Monday, December 11, 2017
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: 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

Friday’s letters: Allegations from distant past have political tinge

Published: 11/30/17