Saturday, April 21, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Thursday's letters: Bike lane a boon for commuters

Bridge to a better Tampa Bay | Oct. 4, editorial

New bridge a boon for commutes

The Florida Department of Transportation's new plan for the Howard Frankland bridge is a welcome change from previous proposals that failed to provide real transportation options.

Constructing a fully separated bike path and transit lanes as part of the new bridge is cost-effective and shows FDOT is listening to the community's desire for new transportation choices. Previous plans for the Howard Frankland Bridge gave people two choices: drive or pay more to drive faster. The new plan preserves those options while adding two more congestion-proof modes of transportation across the bay: biking and transit.

To those who say biking across the bridge would be unsafe or impractical, consider this: It is only 8 miles from Westshore to Carillon, two major employment hubs. That's a 35-minute ride, fully separated from vehicle traffic. As a daily commuter, I'd choose a reliable 35-minute bike ride across the water over being stuck in traffic any day. The concrete barrier and lack of intersections mean there are no safety concerns — in fact, this path would be much safer than most of our roads. I can't wait to ride it.

Lisa Frank, Tampa

New bus routes strand many | Oct. 7

Difficult to get around

In an area that screams out for more public transit, HART decided the best way to help their bottom line is to cut routes and make it even more difficult for the public to get around Tampa Bay. This is one of the things I find the hardest to understand since I moved to the area. I don't know why our political and business leaders are so against more public transportation.

I know if light rail was available connecting the Brandon area to downtown Tampa and St. Petersburg, I would not hesitate to use it rather than sit in the constant traffic jams in the area. Now, the bus lines are not even an option.

Richard Fiedler, Sun City Center

Trump expands company opt-out on birth control | Oct. 7

Backward-looking policies

The president is afraid that insurance-provided contraceptives will increase "risky sexual behavior." This is coming from a man who has lived much of his life indulging in promiscuity, disregarding women's feelings and dignity. For so-called "religious" people to praise him and for him to kowtow to them is so illogical, it is downright comical.

As if that news were not bad enough, next I read about Jeff Sessions' directive to allow those with certain "religious" views to discriminate against LGBTQ people. In what century are we living? Does this new directive mean that evangelicals who do not believe women should wear makeup, jewelry, pants or even cut their hair could discriminate against those who did these things and were applying for a job or wanting to eat in a restaurant? And what about personnel managers who believed divorced or remarried people were sinners?

Corinna Carter, Brandon

Sessions: Religion trumps LGBTQ rights Oct. 7

License to discriminate

The problem with Jeff Sessions' directive is that it does not actually protect religious freedom as it claims to do. What it does is give the religious right the ability to discriminate against anyone who does not hold the same religious beliefs as they hold.

There is no war on religion or, more specifically, Christianity. However, by using that complaint, the religious right can seek to have directives like this passed in order to discriminate against anyone who does not agree with their beliefs. They are forcing their beliefs on others.

The ban on birth control because of religious belief is a perfect case in point. The companies' owners don't believe in birth control so their employees are refused coverage. Is that not forcing their beliefs on others? Chew on this: If you don't believe in abortion, don't have one. If you don't believe in birth control, don't take it. If you don't believe in same-sex marriage, don't marry someone of the same sex. Leave the rest of the people alone to follow their own belief system.

Beverly Botte, Hudson

Hurricane Irma

Debris sits uncollected

No doubt workers are struggling to remove all the yard waste left by Hurricane Irma, but nearly a month later they still have not come through our neighborhood to pick up even normal yard waste. I took four trailer loads to the dump myself to save my lawn from further damage and was amazed at the mountain of trees and yard waste being converted to mulch. That said, I don't think Hillsborough County had a good plan in place, or solid contracts with waste haulers, for storm cleanup. May I suggest placing a Confederate flag over your yard waste, and then I'm certain the county commissioners will find a way to dispose of it quickly, even in the middle of the night.

