Monday, January 22, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Saturday's letters:

Guns at the movies | Jan. 14

'Good' guns kill, too

In case anyone has forgotten, I am here to remind you that it was Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the National Rifle Association, who said the following after the mass shooting at the theater in Aurora, Colo.:

"Had someone in the audience been armed, this tragedy could have been averted."

It is a common theme of the NRA that the best deterrent to a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.

Since Wesley Chapel shooting suspect Curtis Reeves Jr. is, as Sue Carlton says, a "respected retired cop," he's a perfect example of a good guy, who, according to the NRA's fairy tale scenario, should have been carrying a gun into the movie theater, to avert another tragedy.

Kenneth T. Barnes, St. Petersburg

Refund for lottery winner | Jan. 14

Questionable aid for man

I wonder whether I was the only one unsettled by a couple of points in this story.

First, Amscot provided a service. It cashed lottery winner Malcolm Ramsey's check and charged the normal fee for doing so. Ramsey was not turned away because he had a mental illness, nor was he taken advantage of. Yet Amscot decided to refund his fees. Why? Ramsey was not overcharged. The only answer Amscot's PR firm gives is that "it's the right thing to do." Did I miss something here?

If it's the right thing to do for Ramsey, what about all the other mentally incompetent people who have incurred fees? Should they not also be reimbursed? And if not, isn't that discrimination? Or is this yet another example of an innocent company pressured by a high-profile case forced to change the rules for one person out of fear of negative publicity?

Second, the article states that Ramsey has about $118,000 being held in trust. It further states that a guardian wants to shelter the winnings so that Ramsey can enjoy it without losing his government aid.

I'm sorry, but government aid from taxpayers going to someone who has cash reserves in excess of $100,000 seems wrong and fraudulent to me, especially with a judge's approval.

David Lewis, Clearwater

An economy not in recovery | Jan. 14

Recession was inherited

The letter writer who complains that the real unemployment rate has been over 13 percent while we've been "in recovery" during the Obama administration suffers a case of amnesia.

The Obama administration inherited a recession that began nearly a year prior to President Barack Obama's inauguration. Two unfunded wars, one of which is still going on, an unfunded prescription drug bill, along with tax cuts for the wealthy put the country on a perilous path.

In his time in office, it has been up to the Obama administration to clean up the mess made by the prior administration. It's been slow-going, since the Republicans seem to being doing all they can to put up roadblocks on the way to recovery.

George Chase, St. Pete Beach

Jobs are still scarce

A letter writer says our unemployment rate is probably about 13 percent; he is likely correct. But he does not really say why.

The reality is that people have stopped looking for full-time jobs, as they are few and far between. Despite there being few jobs available, the Republican Congress has taken away unemployment benefits from over 1 million citizens. They also have taken away $24 billion from the food stamp program.

Then they wonder why so many Americans are so angry.

Robert Lloyd, Ruskin

Global warming | Jan. 15

Many factors to climate

I take issue with the op-ed column by Phil Plait on climate change in that it leaves one with the impression that man-made events are the only cause of global warming.

It appears obvious to me that the warming of the Earth has causes outside of those due to human activity, otherwise we would still be in the last ice age, which ended 10,000 years ago and northern climes would still be covered in ice sheets.

For a more balanced view on this tremendously complex topic I would suggest reading the Ice Age page on Wikipedia. Although this source of course should not be viewed as gospel, it does raise many potential causes of global warming, many of which make sense and are supported by geological evidence.

Clearly, we should reduce our production of greenhouse gases for any number of reasons, including contributing to global warming. But to leave the impression that man-made events are the only cause of global warming is an oversimplification and a distortion of the geological history of the earth.

Thomas W. Klein, Tampa

Credit card criminals | Jan. 16

How long must I worry?

Lily Hay Newman gave us some important information about credit card fraud, but her op-ed left me wondering: How long does all of this preliminary action by the hackers take?

Target is offering one year of free credit card monitoring and I wonder whether that is long enough? If the hackers know this will they not hold on to them for 18 months or so and then haul them back out for fraudulent use? After 18 months many victims will be complacent again.

I think we all want to know how long we might be vulnerable. I have done every thing I was told to do, but my comfort level is not at 100 percent because I don't know how long I have to be hyper-vigilant. Newman only went so far in her article. Does she have any idea how long this will be a real threat?

Susan Weiland, Seminole


Monday’s letters: Tampa Bay deserves rail as an option

New transit option: BRT | Jan. 12Tampa deserves rail as an optionI was disheartened by Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn’s statement about his exhaustion with public transit discussions. It sounds like the government of Tampa has given up on ever realizin...
Published: 01/21/18

Sunday’s letters: Bay area shortchanged on foster care funds

Opioid crisis herds kids to foster care | Jan. 9Bay area foster care shortchangedAs mentioned in this article, the growing opioid epidemic is unfortunately bringing more children into the Florida foster care system. While substance abuse has hist...
Published: 01/20/18

Saturday’s letters: It’s not the word, it’s the racism

Presidential precedent | Jan. 14It’s not the word; it’s the racismThe Times went in the wrong direction and printed information that is rather useless. And that is strange. You usually get it right.I am talking about President Donald Trump’s prof...
Published: 01/19/18

Friday’s letters: Help for boaters against modern-day ‘pirates’

Marine towing and salvageHelp against modern-day piracyAs an avid recreational boat owner and sixth-generation Floridian, I know there’s no better way to enjoy our state’s spectacular waters than taking your boat out. Unfortunately, the fun of boatin...
Published: 01/17/18
Updated: 01/18/18

Thursday’s letters: All Americans need health care

Doctor: Trump got perfect score on cognitive test | Jan. 17All Americans need health carePresident Donald Trump’s extensive health exam has apparently declared him physically fit for office. As I was reading about the battery of tests he received...
Published: 01/17/18

Wednesday’s letters: St. Petersburg’s culture, vibrancy impresses

St. PetersburgImpressive culture and vibrancyI recently visited Tampa Bay and celebrated New Year’s weekend in downtown St. Petersburg. I was awestruck by what I encountered and experienced. It has been several years since I last visited, and the tra...
Published: 01/16/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for Jan. 19

Re: Walking leads to shocking catalogue of trash | Jan. 12 column Bring back anti-littering campaignJust came back from the beautiful, clean city of Singapore, where there is a $1,000 fine, plus community service for littering. I think a presiden...
Published: 01/16/18
Tuesday’s letters: Trump’s accomplishments unheralded

Tuesday’s letters: Trump’s accomplishments unheralded

President Donald TrumpAchievements go unrecognizedAre Americans even aware that our economy is healthier and growing much faster, that ISIS has been defeated and lost their territory, that China and other countries are buying more American goods and ...
Published: 01/16/18

Monday’s letters: Don’t be fooled by drilling turnaround

Deal blocks drilling off Fla. | Jan. 10Don’t be fooled by turnaroundWhile I am very grateful that Florida has been taken off the table regarding offshore oil drilling, it is clear this is a political move to champion Gov. Rick Scott as he conside...
Published: 01/14/18

Sunday’s letters: Left wing late to the #MeToo cause

#MeTooDemocrats come late to the causeThe Times devoted an entire page to the #MeToo issues on Sunday. The ironies here for longtime observers are nearly boundless. Twenty years ago, folks like myself were called "prudes" and worse because we found P...
Published: 01/13/18