Wednesday, June 20, 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: Charters and traditional public schools each have their place

Public school as public good | Letter, June 17Both kinds of schools can workAs a mother and grandmother of children raised in both traditional public and charter schools in Pinellas County (and a 25-year supporting-services employee for public sc...
Updated: 4 hours ago

Tuesday’s letters: Keep programs that fight AIDS

For author Biden, it’s a father’s gift | June 6Keep programs that fight AIDSAfter former Vice President Joe Biden’s recent visit to St. Petersburg, I noticed an article that he co-wrote with former Sen. Bill Frist. It reminded everyone about the ...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/19/18

Is anyone watching the money?Hernando County’s budget shortfall is ever changing going from $6 million to $11.5 million to $14 million to what is assumed a final number of $12.6 million. Who knows the budget shortfall could change again.Who’s watchi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Re: County OKs solar zones | June 8Plea ignored at solar plant hearingThe Pasco County Commission on June 5 voted to identify a utility-sized solar electric plant as a "special exception" use on agricultural-zoned land in Pasco County. What thi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Monday’s letters: Skip those plastic bags and save the environment

To save our seas, overcome congressional apathy | Column, June 16Do your part and skip plastic bagsEvery day we read about the shame of our landfills and oceans filling up with plastic bags, yet most people don’t care. My wife and I always carry ...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

White House defends splitting up families as ‘biblical’ | June 15The suffering of the childrenI am a mother and attorney with more than 20 years of practice living in Tampa. For the past three years, I worked as a magistrate in a Unified Family C...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Saturday’s letters: Community-based care requires community involvement

Fix foster care, and do it quickly | Editorial, June 15Involve the community itselfWhile the detailed article about the scathing state review of Hillsborough County’s foster care problems touched on leadership, a critical point was not addressed....
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Friday’s letters: Freight trains are infrastructure that works in Tampa Bay

Railroads are infrastructure that worksFreight trains carry the loadCentral Florida is our state’s fastest-growing region. We’re on track to outpace South Florida’s growth 2-to-1 over the next several years. Great news for our local economy, but it n...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Thursday’s letters: Charter schools aren’t the enemy

Don’t plug your ears when schools ask for tax | May 20, columnCharter schools aren’t the enemyAs an educator, I am astounded when I hear claims from school board members that charter schools take away funding from the local public school system. ...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/14/18

Wednesday’s letters: Trump’s words insult our Canadian visitors

Trade disputes torpedo G-7 summit | June 10Canadian visitors are owed apologyLike many Pinellas County residents, I’m pleased that we receive thousands of Canadian "snow birds" as part-year residents. Not only do they enhance our economy, but by ...
Published: 06/11/18
Updated: 06/13/18