Thursday, January 18, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Sunday's letters: Don't let bad behavior slide

Boorish behavior abounds | April 6, Bill Maxwell column

Don't allow bad behavior to slide

Regardless of race, ethnicity or age there are those who persist with boorish behavior either knowingly, in order to garner attention, or to otherwise sustain a personal need. To eliminate the threatening public persona of such individuals and the frequency of such incidents, they must be confronted (even in gun-happy Florida) — politely, of course, even when a rude retort may be expected. Following any response one can then take steps to "be as far away as possible" if necessary.

But you could be surprised. Once as my wife commuted to her office in downtown Manhattan, several African-American youths boarded the subway with loud conversation peppered with obscenities. After a couple of minutes, an impeccably dressed African-American woman sitting next to her rose and walked over to the boys and began to speak in a hushed voice. She then returned to her seat and silence fell over the youths until they got off the train. What she said or how she said it, one will never know. That she did this is always worthwhile. So we are not "helpless" in such situations unless we let ourselves be so.

Wayne Logsdon, Hernando

Boorish behavior abounds April 6, Bill Maxwell column

A matter of rage, not race

"Why?" That is what Bill Maxwell kept asking about the guy blasting loud music and acting boorishly. It says so much about Maxwell's fortunate upbringing that he can't understand this archetype.

The issue here is rage, not race. That could have been a spike-haired punk blasting death metal, but the motivation would have been the same. Rage is brought about by many years of real and perceived injustices, cruel and neglectful families, and a society that says some are less than others. This anger accumulates over time, never dissipating. That guy set out to provoke because he is angry and he wants to hurt others like he's been hurt.

The solution is not an easy one because the problem is not isolated to the poor or disadvantaged. Poor parenting crosses all socioeconomic classes, and we need to do a better job of training parents. Next, add a school period dedicated to teaching all students social skills, empathy, problem-solving and conflict resolution techniques. Yes, it will cost money: money for social workers, money for psychologists, money for extending the school day. But I'd be willing to pay extra to provide children with the skills to succeed. Blaring music and an ugly attitude is the least of our problems if we don't.

Lauren Shiner, Tampa

Helping Rwandan women learn, then earn April 6, Perspective

Quality education for all

Thank you for your article regarding the Akilah Institute for women in Rwanda. I am always inspired by individuals like Elizabeth Dearborn-Hughes who, when faced with inhumanity, can visualize and implement constructive solutions. A significant way to ensure a country's future is through the education of its children.

All of us can help ensure that the poorest and hardest-to-reach children worldwide can attend school and learn. This spring we have such an opportunity as donors come together to pledge support for the Global Partnership for Education, the only international organization dedicated to quality education for all. Since its inception, GPE has helped support quality education for 22 million children in many of the world's poorest countries. This spring, GPE aims to raise $3.5 billion to support education for 29 million more of the poorest and most vulnerable children worldwide. If GPE raises $3.5 billion from donors, it would leverage an additional $16 billion from developing country governments.

We need to encourage our federal legislators and President Barack Obama to invest $250 million over the next two years in GPE. It is really a question of asking ourselves what kind of world we want and acting in our small way through voicing our concerns. People like Elizabeth Dearborn-Hughes are our inspiration.

Barbara Drake, Tampa

Motorcyclists: 25% of fatalities April 6, Perspective

Bikers' responsibilities

Talk to any motorcyclist and he or she will repeat the same fallacies: Loud pipes make you safer because people can hear you coming, and helmets are dangerous because they restrict your vision and hearing. And yet, every day I see signs and bumper stickers urging the rest of us to watch out for motorcycles. How about taking responsibility for your own safety and wearing a helmet? (And get a muffler, so the rest of us can have some peace and quiet.)

Douglas Hall, Clearwater

So, this is what I would have said April 6, Perspective

Wastewater concerns

In Diane Roberts' article about the trashing, sliming and poisoning of Florida's previously drinkable waters, one omission leaped out at me. For about 30 years, municipal and other wastewater-generating entities have been unabashedly availing themselves, and the cheapskate developers they serve, of the fiction of what is known as UIC, or underground injection control. This is the program that legally allows those entities to inject, at considerable pressure and volume, millions of gallons per day of inadequately "treated" wastewater (sewage) into underground formations hydraulically connected to underground sources of drinking water.

