Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Sunday's letters: The key: Live within means, save

Retire? A sad reality | July 29

The key: Live within means, save

This article suggests that somehow a government mandate on retirement saving would be far superior to our own voluntary retirement plans. She mentions that a voluntary Social Security system, left up to the people without our government mandating it, would have been a disaster. But it is a disaster as it is.

People on Social Security alone have a rough time surviving, even with an inflation guard. The Times reports this fact frequently. The same government the article suggests will save us all in our retirement is now $16 trillion in debt. Are we supposed to trust this government when it can't even manage to pass a budget and is buried in debt?

The writer also states that a voluntary retirement account plan is a disaster. She couldn't be more wrong. Saving for retirement is our responsibility, and with a little discipline, "we the people" can do a much better job.

Her article tells us that in old age, we need 20 times our annual income to "maintain living standards." Assuming she is correct, let me suggest a simple but disciplined approach without the government's "help." A 20-year-old with an average income of a mere $30,000 per year over his or her working lifetime who consistently saves 10 percent of income will retire at age 65 with over a million dollars in a retirement account (considering 8 percent annual returns).

We don't need more government intervention. We just need to let go of the entitlement attitude that has gripped our nation, work hard, and live within our means.

Dale Sieber, Hudson

Completing our gorgeous waterfront July 29, Robyn Blumner column

Enough places to relax

Robyn Blumner has it backwards with her comparison of the Lens proposal and the High Line in Manhattan. The needs of St. Petersburg residents in regards to public park space are so much different than in Manhattan. In the hustle and constant bustle of that wonderfully crazy city, people are flocking to the High Line park to get away from it all and overlook the mighty Hudson River and even catch a sunset over the water.

In contrast in St. Petersburg, people are seeking activity and action in their city as things can be pretty slow around here at times, especially in the hot and humid seasons we have about half the year.

The present Pier accommodates those wishes, with or without a special event there. Integrating public transit such as a municipal water taxi would only enhance the excitement of the attraction.

There are plenty of places to "get away" from the "hustle and bustle" of St. Petersburg. We don't need to spend $50 million on a traditional pier that offers more solace than we need.

Jeannie Cline, St. Petersburg

Five years of gun deaths | July 29

Looking for context

After skimming over this article, I've concluded the following:

1. Many of the killings were by family members, even a grandmother killing her grandchildren.

2. Many of the killings were by an assailant known by the victims.

3. Many of the killings were by people with mental problems.

4. Many of the killings were by suicidal people.

What I didn't read was what gun law(s) would have prevented any of the above.

So now it's time to be fair. How about a full page of armed citizens who have saved themselves, family, friends, or even people they don't know over the last five years from some assailant by having a firearm?

James Molloy, Pinellas Park

Filling education's leadership void Aug. 2, editorial

Behind the debacle

Thank you for your editorial of support for public education, and for pointing out the poor leadership of Gov. Rick Scott.

It is critical for the public to be aware of how public school teachers have been demonized, scapegoated and not paid properly over the last five years, while the general public view our schools as failing. Many try to blame teachers unions for this demise. I submit that the FCAT debacle and excessive testing are the real reasons for these false perceptions.

David Pike, Odessa

GSA suspends execs' bonuses, freezes hiring July 18

Prosecute the wrongdoers

I have been watching TV interviews of congressmen talking about various government financial scandals. The attitudes of these congressmen, both Republicans and Democrats, is atrocious.

They have done a good job of uncovering fiscal "improprieties" by those who administer (or mismanage) our tax dollars. But uncovering them should be only the first step. Crimes have been committed. Documents have been deliberately altered to cover up the crimes. Where are the arrests? Where are the prosecutions?

If a bank teller steals $100 from the till, he goes to jail. If you or I forge a check, we go to jail.

But government employees routinely steal millions of tax dollars, lie about it, forge papers, and the worst that happens to them, if caught, is that they resign and go on to other careers. Some even retire with full pensions.

Part of the problem is that everybody in Washington is connected to everybody else. No matter whom you might choose to prosecute, he is the brother-in-law or uncle of someone you work with, and well, let's not cause hard feelings.

The criminals need to be prosecuted. That might deter future crimes.

Robert Arvay, Tampa

Fans flock to area Chick-fil-A's | Aug. 2

First Amendment issue

Why didn't this article include the real reason for Chick-fil-A appreciation day?

Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy faces a consumer protest for expressing his opposition to same-sex marriage. Fair enough. Offended, the Democratic mayors of Boston, Chicago and San Francisco threatened to prevent the Georgia-based fast-food company from operating in their cities.

Whether for or against same-sex marriage, what part of the First Amendment do these radical mayors not understand? This was a clear-cut case of suppression and punishment of Cathy's right of free speech.

Even Chick-fil-A's opponents admit they find no instance where the company denied service to a customer, refused to hire someone because of sexual orientation or fired someone for being gay.

John Whelan, Dunedin


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 ...
Updated: 3 hours ago

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

Hernando Letters to the Editor for June 15

Opinion: Commissioners arrogant and incompetentMy wife and I live in Hernando County. As such, we are represented by a Board of County Commissioners where all the members manifest two common traits. Those traits are arrogance and incompetence.The arr...
Published: 06/11/18
Updated: 06/12/18