Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Saturday's letters: Keep Hillsborough's independent transit agency

A better way to regulate county's cabs | Nov. 16, editorial

Keep independent transit agency

I agree there needs to be a better way to regulate taxicabs. That is why the Public Transportation Commission board and I have been spearheading comprehensive reforms that will improve transparency, accountability and responsiveness to the industries we regulate and consumers we serve. These new measures will not cost the taxpayers money and will continue to protect the consumer.

Disbanding the financially independent PTC and placing it within the big Hillsborough County government would reduce transparency, is a waste of taxpayer dollars and would be fiscally irresponsible. As an independent authority, the PTC is 100 percent self-funded. While previous boards have expressed a desire to make reforms, this board is implementing needed changes. Sweeping new board policies will be considered for approval at the Dec. 11 PTC meeting.

The inspections of over 2,100 vehicles and background checks for more than 3,000 drivers are essential to ensuring public safety. The PTC ensures Hillsborough County consumers are getting into a safe, clean vehicle with a licensed driver who has submitted to a criminal background and driving record checks.

The PTC's new interim director, Kevin Jackson, has an exemplary record in consumer protection and has been working with the board to thoroughly examine the organization from top to bottom, ensuring quality best practices for ethical operations and accountability. The county's internal performance auditor has recently completed an audit plan and the PTC will move forward with completing the audit and implementing the management oversight recommendations.

Abolishing the PTC is unnecessary and would recklessly put consumers at risk.

Victor Crist, chairman, Public Transportation Commission, Tampa

Take sex assault cases away from the military | Nov. 20, commentary

Who's boorish now?

Petula Dvorak's commentary that sex assault cases should be taken away from the military failed to prove why such changes need to be made.

Using the case of Lt. Col. Jeffrey Krusinski, Dvorak only showed that a civilian court failed to convict Krusinski on assault charges even after the charges were downgraded from sexual assault. I'm still trying to understand how a civilian court's inability to convict an individual on sexual assault changes discredits military authority over such cases.

To insinuate that only certain individuals of the correct gender are capable of understanding the concept of sexual harassment is as boorish as she accuses Krusinski of being.

Peter Clark, Tampa

Radel admits having cocaine | Nov. 21

Radel is a hypocrite

U.S. Rep. Trey Radel is arrested and pleads guilty to cocaine possession. This is the same guy who voted to defund the Affordable Care Act 40 times and voted to require food stamp recipients to take drug tests. He also voted to drastically reduce food stamps for the disadvantaged. Now he has agreed to undergo drug rehab, to stay out of jail. This rehab will be paid for by his health plan, the same type of plan he wants to deny to most all U.S. citizens. What a guy! What a hypocrite.

John Henninger, Clearwater

Drug addicts in charge

I think everyone in office should be randomly checked for drug use. Why is it that when us civilians start a new job we must be checked? If we fail the test, we don't get the job. These men and women are running our country and if they are on drugs then they surely are not thinking with a straight head. I know I don't want some drug addict making decisions for our country.

Charlotte Larson, Odessa

Citizens property insurance

Insurance merry-go-round

I've been on that Citizens merry-go-round before. Back around 2008 I innocently took the choice to opt out of Citizens for a fly by night company called First Home. Two years later, First Home dropped me. I then had to pay to have my house re-inspected before I could go back to Citizens, thank you.

Just did a little research on First Home. They went under in 2011 and were sucked up by Homewise. Effective Nov. 18, 2011, HomeWise Insurance Co. was ordered into receivership for the purposes of liquidation by the 2nd Judicial Circuit Court in Leon County.

HomeWise Insurance Co. is an affiliated company of HomeWise Preferred Insurance Co., an insurance company that is also in receivership. They have since then been absorbed by Homeowners Choice Property & Casualty Insurance Co. Weiss Ratings views Homeowners Choice as among the weakest of the so-called take-out insurers that have been encouraged to remove policies from the Citizens portfolio. None of the other 12 take-out insurers scored better than a "C," or "fair," on the Weiss scale. In case you are wondering, I opted to not depart Citizens when offered the glowing opportunity this year. Buyer beware!

Doug Bauer, Clearwater

Worn, but welcome | Nov. 21

Eagles purgatory

Poor Sean Daly. I get it even if others don't.

Your editors made you attend the Eagles concert to write a review. As you surveyed the audience from the comfort of your corporate suite, you could not help but notice that there was not a foam finger to be seen. No one was jumping up and down, let alone twerking. You felt like a stranger in a strange land.

Your attention dismissively turned to your chardonnay sipping colleagues as they nodded their heads slightly to the beat of the music. Oh, the music. Your parents would be in seventh heaven, but you sit in purgatory.

You then hit upon a scathingly brilliant idea. You will show them. Instead of writing a straight up piece, you will instead make light of the relic audience and their equally relic contemporaries on stage. Satisfied, you now turn your attention to the positive. After all, Miley and Kanye are coming to town. Cannonballs and Kardashians, and visions of sugar plums dancing in your head.

Jeff Thofner, Tampa

Comments

Wednesday’s letters: Charters and traditional public schools each have their place

Public school as public good | Letter, June 17Both kinds of schools can workAs a mother and grandmother of children raised in both traditional public and charter schools in Pinellas County (and a 25-year supporting-services employee for public sc...
Updated: 11 hours ago

Tuesday’s letters: Keep programs that fight AIDS

For author Biden, it’s a father’s gift | June 6Keep programs that fight AIDSAfter former Vice President Joe Biden’s recent visit to St. Petersburg, I noticed an article that he co-wrote with former Sen. Bill Frist. It reminded everyone about the ...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/19/18

Is anyone watching the money?Hernando County’s budget shortfall is ever changing going from $6 million to $11.5 million to $14 million to what is assumed a final number of $12.6 million. Who knows the budget shortfall could change again.Who’s watchi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Re: County OKs solar zones | June 8Plea ignored at solar plant hearingThe Pasco County Commission on June 5 voted to identify a utility-sized solar electric plant as a "special exception" use on agricultural-zoned land in Pasco County. What thi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

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: 06/18/18

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