Sunday, January 21, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Thursday's letters: A model for helping the homeless

Filth didn't stop referrals | Oct. 27

A model for helping the homeless

As a volunteer serving our Hillsborough County neighbors challenged by homelessness or near homelessness, I believe that breaking the cycle of homelessness is resource-intensive and complex, and our current one-size-fits-all solutions woefully miss the mark.

Based on County Administrator's Mike Merrill's statement that his staff is making great headway, I trust that our commissioners understand the current complexities and the range of comprehensive services required to effect meaningful changes.

Successful outcomes will depend on a service model that clearly communicates how consumers are made aware of homeless prevention services. In the model's assessment phase, consumers can easily self-qualify by telephone or computer, minimizing travel. The nearly and newly homeless are given priority, especially those with minor children.

In the rollout phase, nearly and newly homeless consumers are triaged with assessment, customized referrals and wraparound services, including short-term case management to prevent them from becoming chronically homeless. Emergency funds are available for up to 30-day motel stays, food, short-term transportation, gas and clothing.

In the housing phase, qualified, properly supported consumers transition from emergency to transitional to permanent housing with public/private options.

In the review phase, county leadership and advocates analyze if the model is working, identify inefficiencies or gaps in services and make adjustments.

This model streamlines many of current Neighborhood Service Centers' processes. Eliminated are the costly delays with phone calls, standing in lines, orientations, delayed appointments and decisions on qualification, etc., which are not only inefficient but disrespectful to the people seeking assistance.

This corrective action is neither swift nor inexpensive and won't be accomplished overnight. However, it is a model that can leverage all available resources and, with engaged county leadership, is a model that public, private lead agencies and small, private volunteer organizations can get solidly behind. Disgruntled taxpayers, consumer advocates and bruised, neglected consumers await the details of the county's solution.

Michael Doyle, Tampa

Another form of bullying | Oct. 22, letter

Internet injustice

I agree with the letter writer's account of online intimidation of children and adults.

Breezing through the Internet, I came across the mug shot of a former high school friend posted by a private Internet company. He has been a great person all his life, with many fine accomplishments, but had an alimony dispute.

It is cruel and dangerous to subject people to this type of stockade justice. It should be illegal.

Robert Tarnay, Palmetto

Calls to alter health law | Oct. 28

Give reforms a chance

The current caterwauling about the slow startup of the Affordable Care Act shows little real thought. We've been trying to get some type of affordable health care for millions of Americans for over a century, and now that we are nearly there and have hit a few bumps in the road you'd think it was Armageddon to the very people who wanted it to just go away.

Did Henry Ford, the Wright brothers or Edison find success on their first attempt? No, it took many tries to get a usable product. Just settle down, as my elementary school teacher said, you have to walk before you can run. We are this close to having a good product so just relax and let it happen.

James Teske, Tampa

Requiring photo ID makes sense | Oct. 28

Income and IDs

I would guess that most of the things mentioned in this letter that require photo ID are not done by most of the 21 million who do not have photo IDs. Poor people rarely cash checks, use a credit card, board an airplane, rent a car, stay in a motel, and so forth. Many do not have checking accounts, credit cards, and frequent flyer miles. They may have their voter registration card, which used to be sufficient to vote.

Esther Kirk, Riverview

Pressure on U.S. to end spying | Oct. 26

President in the dark

"The president didn't know." Where have I heard that before? It was just last week that President Barack Obama made his Rose Garden infomercial about the viability of the Affordable Health Care Act and how good it was going to be after the "tech surge" mended the glitches. The American people were told that the president was not aware that Obamacare was so difficult to navigate, and that this was unacceptable to him.

Now there's something else making headlines that Obama did not know about. The National Security Agency was tracking communications of European heads of state, and the president never got the memo. But fortunately, this was not an oversight or infraction of the rules by the president's administration. It was that old nemesis and evildoer, former President George W. Bush. Yes, five years later, with new administrators in every possible government agency, George Bush can still be the fall guy for this president.

