Friday, April 20, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Sunday's letters: Transit veto maximizes voters' options

Governor mistrusts voters on transit plan | April 10, editorial

Veto maximizes voters' options

I agree with the governor's veto of HB 865 and the editorial when it said, "The Pinellas transit project can proceed without the legislation that Scott vetoed." I also have faith in Pinellas County voters, faith that they will choose to reject a higher sales tax for transit projects like light rail. HB 865 was political sleight of hand that would have robbed the voters from seeing all their options. Maybe they want to keep the ad valorem tax and impose the highest sales tax in the state to pay for light rail. I know I don't, and I bet a majority of voters don't, either.

The governor's veto doesn't "sidetrack" Pinellas' transit plans. On the contrary, voters now have the maximum amount of options. If the proponents of higher tax revenues for transit projects like light rail truly believe voters support their cause, then let's indeed put it to a vote. I assure you, I will be there fighting it every step of the way.

Improved public transportation should be executed with these principles in mind. First, a comprehensive business plan should be drafted that clearly defines the market, costs and goals. Second, any plan should be about filling a need in the marketplace and where possible the PSTA should look for the private sector to provide this service first. Finally, the plan should be carried out as a self-sustaining model that does not require ever-increasing subsidies to implement.

State Rep. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, District 52

Easter Sunday

Wrong day for a rant

On the holiest day of the Christian church calendar, your staff managed to put two antireligious stories on the pages of the Perspective section: Jefferson's Bible, which edited out the divinity of Christ; and an atheistic rant by Lawrence Krauss. He is well known for using scientific terminology to publicize his atheist views instead of adding to technical knowledge.

Atheists should be free to disbelieve anything they want to, but why are they so intent on converting everybody else to their beliefs? It's hard not imagine a sinister force behind their actions.

Robert A. Stanton, Seminole

Easter message missing

The Perspective editor makes an interesting point that the Jefferson Bible could be a model for good conduct, which he said is "a nice thought on this Easter Sunday." Except that he failed to mentioned that Jefferson also cut the Easter story out of his book.

Christopher D. Martinez, St. Petersburg

Affordable Care Act

Make it Medicare for all

Let's stop the charade of arguing how to line the pockets of insurance companies by forcing everyone to buy health insurance. We don't want health insurance; we want health care. The only reason we are having the argument is because politicians are beholden to insurance companies, their donations and lobbyists.

The question I want politicians to answer is: Should health care be a privilege or a right? If you believe it's a right, then let's put everyone on Medicare by removing two words in the law: over 65. No 2,200-page law, no new rules, no new loopholes, no societal upheavals. The system is up, working and efficiently serving millions with expenses at about 2 percent, far less than current industry markups of 30 percent.

It may not be perfect, but a good plan today is better than a perfect plan that never arrives. All we need to do is pay for it.

I suggest a modest payroll tax, like FICA, that is shared by the employee and employer. All employers would embrace this simple solution, with a modest cost, that would end the hassles of workplace insurance. It's far cheaper than paying 50 percent of current premiums and all the lost productivity revolving around insurance enrollments, product comparisons, and sick employees that cost them productivity and divert attention from making a profit.

The savings that come from people getting early treatments and avoiding the emergency room will immediately lower real costs dramatically. Medical professionals could, once again, focus on healing rather than billing, and politicians could focus on improving efficiency and effectiveness instead of pandering to their donors.

Kurt Steinmann, Belleair

GOP seizes on its own 'war on women' attack April 13

Mother is a 24-hour job

I may be getting a bit old, but I do not recall anyone making disparaging comments about the current first lady when she was the candidate's wife.

Raising a family, especially in numbers beyond one, doing the volunteer work at schools, seeing that everyone has food and clothing to wear is quite a job. And it's a 24-hour-a-day job.

The Democratic operative's lack of dignity and respect for others is appalling.

P.W. Black, Tampa

Charge: murder | April 12

Law fails defendant, victim

Special prosecutor Angela Corey complains that in the case involving George Zimmerman and the shooting of Trayvon Martin, "so much information got released on this case that never should have been released."

That's right, because Zimmerman was not charged. If it weren't for the unaccountably hazardous "stand your ground" law, Zimmerman would almost certainly have been charged right away, and a good deal of information about the case would not have been released because of the pending court case.

Zimmerman would have had his day in court, whether guilty or innocent, with far less potential for a biased jury, one way or another.

The "stand your ground" law certainly did not protect Trayvon Martin from an untimely death; neither did it protect Zimmerman's right to a fair trial.

Rebecca Hendricks, Clearwater


Saturday’s letters: Don’t weaken rules on fisheries

Florida fisheriesDon’t weaken rules on fish stocksMembers of Congress are proposing changes to an important ocean law, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, that would adversely affect coastal states including Florida.Since it...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Friday’s letters: We owe it to our children to teach them history

If we don’t understand past, future looks grim | April 19, Daniel Ruth columnThe history we owe our childrenIt’s not often I agree with Daniel Ruth, but this article was spot-on. I’m not sure when the schools started ignoring Germany’s World War ...
Published: 04/19/18

Thursday’s letters: Gun research can save lives

Gun ownershipCommon ground: Find the factsThere are many areas in the current debate about guns and gun ownership where both sides must agree to disagree. But there is one area where common ground ought to exist. That concerns the need for continuing...
Published: 04/18/18

Wednesday’s letters:

Poverty and plenty in bay area | April 7, editorialStruggling poor are not a priorityI commend your newspaper for continuing to produce real and relevant news, particularly the recent editorial pointing out that a prospering Tampa Bay should not ...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18

Hernando Letters to the Editor for April 20

Bar Association celebrates Law WeekPresident Dwight D. Eisenhower proclaimed May 1, 1958, as the first Law Day to mark the nation’s commitment to the rule of law. Every year on this day, we reflect on the significance of the rule of law and rededicat...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18

Tuesday’s letters: Stop cooperating with ICE

Sheriff’s ICE policy blasted | April 10Pinellas should end partnership with ICEPinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri recently participated in a community conversation on his controversial agreement with ICE to voluntarily detain immigrants in the...
Published: 04/16/18

Sunday’s letters: The future of oyster production

Shell game | April 15Future of oyster productionThanks to Laura Reiley for an excellent synopsis of the current state of oyster production in Florida. The collapse of the Apalachicola oyster fishery is merely the latest example of the demise of a...
Published: 04/14/18

Monday’s letters: Public education is foundation of the nation

Voters beware of ballot deceptionApril 13, commentarySchools’ role underminedIt was with great pain that I read (not for the first time) that we must be aware of "ballot deception." Public schools were founded to make sure that future generations of ...
Published: 04/13/18

Saturday’s letters: Health Department should butt out

Judge: Grow pot, Mr. Redner | April 12Health officials should butt outThe Times reports that the Florida Department of Health filed an appeal to the decision allowing a man who is a Stage 4 lung cancer survivor to grow pot in his backyard for his ...
Published: 04/11/18
Updated: 04/13/18

Friday’s letters: Open and shut: Enforce the law

Sheriff’s ICE aid policy blasted | April 10Open and shut: Enforce the lawPeople and institutions that insist on the using the euphemism "undocumented immigrant" do nothing but affirm their lack of objectivity by using such a phrase to support an ...
Published: 04/11/18
Updated: 04/12/18