Brian Boyle, Tampa

County loses $1.7M in Penny program | Oct. 6

Poor stewards of money

I'm rethinking my decision to vote for an extension of the Penny for Pinellas after reading about the property that commissioners voted to sell at a loss of $1.7 million rather than keep on spending $3,800 per year for maintenance or find other ways to develop it. I can't understand this as a good business decision, nor do I have faith that another elected commission would be any wiser.

Muriel Desloovere, St. Pete Beach

O.J. Simpson's lawyer blasts Bondi | Oct. 3

Lawyer's appalling conduct

The statements of Malcolm LaVergne, parole attorney for O.J. Simpson, during a Times interview were stunning, unprofessional and disgusting. He scraped the bottom of the barrel in using gutter profanity to demean Attorney General Pam Bondi, who is merely trying to do her job in the best interest of the public she serves. LaVergne is a discredit to the legal profession and should be severely reprimanded by the American Bar Association for his unethical and disgraceful conduct.

V. Don Meyer, Hudson

Comments

Saturday’s letters: Don’t weaken rules on fisheries

Florida fisheriesDon’t weaken rules on fish stocksMembers of Congress are proposing changes to an important ocean law, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, that would adversely affect coastal states including Florida.Since it...
Published: 04/19/18
Updated: 04/20/18

Friday’s letters: We owe it to our children to teach them history

If we don’t understand past, future looks grim | April 19, Daniel Ruth columnThe history we owe our childrenIt’s not often I agree with Daniel Ruth, but this article was spot-on. I’m not sure when the schools started ignoring Germany’s World War ...
Published: 04/19/18

Thursday’s letters: Gun research can save lives

Gun ownershipCommon ground: Find the factsThere are many areas in the current debate about guns and gun ownership where both sides must agree to disagree. But there is one area where common ground ought to exist. That concerns the need for continuing...
Published: 04/18/18

Wednesday’s letters:

Poverty and plenty in bay area | April 7, editorialStruggling poor are not a priorityI commend your newspaper for continuing to produce real and relevant news, particularly the recent editorial pointing out that a prospering Tampa Bay should not ...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18

Hernando Letters to the Editor for April 20

Bar Association celebrates Law WeekPresident Dwight D. Eisenhower proclaimed May 1, 1958, as the first Law Day to mark the nation’s commitment to the rule of law. Every year on this day, we reflect on the significance of the rule of law and rededicat...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18

Tuesday’s letters: Stop cooperating with ICE

Sheriff’s ICE policy blasted | April 10Pinellas should end partnership with ICEPinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri recently participated in a community conversation on his controversial agreement with ICE to voluntarily detain immigrants in the...
Published: 04/16/18

Sunday’s letters: The future of oyster production

Shell game | April 15Future of oyster productionThanks to Laura Reiley for an excellent synopsis of the current state of oyster production in Florida. The collapse of the Apalachicola oyster fishery is merely the latest example of the demise of a...
Published: 04/14/18

Monday’s letters: Public education is foundation of the nation

Voters beware of ballot deceptionApril 13, commentarySchools’ role underminedIt was with great pain that I read (not for the first time) that we must be aware of "ballot deception." Public schools were founded to make sure that future generations of ...
Published: 04/13/18

Saturday’s letters: Health Department should butt out

Judge: Grow pot, Mr. Redner | April 12Health officials should butt outThe Times reports that the Florida Department of Health filed an appeal to the decision allowing a man who is a Stage 4 lung cancer survivor to grow pot in his backyard for his ...
Published: 04/11/18
Updated: 04/13/18

Friday’s letters: Open and shut: Enforce the law

Sheriff’s ICE aid policy blasted | April 10Open and shut: Enforce the lawPeople and institutions that insist on the using the euphemism "undocumented immigrant" do nothing but affirm their lack of objectivity by using such a phrase to support an ...
Published: 04/11/18
Updated: 04/12/18