Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Saturday's letters: What different statues really stand for

Destruction there and here | Letter, Aug. 17

What these statues stand for

Philip Thompson's letter is a perfect example of sophism: interpreting two similar actions with similar results as being equal in moral value. His example of the destruction of ancient religious statues in Afghanistan and Syria by Taliban and ISIS forces is not the same as removing monuments dedicated to leaders of the Southern War of Secession.

The Taliban and ISIS destroyed religious icons dedicated to an ongoing relationship with the divine. The Taliban and ISIS actions were an expression of bigotry and intolerance. The removal of monuments dedicated to Confederate generals and leaders is an attempt to stop honoring those who not only fought a war to preserve the enslavement of black Africans, they were guilty of treason against the United States of America.

The intent of the Taliban and ISIS is hardly the same as the intent of a number of cities who, facing the moral facts of history and America's long journey toward civil justice, want to cease honoring those men who participated in an immoral and unjust war in the name the right of Southern states to both perpetuate and spread the immoral and indefensible institution of chattel slavery.

Ronald Vierling, Odessa

Statue goal: done deal | Aug. 18

Doing the right thing

I want to thank the people here in Tampa Bay on both sides of this issue for swiftly voting with their wallets to compromise on this issue. They found a solution that recognizes the feelings of all concerned. I hope that all of the people in the bay area will do their part to allow the work to be done swiftly and in a peaceful spirit of cooperation. Let us be the best possible example for other cities facing the same issue.

Smith Sheila, San Antonio

St. Petersburg mayoral primary

Let Kriseman continue

St. Petersburg is undergoing its own challenges, but the city is showing signs of economic growth and stability. However, all citizens must have equal access to this prosperity, equal access to educational opportunities and equal access to a feeling of safety and security in every neighborhood.

Mayor Rick Kriseman has shown an ability to work with our City Council to get the city moving in an upward direction. Downtown St. Pete speaks for itself. Kriseman helped to implement the South St. Petersburg Community Development initiative, and I would like to see him continue this vision and to improve on it. I like the fact that he has endeavored and brought about initiatives and policies that will make St. Petersburg greener and hopefully stronger.

Maria Scruggs is the best candidate to represent District 6 on the City Council. She is passionate about the district and her experience that she will bring to the council is unmatched. She has experience on how to overcome the failures and build on the successes of Midtown initiatives, and she is well suited to handle the complexities of City Council responsibilities. Her aim to ensure revenue from Tropical Field redevelopment reaches Midtown is an effort that I think she can deliver on.

I would like to see Kriseman continue his work as the mayor of St. Petersburg and to continue to lead this city through the difficult times ahead — and to ensure that all residents feel a sense of belonging.

The Rev. G. Gregg Murray, St. Petersburg

The writer is pastor of Mount Zion Primitive Baptist Church in St. Petersburg.

Trump rattles statue debate | Aug. 18

The 'Me'President

President Donald Trump's reaction to the demonstrations in Charlottesville, Va., confirmed that he would not repudiate the hate-spewing "alt-right." Why not? Because they are part of his base. Does this mean that Trump is a racist? Perhaps, but it seems to me that the word "Me-ist" is a better explanation. In spite if his wealth and TV success, he has a compulsive need for adulation, validation and loyalty. Anyone who is part of his adoring base is okay with him, and all who oppose him are scum to be ridiculed and attacked. It will always be about him, not others. He is a "Me-ist." The good news is that Trump is giving fragmented progressives common ground around which to organize to marginalize the haters, and forge a partnership for an America that is a true meritocracy that provides opportunity and basic rights for everyone.

Robert H. More, Riverview

Secular and proud of it | Letter, Aug. 13

Religious beliefs matter

The Constitution does not specify how church and state should be separated. Consider, though, that when religious speech is banned from the public square, including public schools, the message that the government delivers is far from neutral. It tells our children that agnosticism and atheism are the default social positions. Religion is tolerated, but not recognized as a basic human need. The viewpoint of the so-called God obsessed (and I am proudly one of them) is rejected as a form of idiosyncrasy.

Religious beliefs should and do inform every aspect of human life, including the political one. I support government-funded health care and education and job protection from the market vagaries, and I oppose capital punishment, warmongering, the NRA and abortion because my faith teaches most and foremost that every human life is sacred. My tax money should not support abortion nor should it support the cost of administering the death penalty.

The article that the letter writer begrudges illustrated very well how the decline of religiosity has been associated with a decline of civility, and this is the price of the secularism he supports.

Lodovico Balducci, Tampa

As he fulfills wishes, we all are touched | Fennelly column, Aug. 18

More Tebow stories

You've finally found a way to pique my interest in the sports section. I usually throw it aside, but how can I when there's been a story about Tim Tebow?

Donna Davis, Palm Harbor


Wednesday’s letters: How we plan to improve foster care in Hillsborough

Improving foster care inHillsborough | April 19, editorialOur plans for helping kidsThis editorial poses many good questions. The Department of Children and Families’ peer review report is expected to be released soon. And while we welcome the an...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Pasco Letters to the Editor for April 27

Stop Ridge Road extension, reader saysWhen I spoke at the Dade City meeting of the Pasco County Commissioners on my opposition to the Ridge Road Extension, three of them responded, but only when my three minutes of free speech expired, and I could sa...
Published: 04/23/18

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
Updated: 04/23/18

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

Tuesday’s letters: Student journalists push to save their newsrooms and independence

Save student newsroomsAs professional newsrooms shrink, student newsrooms have become an increasingly important source of local coverage, holding not only our universities accountable but also local government. We write these articles, attending meet...
Published: 04/20/18
Updated: 04/24/18

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