Monday, April 23, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Saturday's letters: Gas guzzlers to blame for high costs

Almost daily we read or hear about the economic hardship of rising gas prices. It seems that the headlines are a bit overblown and make no sense in relation to the driving habits of the American driving public.

Anyone who has driven on any of the nation's two-lane, four-lane or interstate highways soon realizes that the journalists and the TV news readers are sensationalizing the "hardship" of rising gas prices.

If you drive the speed limit on any highway or city street, you will practically get blown off the pavement by the gas-guzzler SUVs, crossovers, pickup trucks, eight-cylinder luxury cars and all sorts of "family cars" and vans.

We did a little experiment while on vacation this year, driving interstate highways as well as two-lane country roads. We drove the speed limit. Result: honking cars and lights flashing behind us to get out of the way or drive faster. Even while driving 10 to 20 miles per hour over the speed limit, cars nearly touched our rear bumpers attempting to pass us.

If the rising gas price hardship was for real, folks would be driving the speed limit, buying Smart cars or Mini Coopers or small Fiats or whatever would save money on gas.

The public's driving habits and purchases of gas-guzzlers make the entire "Price of gas rising daily" articles nothing but comical entertainment.

Mik Lorand, South Pasadena

Democratic National Convention

Conventions give boost

to civic participation

National political conventions can be remarkably inspiring when one's political persuasions are in general alignment with the party having the convention. National conventions are a drawing card for our most articulate, dynamic speakers.

Conventions do for politics what church services do for religion and football rallies do for school sports. Without them, peer influence and enthusiasm would fade along with voter participation, causing our democracy to suffer. The high financial cost and inconvenience of the conventions are minimal compared to the devastating effect that apathy would have in national politics.

We should all pay attention to what is said, vote, and monitor compliance to promises made. But most of all we should be uplifted by the positive speakers and enjoy the promotion of democracy in this great country.

Dave Hewitt, Parrish

Wanted more coverage

I was deeply disappointed with the paltry four pages of your coverage of the Democratic National Convention as opposed to the entire sections that appeared every day in the Tampa Bay Times last week devoted to the Republican National Convention.

I was looking forward to stories about the thrilling speeches given by San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro and Michelle Obama, of which there were only small excerpts. Where are all the human interest stories that could have been generated by the other heartwarming speeches, especially the one by the mother regarding her disabled child needing heart operations? You certainly dropped the ball here.

Are your writers tired from all that overblown coverage and hoopla you extended to the RNC? Or are you just trying too hard to dispel what Republicans have always complained about — your pro-Democratic Party bias?

Kathleen Elliott, Pinellas Park

Path of decline

Growing debt, a deteriorating economy and a society in decline is the path President Barack Obama and his supporters are taking our nation. We have been fed the line that Obama is the most intelligent person to ever occupy the Oval Office. Nothing could be further from the truth. He knows quite well that his belief in leftist ideology and his actions as president have placed America in jeopardy.

His re-election strategy of exploiting race, class and gender issues is beneath contempt.

Larry Biddle, Lady Lake

Paul Ryan's Medicare plan

Worse care, more expense

Rep. Paul Ryan's plan to reform senior health care eviscerates Medicare and turns it over to private health insurance companies. Medicare reform is essential for its solvency, but the rate of increase in health care costs is higher in the private sector than for Medicare, or compared with any industrialized country in the world, like Germany, that provides universal coverage.

The Congressional Budget Office has already determined that Obamacare is less expensive than it would be to repeal it and return to the prior system of health care the GOP favors.

Ryan's proposal would provide seniors with basic HMO coverage much like basic Medicare HMO/Advantage plans of today, also controlled by private health insurance companies, which often provide grossly inadequate health care coverage.

I was a state social services counselor in Florida for over 30 years and worked with many seriously ill and infirm seniors on basic Medicare HMO/Advantage plans. Those insurers were often reluctant or unwilling to deliver services such as skilled home health services, durable medical equipment, referrals to specialists, short-term placement in skilled nursing or rehabilitation facilities, and extended hospitalizations. Health insurance companies' first priority is profit, often accomplished by limiting health care expenditures.

