Wednesday, March 21, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Saturday's letters: Generational change coming in Iran

Iran deal curbs nuclear pursuit | July 15

Generational changes due in Iran

I believe the deal the president and the secretary of state, John Kerry, cut with the Iranians on their nuclear program has more promise than most realize. Not so much from the severity of the sanctions it imposes, but more because of the length of time they are imposed.

The 10 to 15 years the restrictions are in place is the most important element of the deal. There are significant generational differences in Iran. Older people whose ideological orientations were formed before the 1979 Islamic Revolution are more likely to retain the kinds of anti-American perspectives that pervade the rest of the region. However, this ideology is weaker or nonexistent among younger Iranians. And, as we know, most Iranians are young.

My belief is that in the 10 to 15 years that the Iranian youth mature and begin running their country, they will have a different perspective than their elders. They will remember living under the sanctions and how crippling that was for their country, and be more inclined to a mainstream relationship with the West and share in the opportunities that exist here.

George Chase, St. Pete Beach

Iran deal curbs nuclear pursuit | July 15

On the path to peace

This deal marks progress and success, and it will be the legacy of President Barack Obama.

I have heard a lot of negative feedback from conservatives who call this deal a mistake tantamount to the mistakes made with North Korea. While this deal may not be flawless, it is a monumental step in the right direction. It first and foremost significantly reduces the chance of war, which is a victory in itself for both sides. While Republicans shake their heads and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu berates these efforts, I have yet to hear any other viable solutions from them.

There are elements of this long, detailed agreement that people should be informed about (and celebrate). First, Iran must give up a vast majority of its centrifuges. In addition, it will only be keeping the first-generation centrifuges. In simpler terms, Iran's nuclear program will have the capability to do very little in terms of creating a nuclear weapon. Secondly, Iran will only be allowed to enrich uranium to 3.67 percent. This essentially ensures that the raw uranium will only be used for nuclear power plants, not for a bomb.

By lifting the sanctions, both parties benefit. For too long, both sides have been punishing the people of Iran for political reasons. This tactic is, in my eyes, unfair and unjust. The sanctions have crumbled Iran's economy, hurting the citizens more than the government we are disgruntled with. With this deal, we can finally provide the Iranian people with the ability to prosper. We are putting an end to the suffering of an entire population — a population that has many youthful Western supporters in it.

The deal does have an expiration date, but that does not mean that in the years to come we cannot continue to negotiate. This marks the beginning of a long but promising path to peace.

Doniya Milani, Tampa

Alternatives to war

What part of "keep your enemies close" do U.S. conservatives not understand? We may not love the Chinese government, but we have made pacts with them that benefit our country. The same can be said of Vietnam and Russia. Iran is the only stable Muslim country in the Middle East and while we may abhor their politics, we will need them in our fight against worse radical factions. Israel will always be our ally, but we cannot allow it to dictate our foreign policy.

History will show the follies of the Vietnam and Iraq wars, and we do not need to repeat those mistakes.

Susan N. Walzer, St. Petersburg

Fantasy or reality?

Based the Washington Post's account of the Iran deal, our administration has negotiated the perfect solution to Iran's nuclear threat. And in the sports section, I read that Rob Manfred, the Major League Baseball commissioner, sees the Tampa Bay area as a viable market.

I think I got the Grimm's version of the paper.

Dave Helper, Tierra Verde

Fear for the future

My newborn grandson will be 8 years old and my 3-year-old old grandson will be 11 when the arms embargo on Iran runs out. Thank you, Mr. President. You have accomplished what past presidents in my 80 years, Democrat or Republican, never could or would do: I now fear for my grandchildren's future.

Michael P. Catalano, Palm Harbor

Windfall for Iran

Our president just gave a hostile and oil-wealthy nation that hates us permission to build a nuclear bomb — as long as they promise to build it slowly. Since no Iranians screamed "Death to America" at the negotiations, Barack Obama will lift sanctions.

Add to that a return of $100 billion in frozen assets that can be put right into Iran's "bomb fund," and Iran will be sitting pretty. Not to mention well-armed.

The only financial question left for Iran is who will pay for the thousands of American flags they will burn in the streets after all the negotiators go home.

David Fraser, Clearwater


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...
Updated: 6 hours ago

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

Friday’s letters: Put young people to work rebuilding infrastructure

Smart way to pay for infrastructure | March 13, commentaryMake rebuilding a youth project Raising gas taxes to pay for infrastructure may not be the best way to go. I suggest we re-invent the old WPA (Works Progress Administration) and draft high...
Published: 03/13/18
Updated: 03/15/18

Thursday’s letters: An alternative for giving: Breadcoin

Panhandling paradox | March 11Innovation in giving: BreadcoinPanhandling is destructive to the donor, panhandler and our community — a guilt trip that erodes personal dignity, respect and self-worth, making the recipient more beholden and entitle...
Published: 03/13/18
Updated: 03/14/18
Wednesday’s letters: Daylight bill is bad for business

Wednesday’s letters: Daylight bill is bad for business

Daylight saving timeDaylight bill is bad for businessI encourage Gov. Rick Scott to veto the daylight saving time extension bill. It makes no sense. It puts Florida out of sync with the rest of the country. Commerce will be affected. The entire Easte...
Published: 03/13/18