Friday, April 27, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Sunday's letters: Kudos for addressing black-on-black crime

Reddick blasts black-on-black crime | July 17

Kudos for candor and courage

I applaud Tampa City Council member Frank Reddick for having the courage to speak up about black-on-black crime, a serious but sensitive problem where the messenger is often at risk of being criticized. Reddick said there should be as much outrage about the murder of Family Dollar Store manager Horsley Shorter Jr. as there has been about the Trayvon Martin tragedy and that those shielding the killer should do the right thing and turn him in. Unfortunately, I don't think Reddick will get much help from the news media in addressing this issue. They are much more interested in trying to manufacture a racial incident for exploitation than helping to solve a very deadly problem.

Jerry Stephens, Riverview

Motor City files for bankruptcy | July 19

Big Three don't measure up

Detroit and the American automakers would be doing just fine today if they had done as the Japanese did — concentrate on turning out a better product. While Toyota, Nissan and Honda were improving their cars, GMC, Ford and Chrysler were floundering around with goofy yearly styling and model changes.

The American public took notice. While American cars had to be repeatedly taken back to the dealers with lengthy punch lists of broken and faulty parts, the Toyotas and Datsuns just tooled along with virtually no problems.

Neither the Big Three nor the UAW woke up and gave the public what they wanted. I remember Lee Iacocca vowing some 30 to 40 years ago to make a car as good as a Camry. They still haven't done it.

Pete Wilford, Holiday

TIA lands key Latin route | July 18

Subsidies are folly

The airline subsidies being doled out to foreign air carriers by Tampa International Airport and local governments are pure economic smoke and mirrors. What folly to subsidize these foreign (in some cases already subsidized) airlines to enable them to build large overseas transfer hubs that skim air traffic and domestic jobs from long-term contributing U.S. carriers that currently serve Tampa.

The mayor, the city and airport officials are willing to cough up subsidies and giveaways for the privilege of some international city name-dropping.

Keep wearing the Panama hats and eating the fondue, guys, while the recipients or your giveaways laugh all the way to the bank.

Scott Hostler, Lutz

George Zimmerman trial

All's not fair

American Indians invented lacrosse, not as a pastime but as symbolic warfare to settle disputes without bloodshed. Trials are our version. Both are about winning and losing. Fairness and truth sometimes lose. The Zimmerman trial distorted the authentic casus belli. Where were the adults who should have ensured that a neighborhood watch just watched? Where were the adults who should have counseled that, personal expression aside, dress and deportment are contextual and can be consequential? Perhaps our dissatisfaction with the verdict connotes consciousness of the authentic etiology of this tragedy.

J.P. Byrne, Largo

DCF chief Wilkins steps down as scandal grows | July 19

Finally, hope of change

It has been a deadly time for children under the watch of the Florida Department of Children and Families and the community-based care or "lead" agencies charged with keeping kids safe.

Four children have died from abuse or neglect in the last three months. In the cases of 5-month-old Bryan Osceola, 2-year-old Ezra Raphael, 4-year-old Antwan Hope, and 1-year-old Fernando Barahona, DCF or its contracted agencies knew about threats to health or safety in the children's homes, yet caseworkers and investigators approved visits or the children's continued placement in dangerous settings. Some caseworkers falsified reports; some weren't even certified to work for the agencies.

Now — finally — there's hope that things may change. On Thursday, embattled DCF Secretary David Wilkins resigned. He was replaced by interim Secretary Esther Jacobo, who most recently served as DCF regional managing director for Miami-Dade and Monroe counties.

With Wilkins' departure, child advocates hope for a return of the transparency, common sense and sense of urgency infused into DCF during four years of significant, positive reforms under DCF Secretaries Bob Butterworth and George Sheldon.

Howard M. Talenfeld, president, Florida's Children First, Fort Lauderdale

It doesn't pay to be jobless July 14, Blumner column

Is the goal perpetual help?

