Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Sunday's letters: Sen. Marco Rubio should take lead on Cuba policy

The power of symbols and myth | June 24, Bill Maxwell column

Rubio should take lead on Cuba

Rather than create a myth, why doesn't Sen. Marco Rubio actually do something material?

Richard Nixon, a dedicated anticommunist, was the one who opened up China during Mao Tse-tung's rule.

Rubio is uniquely positioned to do the same type of thing with Cuba. He could spearhead the movement to normalize relations with Cuba.

After all, U.S. policy has been a complete failure for over 50 years. A sign of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome. The United States is the only country still enforcing the isolation strategy that did nothing to remove Fidel Castro from power.

Rubio would lose some or most of the radical Cuban immigrant vote who represent a small (but vocal) contingent, but would gain voters from the entire spectrum of Floridians. Havana once was Tampa's largest trading partner. Cuba could be a new customer for a broad range of U.S. products and services, plus we'd get the benefit of Cubans visiting Florida.

Jim Hunter, Lutz

Okay, here's why I'm a 26-year-old virgin June 24

Important values

We really enjoyed Arleen Spenceley's thoughts about chastity before marriage. Everyone should read them carefully and reflect on the merits of respecting others and ourselves. The values that she describes are important in all of our relationships whether personal or business, and go far beyond the subject of sex.

Spenceley should be commended for providing an approach to prospective marriage partners that will result in happier couples and children amid this culture of selfishness and superficiality.

Raymond Kerker, Largo

I didn't need to know this

Kudos to Arleen Spenceley, the virgin who will, presumably, rightfully don a white wedding gown someday. It's admirable when someone follows her informed conscience, especially amid society's opposition.

However, why am I privy to this? I long for the day when I don't see anyone's sexual preference or exploits in the Sunday paper. I don't have the right or need to know.

A public confession of chastity makes one neither holier nor wiser. Everything in moderation, and that means no sex too. Being hyper-focused on chastity risks impeding the objective of finding a balanced, wholesome partner.

Dianne Skripek, Odessa

Moral compass

I would like add my congratulations to Arleen Spenceley for her courage to share with us her very personal story about her virginity in Sunday's issue. I hope and pray that all the parents and young women who read her article listen to what she is saying and re-examine the choices they have made or will make that will determine their path.

As a 74-year-old father and grandfather, I felt proud of Spenceley for her honesty and sincerity. Our society seems to have lost its moral compass and her article was indeed timely.

Robert W. Goodin, Tampa

Trop to hop with 20,000 at RNC party June 26

Pricey party

I thought the convention and visitors bureau was to help promote our area and encourage visitors. The Republican National Convention has already selected our area. Giving them $600,000 for a party is outrageous.

Len Wilson, St. Petersburg

Protests and public order | June 28, editorial

Stifling free speech

In this editorial the Times appears to advocate for free speech, while at the same time rationalizes how the city of Tampa's stifling of free speech during the upcoming Republican National Convention is a good thing. Of course the Times doesn't label what Tampa is doing as stifling; if it did the Times' two-faced position would be evident.

It is disingenuous to claim that you are for free speech while at the same time condoning limitations on First Amendment activities. According to my copy of the U.S. Constitution, there is no middle ground. If you believe there is middle ground, then you don't believe in "free" speech, so label your beliefs differently.

By saying there is a need to balance the right to protest with public order, a presumption is made that protests lead to violence. In fact, in almost every case it is the states' response to protests that is violent, not the protesters themselves. There is no such thing as balancing free speech and public safety. This is a false argument created by those who want to stifle dissent (but won't admit it) by using exaggerated threats.

During the RNC protesters should be allowed access to any public space they so choose. Permits? A protester's permission comes in the form of the Constitution. In the unlikely event that a demonstrator gets violent, there will be $50 million worth of law enforcement and cameras around to remedy any situation. To pre-emptively put limitations on the people's right to speak is an affront to the Constitution.

Marianne Huber, St. Petersburg

USFSP leader resigns early | June 26

Chancellor set high bar

Margaret Sullivan, chancellor of the University of South Florida St. Petersburg, is a whirling dervish of talent, persistence, compassion and humor who will be sorely missed by this board member and I daresay all the others, as well as by those in this fine community who have come to know her.

Sullivan has set the bar high for our next chancellor. I wish her Godspeed in her "new adventures." I have great confidence that USF president Judy Genshaft, who brought Sullivan to us, will be able to provide a new chancellor to lead us upward from the lofty levels that Sullivan helped USFSP achieve.

Bob Churuti, USFSP Campus Board, St. Petersburg


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...
Updated: 2 hours ago

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

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