Wednesday, November 22, 2017
Letters To The Editor

Sunday's letters: History of U.S.-Russia cooperation


Not cold, but chilly | Jan. 6

A history of U.S.-Russia comity

This article says Russian lawmaker Alexander Sidyakin thinks that "relations between our two countries are better than they were 10 years ago, and they are definitely an improvement over where they were 20 years ago."

Having spent a month with citizens of Rybinsk in 1992, it appears that statement only applies to higher-level government politicians. We worked with Rybinsk city officials and newly budding capitalists and could not have asked for a closer relationship.

That relationship dated to Josef Stalin's days as dictator. In our trips to Russia, we were permitted to take medications and other needed goods with us to aid Russian citizens. Where would relations to Cuba be if our government would have supported such interpersonal relationships with Cuban citizens back to the days of their revolution?

Powell Foster, St. Petersburg

Nature meets wrecking ball Jan. 6, Bill Maxwell column

Plunder vs. protection

Ever since Gov. Rick Scott was elected and appointed Herschel Vinyard as head of the Department of Environmental Protection, there has been a monumental shift away from protection of the environment to that of wholesale plunder by those who think wild places are to be exploited. Aldo Leopold, America's leading ecologist, cited this trait of exploitation in his landmark book Sand County Almanac.

It is a sad commentary that Florida's most important asset, the natural environment, is continually under assault by those who are blind to their duty as public servants to act as stewards of this most precious resource. Once it is gone, it cannot be replaced.

Bill Maxwell has done a great service in describing the attitude of current state government officials. Citizens should take action to ensure future leaders have a more enlightened outlook.

Richard Selleg, Palm Harbor

A nuclear fiasco? Hey, just trust us Jan. 8, John Romano column

Solar opportunity missed

John Romano's column on the failed Crystal River nuclear repairs hit home. It is apparent that Progress Energy or its new owner are not capable of repairing the plant or having it go online in my lifetime.

If only the money used for the bungled attempts to repair Crystal River were instead invested in residential and commercial solar power installations, part of our long-term power problems would be solved — and with a 30-year service life. Florida is the Sunshine State, and our future reliance on fossil or nuclear power is either unrealistic or unattainable.

Ken Gagliano, Clearwater

Beyond the bay | Jan. 9

News and advertising

Both local papers, and many across the country, revised and published a national press release about a new beer to be introduced in a television commercial during the Super Bowl.

This brings up a concern about our sacred print media: the fine line between news and advertisements disguised as news. As newspapers, reporters, editors and media leadership become less enterprising and more dependent on prepackaged content, readers are noticing gaps in both the quality and integrity of the social message.

Sure, a story about a new beer might seen innocent enough; however, it takes the space of a more relevant local story and of what should have been a paid advertisement. This slip in editorial judgment isn't new, but as our traditional media continues to dumb down and downsize, fewer experienced people will be sitting in daily news meetings to question what is real and worth reporting, and what is merely a dangling carrot.

Kurt Loft, Tampa

The reason Obama nominated Hagel Jan. 9, commentary

Smart defense spending

David Brooks' assertions equating a reduction in military spending with decline in military power are false. In June 2010, Congress received a report, "Debt, Deficits, and Defense: A Way Forward," which outlined detailed sensible reductions in the military budget of about $1 trillion over 10 years.

This report explores possible defense budget contributions to deficit reduction that would not compromise the essential security of the United States. Looking at the military budget through the lens of "sustainable defense" is a sensible strategy that will serve the American people.

Karen Putney, Tampa

Kindles a hit in the classroom | Jan. 6

Go with what works

Clearwater High's principal calls the digital switch to the Amazon Kindle a "great success." According to this article, "FCAT reading scores jumped 18 percent in the first year … and 14 percent the second" and "the basic Kindles cost … significantly less than a stack of textbooks."

Obviously, this program has exceeded any and all expectations. Yet the school district spokeswoman says there are no plans to expand the program to other schools. Why not?

