Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Sunday's letters: Steps to improve services to at-risk children

DCF acts to fix shortfalls | April 25

Steps to protect at-risk children

Two things for Secretary Mike Carroll of the Department of Children and Families to consider in the age-old attempts to correct and improve services to abused and neglected children are basic but sometimes overlooked.

Don't forget that staff on the firing line, though frazzled and inexperienced, are spot-on when it comes to seeing with less clutter the issues that prevent good outcomes for children. Experts know their business, but the sweating staff in the trenches have important, crucial things to contribute.

Obviously smaller case loads start the clock to reform. We are dependent on a clueless Legislature that doesn't know the ABC's of people protection, or would rather serve the interests of people who vote and give money. Abused children don't vote. There have to be enough voters who work in or have retired from the helping professions to stare clueless legislators in the eyes and mean business — put up or get out.

The most at-risk population, ages 5 and under, is well documented. Specialty units with smaller case loads and intensive training and using multidisciplinary approaches will yield positive results. However, without oversight and fail-safe tracking, no system to reduce child deaths will be successful.

Carroll is a humanitarian who struggles to keep his DCF above water, but his dog in this race is not going to win without us. We have to push harder and be more stern about where we want our money to go.

Darlene Dickson, Tampa

Seek balance between growth, character April 21, editorial

Modern but not out of place

There should not have to be a choice between preserving neighborhood character and creating a modern home.

A sensitive architect will spend time getting the "feel" of a neighborhood and then design a modern home that respects the fabric and character of that neighborhood. Midcentury modern architecture — by emulating a neighborhood's prominent materials, textures and colors, with gently sloping large overhang roofs and porches — could adapt itself to most neighborhoods in the hands of a sensitive designer. "Sharp-edge style" modern architecture, which definitely has its place in the correct setting, would be out of place in these locations.

As an architect, I've done this kind of work. It is definitely more challenging, but also very rewarding.

Sanford Goldman, St. Petersburg

Light rail won't work here | April 25, letter

Regional approach is key

This letter perfectly illustrates why we need a transit authority to cover the entire Tampa Bay region and not just a county-by-county system. There will always be parts of this community, as in any metropolis, where people will neither need, want, nor use public transit for a variety of reasons. But for those who live and work in our three major cities, transit is going to be vital as our region grows if we want to recruit desirable businesses and build a diverse workforce — which includes a generation or more of people not interested in spending time in traffic but who would rather use that time more productively on a bus or train (or ferry).

I am lucky enough to be able to work from my home in St. Petersburg, but I have given up on going to Tampa or Clearwater unless it is absolutely necessary. I would love to visit the shops, restaurants and other cultural destinations in the area, but the legendary traffic on the Howard Frankland Bridge or U.S. 19 and parking in downtown Tampa or by the beaches has gotten to the point that the benefits of enjoying the attractions are not worth the trouble. For those who commute between our cities, this is something they have to contend with on a daily basis and it is a tremendous waste of time, productivity, resources, not to mention fossil fuels.

Public transit is the key that separates the Tampa Bay area from being a vital, integrated and truly great metropolitan area. What is the value of all of those lost hours wasted in traffic and dollars not spent by people in the area who have just decided not to contend with our area roads? It is certainly greater than the cost of investing in real, usable transit infrastructure.

Rebecca Davis, St. Petersburg

Proceed with care on Tampa tree code April 26, editorial

Save valuable resources

Because my son is relocating to Tampa, he recently spent several days here looking for a new home for his family. Instead of a larger, newer house, he chose one in a beautifully shaded neighborhood, saying, "I'm paying an extra $300 a month for the trees." This confirms the Forestry Service's finding that mature trees add 10 percent to a property's value.

The Tampa Bay Sierra Club views trees as a community resource. They attract new businesses and tourists. Their removal impacts nearby property values. Trees improve our immune system and energy levels. They reduce stress.

Urban forests reduce air and water pollution. They cool our city through shade and transpiration. And yes, trees reduce carbon dioxide. Mature trees are simply irreplaceable. Their loss cannot be adequately mitigated.

The city of Tampa is legally and morally obligated to protect the community from shortsighted, fast-buck priorities. Making it cheaper, easier or quicker to destroy legacy oaks will not serve the interests of our community.

Kent Bailey, chair, Tampa Bay Sierra Club, Thonotosassa

Comments

Hernando Letters to the Editor for May 25

Re: Central High School bomb threat suspect to be tried as adult | May 4Angry mob rhetoric not helpfulWe have observed the public discourse surrounding the case of Mizella Robinson with increasing unease. A sampling of the more common sentiment...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Pasco Letters to the Editor for May 25

Re: Proposed TECO Solar Plant Opposed to the TECO solar plantAs a 21-year resident and property owner, I am writing in opposition to the proposed Tampa Electric Company solar plant in rural northeast Pasco County.The solar plant will be .2 miles from...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Tuesday’s letters: If you don’t like the Electoral College, then amend the Constitution

The popular vote | May 20, letterIf you don’t like it, amend ConstitutionA recent letter supports the idea that a state should be able to change its Electoral College vote to match that of the national popular vote winner as opposed to the result...
Updated: 9 hours ago

Monday’s letters: Focusing on the mental state of shooters misses the point

Texas high school shooting | May 18Criminals, angry people kill peopleSchool shootings are a distinctly American phenomenon. But shootings by people with serious mental illness represent less than 1 percent of all yearly gun-related homicides in ...
Published: 05/19/18
Updated: 05/21/18

Friday’s letters: Putnam and Publix, two P’s lose my nod

Publix pours cash to Putnam | May 17A pleasure to shop elsewhereMy family and I moved to Tampa in 1974, and have made Publix our favorite grocery store ever since. Forty-four years! That is why it makes me a little sad to have to say goodbye.Firs...
Published: 05/18/18

Saturday’s letters: For Florida to move forward, focus on a healthy and sustainable environment

Tampa’s future is bright | May 12Protect Florida, boost economyThis past year, Florida set another record-breaking year for tourism, welcoming more than 116 million visitors. While Florida boasts a unique quality of life and more than 1,300 miles...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/18/18

Sunday’s letters: What conservatives stand for

How can conservatism survive after Trump | May 13, Nickens columnhed#6324 I think it obvious that traditional conservatism was squeezed out of the 2016 campaign narrative and has become a niche thesis owned by a small group of intellectuals. A gr...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/18/18

Friday's letters: Putnam and Publix, two P's lose my nod

Publix pours cash to Putnam | May 17 A pleasure to shop elsewhere My family and I moved to Tampa in 1974, and have made Publix our favorite grocery store ever since. Forty-four years! That is why it makes me a little sad to have to say goodbye. F...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/18/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for May 18

Re: Pasco panel okays Tampa Electric solar farm after five-hour meeting | April 9 storySolar farm offers many positivesThere has been much publicity regarding the proposed TECO Mountain View solar project slated for 350 acres in East Pasco that was r...
Published: 05/14/18

Thursday’s letters: Florida has arguably become the autonomous vehicle capital of North America

Autonomous vehicles in FloridaThe state for self-driving carsAlmost overnight, Florida has arguably become the autonomous vehicle capital of North America. In the last three months, Voyage, a self-driving taxi service, has begun service in the Villag...
Published: 05/12/18
Updated: 05/17/18