Monday, March 19, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Sunday's letters: Bangladesh climbs economic ladder

Goodwill toward sweatshops | Dec. 2, Robyn Blumner column

Climbing up the economic ladder

This is not an exoneration of the negligence or perfidy that culminated in the death of over 100 workers in a Bangladeshi garment factory. However, as we sort out blame and prescribe reform, let us not forget that over a thousand living workers, and their families, are going hungry.

I have been to Greenville, S.C., where they now make cars. I have been to Mumbai, India, where they now produce electronics. Both bootstrapped up the economic ladder after starting in the "rag trade."

In the 1990s, more than half of the population of Bangladesh lived below subsistence. Millions died. Over the period since, Bangladesh has tripled its market share of international garment manufacturing and, not at all coincidentally, the poverty rate has declined by over 1 percent per year. Millions more live. I urge caution before summoning the regulatory and union cavalry.

J.P. Byrne, Largo

We should make marijuana legal Dec. 2, commentary

Facts will turn the tide

Marijuana prohibition is the most wasteful, destructive social policy since the Jim Crow laws of the Deep South. I don't know what it will take to reach the tipping point toward legal cannabis, but data is accumulating that may help.

Researchers at universities in Colorado, Oregon and Montana have studied the 17 states that enacted medical marijuana laws between 1990 and 2010. They found that the law was accompanied by significant decreases in traffic fatalities, with strong indications connecting this to decreases in alcohol consumption.

These researchers also plan to look at crime rates. Does anyone believe legal cannabis will be found to be associated with more domestic violence, barroom fights, turf battles and murders? Not I.

John G. Chase, Palm Harbor

What's next? Cocaine?

When enough states legalize marijuana, the federal government will probably do the same. This will lead to many more people using it because they didn't want to break the law.

I predict that after federal law allows the recreational use of marijuana, the drug activists will begin campaigning for the legalization of cocaine. The arguments for legal marijuana will also apply to cocaine.

It seems that America is heading down the path of moral degradation.

William Armstrong, St. Petersburg

Prohibition drives crime

If the goal of marijuana prohibition is to subsidize violent drug cartels, prohibition is a success. The drug war distorts supply and demand so that big money grows on little trees.

If the goal of marijuana prohibition is to deter use, prohibition is a failure. The United States has double the rate of marijuana use as the Netherlands, where marijuana is legal. The criminalization of Americans who prefer marijuana to martinis has no basis in science.

It's time to stop the arrests and instead tax legal marijuana.

Robert Sharpe, Common Sense for Drug Policy, Washington

Save Florida's springs | Dec. 2, editorial

Population pressures

I enjoyed Craig Pittman's articles on our springs, and your editorial made me think. The population growth in Florida from 1970 to 1990 was 91 percent, and in Marion County, where many of these springs are located, it was 188 percent.

It seems that a lot of the deterioration of our springs is attributable to the increasing demand for water created by population growth and the associated development required to support this growth.

It also seems obvious that this is a cost associated with choices we have made. Our state has pushed growth for a long as I can remember. I guess we never thought about the consequences. I hope it is not too late for us to take action to restore these vital assets.

H.T. Culbreth, St. Petersburg

Winning on and off the field Dec. 2, Bill Maxwell column

Put education first

I've never been a fan of Bill Maxwell, but his column on Notre Dame made me very proud of him. Every university should put education first. The percentage of student-athletes who can make a career in professional sports is very low. Congratulations on an excellent article.

Charles Farrell, St. Petersburg

A birthday few like Riley reach | Dec. 4

Err on the side of grace

Thank you for the update on Riley Joy Allen. I am struck by so many things in Riley's story, but one thing stands out: "Addie wants Riley dedicated in her grandmother's church. But the pastor won't do it for unmarried parents."

