Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Sunday's letters: Bad year for economy, our liberty

America had a good year | Dec. 23, Robyn Blumner column

Bad year for economy, our liberty

Robyn Blumner thinks America had a good year in 2012. I respectfully disagree.

In 2012, we had 23 million Americans who were unemployed or underemployed. The majority of 2012's college graduates could not find a job in their field or any job at all. The economy suffered through anemic economic growth. Our dysfunctional political class focused only on dividing the country and their own selfish individual enrichment. Our government could not defend one of its consulates despite advance warning, resulting in the unnecessary death of four Americans.

And most importantly, we saw the continuing deterioration of our liberty and privacy via the Patriot Act, the National Defense Authorization Act, and an increasingly intrusive government that reads and collects our emails, social media postings, telephone calls, etc.

No, 2012 was not a good year. Given that the same political types still reside in the White House and Congress, I see little hope that 2013 is going to be much better.

Walter Korschek, Palm Harbor

Syria sees rebel gains | Dec. 26

Rebels aren't democrats

If it were not so serious it might be funny. Here we go again, lending support to the rebels in Syria in both words and I strongly suspect weapons. How did that work out in Egypt ? How do you think it's going to work out in Libya?

These rebels are not democrats; they are mostly religious radicals. I say you are better off with a dictator rather than a country being run by religious zealots.

Dan Mason, Tampa

Poor results from red-light cameras | Dec. 20

Drivers are to blame

If you are driving and you rear-end the car in front of you, it is your fault, not the other driver's, and definitely not the yellow traffic light ahead. You were driving too fast and too close for the traffic conditions, which include approaching a traffic light of any color.

The Times does a disservice to us all by emphasizing the increase in rear-end accidents when red-light cameras are installed and not taking to task the drivers who are responsible for the crashes. A camera never hurt anyone, but driving too fast and too close can and does.

Paul W. Holland, St. Petersburg

Light rail is gaining support | Dec. 27

Yes, but will they ride?

With regards to light rail, the pollsters asked the wrong question. Instead of asking whether respondents are willing to use public money to fund light rail, they should have asked whether people would use the light rail if it were built.

Pollsters should also ask if the people supporting light rail have ever used the current train. The summer rate from Tampa to Orlando is $12. Further, ask if they have ever used any public transportation in the past year. Surely, a public bus has gone close to where they wanted to go at least once.

My guess is that a majority of the people willing to pay for light rail will not use it for one simple reason: It is easier to drive yourself. The only way to make public transportation a reality is to make it less convenient to drive. People take the train from the suburbs of New York into the city because there is not enough parking for everybody. If they built a thousand more parking spaces, a thousand more would drive to the city.

We cannot and should not simultaneously spend money making better roads and making better public transportation. If you want public transportation, the only solution is to make it more inconvenient to drive.

Martin Keiner, Tampa

Many happy returns | Dec. 27

Carts aren't playpens

As manager of an off-price retail establishment with a staff of 60 employees, I take exception to the four-column image that was part of "Many happy returns" in your newspaper. Shopping carts are provided for the convenience of our customers and not as a playpen to entertain/confine children during that process.

We find ourselves in constant vigil, warning children and insensitive parents of the dangers involved with such practice. One boy, distracted by a toy in each hand, is shown standing in the cart, while another is on his head tussling within it. The slightest motion to that cart and the four wheels it rests on can send that child and his toy to the floor on his head.

Litigation and serious injury notwithstanding, it suggests what we fearfully describe as "poor parenting skills." It's hardly something for your paper to endorse.

Sharon Alvarez, Sun City Center

Charitable giving

Look around community

As one who has extensive experience as a volunteer and board member of several local nonprofits over the years, I have some suggestions for those who wish to make an impact in charitable giving in Tampa Bay.

First, never respond to or give information to a telephone solicitor. It is the rare exception for them to be legitimate representatives of a charity. Their percentage of the take that goes to the charity rarely exceeds 25 percent.

Second, check out Guidestar on the Web to see if the charity of your choice is listed and how they rank.

Third, look around your own community. Worthy organizations such as the St. Petersburg Free Clinic, CASA, PARC, All Children's Hospital, Great Explorations and dozens of others will open their doors and records to you any time with full transparency and candor. You can see the end use of your charitable giving firsthand. Better yet, in addition to your money, you can volunteer your time at these places, providing expertise and caring hands. What a New Year's resolution: Volunteer!

Scott Wagman, St. Petersburg

Comments

Tuesday’s letters: If you don’t like the Electoral College, then amend the Constitution

The popular vote | May 20, letterIf you don’t like it, amend ConstitutionA recent letter supports the idea that a state should be able to change its Electoral College vote to match that of the national popular vote winner as opposed to the result...
Updated: 4 hours ago

Pasco Letters to the Editor for May 25

Re: Proposed TECO Solar Plant As a 21-year resident and property owner, I am writing in opposition to the proposed Tampa Electric Company solar plant tin rural northeast Pasco County.The solar plant will be .2 miles from my home. It will run 1.4 mile...
Published: 05/21/18

Monday’s letters: Focusing on the mental state of shooters misses the point

Texas high school shooting | May 18Criminals, angry people kill peopleSchool shootings are a distinctly American phenomenon. But shootings by people with serious mental illness represent less than 1 percent of all yearly gun-related homicides in ...
Published: 05/19/18
Updated: 05/21/18

Friday’s letters: Putnam and Publix, two P’s lose my nod

Publix pours cash to Putnam | May 17A pleasure to shop elsewhereMy family and I moved to Tampa in 1974, and have made Publix our favorite grocery store ever since. Forty-four years! That is why it makes me a little sad to have to say goodbye.Firs...
Published: 05/18/18

Saturday’s letters: For Florida to move forward, focus on a healthy and sustainable environment

Tampa’s future is bright | May 12Protect Florida, boost economyThis past year, Florida set another record-breaking year for tourism, welcoming more than 116 million visitors. While Florida boasts a unique quality of life and more than 1,300 miles...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/18/18

Sunday’s letters: What conservatives stand for

How can conservatism survive after Trump | May 13, Nickens columnhed#6324 I think it obvious that traditional conservatism was squeezed out of the 2016 campaign narrative and has become a niche thesis owned by a small group of intellectuals. A gr...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/18/18

Friday's letters: Putnam and Publix, two P's lose my nod

Publix pours cash to Putnam | May 17 A pleasure to shop elsewhere My family and I moved to Tampa in 1974, and have made Publix our favorite grocery store ever since. Forty-four years! That is why it makes me a little sad to have to say goodbye. F...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/18/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for May 18

Re: Pasco panel okays Tampa Electric solar farm after five-hour meeting | April 9 storySolar farm offers many positivesThere has been much publicity regarding the proposed TECO Mountain View solar project slated for 350 acres in East Pasco that was r...
Published: 05/14/18

Thursday’s letters: Florida has arguably become the autonomous vehicle capital of North America

Autonomous vehicles in FloridaThe state for self-driving carsAlmost overnight, Florida has arguably become the autonomous vehicle capital of North America. In the last three months, Voyage, a self-driving taxi service, has begun service in the Villag...
Published: 05/12/18
Updated: 05/17/18

Wednesday’s letters: Florida’s Community Health Centers save $1.78 for every dollar spent

Florida’s Community Health CentersHealth centers are a great dealIf you gave someone a dollar and they gave you back $1.78, wouldn’t you consider that a fantastic deal? That’s the deal Florida’s Community Health Centers provide for the state’s citize...
Published: 05/12/18
Updated: 05/16/18