Saturday, March 24, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Sunday's letters: What an insult to honest people

Tampa's tax fraud 'queen' | April 24

What an insult to honest people

With tax fraud still rampant in the bay area and the country, your story on imprisoned and self-described tax fraud queen Rashia Wilson was painful to read. Wilson has more money in her prison bank account than most honest, hard-working citizens do in theirs.

The sheer fact that she is still scamming the government by not paying her token $50 restitution is an insult to the judicial system and everyone that was financially injured by her greed.

The fact remains that she and an accomplice still owe the IRS $3.1 million, and it would be ludicrous to believe even a small dent will ever be made to pay it off.

Mike Merino, Tampa

Justices uphold ban | April 23

What about test scores?

If affirmative action programs are banned by a state and, therefore, its public colleges and universities, those institutions should also discontinue use of standardized test results, for which extensive preparation is available for a (usually hefty) fee, to evaluate applicants for admission.

If the application process no longer considers the applicants' lack of opportunity, which significantly affects minority students, then the ability of the more affluent to have their children tutored into college should also be eliminated. A number of highly regarded colleges have already indicated that these tests are not a good predictor of subsequent performance in college. They have come to be valued by those who can afford to pay to play, and on an un-level playing field at that!

Susan Nigro, St. Petersburg

John Paul II canonization | April 17

A saint, he ain't, indeed

This time I wholeheartedly agree with Maureen Dowd. John Paul II was far from perfect! I found the nonchalance with which he commented on the martyrdom of Bishop Oscar Romero as hurtful and offensive as his failure to acknowledge the pedophilia crises. As a modern Thomas Beckett, Romero was murdered while he celebrated mass in the San Salvador Cathedral His crime? He had threatened the power and the wealth of El Salvador landlords by supporting the rights and the human dignity of the farmers slaving in the fields. But I believe that Dowd is wrong in expecting perfection from any human being, including a proclaimed saint. The New Testament goes a long way in describing the defects of the people who surrounded Jesus.

If modern social media had been available centuries past I believe we would have discovered numerous flaws even in the most beloved saints such as Francis of Assisi. In acknowledging sainthood, the Catholic church provides mentors rather than role models. These mentors enable each person to discover her/his personal way to sanctity using his or her personal talents.

By witnessing the joy of faith even in face of persecution and suffering, and by proclaiming that the sacredness of the human condition can never be violated, John Paul II inspired millions of people to find in Christianity the final and lasting response to their human angst.

Lodovico Balducci, Tampa

Drop Maureen Dowd

I demand that you drop Maureen Dowd as a columnist in your paper. Her comment that Pope John Paul II "ain't no saint" is insulting to Catholics everywhere.

No one is perfect. We all make mistakes; we all commit sins. Saints are human beings, just like the rest of us. They too make mistakes and commit sins. Even the great Saint Peter betrayed Jesus 3 times. St. Augustine was a real rabble rouser in his youth.

How many times does the Pope and the Church have to apologize and make amends for the few priests who have committed horrible crimes?

Why do liberal columnists continue to criticize the church? It is a matter of discrediting the church's teachings so they will not have to take a close look at their own values.

The "if it feels good, do it" philosophy of the modern world is not compatible with church teaching. By continually pointing out the sins of a few priests, the liberal columnists can discredit the teachings and beliefs of a religion that teaches good moral "politically incorrect" values.

Instead of tackling the moral issues of modern life, it is much easier to take pot shots at the church and make fun of a holy man.

Lhoda Jacoby, St. Pete Beach

Crime rate in Florida | April 23

Burying good news

Nice to see some good news for once but you buried it on the back page of the Local section. I try to read your paper back to back and I'm glad I do. News that the crime rate in Florida once again dropped should be front page news, but no one was shot or killed so once again the good new is regulated to the back page. It is heart-warming to read that we now have the lowest crime rate in 43 years but it was attributed to "better sharing of information between law enforcement." It couldn't be because since 1985 carry permits have increased to over one million responsible citizens expressing their second Amendment rights? If a criminal knows that he will be faced with a citizen with a firearm, he might think twice before committing that crime? I think that is the real reason the crime rate is down and falling.

