Papa's clean, well-lighted place | July 7, Bill Maxwell column
Maxwell brings Sunday surprises
Bill Maxwell is a wonderful writer and I always look forward to reading his column. You never know what he is going to write about, and I find that pleasantly surprising. He could write about social change, politics, or education one week, then share one of his personal interests or passions the next week, such as with last Sunday's column on Ernest Hemingway.
His style of writing is inspiring (he inspired me to Google Hemingway and learn more about his life), and he has a unique way of blending several elements into a meaningful presentation. Whether he is taking a position on a divisive political issue, or writing about what he does for fun, Maxwell has a wonderful ability to combine facts, history, statistics and his life experiences into an article that leaves the reader with that "satisfied" or "full" feeling. Not many writers are capable of that these days, and with most writers you know what to expect from week to week.
The Tampa Bay Times is fortunate to have him, and the readers of Tampa Bay are fortunate to be able to read his work from week to week.
M.A. Russell, South Pasadena
Why even healthy eaters fall for fries July 7, Perspective
Meat industry's horrors
For me, the meat industry's disgusting cruelty made it imperative to choose a vegetarian lifestyle over 20 years ago. If people knew their crispy bacon came from a suffering crated pig, or that their greasy burger came from a cow that did not painlessly die, would they still so mindlessly choose the bloody flesh?
The Humane Society has more than enough images to convince any compassionate person of the horrors of the meat industry. There is a deeper problem than calories when we deny the immense suffering these animals are going through.
I have heard all the arguments why people think they "need" meat for protein. But fast-food products are far from healthy protein — which does not need to come from flesh, but that's another topic.
Fast food is a poisonous business model that attracts us by addressing the human craving for fatty, salty flavors but abuses innocent sentient animals as a way to make obscene profits.
Rebecca Segal, Port Richey
The left needs more punch July 7, Robyn Blumner column
Left must stand together
When she identifies the lack of cohesion as one of the major weaknesses of the left, Robyn Blumner hits the nail on the head. If the liberals could stand together on the social agenda on which all of them agree and try to avoid divisive issues, and in particular abortion, we could have a society where sick people receive needed health care, where the unemployed and the disabled are not compelled to beg for a living at major street intersections, where all children have access to education and nutrition, and where sensible gun laws assure safety in our schools and on our streets.
As a lifelong prolife advocate, I voted for Democratic candidates after becoming an American citizen in 1984, because I believe that the prolife support by conservative politicians is a matter of expediency, not principles. At the same time, I cannot blame my prolife fellows who are confused by the unrelenting Democratic support for abortion, which is the most basic denial of the right to life.
Lodovico Balducci, Tampa
Wrong place for 36 stories | July 10, editorial
Project a jolt for downtown
For over 25 years the Straz Center has been a community destination and a catalyst for the redevelopment of downtown Tampa.
The Straz Center has been waiting for a local neighborhood of urban dwellers that would further improve the arts experience downtown by living and working within walking distance of the Straz and all of the other great institutions that have grown up alongside. With an estimated 6,000 residents in downtown Tampa and the Channel District, that day is upon us.
Today is a day to embrace growth in our urban core and to allow a public/private agreement that will bring more residents, increase dining and entertainment options, and realign an intersection that is currently unsafe for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists without the use of public money.
Vinny Tafuro, Tampa
Foster and Kriseman alone again | July 11
First, show up
The 56-year-old Kathleen Ford says she wants to be mayor of St. Petersburg. However, she does not believe it is necessary to attend debates attended by her rivals, Mayor Bill Foster and candidate Rick Kriseman.
Now we hear she will not attend the forum at the South St. Petersburg Democratic Club. She says she cannot attend because the meeting falls on her husband's birthday.
How old is he going to be, 10? If she wants this "big girl's job" she better start showing she deserves our vote. Goliath Davis, who touted Ford early, must be feeling like he's been slapped, and hard.
Martin L. Daugherty, St. Petersburg
Skyway project seeks footing | July 8
Business as usual
The proposal by developers to build a resort on state-owned and protected property at the south end of the Sunshine Skyway is another example of "business as usual" for connected Republicans who stand to make money at the taxpayers' expense.
Protected state land should stay protected, and not end up becoming a moneymaker for companies that would use every available parcel of usable land if they had their way.
Karen Miracle, Safety Harbor
Stroke death result: training | July 11
How sad it was to read the state of affairs in the Tampa Bay area on Thursday's front page. William Brown as a slumlord; Florida's horniest at the Lakeland Police Department; and the item I found the most disturbing: the poor man lying on the floor of the Hillsborough jail for 36 hours with the effects of a stroke and ultimately dying.
I cannot begin to imagine what Allen Hicks had to endure during those 36 hours. If the Sheriff's Office won't punish the deputies for their lack of care, hopefully the county commissioners will start questioning who is in charge of this mess.
John H. Curtis, Tampa