Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Letters To The Editor

Thursday letters: Treat Florida's environment as a treasure

On water, time to take stand | April 6, editorial

Treat environment as a treasure

Reading about the Florida Legislature can be like reading a Carl Hiaasen novel, especially concerning water quality issues.

A Senate bill proposes to spend millions of taxpayer dollars to clean up our neglected springs and water sources. Meanwhile, the House is trying to eviscerate the Senate bill and working hard to allow the causes of the problems to continue or even expand. Their bill would get rid of regulations and make the problem worse.

Gov. Rick Scott applauds himself after announcing he's requesting $55 million in taxpayer money for springs and water cleanup. Meanwhile, his Department of Environmental Protection is allowing millions more gallons of water to be pumped from our aquifer, while industry and agriculture runoff into our water sources will need to be cleaned up with more dollars.

I can't figure out why legislators behave in ways that jeopardize the future quality of life of their children. I don't understand why the elected few are unable to see the environment in Florida as the treasure, and source for the treasury, that it is.

But I can recognize when their ignorant behavior affects me, my money, my quality of life and the state I care about. It's time the whole Legislature did their job and behaved as if they were acting on behalf of all Floridians, not just the ones who have the most coins to throw in their collection plates.

Julie Wert, Aripeka

On water, time to take stand | April 6, editorial

Another embarrassment

This legislative session was initially billed as the "Year of Water," aiming to strengthen state protection of Florida's 700-plus natural springs. Instead, it appears the Legislature's annual embarrassing and inadequate environmental performance is right on track.

House Speaker Will Weatherford is blocking badly needed legislation, kicking the can down the road for another year and claiming that his successor, Rep. Steve Crisafulli, R-Merritt Island, has more "expertise on the issue."

More troubling, Weatherford doesn't even want to consider the Senate Springs Protection Bill, claiming disingenuously that the House has its own legislation when in fact it has nothing like the comprehensive Senate plan.

Normally, in an election year, the Legislature's mantra is to "do no harm." Weatherford's doing nothing, calling for another study and refusing to consider legislation, when the reasons and solution to our water woes have long been well known and scientifically demonstrated.

Terry Brant, Melrose

Come for surgery, enjoy the sunshine April 6

State of dubious delights

Why stop at touting medical tourism in the Sunshine State? Why not, "Come and watch our water quality dip and enjoy the sunshine" or "Come and watch Pasco County I-75 projects as they slow down traffic for the next umpteen years and enjoy the sunshine"?

I hope that after their heart transplant, patients aren't pushed out of the hospital into a hotel to enjoy the sunshine too soon.

John Hayes, Sun City Center

Democrats aim to fight Koch attacks | April 6

Free speech rights

First, Sen. Marco Rubio fails to support his own immigration bill. Then he denounces Democrats, exercising their First Amendment rights, for being critical of the Koch brothers who, he says, are exercising their First Amendment rights. Go figure.

Randy Nelson, Tampa

Free speech and the money to get it heard April 7, commentary

When money buys laws

In defending Supreme Court gutting of campaign reform, columnist Robert Samuelson says corruption of government is no threat because there are super-rich liberals as well as super-rich conservatives.

For the conservatives, however, it is not just a matter of ideology but the best possible investment. They buy politicians who pass laws to make the top one-tenth of 1 percent even richer.

Byron Evans, Spring Hill

Governor travels in wealth, stealth | April 7

Governor deserves praise

Thanks to Gov. Rick Scott for using his private plane and saving taxpayer money. Your headline should have read, "Bravo, Scott."

Martha Rhoades, St. Petersburg

Bush, Rubio give similar remarks on immigration | April 9

Citizens need jobs first

How can Jeb Bush think it is okay to have illegals enter this country because they need a job to support their family? There is a lawful way to do this, through the system. We have almost three people looking for every job available, so why should these jobs not go to our own citizens?

