Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Saturday's letters: Amazon provides jobs, opportunity

Nothing is ever good enough for the Tampa Bay Times. What your editorial fails to mention is that these 1,000 jobs that will be created are an opportunity for 1,000 unskilled workers to unshackle themselves from the dependency of government. These 1,000 jobs provide a chance for people desperately looking for work in this weak economy.

Of course we want well-paying jobs for our community, but not everyone is a college graduate. Should we have a community where you are either on the government dime or you have a well-paying, great job? It is these service-level jobs that can help people climb to the middle class.

How about a little optimism about our counties and state bringing jobs to Florida? I think a lot of people would rather subsidize a company to employ people than subsidize a government that enslaves people.

Eric Webber, Palm Harbor

Obamacare

Privatization and choice

I would have preferred a single-payer medical plan, which would have been simpler, cheaper and far more beneficial and comprehensive. Just think of the paperwork that would have been eliminated and the profits to middlemen avoided.

The present plan is the result of an attempted compromise with the Republican Party, which today rejects the very part of the plan that sought to include privatization and choice. No law is perfect, but to attempt to deny coverage to the many uninsured because the law falls short of perfection is shortsighted and lacking in justice and charity.

Shortsighted because failure to insure all will mean increasing medical costs, not decreasing them; and lacking in justice and charity because a society that doesn't care for those in need is one devoid of that human harmony that holds it together.

Paul Lupone, Spring Hill

Origins of the debt

The Republicans are worried about Obamacare leaving a massive debt to our future generations. Where was their concern when we went to war and cut taxes at the same time under the Republican administration? That's when the debt began growing again.

When George W. Bush took office, he inherited a surplus left by the Clinton administration. Bush is a good man, but he had very bad advisers. It seems the likes of them are still around.

Paula Xenakis, Holiday

Groom makes a grand entrance | Oct. 13

Animal suffering

I was saddened to see the Times glorifying an elephant being ridden by a groom at his wedding. Surely the groom could find a better way to make a grand entrance at this celebration.

One need only to check out the website for PETA (or other animal protection societies) to see documentation on how circuses and zoos have brutalized these majestic animals to make them docile (and do dumb tricks).

One particular image that comes to mind (and the photos are available if anyone has the stomach to view them) is of a baby elephant chained spread-eagle while trainers take turns beating her. Not that she had done anything wrong, but this was part of the training just to make her so terrified of them that she would do anything that they demanded of her.

Love elephants? Watch videos of them in their natural environment instead of subsidizing their suffering.

Jayn Meinhardt, Redington Beach

Fix Tampa police | Oct. 15, letter

Dedicated public servants

To insinuate that the entire Tampa police force is corrupt because of the reckless actions of a few bad apples is reprehensible. It is a slap in the face to all the dedicated men and women who put their lives on the line every day so the good citizens of Tampa can safely go about their business.

All these officers want to do is serve and protect to the best of their ability and return home safely to their loved ones. In case the letter writer hasn't read the papers recently, they don't all make it.

John Waitman, Palm Harbor

Chief acted decisively

The letter writer is off-base in calling for Tampa police Chief Jane Castor "to go" because one of her own made a very bad decision. Pick any occupation, public or private. If one employee does something wrong, why does that make everyone they work with "questionable"?

Police departments are made up of men and women from our community. Like all of us, they make mistakes. There is probably nothing the chief could have done to prevent this if the member didn't have the ethics to "do the right thing."

The important thing is that Castor took decisive action. That's what I want in a leader.

Jim Main, Seminole

Elections

To have voice, join a party

I am a registered Republican. But I am in no way a Republican. I am as independent as the day is long.

So why have I registered? Simple: to have a meaningful vote in the primaries. Independents cannot participate in party primaries in Florida and I believe that is the only chance we have of changing our representation in Washington and Tallahassee. Once we get to the general election the results are predetermined by the stacked voting districts and the incumbent remains.

I suggest all independents consider this course of action and join a party; either party. Let your voice be heard.

John Kupkovits, Tampa

Congress

People's interests ignored

When did the common good cease to be the basis for negotiating the country's interests? Through which doors did civility, good faith and honesty leave the halls of Congress unnoticed? When did we cease believing that it was "government of the people, by the people, and for the people" that would not perish from the Earth?

Evidence that Congress is increasingly detached from the will — and settled laws — of the people, raises questions about the core values motivating and guiding the federal Congress in its inability to conduct the government's business. Complicit in the disdainful political culture are the well-financed lobbies and a minority that has no respect for the will of the majority. An election of a president by the people is not sufficient for establishing the people's position.

Alan Simpson, a Republican U.S. senator from Wyoming from 1979 to 1997, commented, "If you have integrity, nothing else matters. If you don't have integrity, nothing else matters." After observing the political circus and listening to the insulting rhetoric during the last few weeks, one has to ask, what really matters in Washington now?

