Sunday, June 17, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Saturday's letters: Rising sea level is cause for alarm

Arctic Ocean ice sets new low | Sept. 20

Rising sea level is cause for alarm

Considering the implications for the Tampa Bay area of the report by the National Snow and Ice Data Center concerning the drastic melting of arctic sea ice this summer, it is rather surprising that the only mention was a small paragraph on Page 7 of Section A.

As the New York Times quoted Dr. James Hansen about the report: "The scientific community realizes we have a planetary emergency," an emergency that will be felt in the Tampa Bay area primarily because of the rising sea level. The article goes on to say scientists are very concerned: "Many of them fear they may still be underestimating the speed and severity of the impending changes."

What will it take to convince the Tampa Bay Times to report on the looming and huge problems this area faces in the decades ahead as the sea level rises? And as the report points out, the rise may be coming far faster than anyone realizes.

What will happen when sea levels rise a foot, or 2 feet, or as conservative estimates now say, 3 feet by the end of the century? Will there still be a chain of barrier islands as we know them — from Egmont Key to Anclote Key, or for that matter, anywhere around Florida's current coastline — in 100 years? What about 50? Or, as the rate of melting accelerates, what about in 20 years?

Tyler Carder, Largo

Tax fairness

Who should pay more?

Which person below is the "entitled" one and should pay more federal taxes?

One who pays no income taxes but pays about 7 percent payroll taxes (for a laborious, near minimum-wage job), who also pays a relatively larger percentage of income on gas taxes, 7 percent sales taxes, and property taxes (likely via rent with no tax deduction benefit), and who must spend all leftover income — from perhaps $25,000 — to inadequately support a family of four.

Or one who pays 14 percent income taxes but pays no payroll taxes (for this person need not labor for any wages), and who pays a smaller percentage of income on gas taxes, sales taxes and property taxes (despite having multiple homes providing large income tax deductions), and who spends very little leftover income — from a $20 million income — to generously support a family of two?

Oh, and by the way, the latter one is campaigning for a smaller income tax burden on any wages he or she may decide to earn.

Bryon Ehlmann, Tallahassee

Young: Get out of the war | Sept. 18

Perhaps apology is in order

I'm glad to see that Rep. C.W. Bill Young wants us to get out of Afghanistan, but I wonder what took him so long. Like the congressman, I have been visiting the VA hospital for years. I sustained a non-combat injury when I was in the service during the Vietnam era. I have watched the current veterans returning with massive injuries, both physical and psychiatric, and it angers me. There were many mistakes made in Vietnam. The "wise men" like Young promised us that they would not make the same mistakes again. Not only were they repeated, they were repeated in two wars and for longer periods.

The congressman explained that one reason for his change of heart was the death of a young man in Afghanistan who had written Young a letter about poor decisionmaking by the command structure. In his book Washington Rules: America's Path to Permanent War, professor Andrew Bacevich writes that he does not think we have good leadership in the military. I found Bacevich's statements powerful because he is a West Point graduate, a combat veteran in Vietnam, a retired colonel, and also the grieving father of a son lost in Iraq.

In 2004, NFL player Pat Tillman was killed in Afghanistan. His mother and widow have continuously complained about how the poor decisionmaking of the command structure led to his death. They also feel that the Army and politicians have lied to them about Pat's death. Perhaps Young owes an apology to the grieving survivors of all the other injured or dead servicemen and women.

John Burrell, Tampa

Extremists get the headlines | Sept. 20 letter

Misplaced blame

Mark Cattell condemns Israel for mistreating the Palestinians. He would do better to castigate the Arabs who treat Palestinians as pariahs and deny them rights in every Arab country. On the other hand, in Israel, Arabs enjoy treatment in Israeli hospitals noted for excellence.

Cattell would also do well to bear in mind that the United States and indeed the world are threatened by Muslim fundamentalism.