I've been a Christian all my life, and a "professional Christian" for nearly 25 years. It's amazing how we do all we can to thwart God's grace when God's grace is called for most. While my denomination does not dedicate, we do baptize infants. And I would baptize Riley in a heartbeat. Because it's about her, about God's blessing on her life, about how God loves her before she can even or ever realize it. Different churches can argue any number of points I've just made. I would choose to err on the side of grace.

God bless Addie, Ryan and Riley. A Christmas story in the making.

Rev. Laurie Wirth Palmer, Riverview

Sex-disorder victim kills herself | Dec. 5

Courage and compassion

It is sad that Gretchen Molannen was not able to experience the compassion that resulted from her sharing her story. When someone is that far down the road to suicide it is difficult to turn matters around. It took courage for her to be interviewed and photographed. It took courage for the Times to publish on such an uncomfortable topic. Her sharing cannot help her now, but it will help others in the future. Gretchen, thank you and God bless.

Rich Brown, Tampa


Monday’s letters: Protect Floridians’ right to privacy

People push for changes at Constitution hearing | March 14Protect Florida’s right to privacyI attended the Constitution Revision Commission’s public hearing at USF St. Petersburg last week. I was there because I thought it was important to have m...
Published: 03/18/18

Sunday’s letters: Effort to stem pet cruelty pays off

Puppy millsEffort to stem cruelty pays offThank you to everyone who contacted their legislators, and a huge shout-out to the Tampa Bay Times for letting us know that state legislators were considering a bill to eliminate the hard-achieved gains on lo...
Published: 03/17/18

Saturday’s letters: Insurer focused on repairs, not fees

Citizens hit with $12.7M verdict | March 15Insurer’s focus: repairs, not feesCitizens Property Insurance Corp. has spent the past several years making sure that insurance proceeds for sinkhole repairs are used to restore a home and make it whole....
Published: 03/16/18

Friday’s letters: Put young people to work rebuilding infrastructure

Smart way to pay for infrastructure | March 13, commentaryMake rebuilding a youth project Raising gas taxes to pay for infrastructure may not be the best way to go. I suggest we re-invent the old WPA (Works Progress Administration) and draft high...
Published: 03/13/18
Updated: 03/15/18

Thursday’s letters: An alternative for giving: Breadcoin

Panhandling paradox | March 11Innovation in giving: BreadcoinPanhandling is destructive to the donor, panhandler and our community — a guilt trip that erodes personal dignity, respect and self-worth, making the recipient more beholden and entitle...
Published: 03/13/18
Updated: 03/14/18
Wednesday’s letters: Daylight bill is bad for business

Wednesday’s letters: Daylight bill is bad for business

Daylight saving timeDaylight bill is bad for businessI encourage Gov. Rick Scott to veto the daylight saving time extension bill. It makes no sense. It puts Florida out of sync with the rest of the country. Commerce will be affected. The entire Easte...
Published: 03/13/18

Pasco Letter to the Editor for March 16

Re: Pasco to test roadside recycling | March 9 column Pasco County (and its residents) have financial incentives to recycle, but the participation rate is low. Clearly, Pasco County either needs to make recycling mandatory — by making residents r...
Published: 03/13/18
Tuesday’s letters: Billionaire’s personal agenda

Tuesday’s letters: Billionaire’s personal agenda

Billionaire targeting young voters | March 7Using youths in personal agendaIs anyone surprised that Tom Steyer is using his extreme wealth to support his personal agenda and the liberal agenda of the Democratic Party? His real motive, hidden in h...
Published: 03/12/18
Updated: 03/13/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for March 16

Re: Pasco to test roadside recycling | March 9 columnOur community, Briar Patch, in New Port Richey has really gotten on board with the recycling program. Many homeowners diligently separate garbage from recycling material and place it curbside f...
Published: 03/12/18

Thursday’s letters: Gun limits, maybe; confiscation, never

Gun controlLimits, possibly; seizures, neverThe antigun left-leaning media constantly refers to the "gun lobby" and the National Rifle Association when trying to ban and even take guns away from legitimate owners. They blame organizations for the act...
Published: 03/07/18