Friday, February 23, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Sunday's letters: To get results, eject party in power

Why don't lawmakers care? | April 28, editorial

For results, eject party in power

This editorial asks, Why don't lawmakers care? That question is answered on the front page of Perspective. They care for the show and the dough. They do not care for the citizens and voters of Florida. It would be interesting to find out if the people mentioned in the editorial vote, and if so, for which party.

The solution to the problems with state government is very simple. For several decades state government has been controlled by the Republican Party, and the quality of life for the average Floridian has deteriorated. We have historical experience to know the results of Republican control of state government.

If we want change, we must vote to remove control from the Republicans.

As long as our state government is bought and paid for by special interests, lobbyists and big business, then we will continue to ask pointless questions and receive illogical answers.

Daniel Lemon, Seminole

Teach ethics for these reasons April 28

A need for moral courage

Hugh LaFollette's article regarding reasons for teaching ethics has very practical implications for society. Ethics curriculum should be considered for implementation with hopes for a trickle-down effect, as he states, and not for immediate changes in society.

As the article suggests, it is common to assume that schools and the educational system can serve as a salve to society's woes. The easiest and most popular remedy from legislators is to enact measures that require year-round evaluation of student performance and teacher effectiveness, all of which culminates in an overall school grade. The opinion is that if only we could fix both primary and higher educational institutions, then society would fare better.

The harder choices, however, involve acknowledging and understanding that society's woes of poverty, violence and avarice must be dealt with directly. Moral courage is necessary in both the state and federal legislatures. A school is only a reflection of society, and society is not a reflection schools.

Barbara Drake, Tampa

Winning at all costs

This piece by Hugh LaFollette is a breath of fresh air. In today's society, many view ethics as an obstacle to success. They have the idea that any means justifies the end. As long as they win, it doesn't matter how they do it.

We all become targets of the entitled. If we get in the way of someone's success, then we are a problem. We must ask ourselves: Is this the society we want? If not, then change it.

James W. Cone, Thonotosassa

Schools explore conduct issues | May 1

Focus on behavior

I read with interest about the workshop at Middleton High School where Hillsborough school officials gathered to address the preponderance of suspensions meted out to African-American males.

I was disappointed, but not astounded, to read that the workshop chose to address the matter from the perspective of race rather than behavior. If one removes the racial lenses that are all the fashion these days, one can address the real problem to be solved. This was articulated best by a School Board member: "A lot of our students who come to school don't even know what inappropriate behavior is."

This isn't a School Board problem; this is a parenting problem. Feel free to test my hypothesis by inviting the parents of these suspended students to your next workshop. My guess is that you'll see a preponderance of empty chairs.

Mike DeWitt, Tampa

Chill of suspicion among friends | May 2

Tighten up the borders

One of three college students arrested Wednesday in the Boston Marathon bombings case reportedly was allowed to return to the United States from Kazakhstan in January despite not having a valid student visa. Is it unreasonable to ask why no one seems to be monitoring the status visa classifications?

Numerous reports tell us that students, and others who invalidate the terms of their valued cards, are able to travel at will, absent themselves from the classes they are supposed to be attending, and still enjoy freedoms and entitlements without fear of consequences. The control over the program is laughable.

And it is tiring to hear our protective agencies claim that they are just too overwhelmed by the sheer numbers involved. We are admittedly over-generous in all of our immigration/visa endeavors, and too soft in protecting ourselves from those who intend to harm us. We the taxpayers deserve better.

Orfeo Trombetta, Seminole

Chaotic day in House tangles major bills May 2

Standing up for the voters

Many times in my life I have watched people I have voted for come into office and not continue the passionate, unwavering, battle mentality they displayed on the campaign trail. I follow a few issues and skim news coverage here and there. Something occurred last week that took me by surprise and sent shock waves around our state. In a bold move, House Democrats demanded that every bill be read in full to protest the stalemate on health care reform.

