctic refuge

Arctic National Wildlife RefugeStop plan to drill for oil in refugeOur nation faces yet another effort to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge reserve to oil and gas drilling. Drilling in the Arctic simply doesn’t make sound financial sense. W...
Published: 12/08/17

Sunday’s letters: Tax bill puts U.S. on right course

The GOP’s regressive tax plans | Dec. 5, editorialTax bill puts U.S. on right courseThe Times is already crying wolf over the new tax cuts, claiming that the new laws "could" result an increase in the national debt of $1.5 trillion over the next ...
Published: 12/07/17

Pasco letters to the editor for Dec. 15

Re: Helping Others Fulfills our purpose here on Earth | Nov. 17 guest columnThe good doctor acknowledges a CreatorThank you for publishing Dr. Rao Musunuru’s guest column. As Congressman Gus Bilirakis said in the Congressional Record, this good d...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/13/17

Saturday’s letters: Don’t inject political money into churches

Tax billKeep political cash out of pulpitA provision buried in the 429-page House tax bill, Section 5201, nullifies the Johnson Amendment, which protects houses of worship from partisan politics by prohibiting them from endorsing or opposing politica...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/07/17

Friday’s letters: Most unpopular tax bill ever

Tax bill clears Senate | Dec. 3The most unpopular tax bill ever"Democracy dies in darkness" is the motto of the Washington Post. At 2 a.m. on the dark morning of Sunday, Dec. 3, 51 Republicans approved the most wildly unpopular tax bill in U.S. h...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/07/17

Thursday’s letters: Give your child the gift of reading

Fatherhood Involvement in Literacy CampaignGive your child the gift of readingPart of a successful game plan in sports is identifying plays that can put points on the scoreboard. Whether I was playing quarterback at Florida State or running the point...
Published: 12/05/17
Updated: 12/06/17