James L. Paul, Temple Terrace

Billions spent, but no answers and The money behind the governor | Oct. 14

Corporate control

If there were any remaining doubts that Florida government is owned lock, stock and barrel by large moneyed interests, they are laid to rest by these two Page 1 stories.

The state Public Service Commission's outrageous agreement to allow Duke Energy to charge customers $3.2 billion for services we will never receive, along with the list of big-money contributors to Gov. Rick Scott's campaign slush fund, demonstrate that this state is of the corporations, by the corporations and for the corporations.

Shame on our elected officials for so blatantly failing to protect the public interest, and shame on all of us for electing such self-serving, mean-spirited representatives.

John B. Robinson Jr., Dunedin

Blame? Look in the mirror

Do not blame the utilities for ripping us off. Do not blame the insurance company for raising our prices. Blame the person you see the next time you look in the mirror.

Yes, blame yourself if you are one of the people who continue to vote for the same legislators who allow these ripoffs to continue. The next time you vote, think about this; maybe it will help.

Henry D. Reiss, St. Petersburg

Testy debate, familiar issues | Oct. 16

Mandatory vs. universal

I'd like to offer a point of clarification to the terminology used at the Times-sponsored St. Petersburg mayoral debate this week and in subsequent press coverage. There is no push for mandatory curbside recycling in St. Petersburg. The People's Trash campaign has always supported universal curbside recycling. It may seem like petty semantics, but there is a big difference, and I've noticed that people often seem to confuse the two.

Mandatory implies that people will be forced to recycle. To do this, some municipalities levy fines or provide incentives. This solution is not being proposed for St. Petersburg.

By contrast, universal curbside service would see the city sponsor collection service and give each household a bin, but participation would still be voluntary. This approach is the one we have rallied around.

Timothy Martin, St. Petersburg

Comments

Thursday’s letters: A surgeon responds to story about a needle being left in a baby’s heart

All Children’s surgeon left a needle in a baby’s heart | April 22My view as one of the surgeonsI am one of the physicians discussed (but not interviewed) in this article. Whatever the motive for such an article, I disagree with many of the claims...
Updated: 10 hours ago

Wednesday’s letters: How we plan to improve foster care in Hillsborough

Improving foster care inHillsborough | April 19, editorialOur plans for helping kidsThis editorial poses many good questions. The Department of Children and Families’ peer review report is expected to be released soon. And while we welcome the an...
Published: 04/23/18
Updated: 04/25/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for April 27

Stop Ridge Road extension, reader saysWhen I spoke at the Dade City meeting of the Pasco County Commissioners on my opposition to the Ridge Road Extension, three of them responded, but only when my three minutes of free speech expired, and I could sa...
Published: 04/23/18

Monday’s letters: Term limits don’t work

U.S. Senate campaignTerm limitsdon’t workGov. Rick Scott has begun his run for the U.S. Senate with TV ads promoting term limits for representatives and senators. Aside from the probability that this would require a constitutional amendment, I think ...
Published: 04/22/18
Updated: 04/23/18

Sunday’s letters: Problems with high-speed rail

Thanks, Gov. Scott, for ghastly I-4 drives | April 18, Sue Carlton columnProblems with high-speed railIn her Wednesday column, the writer bemoaned the traffic on I-4 and blasted Gov. Rick Scott for turning down free government money for a high-sp...
Published: 04/21/18

Tuesday’s letters: Student journalists push to save their newsrooms and independence

Save student newsroomsAs professional newsrooms shrink, student newsrooms have become an increasingly important source of local coverage, holding not only our universities accountable but also local government. We write these articles, attending meet...
Published: 04/20/18
Updated: 04/24/18

Saturday’s letters: Don’t weaken rules on fisheries

Florida fisheriesDon’t weaken rules on fish stocksMembers of Congress are proposing changes to an important ocean law, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, that would adversely affect coastal states including Florida.Since it...
Published: 04/19/18
Updated: 04/20/18

Friday’s letters: We owe it to our children to teach them history

If we don’t understand past, future looks grim | April 19, Daniel Ruth columnThe history we owe our childrenIt’s not often I agree with Daniel Ruth, but this article was spot-on. I’m not sure when the schools started ignoring Germany’s World War ...
Published: 04/19/18

Thursday’s letters: Gun research can save lives

Gun ownershipCommon ground: Find the factsThere are many areas in the current debate about guns and gun ownership where both sides must agree to disagree. But there is one area where common ground ought to exist. That concerns the need for continuing...
Published: 04/18/18

Wednesday’s letters:

Poverty and plenty in bay area | April 7, editorialStruggling poor are not a priorityI commend your newspaper for continuing to produce real and relevant news, particularly the recent editorial pointing out that a prospering Tampa Bay should not ...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18