Thursday, April 19, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Sunday's letters: Disruptions of democracy

Will chaos close debates? | July 12

When democracy is disrupted

I attended the candidate forum last week organized by the Downtown Neighborhood Association and conducted by the League of Women Voters. As your article states, the event was severely disrupted by a small group of Uhuru-affiliated individuals. The ground rules for the forum were clearly stated at the beginning and this group willfully ignored them in spite of many entreaties from the moderator.

This kind of behavior has no place in the democratic process. There may very well be valid issues that this group is raising, but these tactics generate a backlash that is not good for anyone. In spite of the disruption, there were many opportunities to hear from the candidates who were not part of this organized effort to restrict free speech.

Paul Carder, St. Petersburg

Will chaos close debates? | July 12

Voices of the community

As a St. Petersburg resident and homeowner, I support the black community's right to be heard. The growing enthusiasm for the campaigns of Jesse Nevel and Eritha "Akile" Cainion is electrifying. Nevel and Cainion are the only candidates whose campaigns are based on reparations and social justice for the black community.

It's wrong to portray the passion as "mayhem" and the voice as that of "the Uhurus." The Uhuru candidates represent the black working class community, as well as growing numbers of white people, who want to end the gentrification, poverty and police brutality so rampant on the south side. This is not a fringe movement, and these are not fringe issues. Nevel and Cainion are raising the issues we must address if we're going to move forward as a city.

The statement that Rick Kriseman and Rick Baker were "barely able to answer questions" is a cover for what really happened — neither status quo candidate had any real answers. When Kriseman was asked to identify his five major campaign contributors, he floundered. The audience simply challenged him to answer the question. But Kriseman couldn't answer the question without being exposed as the corporate-backed candidate he is.

I encourage the Tampa Bay Times to cover these debates in an honest fashion. Isn't a democracy supposed to celebrate the will of the people and not attack it?

Zoe Hauser, St. Petersburg

Free markets and health | July 11, commentary

Seek a long-term solution

I've always held simple solutions as suspect, especially when the problem is exceedingly complex, such as how our nation should fund its health care. The conservative solution is "choice," which when combined with a "free market" always creates the optimum economic environment. Wish it were so simple.

As Dr. Farzon Nahvi points out in his excellent opinion piece, health care and health care funding are too complex an equation to solve with such a simple solution. It's obvious the Affordable Care Act is suffering from neglect and could use an overhaul. But it's even more obvious the House and Senate repeal and replacement plans are weak, half-sincere alternatives. They're crafted to reduce the cost of health care for the healthiest and the wealthiest while serving up a healthy (pun intended) tax break for the very rich.

Either plan would be far worse than the ACA with the additional downside of the terror of "pre-existing conditions" threatening to leave families without affordable health care. The reductions in Medicaid funding border on immoral as they create gaping holes in the safety net.

I'm hoping we can move to repairing the parts of the ACA that need fixing while keeping the good parts intact. A better long-term solution, however, would be a single-payer system. Given that the majority of the countries in the industrialized world have single-payer systems, and that each one of these systems shows lower costs and better patient outcomes, it seems obvious it should be a part of our discussion.

Jon Crawfurd, Gulfport

Speeders

Your life is at stake

I set my speed at 45 mph on Little Road and/or U.S. 19 and I'm holding up traffic. People are blowing my doors off, passing me at 55, 60 and up. On the Suncoast Parkway and I-75, I cruise at 70 mph and cars blow by at 85 and 90. Yet I get where I'm going, relaxed and on time except when traffic is stopped because some idiot smashed up and blocked the highway.

I know you are all good drivers. I see it when you drive by with no headlights but your windshield wipers on. Or when you change lanes without a turn signal. But I know you're a good driver because you've told me so.

I won't try to correct your faults or give you advice. I only ask that you ask yourself one question: How many times have you ever heard of anyone saying, as he or she leaves the house in the morning, "I think I'll go out and get killed today"? I'm sure your answer is "never." And yet almost 100 people do every day on our streets and highways.

So if you don't want to change your driving habits, please make sure your life insurance is paid up.

Alfred J. D'Amario, Hudson

Mass transit

End fixation on cars, tolls

For the first time in my five years living here, I just rode the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit bus from my house in Seminole Heights to the Tampa airport. The buses came on time, the trip took exactly one hour door to door, and it was free for me as a USF student. I had a good experience, but it doesn't work for everyone, especially daily commuters using the bus at all hours.

It's a shame that Tampa Bay will not invest in proven transportation solutions that benefit all citizens, like expanding/improving HART and developing light rail, rather than obsessing over cars, roads and toll lanes. On a recent trip to New York and Washington, I conveniently got around using affordable public transit. Tampa will be an exponentially better place to live, work and visit when we make real investments to fix public transit.

Suzanne Young, Tampa

Comments

Thursday’s letters: Gun research can save lives

Gun ownershipCommon ground: Find the factsThere are many areas in the current debate about guns and gun ownership where both sides must agree to disagree. But there is one area where common ground ought to exist. That concerns the need for continuing...
Published: 04/18/18

Wednesday’s letters:

Poverty and plenty in bay area | April 7, editorialStruggling poor are not a priorityI commend your newspaper for continuing to produce real and relevant news, particularly the recent editorial pointing out that a prospering Tampa Bay should not ...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18

Hernando Letters to the Editor for April 20

Bar Association celebrates Law WeekPresident Dwight D. Eisenhower proclaimed May 1, 1958, as the first Law Day to mark the nation’s commitment to the rule of law. Every year on this day, we reflect on the significance of the rule of law and rededicat...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18

Tuesday’s letters: Stop cooperating with ICE

Sheriff’s ICE policy blasted | April 10Pinellas should end partnership with ICEPinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri recently participated in a community conversation on his controversial agreement with ICE to voluntarily detain immigrants in the...
Published: 04/16/18

Sunday’s letters: The future of oyster production

Shell game | April 15Future of oyster productionThanks to Laura Reiley for an excellent synopsis of the current state of oyster production in Florida. The collapse of the Apalachicola oyster fishery is merely the latest example of the demise of a...
Published: 04/14/18

Monday’s letters: Public education is foundation of the nation

Voters beware of ballot deceptionApril 13, commentarySchools’ role underminedIt was with great pain that I read (not for the first time) that we must be aware of "ballot deception." Public schools were founded to make sure that future generations of ...
Published: 04/13/18

Saturday’s letters: Health Department should butt out

Judge: Grow pot, Mr. Redner | April 12Health officials should butt outThe Times reports that the Florida Department of Health filed an appeal to the decision allowing a man who is a Stage 4 lung cancer survivor to grow pot in his backyard for his ...
Published: 04/11/18
Updated: 04/13/18

Friday’s letters: Open and shut: Enforce the law

Sheriff’s ICE aid policy blasted | April 10Open and shut: Enforce the lawPeople and institutions that insist on the using the euphemism "undocumented immigrant" do nothing but affirm their lack of objectivity by using such a phrase to support an ...
Published: 04/11/18
Updated: 04/12/18

Thursday’s letters: Focus on offender, not weapon

Use data to curb gun deaths | April 8, commentaryFocus on offenders, not weaponsThis article tiptoes around the issue: human violence. The authors point out that automobile manufactures were pressured by regulation and law to make automobile coll...
Published: 04/11/18

Wednesday’s letters: One county’s water affects us all

Sprawl seems a concern until Tampa land use lawyer appears | April 9Water impactsspan county linesThough I live in Pinellas County, I have followed the discussion on land use decisions made by Hillsborough County. Hillsborough’s decisions, perhap...
Published: 04/10/18