Sunday, December 17, 2017
Letters To The Editor

Sunday's letters: Cameras work to improve safety

Red-light cameras out | March 7

Cameras work to improve safety

Red-light cameras were installed to prevent the horrible accidents caused by red-light runners. They work. Accidents are down. They were not there to make money; that was a fringe benefit.

The only people who do not want them are those who break the law and find themselves on tape. Whether you ran a red light, robbed a store or committed a street crime, you come to justice thanks to the ever-present eyes of the cameras.

The cameras are police without pensions or health insurance. What's that worth to the bottom line in St. Petersburg?

Maureen Zilles, Largo

Red-light cameras out | March 7

Eye on the bottom line

I have been coming to the Tampa Bay area during the winter for the past 10 years. Yes, I must confess I am one of those sometimes-disliked "snowbirds" who cause some of the traffic on "your" local roads. When I first started coming down, the traffic, frankly, sometimes scared me with the number of people running red lights (and I am not as old as you are surmising).

With the installation of red-light cameras, things were better. I no longer worried about someone ramming me from behind if I decided to obey the law and stop for a yellow light. And I have seen far fewer people try to "beat" a red light.

To find out that city leaders are not really worrying about the safety of the people but about the bottom line is appalling. Shame on the mayor and council members if this is their philosophy.

Sue Treciak, Treasure Island

Warning signal

How naive of me. I believed that the red-light cameras were to reduce accidents and protect citizens. Now I learn they were to make money for St. Petersburg. I should have known. I'll have to be more careful when I drive there.

Helen Mitchell, Clearwater

Florida's springs

Investing in improvements

The health of our springs is not just a concern for those who enjoy Florida's natural beauty. It's a challenge for all who rely on our abundant fresh water to supply our homes and businesses. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is working hard to restore troubled water bodies, but each of us must commit to the task.

Gov. Rick Scott has responded to the urgency of the situation with a $55 million commitment in his budget for restoring our springs. This builds on the momentum from this year, when $10 million was designated for springs restoration. That $10 million was matched by water management districts and local partners for a total of $37 million for springs improvement projects. More funding is being designated for restoring our springs than at any previous time in state history. A science-based approach is being used to restore Florida's springs, and solid scientific research has laid the foundation for cleanup projects unfolding across the state.

The Scott administration has aided our springs like no other administration. It adopted in 2012 the state's first-ever springs-basin restoration plan, covering 80 springs and including science-based projects that must be completed within five years. These projects, in many instances, control the excess nutrients at the source — both urban and agricultural. Restoration plans are being developed for another 170 springs, including those along the Suwannee and Wekiva rivers and the Silver Springs group, which will be adopted this year.

More work is needed to restore our springs. That means working with every Floridian, from your local farm to your backyard, because so much of what occurs on a daily basis — pet waste, wastewater treatment, overwatering and overfertilizing — affects the flow and quality of our springs.

Herschel T. Vinyard Jr., secretary, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Tallahassee

Empty threats | March 5, letter

The diplomatic path

The letter writer posits that President Barack Obama's actions regarding Russia's incursion into southern Ukraine are either insufficient, laughable, or both. My question would be, what would he do? International diplomacy is extremely complicated, especially in a region of the world where centuries of history play a major part in current circumstances.

Obama immediately sent Secretary of State John Kerry to consult with his EU counterparts and to Kiev to confirm U.S. support and condemn the Russian actions. A large number and wide range of options is under consideration by the administration, including many political and economic sanctions. Some sanctions will be implemented immediately if it appears Russia will not withdraw.

There is no popular support among Americans for "boots on the ground" in yet another remote area of the world.

Frank Soos, St. Pete Beach

Board member seeks own meetings on bus safety | March 6

Less heat, more light

Although passionate and hopefully well intentioned, it is impossible to hear Hillsborough County School Board member April Griffin's core message of concern for our students amid her considerable, distracting noise. She could help her cause by simply toning down her rhetoric and turning the corner from complainer to being part of solution. Pursuing her destructive, disruptive current path results in being avoided and her best intentions for our students dismissed.

School district accountability is one thing; inflammatory rhetoric and action that bypasses all civil discussion and aims at simply torching and burning the opposition to the ground is clearly another. Trampling over kindness and manners in the name of "trust"' is a destructive, wasted outcome.

Can we expect more distracting noise to make her point, or will she be a partner in a compromise solution? For everyone's sake, let's bury the hatchet and end the distraction.

Michael Doyle, Tampa


Monday’s letters: Tax plan bad for the country

Trump, GOP make good on tax cuts Dec. 14Tax plan is bad for the countryUnless senators such as Susan Collins, R-Maine, and our own Marco Rubio develop some backbone, the Republican tax bill could well pass.The bill would inflict harm on the people wh...
Published: 12/15/17
Sunday’s letters: Rule of law at stake in Mueller inquiry

Sunday’s letters: Rule of law at stake in Mueller inquiry

Justice official parries attacks | Dec. 14Rule of law at stake in inquiryConservative media outlets and a number of Republicans in both chambers of Congress have launched an all-out assault on special counsel Robert Mueller and his team in an eff...
Published: 12/14/17
Updated: 12/15/17

Saturday’s letters: Project silent on rising sea levels

Published: 12/13/17
Updated: 12/15/17

Friday’s letters: Put yourself in a business owner’s shoes

GOP plan favors owners | Dec. 11Perils of small business ownersI wonder if the author of this article has even a clue about owning a business. Businessmen — especially small business owners — risk it all. They risk their savings, their car, their...
Published: 12/13/17
Updated: 12/14/17

Thursday’s letters: Trump’s values hardly admirable

Finally, a president who cares | Dec. 13, letterTrump’s values hardly admirableThe letter writer is happy to have someone in the White House who "truly cares about our country’s business" and is "unafraid … of mentioning God and religious values....
Published: 12/13/17

Wednesday’s letters: Proposal would restore Florida Forever funding

Florida ForeverPlan boosts land protectionMost of us thought funding for land conservation in Florida would be restored when we voted the Water and Land Conservation Amendment (Amendment 1) into law in 2014. It passed easily, with 75 percent of voter...
Published: 12/11/17
Updated: 12/12/17

Tuesday’s letters: Writer should look to his own mistakes

Is anyone ever wrong anymore? | Dec. 8Writer should look to own errorsIn Mitch Daniels’ article about people who have been wrong, he finishes with the statement that our lives would be greatly improved with more people saying, "I was wrong."He mi...
Published: 12/08/17
Updated: 12/11/17

Monday’s letters: Don’t drill in Arctic refuge

Arctic National Wildlife RefugeStop plan to drill for oil in refugeOur nation faces yet another effort to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge reserve to oil and gas drilling. Drilling in the Arctic simply doesn’t make sound financial sense. W...
Published: 12/08/17

Sunday’s letters: Tax bill puts U.S. on right course

The GOP’s regressive tax plans | Dec. 5, editorialTax bill puts U.S. on right courseThe Times is already crying wolf over the new tax cuts, claiming that the new laws "could" result an increase in the national debt of $1.5 trillion over the next ...
Published: 12/07/17

Pasco letters to the editor for Dec. 15

Re: Helping Others Fulfills our purpose here on Earth | Nov. 17 guest columnThe good doctor acknowledges a CreatorThank you for publishing Dr. Rao Musunuru’s guest column. As Congressman Gus Bilirakis said in the Congressional Record, this good d...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/13/17