Friday, February 23, 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


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