Tuesday, November 21, 2017
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


Tuesday’s letters: Disgraceful tax proposals

Tax billDisgraceful, harmful proposalsThe very fact that the Congress of the people of the United States would propose, not to mention pass, the current tax bill is nothing short of disgraceful. What sort of representatives of the people support cutt...
Updated: 10 hours ago

Monday’s letters: Doctors should speak up on harassment

Sexual harassmentDoctors need to speak upThe recent widespread recognition, followed by disapproval, of sexual harassment across many workplaces signals a paradigm shift in social attitudes toward abuse of power that is long overdue.The male-dominate...
Published: 11/17/17

Saturday’s letters: Reservoir project off to a good start

Lake OkeechobeeReservoir project off to good startThis year, more than 70,000 Floridians contacted their legislators to support expediting a reservoir project south of Lake Okeechobee. Another 150 business people, anglers, health care professionals a...
Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/17/17

Sunday’s letters: Roundabout way to help the rich

Senate GOP’s tax plan to kill ACA mandate | Nov. 15Devious way to hurt middle classSo, let’s see if we have this straight. The proposed amendment to the Senate tax plan, to kill the individual mandate, will cause young people to not buy health in...
Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/17/17

Friday’s letters: Stop laying blame on teachers

Hillsborough teachers are set to protest | Nov. 14Stop laying blame on teachersI am a veteran teacher, coming up on 30 years of service to public education. My mother was also an educator, clocking over 40 years of service in public education. Sh...
Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/16/17

Pasco Letters to the Editor for Nov. 17

Questioning fees draws snarky responseYou are probably aware of the new Pasco utility fees that became effective last month.Under the dubious title of "convenience fee" for making utility payments by credit card or e-check, Pasco Utilities adds $2.75...
Published: 11/15/17

Dollars need to stay at home if south Brooksville is to survive

As a member of the Moton High School Class of 1967, I grew up a poor but very happy child because of the love given to me by all. So all I had to do was be a child and not rush to be an adult.There were many black businesses along a four-block area o...
Published: 11/14/17
Updated: 11/18/17

Wednesday’s letters: Generosity makes all the difference

National Adoption MonthThe difference generosity makesAs a football coach, I always had to be ready to overcome unexpected challenges. With injuries, crowd noise and especially weather, the game plan is always adjusting to overcome adversity.Our stat...
Published: 11/13/17
Updated: 11/14/17

Monday’s letters: Moore is not fit for public office

Woman: Candidate pursued her as a teen | Nov. 10Moore is not fit for public officeIt is sad that Roy Moore, a self-professed religious man, is running for a Senate seat when he is clearly unfit for any job involving the public for so many reasons...
Published: 11/10/17
Updated: 11/13/17

Monday’s letters: Don’t fall for the tax cut ruse

Tax billDon’t take your eye off the ballThe rush is on. The Republican Congress is rushing to pass a modest tax cut for the middle class while giving corporations a massive tax cut. While taking away some of the tax deductions from ordinary taxpayers...
Published: 11/10/17