Scott Stolz, Tarpon Springs

We can thank Boehner for disasters averted Jan. 8, commentary

Pursuit of power

The depths of Ross Douthat's misreading of John Boehner's role in the latest government crises are appalling. Is he talking about the same Boehner who walked out on the president at least three times during the fiscal cliff negotiations? The same Boehner who garnered his own members' rage by not allowing a vote to come up on the floor for aid for Sandy victims (two months after the disaster)?

Douthat refers to a "grandstanding Chris Christie." Is that what you call a governor who is desperate and despairing of aid for the thousands of his residents who are cold, homeless and helpless? Would we have him just allow his residents to continue to be punished for living in the Northeast?

There are two conflicting pursuits going on with Boehner and government. First is the pursuit of power. The other pursuit is the need to pass legislation to aid the country. John Boehner has made clear his interest in abusing his authority at any and all expense to the suffering of the American people.

Laurel Maul, Longboat Key


Friday’s letters: Find private investors for a new stadium

Opening offer from Rays on stadium sounds too low | Nov. 17, editorialFind private investors for stadiumThe Rays "offered" to pay 18.75 percent of the costs? How outrageously presumptuous to say that they offered! Put another way, they demanded t...
Updated: 10 hours ago

Thursday’s letters: Tax plan won’t help wages

Tax billThis won’t help stagnant wagesThe unfair tax proposal that cuts taxes for the rich and most powerful and cuts the ability of working people to claim any comparable deductions is no more than another greedy power grab by the rich and powerful....
Published: 11/20/17
Updated: 11/22/17

Wednesday’s letters: Breaking down health data

Don’t let news on blood pressure raise yours | Nov. 17, commentaryBreaking down health numbersThank you for publishing the timely commentary by Dr. H. Gilbert Welch on blood pressure. The point he makes about relative risks versus absolute risks ...
Published: 11/20/17
Updated: 11/21/17

Tuesday’s letters: Disgraceful tax proposals

Tax billDisgraceful, harmful proposalsThe very fact that the Congress of the people of the United States would propose, not to mention pass, the current tax bill is nothing short of disgraceful. What sort of representatives of the people support cutt...
Published: 11/20/17

Monday’s letters: Doctors should speak up on harassment

Sexual harassmentDoctors need to speak upThe recent widespread recognition, followed by disapproval, of sexual harassment across many workplaces signals a paradigm shift in social attitudes toward abuse of power that is long overdue.The male-dominate...
Published: 11/17/17

Saturday’s letters: Reservoir project off to a good start

Lake OkeechobeeReservoir project off to good startThis year, more than 70,000 Floridians contacted their legislators to support expediting a reservoir project south of Lake Okeechobee. Another 150 business people, anglers, health care professionals a...
Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/17/17

Sunday’s letters: Roundabout way to help the rich

Senate GOP’s tax plan to kill ACA mandate | Nov. 15Devious way to hurt middle classSo, let’s see if we have this straight. The proposed amendment to the Senate tax plan, to kill the individual mandate, will cause young people to not buy health in...
Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/17/17

Friday’s letters: Stop laying blame on teachers

Hillsborough teachers are set to protest | Nov. 14Stop laying blame on teachersI am a veteran teacher, coming up on 30 years of service to public education. My mother was also an educator, clocking over 40 years of service in public education. Sh...
Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/16/17

Pasco Letters to the Editor for Nov. 17

Questioning fees draws snarky responseYou are probably aware of the new Pasco utility fees that became effective last month.Under the dubious title of "convenience fee" for making utility payments by credit card or e-check, Pasco Utilities adds $2.75...
Published: 11/15/17

Dollars need to stay at home if south Brooksville is to survive

As a member of the Moton High School Class of 1967, I grew up a poor but very happy child because of the love given to me by all. So all I had to do was be a child and not rush to be an adult.There were many black businesses along a four-block area o...
Published: 11/14/17
Updated: 11/22/17