I'm inspired by the unified stance Democrats took to stand up to House Republicans and stall a scaled-back approach that rejects federal dollars to expand Medicaid coverage in Florida.

The Senate voted 38-1 to adopt its health care proposal. The plan, which was endorsed by Gov. Rick Scott, hospitals and business groups, would cover an estimated 1 million uninsured.

I applaud the brave, courageous leaders who stood up for those of us who believed in them when we cast our votes.

Grace Gonzalez, Tampa

Put a stop to partisanship

The Florida Senate was right in overwhelmingly passing a bill to extend health coverage to over 1 million poor Floridians. The House, under the leadership of its new wonder boy Speaker Will Weatherford, has decided to do nothing and let the poor, who desperately need medical care, continue to suffer and continue to overwhelm the emergency rooms in Florida's hospitals.

This failure to act appears to be a continuation of the Republican Party's war against President Barack Obama. I believe the people in Florida want that fight to end and the partisan politics to stop.

A.P. Gibbs, Dade City


Thursday’s letters: Second Amendment is outdated

Second AmendmentCongress can act on firearmsThe Second Amendment is outdated, since it is predicated on the need for a "well regulated militia." Militias are defined as civilian soldiers trained under the command of competent military leadership. The...
Published: 02/20/18
Updated: 02/22/18

Wednesday’s letters:

House Bill 21Opioid proposal merits supportIn 2016, Florida recorded 952 heroin-related and 1,390 fentanyl-related deaths. Four in five new heroin users began by misusing prescription pain medications, also known as opioids. Despite the widespread op...
Published: 02/20/18

Hernando Letter to the Editor for Feb. 23

Re: Hernando business leaders push to loosen development rules | Feb. 9; Re: Deny Brooksville mine expansion, planning commissioners say | Feb. 16Wish to register my opposition to both the draft of the new Hernando County Comprehensive Plan that elim...
Published: 02/20/18

Tuesday’s letters: Making politics personal is one way toward reasonable gun control

The Parkland shootingMake gun politics personalAs an educator of 32 years, it encourages me to see our young people engaged after the horror at Stoneman Douglas High School. The tragedy at Parkland has awakened the sleeping giant that is the millenni...
Published: 02/19/18

Sunday’s letters: Congress must act on firearms

Deadly toll: 17 | Feb. 15Congress must act on firearmsIt’s time for Congress to be counted.The failure of Congress to act to: (1) limit access to assault rifles and (2) require meaningful background checks for all gun purchases is appalling.Surel...
Published: 02/17/18

Monday’s letters: Call it by its name: terrorism

Deadly toll: 17 | Feb. 15Call it whatit is: terrorismLet’s just call it what it is. It’s terrorism. No school in the country is immune. They all have procedures for sheltering in place or emergency evacuation from a shooter. It’s prudent to be pr...
Published: 02/16/18

Saturday’s letters: Payoff to porn star not front-page news?

Lawyer: I personally paid porn star | Feb. 14Where we’re at: This is 4A newsOnly under the Trump presidency does a story about the president’s lawyer paying off a porn star to cover up an affair with the president show up on page 4A. Never mind t...
Published: 02/16/18

Friday’s letters: Water quality too important to gamble on

State to update water rules | Feb. 10Don’t gamble with water safetyI wondered whether this front-page article was an early April Fool’s joke. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection "updated" its pollution regulations in 2016, with str...
Published: 02/15/18

Thursday’s letters: Bill protects pharmacy customers

House Bill 351Bill protects pharmacy customersWe all need the protections provided in Florida House Bill 351 to ensure pharmacy benefit managers, or PBMs, are transparently operating with patients. Currently, PBMs are not regulated by the state and o...
Published: 02/14/18

Wednesday’s letters: The ocean is no place for amateurs

Youthful dream sinks in two days | Feb. 12Ocean is no place for amateursFirst of all, let me say I am sorry this couple lost their boat and I do applaud their adventurous spirit. However, I have spent over 20 years at sea and would like to commen...
Published: 02/13/18