George Howlett, Tampa

Campaign 2012

Shorter season, less money

Eyes, ears and minds are being filled with TV ads, political mailings and unwelcome telephone calls. This irritating and costly campaigning has been going on for months. The worst thing is that rarely are there any real issues discussed, just malicious words about the opponent.

The public is tired of this nonsense. Campaigning should be limited to five weeks. This is enough time to state proposals and policies.

As it is now, only the wealthy can afford to continue campaigning, either with their own money or contributions. No campaign contributions should be allowed, since acceptance of large donations is tantamount to promising a favor in the future. Money can be provided by the government and should not be exceeded.

Renee G. Salzer, Seminole

Pinellas term limits murky Sept. 5

It's time for them to go

In recent articles it appears that the two Pinellas County commissioners faced with being term-limited out of the upcoming election are unwilling to step aside and follow what the voters and the courts have determined they should do. They should not use the county attorney to take their side when the court and the voters have spoken.

We want term limits, we voted for them overwhelmingly, and the court has spoken. The purpose of public service is to help your community, not to make a career out of serving the public. At what point have they stopped serving the public and begun serving their own needs?

Tim Keffalas, Tarpon Springs

Memories of a POW | Sept. 2

Support families

I was very pleased to see the article on Capt. Kenneth Horner surviving as a prisoner of war of the Japanese in the Sunday Times. There are too few stories done about our POW/MIAs.

Today, thousands of service personnel remain unaccounted for. We must continue to support those who still do not have a sense of closure for a loved one who served his country above and beyond.

The third week in September has been designated as POW-MIA Week, and Sept. 21 is officially designated as National POW-MIA Recognition Day. Please make it a point to join in observing this special occasion that is deserving of all of our support and recognition.

Victor Bartholomew, Tarpon Springs

The Pier

Lens out of focus

I just returned home from spending a day at the Corvette show at the St. Petersburg Pier. It was a beautiful day on the water and the more than 100 Corvettes in attendance made it even more enjoyable.

In my wildest dreams, I cannot understand why the city of St. Petersburg wants to tear this beautiful destination down and replace it with a venue that is only attractive to bicyclists and joggers. Shame on the City Council and mayor for not allowing the citizens to decide the fate of the Pier.

I think the Lens will go down in history as one of the area's greatest blunders, maybe even eclipsing the Clearwater Beach roundabout. I am truly going to miss coming to St. Petersburg and enjoying the Pier.

Larry Broga, Seminole

Pain Awareness Month

Chronic suffering

Not many people know that September is Pain Awareness Month. It is a good idea for people to become aware of the different types of chronic pain that people deal with and the different types of treatment for that pain. It is sad that many of those in constant pain have a hard time doing things you and others take for granted, like reaching into the refrigerator to pull out a gallon of milk or even getting up from a chair.

There is a stigma attached to those who need to take certain medications that allow them to be contributing members of society. People are called "drug addicts" because they are in pain. Please, read some articles on chronic pain and what some sufferers must deal with. Your attitude just may change a bit.

William Beckman, Largo


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 ...
Updated: 1 hour ago

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

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

Hernando Letters to the Editor for April 20

Bar Association celebrates Law WeekPresident Dwight D. Eisenhower proclaimed May 1, 1958, as the first Law Day to mark the nation’s commitment to the rule of law. Every year on this day, we reflect on the significance of the rule of law and rededicat...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18

Tuesday’s letters: Stop cooperating with ICE

Sheriff’s ICE policy blasted | April 10Pinellas should end partnership with ICEPinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri recently participated in a community conversation on his controversial agreement with ICE to voluntarily detain immigrants in the...
Published: 04/16/18

Sunday’s letters: The future of oyster production

Shell game | April 15Future of oyster productionThanks to Laura Reiley for an excellent synopsis of the current state of oyster production in Florida. The collapse of the Apalachicola oyster fishery is merely the latest example of the demise of a...
Published: 04/14/18

Monday’s letters: Public education is foundation of the nation

Voters beware of ballot deceptionApril 13, commentarySchools’ role underminedIt was with great pain that I read (not for the first time) that we must be aware of "ballot deception." Public schools were founded to make sure that future generations of ...
Published: 04/13/18