Monday, April 23, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Sunday's letters: Pressure Danish zoo to change ways

Why the Danish zoo shot Marius dead | Feb. 16, Perspective

Pressure zoo to change its ways

I read Robert Young's apologia for the Danish zoo's killing of Marius the giraffe in Sunday's Times. I don't buy it.

I am reminded of an incident from the British Raj in India. After the British outlawed suttee, the practice of burning women alive on their husband's funeral bier, a group of male Indian worthies approached the governor general of a province and asked him to suspend the decree, arguing that it was their tradition, necessary for the cultural conservation of their society.

The governor general replied that there was a tradition in his country as well: "When men burn women alive, we hang them."

If a group of people practice infanticide or some other form of human sacrifice they believe necessary for their conservation, it is not incumbent upon civilized society to try to understand their mind-set. All that is necessary is that we know the practice is disgusting and repellent in the extreme and must stop.

If the Danes will not practice modern birth control with their giraffes and other animals, including spaying or neutering, then perhaps they shouldn't have those animals. And if they don't change, then pressure needs to be brought to bear to force them to do so.

Danny Ball, Tampa

Why the Danish zoo shot Marius dead Feb. 16, Perspective

Cruelty to animals

For the Copenhagen zoo to claim that Marius had to go because he was surplus raises questions as to why he was allowed to be born in the first place. Weren't they aware that he would be a "surplus" offspring? Additionally, it seems that shooting him with a bolt gun and then cutting him up in front of spectators is hardly euthanasia. Why wasn't he spared for breeding and an older animal put down? Or did they raise him for food in the first place? Talk about cruelty to animals.

Ken Carion, Springdale, Pa.

A more humane option

To say that the euthanasia, dissection and eating of a healthy giraffe "highlights the cultural differences between Denmark" and us might be the understatement of the year. I understand overpopulation. I get the concept that wild herds of animals need to be thinned or culled for the betterment of the species.

When dealing with captive animals, wouldn't contraception be a whole lot more humane? The other part of what I find upsetting is the little kids with a ringside seat to this. Look at the picture: There are kids not much past the toddler stage standing in the front row. They're about to watch this beautiful animal get sliced apart.

I guess different cultures see things differently. I've never understood eating cats and dogs, but it's pretty common in some cultures. Many humans seem to have an arrogance and disdain for other species that can be disturbing. We're all creatures sharing a habitat. Why not treat other species with respect?

Jeff Cutting, Brandon

Driverless cars' ultimate test: people Feb. 18

Safety is drivers' duty

This was an interesting article, but if safer roadways is the goal, the direction should be toward developing responsible, competent drivers rather than transferring responsibility to machines. Auto manufacturers have done a great job of building safer cars, but they are driven by people who consistently ignore the rules of the road, road signs, traffic signals, lane markings, directional signals, headlights, rights of way and speed limits.

Periodic retesting of drivers, both written and road, and inspections of vehicles will immediately purge our roadways of dangerous drivers if the consequences of incompetence are re-education and loss of license.

Maureen Zilles, Largo

Sink should have accepted debate Feb. 19, letter

Nothing to be gained

I agree with Alex Sink's decision not to have another debate with David Jolly. The earlier debate showed the positions of each candidate on most, if not all, of the major issues.

What would be the purpose of another debate? It would only give each candidate a chance to twist and distort the truth. Don't we see enough of that on television each day? The only reason I can see to have another debate is to determine who is the most polished and suave speaker. If that were the most important criterion we would elect only used car salesmen.

How many times did David Jolly's mentor, Bill Young, debate? I can't remember one.

Ronald Piencykoski, Clearwater

Pension plans

Reform protects benefits

Look no further for the next potential financial crisis than the end of 2014, when key provisions of the Pension Protection Act of 2006 are set to expire. Today, more than 10 million Americans participate in multiemployer pension plans in industries including construction, entertainment, retail, health care and transportation. These plans are in jeopardy. Many have been hit by the Great Recession, and the federal agency that backstops the plans is itself on the brink of running out of money.

Labor and business leaders put their heads together for a commonsense and self-help solution. For plans at risk of going insolvent, it provides a road map to help preserve retiree benefits. For plans recovering from the financial crisis, it provides new, innovative plan designs that will help them in the future. The proposal is called "Solutions Not Bailouts" and it doesn't require taxpayers to foot the bill — but it does require Congress to act.

Our representatives should support these solutions before there's a crisis.

Ed Chambers, president, United Food & Commercial Workers Union, Local 1625, Lakeland

Florida's a war zone | Feb. 20, letter

Guns save lives

You hear questions about why some people carry or own guns, but never the about those who have successfully protected themselves or others.

Every day, people in the United States defend their homes, defend those they love, and continue to live because they use their lawfully owned guns. It's believed to happen about 6,500 times a day.

In fact, privately owned firearms are used 60 times more often to protect the lives of honest citizens than to take lives.

Robert Petrosky, Spring Hill


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...
Updated: 11 hours ago

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...
Updated: 7 hours ago

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

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