So, even if measures are ever taken to clean up all surface waters, hundreds of millions of gallons of inadequately treated sewage will be getting mainlined into pathways leading to inshore and coastal waters.

John S. Glenn, Fernandina Beach

Putin turns up heat on Ukraine | April 10

On the road to war

If Russia decides to invade and annex Ukraine and NATO does nothing but implement sanctions, the entire balance of power in Europe will be changed. Russia is no longer a communist superpower, but it is an expansionistic power that wants to be a superpower. NATO or the United States by itself must show military resolve to discourage Russia from invading Ukraine or the table will be set for another war in Europe.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is taking the same steps that Hitler took before Germany invaded Poland and set off World War II. NATO has a chance to stop World War III before Putin becomes so emboldened he pushes the alliance into a corner where war or surrender is the only answer.

John King, Tampa

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Friday’s letters: Help for boaters against modern-day ‘pirates’

Marine towing and salvageHelp against modern-day piracyAs an avid recreational boat owner and sixth-generation Floridian, I know there’s no better way to enjoy our state’s spectacular waters than taking your boat out. Unfortunately, the fun of boatin...
Published: 01/17/18
Updated: 01/18/18

Thursday’s letters: All Americans need health care

Doctor: Trump got perfect score on cognitive test | Jan. 17All Americans need health carePresident Donald Trump’s extensive health exam has apparently declared him physically fit for office. As I was reading about the battery of tests he received...
Published: 01/17/18

Wednesday’s letters: St. Petersburg’s culture, vibrancy impresses

St. PetersburgImpressive culture and vibrancyI recently visited Tampa Bay and celebrated New Year’s weekend in downtown St. Petersburg. I was awestruck by what I encountered and experienced. It has been several years since I last visited, and the tra...
Published: 01/16/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for Jan. 19

Re: Walking leads to shocking catalogue of trash | Jan. 12 column Bring back anti-littering campaignJust came back from the beautiful, clean city of Singapore, where there is a $1,000 fine, plus community service for littering. I think a presiden...
Published: 01/16/18
Tuesday’s letters: Trump’s accomplishments unheralded

Tuesday’s letters: Trump’s accomplishments unheralded

President Donald TrumpAchievements go unrecognizedAre Americans even aware that our economy is healthier and growing much faster, that ISIS has been defeated and lost their territory, that China and other countries are buying more American goods and ...
Published: 01/16/18

Monday’s letters: Don’t be fooled by drilling turnaround

Deal blocks drilling off Fla. | Jan. 10Don’t be fooled by turnaroundWhile I am very grateful that Florida has been taken off the table regarding offshore oil drilling, it is clear this is a political move to champion Gov. Rick Scott as he conside...
Published: 01/14/18

Sunday’s letters: Left wing late to the #MeToo cause

#MeTooDemocrats come late to the causeThe Times devoted an entire page to the #MeToo issues on Sunday. The ironies here for longtime observers are nearly boundless. Twenty years ago, folks like myself were called "prudes" and worse because we found P...
Published: 01/13/18

Saturday’s letters: A wall of towers isn’t progress

Skyline takes shape | Jan. 7A wall of towers isn’t progressFirst of all, once the 17 projects currently under way are completed, there will be no "skyline." There will be a wall of buildings blotting out the sun and sky. St. Petersburg has become...
Published: 01/12/18

Friday’s letters:

Gang raped at 17. Getting help at 65 | Jan. 7Help available for assault victimsEach sexual assault survivor has a unique story to tell, and Evelyn Robinson’s experience illustrates many of the emotions, and society stigmas, faced by survivors.Sex...
Published: 01/09/18
Updated: 01/11/18

Thursday’s letters: Opioid bill could do more harm than good

Opioid bill opponents line up | Jan. 6Bill’s potential to harm patientsLegislators are proposing putting more restrictions on physicians’ ability to prescribe pain medications. Yes, the addiction problem is a serious one, and the law seems well-i...
Published: 01/08/18
Updated: 01/10/18