Robyn Blumner raises valid points about the hypocritical propensity of some politicians to decry certain forms of income redistribution while boosting other modes. Assistance to the unemployed resonates with most of us. However, the recession has been over for four years and one month, and Barack Obama has been in office for four years and six months. Is the administration's intention to perpetually and incrementally help people via unemployment, food stamps, disability, health insurance, etc., or is it to fashion a robust economy in which fewer people require less of such help?

Pat Byrne, Largo

Miss Florida pageant

Disappointed in coverage

I cannot express how disappointed I am in the coverage of the Miss Florida Scholarship Pageant at the Mahaffey Theater. The Tampa Bay Times had a picture in the July 14 edition of an aerialist performing, not a picture of Miss Florida 2013. This pageant brings to the area the sponsors, family and friends of the contestants, and these talented young women compete for scholarship money and the opportunity to represent Florida at the Miss America Pageant, to be held in Atlantic City in September. Forty-seven contestants from all over Florida competed for the title. It should be recognized in your newspaper.

Alma Pasquale, Palm Harbor

Puerto Ricans

Note to the ignorant

To all those ignorant people who didn't know: Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens by birth.

Edna Ramirez, Odessa


Friday’s letters: Why just single-member districts are a bad idea for Hillsborough

Murman’s bad idea on districts | April 20, editorialSingle-member districts’ flawYour editorial opposing single-member districts in Hillsborough County is totally correct. I have served as Miami-Dade county manager twice. The first time (1976-198...
Updated: 10 hours ago

Thursday’s letters: A surgeon responds to story about a needle being left in a baby’s heart

All Children’s surgeon left a needle in a baby’s heart | April 22My view as one of the surgeonsI am one of the physicians discussed (but not interviewed) in this article. Whatever the motive for such an article, I disagree with many of the claims...
Published: 04/23/18
Updated: 04/26/18

Wednesday’s letters: How we plan to improve foster care in Hillsborough

Improving foster care inHillsborough | April 19, editorialOur plans for helping kidsThis editorial poses many good questions. The Department of Children and Families’ peer review report is expected to be released soon. And while we welcome the an...
Published: 04/23/18
Updated: 04/25/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for April 27

Stop Ridge Road extension, reader saysWhen I spoke at the Dade City meeting of the Pasco County Commissioners on my opposition to the Ridge Road Extension, three of them responded, but only when my three minutes of free speech expired, and I could sa...
Published: 04/23/18

Monday’s letters: Term limits don’t work

U.S. Senate campaignTerm limitsdon’t workGov. Rick Scott has begun his run for the U.S. Senate with TV ads promoting term limits for representatives and senators. Aside from the probability that this would require a constitutional amendment, I think ...
Published: 04/22/18
Updated: 04/23/18

Sunday’s letters: Problems with high-speed rail

Thanks, Gov. Scott, for ghastly I-4 drives | April 18, Sue Carlton columnProblems with high-speed railIn her Wednesday column, the writer bemoaned the traffic on I-4 and blasted Gov. Rick Scott for turning down free government money for a high-sp...
Published: 04/21/18

Tuesday’s letters: Student journalists push to save their newsrooms and independence

Save student newsroomsAs professional newsrooms shrink, student newsrooms have become an increasingly important source of local coverage, holding not only our universities accountable but also local government. We write these articles, attending meet...
Published: 04/20/18
Updated: 04/24/18

Saturday’s letters: Don’t weaken rules on fisheries

Florida fisheriesDon’t weaken rules on fish stocksMembers of Congress are proposing changes to an important ocean law, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, that would adversely affect coastal states including Florida.Since it...
Published: 04/19/18
Updated: 04/20/18

Friday’s letters: We owe it to our children to teach them history

If we don’t understand past, future looks grim | April 19, Daniel Ruth columnThe history we owe our childrenIt’s not often I agree with Daniel Ruth, but this article was spot-on. I’m not sure when the schools started ignoring Germany’s World War ...
Published: 04/19/18

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