Legislators expect tough fight on tuition for immigrants' kids | Feb. 27
Why give a break to noncitizens?
Legal U.S. citizens who are property owners in Florida, but primarily reside in another state, are levied higher property taxes than their so-called full-time resident counterparts.
They also almost never use the schools that are funded by property taxes and that swallow up a huge portion of property tax revenue.
Somehow, in some twisted Florida logic, this is fair. But people who are in this country illegally can use the school system for free up through high school, and now some legislators and your newspaper are advocating that they should get "resident" tuition rates for college.
This is a perk that a legal "nonresident" taxpaying citizen cannot get.
George Tokarczyk, Tierra Verde
Lecturing other nations won't fix climate change | Feb. 23, Perspective
Educate public on climate
Thanks for publishing Edward Renner's article on John Kerry's recent climate change lecture to Indonesians. Renner is both right, and wrong.
He is right that no developing nation will attempt to tackle climate change until the United States does. In fact, developed nations have tried to tackle climate change without the United States, and their efforts have failed primarily because economics requires that this be a unified global effort so those reducing emissions by charging a price for carbon emissions do not face unfair competition from those still polluting for free.
Yes, the United States must lead on climate action.
But Renner is also wrong because the more Kerry talks about climate change, the better. As secretary of state, Kerry will have many opportunities to speak about the issue overseas, and that is good because foreign nations must hear that we care and that our secretary of state thinks our Congress must act. Perhaps what we need is for all members of the Cabinet to go on speaking tours throughout the United States speaking about climate change.
And the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers should do a speaking tour explaining why a revenue-neutral carbon tax, with border adjustments, is the best policy to slow climate change. There is no excuse in 2014 for people to be ignorant about the dangers we face, and there is no excuse for Congress' inaction to continue.
Judy Weiss, member, Citizens Climate Lobby, Brookline, Mass.
Rick Scott is no Jeb Bush | Feb. 23, Perspective
The 11-word agenda of Gov. Rick Scott, "tax and fee cuts, eliminate government waste and pay down debt" is appalling. Where is his concern for Florida's distressed educational system; or citizens who are still without health care; or those unemployed people who are no longer receiving benefits; or those who have lost their voting rights? The list goes on and on.
I wish that I could believe that his "11-word agenda" would somehow translate into meaningful services for those most in need, but the words he has used offer nothing in the way of humanity.
Martha Hodge, Tampa
Swiss bank accused of helping rich avoid taxes | Feb. 26
Almost every day I see on television news programs Republicans complaining about the U.S. government providing food stamps to the needy. I won't go into what they call these people.
In the Times last week, there was a long article regarding Credit Suisse and how the bank helped American customers, some 22,000 of them, hide $10 billion to $20 billion from the U.S. Treasury. The report was based on a two-year investigation and covered the years 2001-08. Since 2009, the Treasury has publicly charged 73 account holders and 35 bankers and advisers.
I have not seen a single statement from a Republican.
Barry I. Kanter, Lithia
Accident waiting to happen
I am a frequent rower on the Hillsborough River and have noticed a gradually increasing amount of boat traffic. Much of this involves local rowers, but many more out-of-town participants come to Tampa in the winter months to participate.
Additional types of watercraft (canoes, kayaks) and swimmers are also present. In addition, considerable construction is occurring along the waterfront, which will only increase traffic in the future.
I am a former member of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and instructor in their boating and safety course. As such, I am concerned at the lack of understanding and compliance with the well-defined traffic patterns that apply to anyone operating a vessel on the river.
I call upon city and county officials to institute and enforce basic safety measures on the river before a tragedy happens that we will all regret.
Alvin H. Felman, Tampa
Mayors, parades at odds | Feb. 28
It's a parade, not a protest
The article demonstrates once again the small-minded tendency of many American political leaders to paint themselves into the tightest little corners when it comes to hot-topic social issues. Both New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and Boston Mayor Martin Walsh choose to turn their backs on their cities' longstanding, widely and wildly popular St. Patrick's Day parades, to express solidarity with gay rights groups that want to carry pro-gay signs during the festive marches. If the gay agenda is granted that privilege, how can it be denied to any of the many other social issue plaintiffs?
As Boston parade organizer Phillip Wuschke points out, gays are welcome with open arms to join his city's parade; they are only asked not to turn it into a protest march. "The theme of the parade is St. Patrick's Day. The parade is a day of celebration; not demonstration."
Walsh and De Blazio should channel their mothers' almost certain finger-wagging admonition: "There is a time and a place for everything."
Earl Barrett, Clearwater
Spring training, 1914 | Feb. 23, Perspective
Due for a dressing down
The photo of fans at a baseball game 100 years ago shows them all well-dressed, as if they were going to church. In contrast, today if you to go to church you will see many men dressed as if they were going to a baseball game.
Dominic Grillo, Dunedin