James Hildebrand, Spring Hill

U.S. middle class in decline | April 23

Pot pie economics

As incomes have continued to flatline for the middle class since 2000, I was surprised when I took out two pot pies for dinner and noticed that one was much smaller than the other. I looked at the packages and they were almost identical in size and then I looked at the ounces: one of the pot pies was 10 ounces and the other was 16 ounces (I paid the same for both).

I then began to look at other packaging sizes for other food products and discovered that many of the packaged foods we buy have shrunken in size even though we are paying the same.

All of this might be okay if our middle class incomes had been able to catch up for the increased prices for everything we consume, from electricity to insurance to food to gasoline to property insurance, health care, etc.

It's not likely that anyone in Congress or the Florida "Bought and Paid For" legislature will address this problem.

Patricia Chevalier, St. Petersburg


Monday’s letters: Driverless cars on perilous roads

Driverless cautions | March 23, commentaryDriverless carson perilous roadsHaving watched the video of the tragedy in Tempe, Ariz., I believe the police are correct. This accident could not have been avoided as the pedestrian stepped out of the sh...
Published: 03/23/18

Friday’s letters: Think through assault weapons ban

Gun controlThink through assault rifle banI recently emailed a Florida state representative who had pledged, among other things, to ban assault rifles in the state. I asked him if he would ban the sale and transfer of these guns or ultimately make th...
Published: 03/22/18

Saturday’s letters: Tax guns to pay for security

Million-dollar questions | March 21Tax firearms to pay for securitySo public officials are wondering where they’ll get the money for stationing an armed guard in every school. How about heavily taxing every gun? It’s the proliferation of the weap...
Published: 03/21/18
Updated: 03/23/18

Thursday’s letters: School safety requires funding

Constitution Revision CommissionSchool safety requires fundingThe Constitution Revision Commission should consider amending a proposal (45, 93 or 72) to allocate the necessary recurring funding for the new school safety mandates, separate from the ba...
Published: 03/21/18

Wednesday’s letters: Let the teachers decide on guns

Trump touts arming staff as key in plan for school security | March 12It’s the teacher’s call on weaponsPlease, let’s try an alternate view about guns in the classroom. First, it hasn’t gone unnoticed that the preponderance of letters about guns ...
Published: 03/20/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for March 23

Re: Residents object to solar farm | March 16, storyLakeland Electric has shown that residential customers can be incentivized to allow placement of utility-owned solar panels on their roofs. Likewise, business owners can be incentivized to allow...
Published: 03/19/18

Tuesday’s letters: It shouldn’t be this hard to fly

Tampa International AirportIt shouldn’t be this hard to flyI’ve given the train two tries now from economy parking at Tampa airport. It’s a lot of work. How silly to go down one bank of elevators, then take a good walk to the next set of elevators to...
Published: 03/19/18

Monday’s letters: Protect Floridians’ right to privacy

People push for changes at Constitution hearing | March 14Protect Florida’s right to privacyI attended the Constitution Revision Commission’s public hearing at USF St. Petersburg last week. I was there because I thought it was important to have m...
Published: 03/18/18

Sunday’s letters: Effort to stem pet cruelty pays off

Puppy millsEffort to stem cruelty pays offThank you to everyone who contacted their legislators, and a huge shout-out to the Tampa Bay Times for letting us know that state legislators were considering a bill to eliminate the hard-achieved gains on lo...
Published: 03/17/18

Saturday’s letters: Insurer focused on repairs, not fees

Citizens hit with $12.7M verdict | March 15Insurer’s focus: repairs, not feesCitizens Property Insurance Corp. has spent the past several years making sure that insurance proceeds for sinkhole repairs are used to restore a home and make it whole....
Published: 03/16/18