Saturday, March 24, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Thursday's letters: Attracting business to Hillsborough

Taxpayer giveaway to Amazon | June 15, editorial

Attract business to Hillsborough

Without fail, the Tampa Bay Times is critical of Hillsborough County's attempts to lure Amazon to the bay area. Whenever Tampa and Hillsborough County make efforts to lure business to the area, the Times editorial board sees fit to criticize our leaders. They did it with the Bass Pro Shops development and now with Amazon.

Yet when Pinellas County wants to pour taxpayer money down a never-ending drain, like for the Lens or whatever atrocity St. Petersburg decides to replace the Pier with, or with an ill-conceived new Clearwater Aquarium, the Times sits by silently. Why is that? Could it be jealousy of Tampa? It is certainly not because of concern over using taxpayers' money — unless the Times editorial board cares more about the taxes of Hillsborough County than those of Pinellas residents.

Try to be consistent.

Robert P. Kelly, Tampa

Savings, not lost revenue

In this editorial you state that "e-commerce sales have cost the state $450 million annually in lost revenue." You failed to note that the $450 million would have been paid by the taxpayers, so the state's losses were the taxpayers' savings.

An additional tax will be at the expense of the taxpaying consumer, not the corporations.

Richard Dornblaser, Clearwater

Balancing security, privacy June 14, editorial

Technology trumps privacy

"Security and privacy" as used in this editorial is an oxymoron. You simply can't have both. Technology won't permit it.

If you think the National Security Agency has both the manpower and/or our money to listen to all of our phone calls, you are misguided. I want my government constantly searching any audio, video and telecommunications data, anywhere in the world at any given time, to keep Americans and their military safe.

Raymond Niski, Dunedin

Keep America safe

If we accept the fact that corporate America and the social media have access to our private information and what we do in our everyday lives, why not the National Security Agency?

Would any of the anti-NSA people feel that way if the NSA stopped 9/11 or other acts of terror? Foreign terrorists are recruiting people to commit acts of terror on American soil. If this is what it takes to keep America safe, then so be it.

Freedom isn't free and there's nothing to fear but fear itself — two things we should remember. Terrorists rely on weakness; let's show strength. There are enemies among us. Let's not give them a place to hide.

Richard Gentile, Tampa

Scott speeds executions | June 15

Unwanted distinctions

With Gov. Rick Scott's signing of the ill-named Timely Justice Act, Florida now has three distinctions: the state with the highest exoneration rate in the country; the state determined to kill people— guilty or not — more quickly; and the state that now overrides its longstanding "sunshine provisions" by allowing the destruction of potentially incriminating records.

Any charade of decency, humanity and civility in our Republican-dominated government is just that — a charade.

Stephen Phillips, St. Petersburg

The Lens

Go for a new image

They say you can't unring a bell. It is equally hard to un-imagine a picture once described. Pointing out the similarity of the Lens and a toilet is forever engraved in my mind. We need a new image. We need a pier that is also a boardwalk.

I am familiar with numerous boardwalks, such as Coney Island, Asbury Park, Daytona Beach, Santa Monica and San Francisco, among others. They are all very wide with various types of businesses and concessions along the way. There is something for everyone. There is limited or no auto traffic. There are numerous benches. There are rides and children's activities. There are reasons to return often.

Take a look at the rebuilt Seaside Park, N.J., after Hurricane Sandy.

Gloria Julius, St. Petersburg

Political quacking

Regarding St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster, there's no way I'm going to vote to re-elect the mayor responsible for the wanton destruction of the city's world-renowned inverted pyramid Pier. I'd sooner vote for Donald Duck.

David Lester Hornberger, St. Petersburg

New chief steers race relations in Sanford June 17

Needless profiling

As Ronald Reagan once said, "There you go again." Your paper, in typical liberal fashion, found it necessary to identify the new police chief of Sanford as having a white wife and a lesbian goddaughter. This profiling by race and sexual orientation of the family of Cecil Smith is not the least bit newsworthy. The hypocrisy of the left-wing press that claims to decry stereotyping is on full display in this article.

Pat Jennings, Dunedin

Turkish clash expands | June 17

Slide toward dictatorship

For many years we lived in the illusion that Turkey managed to combine successfully Islam and Western culture. We saw Turkey as a beacon of progressive democracy and as an example for the Muslim world.

Now we know better. At the first test of democracy, the Turkish government replied with the old tools of intimidation, riot police first and then threats to bring in the army. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan shed his sheepskin coat and showed us the fur of a wolf.

The big question will be whether the army, which has always been the supreme guardian of secularism and democracy since Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, will go along with Erdogan or draw the line in the sand. If the army goes along with Erdogan, then Turkey would be nothing else than an Islamic military dictatorship.

We can only hope that the line in the sand will be drawn.

Patrick Bauer, Wesley Chapel


Monday’s letters: Driverless cars on perilous roads

Driverless cautions | March 23, commentaryDriverless carson perilous roadsHaving watched the video of the tragedy in Tempe, Ariz., I believe the police are correct. This accident could not have been avoided as the pedestrian stepped out of the sh...
Published: 03/23/18

Friday’s letters: Think through assault weapons ban

Gun controlThink through assault rifle banI recently emailed a Florida state representative who had pledged, among other things, to ban assault rifles in the state. I asked him if he would ban the sale and transfer of these guns or ultimately make th...
Published: 03/22/18

Saturday’s letters: Tax guns to pay for security

Million-dollar questions | March 21Tax firearms to pay for securitySo public officials are wondering where they’ll get the money for stationing an armed guard in every school. How about heavily taxing every gun? It’s the proliferation of the weap...
Published: 03/21/18
Updated: 03/23/18

Thursday’s letters: School safety requires funding

Constitution Revision CommissionSchool safety requires fundingThe Constitution Revision Commission should consider amending a proposal (45, 93 or 72) to allocate the necessary recurring funding for the new school safety mandates, separate from the ba...
Published: 03/21/18

Wednesday’s letters: Let the teachers decide on guns

Trump touts arming staff as key in plan for school security | March 12It’s the teacher’s call on weaponsPlease, let’s try an alternate view about guns in the classroom. First, it hasn’t gone unnoticed that the preponderance of letters about guns ...
Published: 03/20/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for March 23

Re: Residents object to solar farm | March 16, storyLakeland Electric has shown that residential customers can be incentivized to allow placement of utility-owned solar panels on their roofs. Likewise, business owners can be incentivized to allow...
Published: 03/19/18

Tuesday’s letters: It shouldn’t be this hard to fly

Tampa International AirportIt shouldn’t be this hard to flyI’ve given the train two tries now from economy parking at Tampa airport. It’s a lot of work. How silly to go down one bank of elevators, then take a good walk to the next set of elevators to...
Published: 03/19/18

Monday’s letters: Protect Floridians’ right to privacy

People push for changes at Constitution hearing | March 14Protect Florida’s right to privacyI attended the Constitution Revision Commission’s public hearing at USF St. Petersburg last week. I was there because I thought it was important to have m...
Published: 03/18/18

Sunday’s letters: Effort to stem pet cruelty pays off

Puppy millsEffort to stem cruelty pays offThank you to everyone who contacted their legislators, and a huge shout-out to the Tampa Bay Times for letting us know that state legislators were considering a bill to eliminate the hard-achieved gains on lo...
Published: 03/17/18

Saturday’s letters: Insurer focused on repairs, not fees

Citizens hit with $12.7M verdict | March 15Insurer’s focus: repairs, not feesCitizens Property Insurance Corp. has spent the past several years making sure that insurance proceeds for sinkhole repairs are used to restore a home and make it whole....
Published: 03/16/18