Sunday, June 24, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Sunday's letters: Books form framework of my life

Read it and, yes, weep | Feb. 10, Bill Maxwell column

Books give immense satisfaction

How glad I am that you published Bill Maxwell's eloquent article about his love of books and bookstores.

We live in an incredible age of efficient sending and receiving messages (often with attendant new and changing word forms). We may be "closer" to others; let us hope we become more and more understanding of them.

I cannot remember learning to read. I only know that reading was all I ever really wanted to do, and I could not envision a world without books. They form, quite literally, the framework of my world. They have taught me to laugh and to weep. The very sight of shelves and shelves of them gives me an inestimable feeling of satisfaction.

The world turns. Time keeps flowing relentlessly. Technology surges on and on, and I still cling to bookstores and libraries. Oh, I understand how Bill Maxwell feels!

Abigail Ann Martin, Brandon

Read it and, yes, weep Feb. 10, Bill Maxwell column

Happy hours of exploring

Once again, Bill Maxwell has spoken my mind. In his column he spoke eloquently about his love affair with bookstores, and the sadness he feels due to the fact that so many of them are shutting their doors.

I too adore spending time in bookstores, and always try to check them out when I'm traveling. I remember years ago visiting the Tattered Cover in Denver — an absolute delight for a bibliophile like me. And I just returned from a trip to London, where I wandered around the five-story heaven that is Waterstone's Book Store. Locally, I am grateful Haslam's is still open, and my local Barnes & Noble is still hanging on.

Like Maxwell, I dread the thought of a world without bookstores. Don't tell me about how you can get books cheaper online, or how you can download everything on an e-reader. I don't want to hear it. Nothing can replace the joy of meandering up and down the aisles in a real bookstore, picking up (and smelling!) the books, and perhaps leafing through them while enjoying a beverage.

I also live in fear that libraries as we know them will someday vanish, but that's another story. Thank you, Bill Maxwell, for speaking on behalf of bookstore lovers everywhere.

Jennie Renfrow Ibarguen, St. Petersburg

Turn left for mass transit Feb. 10, Robyn Blumner column

Matter of convenience

I have to ask Robyn Blumner, and anyone else who is promoting mass transit, to picture the following scenario: It is August. You have to be at work by 8:30. You get in your air-conditioned car at 7:45. Now, who among you is going to drive to a train station, wait for a train, and once you get to your final stop hail a cab or (God forbid) walk to your destination from the train station?

Or are you going to simply drive there in your air-conditioned vehicle listening to the radio/iPod and/or talking on your Bluetooth phone? And what will be the value of the hundreds of millions of dollars spent on mass transit when we have cars that drive themselves in 5-10 years?

Ken Keller, Temple Terrace

American allure | Feb. 10

Local connection

Not to be overlooked in the Phillips Collection at the Tampa Museum of Art is Moonlight, Tarpon Springs (1892) by George Inness. This painting is part of the tonalist school and has great local significance, as Innis had a studio and home in Tarpon Springs.

Inness (1825-94) was one of the most talented and accomplished artists to ever work on Florida's west coast. His legacy resonates with Florida landscapes painters even today.

Joseph Weinzettle, Tarpon Springs

Don't make energy; save it Feb. 10, commentary

Get utilities to buy in

Susan Glickman's column in Perspective hit the nail on the head in espousing energy conservation and efficiency as the best, cheapest and most immediate solution available to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and help avoid the costs of new, expensive power plants.

However, utilities are in the business of selling power produced by these new plants for a profit. Enforcing conservation and efficiency alone will not necessarily get their buy-in as it tends to reduce their profits. Involving the utilities by helping them create "virtual utilities" — which provide an incentive for power saved, allowing the utilities to make a profit by not selling power — is a viable alternative. This concept can utilize the power company's organization and access to capital to introduce energy efficiency opportunities to their clients — residential, commercial and industrial alike.

Richard Corrigan, Palm Harbor

We're finding the cures for fraud Feb. 11, commentary

Fighting the fraud

It is good to know Kathleen Sebelius and Eric Holder have strengthened relations among the U.S. Health and Human Services Department, Justice Department and our Florida departments of law enforcement. They go on to describe the millions of dollars saved.

I have been an insurance adjuster for over 25 years. I have watched helplessly when I saw fraud. I have requested help from various Medicare agencies, which apparently had their hands tied.

We are now on the right path to stop the flow of cash or least slow the shady characters who find Florida such a ripe market for insurance theft.

Mary MacKenzie, Pinellas Park


Going meatless

Wednesday marked the beginning of Lent, the 40-day period before Easter, when many Christians abstain from meat and dairy products in remembrance of Jesus' 40 days of fasting before launching his ministry.

Devout Christians who observe meatless Lent help reduce their risk of chronic disease, as well as environmental degradation and animal abuse. Dozens of medical reports have linked consumption of animal products with elevated risk of heart failure, stroke, cancer and other killer diseases. A 2007 U.N. report named meat production as the largest source of greenhouse gases and water pollution. Investigations have documented farm animals being beaten, mutilated and shocked.

Lent offers a superb opportunity to honor Jesus' powerful message of compassion and love by adopting a meat-free diet for Lent and beyond.

Thomas Carter, Tampa


Monday’s letters: College instructors need classes in active shooter training

Active shooter perceptions disproven | June 21We need active shooter trainingThe only guns that I had seen before coming to the United States of America were in glass cases in museums. When I came to America to get a Ph.D. in English at the Unive...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/22/18

Friday’s letters: What a new Rays ballpark would mean

Rays exec hints at stadium timeline | June 15What a new ballpark would doThe Tampa Bay Rays 2020 organization is working diligently with local business leaders and civic organizations to rally support for the Rays’ new ballpark in Ybor City. The ...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/22/18

Thursday’s letters: On immigration there has to be a better way

‘Zero tolerance’ ignites outrage | June 20Find better way on immigrationOver the years I’ve voted for candidates from both parties. My observation of the Trump administration’s policy on immigration is not about politics. It has to do with having...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/21/18

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...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/20/18

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