Monday, April 23, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Saturday's letters: Government fails to stop migrant influx

In spite of the ongoing invasion of our nation by people from Central America, there has been no mention in the Times of the Mexicans who are ferrying illegals across the Rio Grande on water scooters at $100 a head while U.S. officials stand by and take no action. This was reported on several news channels and Internet news sites.

Article 4, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution states that the federal government has a duty to protect the states from invasion — any invasion, not just military.

Why are our elected officials turning a blind eye to this? They are elected to protect the citizens of the United States, not foreign nationals breaking our laws.

It is far past the time to round up those people who have flouted our laws with their illegal presence in the United States and enact crippling penalties on the business people who place profit over loyalty to those who make their businesses possible.

If drastic action is not taken soon, the United States will become another failed state. A nation that cannot and will not protect its borders is no nation and none of its inhabitants owe it any loyalty.

Richard M. Hoffman, Ruskin

Economic recovery

Spending power eroded

As talk increases about economic recovery, so do expectations about future growth and prosperity. Is a recovery likely, or are we setting ourselves up for disappointment?

After all, the stock market can be making all-time highs (it is), GDP can be on the rise (it is), auto sales can be healthy (they supposedly are), and employment can be approaching 100 percent (it is not), but if the majority of people don't have money to spend the economy will remain stuck in the mud.

Some three-quarters or more of Americans are feeling the squeeze of flat or declining incomes and growing expenses to the point that their discretionary income is disappearing. It's difficult to envision wages increasing in a global economy where competition for jobs increasingly comes from foreigners willing to work for far less than we're accustomed to.

Big-ticket expenses such as property insurance, health care, education and transportation have escalated in the past 10 years, taking substantial bites out of consumer budgets. We should certainly not expect a return to the high-flying, champagne-drinking days of just a decade ago.

Chip Thomas, Tampa

Public to weigh in again on Pier plan June 18

Back to the future

My idea for the new pier is to return to the original Million Dollar Pier, with restaurants, a ballroom, a rooftop nightclub and an electric trolley for access. The original pier complemented the architecture of the Vinoy and blended into the waterfront so well.

Nick Glover, Odessa

Citizens' voices will be heard on All Aboard Florida | June 16, letter

Train plan about developers

I find it interesting that Gov. Rick Scott is defending All Aboard Florida and the quiet zones that will be created to protect citizens between Miami and Orlando from the noise of the 32 trains a day that will run the rails at the end of this project.

I used to live in Palm Beach County in the 1970s. I had to plan my day around trains and bridges back in the day — and there were very few trains. Today, where All Aboard Florida plans to run 32 trains a day, there are less than a dozen trains running now. The law does not allow them to hold up traffic for more than five minutes. What in the world will happen when 32 trains are running on those same tracks? Thirty-two times five minutes is a lot of minutes stuck in traffic.

The trains are not the important thing here. The private developers already own property in Miami and Palm Beach County where they plan to develop depots, restaurants, shops and the like. They believe that these things will attract 400 people per train, 32 trains per day, from Miami to Orlando. Really? Twenty years from now, those trains will likely no longer run. The restaurants and shops will be gone. But the developers will have made their millions and moved on to other projects.

Judy Hess, Palm Harbor

Caution, calm best Iraq policy June 18, editorial

Foreign policy naivete

I found this editorial to be stupefying in its naivete. The statement that President Barack Obama should "continue to move methodically, encouraging conversations with other nations" ignores the fact that the barbarians are at the door.

When faced with this imminent crisis, Obama sucked it up and went on vacation to California for four days, during which he played a couple rounds of golf, gave a speech and held three fundraisers. Upon his return from the Golden State, he fired up Air Force One for a trip to New York so he could have another fundraiser. As you recall, the morning after the attack in Benghazi, he could be seen boarding a flight to Las Vegas for, yes, a fundraiser.

And this is our commander in chief?

As to "conversations with other nations," that is so absurd that if the situation were not so dire, it would be laughable. You mention the Saudis. The Saudis are the ones who funded ISIS to begin with. You also state Obama should "build international pressure for a negotiated end to the violence." Maybe the United States, Canada and Belize could make this happen, but I have strong doubts.

Mike Lyons, Apollo Beach

Government openness

Secrecy and cover-ups

Liberal President Barack Obama pledged to run the most transparent administration in history. In this, his administration has been a dismal failure. Secrecy, cover-ups and withholding information have been the rule and not the exception. The IRS, Benghazi and domestic spying on U.S. citizens scandals are proof of how little this administration cares about being honest with the American people.

Even liberal Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont has complained about the growing trend by government to withhold large swaths of information from the public. As Leahy said, "If you screw up in government, just mark it top secret." This effectively prevents the administration from having to disclose anything under Freedom of Information Act requests.

Additionally, with the attack on free speech by liberals, as pointed out by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg at the recent Harvard commencement, we have a pattern of intolerance by Democrats and their supporters that is far worse than anything ever experienced in our country.

Louis Ciardulli, Safety Harbor

Health care

Technology improves care

As a council of the National Kidney Foundation, we focus on three things: awareness, prevention and treatment of kidney disease. The combination of health care, broadband and advances in medicine is making great strides related to prevention and treatment.

Smartphone and tablet apps are helping medical professionals monitor and treat patients. They also help patients with kidney transplants learn how to stay healthy.

The market for mobile medical apps will significantly grow over the next few years. These apps and other technologies are critical to preventive care and treatment.

I hope Florida's congressional delegation sees the potential and will support modernizing the Communications Act. Continued advancements of the health care industry are directly linked to the communications industry. A new law will put health care technologies in the best position to grow. Leaving an outdated law as-is is a hindrance to future technologies.

Terence Stevens, chairman, Citrus Council, National Kidney Foundation of Florida, Lakeland

Washington Redskins

Branding challenge

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has just ruled that the name "Redskins" is disparaging and can't be protected. NFL team owner Dan Snyder will either have to change the name or counterfeiters from Baltimore to Bangladesh will retool their production lines — and they'll be able to get away with it.

You can argue all you want about the wisdom (or morality) of the "Redskins" moniker, but to the tender sensitivities of an NFL team owner, licensing royalties trump just about everything else.

So what do we call them now? Doubtless Snyder will be tempted to call in one of the country's smartest "branding" experts. These are the same guys who gave Tampa Bay the bright idea of using what looks like a skull and crossbones as a tourist logo. "Hey, come visit!" it screams: "We've got poison!"

Since professional football can get pretty violent, let's give Washington's team a name that'll provide America a collective "Weekly Hate" worthy of George Orwell.

Let's call them the Washington Bureaucrats. Just think how much fun it'll be to watch the tackles.

Mike Collins, Tampa


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

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