Paul Lloyd, Tampa

Rubio rethinks immigration reform plan Oct. 29

Lack of leadership

Florida's junior senator and potential presidential candidate seems to be unable to make up his mind about immigration reform. As one of the eight senators who drafted the bill on that subject, Marco Rubio is now walking away from his own handiwork. From one who apparently aspires to be president, this shows a lack of leadership ability.

He has become an "uncertain trumpet." Does he want reform or not? Who can follow a leader who doesn't know which way to go on this important issue? Perhaps his flip-flop has been brought about by pressure from the tea party. In which case he is not a leader but a follower, and not the kind of person one would want as president and commander in chief.

Rubio seems willing to let President Barack Obama lead the way on immigration. That is a strange position for a Republican.

Donald Hehir, Tampa


Sunday’s letters: Bay area shortchanged on foster care funds

Opioid crisis herds kids to foster care | Jan. 9Bay area foster care shortchangedAs mentioned in this article, the growing opioid epidemic is unfortunately bringing more children into the Florida foster care system. While substance abuse has hist...
Published: 01/20/18

Saturday’s letters: It’s not the word, it’s the racism

Presidential precedent | Jan. 14It’s not the word; it’s the racismThe Times went in the wrong direction and printed information that is rather useless. And that is strange. You usually get it right.I am talking about President Donald Trump’s prof...
Published: 01/19/18

Friday’s letters: Help for boaters against modern-day ‘pirates’

Marine towing and salvageHelp against modern-day piracyAs an avid recreational boat owner and sixth-generation Floridian, I know there’s no better way to enjoy our state’s spectacular waters than taking your boat out. Unfortunately, the fun of boatin...
Published: 01/17/18
Updated: 01/18/18

Thursday’s letters: All Americans need health care

Doctor: Trump got perfect score on cognitive test | Jan. 17All Americans need health carePresident Donald Trump’s extensive health exam has apparently declared him physically fit for office. As I was reading about the battery of tests he received...
Published: 01/17/18

Wednesday’s letters: St. Petersburg’s culture, vibrancy impresses

St. PetersburgImpressive culture and vibrancyI recently visited Tampa Bay and celebrated New Year’s weekend in downtown St. Petersburg. I was awestruck by what I encountered and experienced. It has been several years since I last visited, and the tra...
Published: 01/16/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for Jan. 19

Re: Walking leads to shocking catalogue of trash | Jan. 12 column Bring back anti-littering campaignJust came back from the beautiful, clean city of Singapore, where there is a $1,000 fine, plus community service for littering. I think a presiden...
Published: 01/16/18
Tuesday’s letters: Trump’s accomplishments unheralded

Tuesday’s letters: Trump’s accomplishments unheralded

President Donald TrumpAchievements go unrecognizedAre Americans even aware that our economy is healthier and growing much faster, that ISIS has been defeated and lost their territory, that China and other countries are buying more American goods and ...
Published: 01/16/18

Monday’s letters: Don’t be fooled by drilling turnaround

Deal blocks drilling off Fla. | Jan. 10Don’t be fooled by turnaroundWhile I am very grateful that Florida has been taken off the table regarding offshore oil drilling, it is clear this is a political move to champion Gov. Rick Scott as he conside...
Published: 01/14/18

Sunday’s letters: Left wing late to the #MeToo cause

#MeTooDemocrats come late to the causeThe Times devoted an entire page to the #MeToo issues on Sunday. The ironies here for longtime observers are nearly boundless. Twenty years ago, folks like myself were called "prudes" and worse because we found P...
Published: 01/13/18

Saturday’s letters: A wall of towers isn’t progress

Skyline takes shape | Jan. 7A wall of towers isn’t progressFirst of all, once the 17 projects currently under way are completed, there will be no "skyline." There will be a wall of buildings blotting out the sun and sky. St. Petersburg has become...
Published: 01/12/18