Vernon Hall, Avon Park

Heed the warning signs of child abuse April 6, editorial

Homeschool not to blame

It is incredible that the Times felt the need to demonize homeschooling based on a "bizarre, isolated incident" of child abuse. If there is any blame, it should be placed on the Department of Children and Families, who "closed the case" on the mother.

According to Homeschool Legal Defense, "Abuse in homeschooling families is rarer than in the general population." The suggestion that Florida children who are homeschooled should undergo a "regular physical check" is insulting. Moreover, the suggestion that one warning sign of child abuse includes a home with "multiple children" is another sign that the Times has an agenda. I say this as a homeschooling mother of seven.

Pat Lancaster, Seminole

Political ads

I'll be tuning out

Florida's television stations and their regular advertisers might want to rethink the airing of political ads more than seven months before the election. When a political ad appears, I change the channel. I suspect that I am far from alone.

R. Bruce McLaughlin, Indian Rocks Beach


Tuesday’s letters: Writer should look to his own mistakes

Is anyone ever wrong anymore? | Dec. 8Writer should look to own errorsIn Mitch Daniels’ article about people who have been wrong, he finishes with the statement that our lives would be greatly improved with more people saying, "I was wrong."He mi...
Published: 12/08/17
Updated: 12/11/17

Monday’s letters: Don’t drill in Arctic refuge

Arctic National Wildlife RefugeStop plan to drill for oil in refugeOur nation faces yet another effort to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge reserve to oil and gas drilling. Drilling in the Arctic simply doesn’t make sound financial sense. W...
Published: 12/08/17

Sunday’s letters: Tax bill puts U.S. on right course

The GOP’s regressive tax plans | Dec. 5, editorialTax bill puts U.S. on right courseThe Times is already crying wolf over the new tax cuts, claiming that the new laws "could" result an increase in the national debt of $1.5 trillion over the next ...
Published: 12/07/17

Saturday’s letters: Don’t inject political money into churches

Tax billKeep political cash out of pulpitA provision buried in the 429-page House tax bill, Section 5201, nullifies the Johnson Amendment, which protects houses of worship from partisan politics by prohibiting them from endorsing or opposing politica...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/07/17

Friday’s letters: Most unpopular tax bill ever

Tax bill clears Senate | Dec. 3The most unpopular tax bill ever"Democracy dies in darkness" is the motto of the Washington Post. At 2 a.m. on the dark morning of Sunday, Dec. 3, 51 Republicans approved the most wildly unpopular tax bill in U.S. h...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/07/17

Thursday’s letters: Give your child the gift of reading

Fatherhood Involvement in Literacy CampaignGive your child the gift of readingPart of a successful game plan in sports is identifying plays that can put points on the scoreboard. Whether I was playing quarterback at Florida State or running the point...
Published: 12/05/17
Updated: 12/06/17

Wednesday’s letters: Bill gives small businesses tax relief

Tax bill clears Senate | Dec. 3Small businesses get tax reliefThe Senate and House have now passed their respective tax bills. Once Congress sends a final package to the White House, President Donald Trump will deliver us the most powerful tax re...
Published: 12/04/17
Updated: 12/05/17

Tuesday’s letters: Transplant bill will help Medicare patients

November Letter of the MonthThe winning letter addressed the unresponsiveness of elected officials.Representatives aren’t listeningFor whom do our legislators work? I ask because my Florida senator doesn’t appear to work for me. I drove 27 miles on N...
Published: 12/04/17

Monday’s letters: A citizen’s heroic act

Suspect arrested | Nov. 29A courageous citizen’s actOn Nov. 28, a courageous act occurred in the Tampa Bay area. It was one that law enforcement professionals applaud and hope becomes more frequent. An ordinary citizen did the right thing and spo...
Published: 12/01/17

Saturday’s letters: Historic preservation process needs fixing

A preservation problem | Nov. 25, editorialApplication process needs fixingThere is a reason why smaller rather than larger groups of property owners are getting together to seek historic district designation: It is St. Petersburg’s application p...
Published: 11/30/17
Updated: 12/01/17