Sunday, February 18, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Saturday's letters: Don't cut special needs education

Veto anemic school budget | May 14, editorial

Don't cut special needs program

House Bill 7069 includes $30 million to pay for 3,000 scholarships for students with conditions such as spina bifida, Down syndrome and autism. I hope Gov. Rick Scott will not take these scholarships away from these children with special needs.

The Gardiner Scholarship has been life-changing for my son. Using it, we are able to send him to a special needs-centric school that customizes his education to his strengths and weaknesses in a small classroom environment. His future is brighter than ever because of this scholarship.

By his past actions in supporting the Gardiner Scholarship and bills to strengthen primary education opportunities, Scott has shown his dedication to empowering Florida students with special needs to work toward their goals of higher education, employment and independence. I hope he continues to support these critical initiatives, because students with special needs are a valuable, vibrant and active part of the Florida population.

Kristine Benson, Clearwater

County forbids new puppy shops | May 18

No excuse for abuses

In spite of all the publicity about buying puppies from pet stores, people are still wooed by cute little pups. Cute little pups who are outrageously overpriced and often ill.

We bred and showed German shepherds for over 20 years. Not all the pups were show quality. After keeping the litters for 12 weeks we had a pretty good idea what pups to sell as good quality pets. Also by that time, any health issues were likely to have surfaced.

We sold our pups with a one-year guarantee against health problems. Bring back the pup and money refunded. If the buyers wanted to keep the pup in spite of the problem, we refunded the money and allowed them to keep the pup.

This is a perfect solution for pet stores. If they were required to give a money-back guarantee you can be sure they would use reputable breeders as a source. There is no excuse for the existence of deplorable puppy mills.

Marilyn B. Signer, Lakeland

Trump accused of leak | May 16

Security at stake

President Donald Trump may have used classified information during his discussions, which is appropriate for the president. The anonymous leaker of the notes from the meeting has caused serious damage to the security of the country by disclosing the meeting notes, in my view an act of treason.

If the leaker was concerned, he or she should have alerted the CIA, DIA or NSA, which by law are required to notify the Senate Intelligence Committee of a serious breach. This process would have determined any damage to the United States and advised the president of its conclusion. The unsubstantiated accusation by those who place their hate of Trump above the security of this country is very disturbing.

Ronald Hall, Lutz

Too much bully; too little pulpit | May 17, commentary

Idea is 65 years too late

Republican media consultant Adam Goodman's column suggests how President Donald Trump might go about becoming the commander in chief for which a restive public yearns.

The president would no more accept his wisdom than an obstinate 5-year-old will listen to his parent to come to the table, sit still, eat his dinner and engage in meaningful conversation.

Margaret Mead said children must be taught how to think, not what to think. Regrettably, in the president's case, it is too late for that.

Bruce Lowitt, Oldsmar

Lessons from the WannaCry hack | May 18, commentary

Windows hurdles

This editorial states that "tens of thousands of computers were not up to date, allowing the malware to spread." True enough. However, keeping Microsoft operating systems updated is a constant struggle and often beyond the average user.

After the WannaCry hack, I decided to come to grips with an ongoing problem on my Windows 7 system, where the 29 updates would not install — staying at 0 percent installed for about five months.

I researched and jumped through all the hoops. I cleared the cache but the update process was hung up. I stopped the update service, ran Microsoft's repair tool, restarted the service and the update still hung up. I made sure the update program had in fact been updated. It had. Finally, I ran update for about 10 hours. Eureka — I now had fresh updates to install. Would they install? After three tries they finally did — 24 hours after I started this whole convoluted process.

Since updating is so crucial to security, it needs to be a seamless process with few bugs — not so with Microsoft update.

Margaret Gates, Largo

Constitution Revision Commission

Official inattention

I attended the public hearing for the Constitution Revision Commission on Wednesday at Hillsborough Community College. Information about the commissioners and red and green cards were issued upon arrival. The purpose of the cards was for the attendees to show their support or disapproval of the speakers. I was disappointed that the commissioners were either talking to each other or staring at their laptops throughout the speakers' presentations. This event was touted as "Floridians Talk, We Listen," however the commissioners did not appear to look at the speakers nor did they look to see the audience reaction via the cards.

Linda Reed, Tampa


Sunday’s letters: Congress must act on firearms

Deadly toll: 17 | Feb. 15Congress must act on firearmsIt’s time for Congress to be counted.The failure of Congress to act to: (1) limit access to assault rifles and (2) require meaningful background checks for all gun purchases is appalling.Surel...
Published: 02/17/18

Monday’s letters: Call it by its name: terrorism

Deadly toll: 17 | Feb. 15Call it whatit is: terrorismLet’s just call it what it is. It’s terrorism. No school in the country is immune. They all have procedures for sheltering in place or emergency evacuation from a shooter. It’s prudent to be pr...
Published: 02/16/18

Saturday’s letters: Payoff to porn star not front-page news?

Lawyer: I personally paid porn star | Feb. 14Where we’re at: This is 4A newsOnly under the Trump presidency does a story about the president’s lawyer paying off a porn star to cover up an affair with the president show up on page 4A. Never mind t...
Published: 02/16/18

Friday’s letters: Water quality too important to gamble on

State to update water rules | Feb. 10Don’t gamble with water safetyI wondered whether this front-page article was an early April Fool’s joke. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection "updated" its pollution regulations in 2016, with str...
Published: 02/15/18

Thursday’s letters: Bill protects pharmacy customers

House Bill 351Bill protects pharmacy customersWe all need the protections provided in Florida House Bill 351 to ensure pharmacy benefit managers, or PBMs, are transparently operating with patients. Currently, PBMs are not regulated by the state and o...
Published: 02/14/18

Wednesday’s letters: The ocean is no place for amateurs

Youthful dream sinks in two days | Feb. 12Ocean is no place for amateursFirst of all, let me say I am sorry this couple lost their boat and I do applaud their adventurous spirit. However, I have spent over 20 years at sea and would like to commen...
Published: 02/13/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for Feb. 16

A vote against Pasco’s jail bond issueThere are two stories on the front page of the Feb. 9 Pasco Times that drew my attention.The top headline reports that the Pasco County commissioners are discussing submitting a $185 million bond issue to the vot...
Published: 02/13/18

Tuesday’s letters: Challenges in Hillsborough foster care

Foster failures under scrutiny | Feb. 10Challenges in foster care systemNo young person deserves to be treated as shown in the Ch. 8 segment on Youth and Family Alternatives Inc., an Eckerd Connects subcontractor. It is difficult to fathom how th...
Published: 02/12/18

Saturday’s letters: We’re all just trying to get home, one zip tie at a time

I detest Trump, but a ‘redneck’ fixed my Prius with zip ties | Feb. 3, Ruth Mayer columnWe’re all just trying to get homeLike columnist Ruth Mayer, I too am trying to find my level ground, my level-set. I too have held a tremendously deep resentm...
Published: 02/07/18
Updated: 02/09/18

Sunday’s letters: Let’s make America good again

Everyone loves a parade | Feb. 9, editorialI’ll sit on the sidelinesAs a 30-year veteran I was appalled at the president’s plan for a military parade. Having marched in numerous parades in my career I can say without hesitation that members of th...
Published: 02/07/18
Updated: 02/09/18