Norman N. Gross, Tampa

Election coverage

Media's bias is glaring

While our embassies are being attacked and our flags burned all around the world, while one of our ambassadors is killed along with three other Americans, while the Fed continues to devalue the dollar and all our savings, while American casualties in Afghanistan continue to accrue, while the labor participation rate is the lowest since 1981, while gasoline prices have more than doubled in the last four years, while the country and the whole world are on the edge of economic collapse, what's the focus of our mainstream media? Mitt Romney's poorly worded but basically true comments during a private fundraising event.

Hitler or Mao couldn't have asked for more from a state-run propagandist media.

Mike Grace, New Port Richey

Romney: Nearly half 'believe they are victims' | Sept. 18

Character and lack thereof

After hearing and reading what Mitt Romney said at the $50,000-a-plate fundraiser in May, I can only say this: A leader's true character is shown in how he or she treats the people who work for him or her.

What he said about people like janitors, landscapers, waiters, seniors, day care workers, school bus drivers — all the people who toil every day so the more affluent can relax — truly shows his character and how he couldn't care less about them.

Ala Roberts, Largo

Foster rewards 70 top staffers for RNC work Sept. 21

A perk for a few

I am a public school teacher in St. Petersburg. Like your managers, I am on a salary and I regularly work 12- to 16-hour days to provide my students with a quality education.

I would like to know when I can take my 16 hours' paid time off.

Dayna Nichols, St. Petersburg


Monday’s letters: Skip those plastic bags and save the environment

To save our seas, overcome congressional apathy | Column, June 16Do your part and skip plastic bagsEvery day we read about the shame of our landfills and oceans filling up with plastic bags, yet most people don’t care. My wife and I always carry ...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

White House defends splitting up families as ‘biblical’ | June 15The suffering of the childrenI am a mother and attorney with more than 20 years of practice living in Tampa. For the past three years, I worked as a magistrate in a Unified Family C...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Saturday’s letters: Community-based care requires community involvement

Fix foster care, and do it quickly | Editorial, June 15Involve the community itselfWhile the detailed article about the scathing state review of Hillsborough County’s foster care problems touched on leadership, a critical point was not addressed....
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Friday’s letters: Freight trains are infrastructure that works in Tampa Bay

Railroads are infrastructure that worksFreight trains carry the loadCentral Florida is our state’s fastest-growing region. We’re on track to outpace South Florida’s growth 2-to-1 over the next several years. Great news for our local economy, but it n...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Thursday’s letters: Charter schools aren’t the enemy

Don’t plug your ears when schools ask for tax | May 20, columnCharter schools aren’t the enemyAs an educator, I am astounded when I hear claims from school board members that charter schools take away funding from the local public school system. ...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/14/18

Wednesday’s letters: Trump’s words insult our Canadian visitors

Trade disputes torpedo G-7 summit | June 10Canadian visitors are owed apologyLike many Pinellas County residents, I’m pleased that we receive thousands of Canadian "snow birds" as part-year residents. Not only do they enhance our economy, but by ...
Published: 06/11/18
Updated: 06/13/18

Hernando Letters to the Editor for June 15

Opinion: Commissioners arrogant and incompetentMy wife and I live in Hernando County. As such, we are represented by a Board of County Commissioners where all the members manifest two common traits. Those traits are arrogance and incompetence.The arr...
Published: 06/11/18
Updated: 06/12/18

Tuesday’s letters: Fewer guns would reduce suicides

U.S. under suicide watch | June 8Fewer guns mean fewer suicidesIt is a fact that deserves more attention, but got only one sentence in the article about the U.S. "suicide watch:" "The most common method used across all groups was firearms." I spe...
Published: 06/11/18
Updated: 06/12/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for June 15

New group to address real women’s issuesLast Saturday our Congressman Gus Bilirakis sponsored a "Woman’s Summit" at East Lake High School that was supposed to deal with women’s issues. Some topics covered were gardening, weight loss and quilting.Mayb...
Published: 06/11/18

Monday’s letters: Bring back the ferry, kick-start transit

Cross bay, but who’ll pay? | June 8Ferry could be a gateway to transitIt’s great news that St. Petersburg is committed to bringing back the world class cross bay ferry service. What a common-sense and practical thing to do in order to ease us int...
Published: 06/08/18
Updated: 06/11/18