Sunday, February 18, 2018
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


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

Pasco Letters to the Editor for Feb. 16

A vote against Pasco’s jail bond issueThere are two stories on the front page of the Feb. 9 Pasco Times that drew my attention.The top headline reports that the Pasco County commissioners are discussing submitting a $185 million bond issue to the vot...
Published: 02/13/18

Tuesday’s letters: Challenges in Hillsborough foster care

Foster failures under scrutiny | Feb. 10Challenges in foster care systemNo young person deserves to be treated as shown in the Ch. 8 segment on Youth and Family Alternatives Inc., an Eckerd Connects subcontractor. It is difficult to fathom how th...
Published: 02/12/18

Saturday’s letters: We’re all just trying to get home, one zip tie at a time

I detest Trump, but a ‘redneck’ fixed my Prius with zip ties | Feb. 3, Ruth Mayer columnWe’re all just trying to get homeLike columnist Ruth Mayer, I too am trying to find my level ground, my level-set. I too have held a tremendously deep resentm...
Published: 02/07/18
Updated: 02/09/18

Sunday’s letters: Let’s make America good again

Everyone loves a parade | Feb. 9, editorialI’ll sit on the sidelinesAs a 30-year veteran I was appalled at the president’s plan for a military parade. Having marched in numerous parades in my career I can say without hesitation that members of th...
Published: 02/07/18
Updated: 02/09/18