Friday, June 22, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Thursday's letters: Breakdown of personal responsibility

Doing the right thing: nudge or not? | Aug. 11, commentary

The breakdown of responsibility

We need more than a nudge. The last 75 years have seen a devastating breakdown of personal responsibility in this country. When I was raised, two names were required on a birth certificate, and two people were required to fund and oversee the child — whether by law or by enforcement by the family of the mother of the child, often wielding shotguns.

The huge onset of births by unmarried mothers has left children to be cared for by one person, with many mothers working or unable to cope. Result: difficult-to-teach children, who are likely to continue on the same path of lack of personal responsibility. It is not a racial issue — there are more whites than any other race responsible. Slums and low-income people will continue to grow in numbers as the country falls from its dominant position in the world.

Enforce personal responsibility or go down the drain.

Richard Durstein, Palm Harbor

Tampa and the birth of the cool Aug. 11, commentary

Lighten up

As a former denizen of West Virginia, that eternal bastion of jokery, I took Lena Dunham's comments about Tampa with a chuckle and a grain of salt. Would it have been better if she'd referenced Des Moines or Poughkeepsie? Look at it (as I did) as more of a backhanded compliment — she thinks Tampa is an up-and-coming threat to New York's superiority.

Caitlin Chaney, Tampa

Teachers cash in on failing kids | Aug. 11

Politics and payoffs

How dare teachers get money for tutoring students outside regular hours. Don't they know that they are supposed to teach for a pittance, putting in unpaid overtime if it is required? Besides, accepting money from those whom you evaluate/regulate is reserved for state legislators.

Harry Ellis, Tampa

Florida Legislature

Special interests rule

What do the following have in common?

The citizens of Florida paying billions of dollars to Progress/Duke for nothing.

The citizens of Florida having less access to affordable health insurance and paying higher fees for it.

The citizens of Florida paying outrageous premiums for homeowner's insurance and receiving less for that too.

Answer: the Republican Party of Florida. The Republican-controlled Legislature. A puppet Republican governor.

The formula is simple. The more you and I pay to mega-business the more our politicians earn through contributions from these corporate benefactors. Politicians claim it does not affect their decisionmaking, but they can't enact a single law without "unintended consequences." In the Republican universe there is no consumer protection and no environmental protection (think Mosaic) because there is no money in it for them.

But let's not let Democrats off the hook either. As former Times columnist Howard Troxler pointed out many years ago, what led to the Republican-dominated Legislature a few decades ago was a corrupt, self-serving Democratic-controlled Legislature.

The only answer is to return government back to the people. The only way to do that is through public financing of all elections and making contributions (read: bribes) to elected officials illegal. Only then will politicians be forced to truly answer to the public and only then will the public, not big business and not special interest lobby groups, be represented by government.

Len Keller, Seminole

Family lost at sea to fly home | Aug. 11

Useful government

Hannah Gastonguay decided to take her family and leave the United States because she felt that our laws on abortion and gay marriage were a government interference in the practice of her private religion. However, when storms forced them to land in Chile they didn't mind U.S. government interference in getting them back to the United States.

It's funny how so many people who object to government interference in their lives don't refuse that same government's interference when they need help, whether it be a storm at sea or a storm at home.

Roger Gambert, Palm Harbor

Here's hoping Post sale can save journalism Aug. 12, commentary

Old-fashioned, still relevant

I agree with Leonard Pitts about the value of basic journalism and old-fashioned beat reporting. The Tampa Bay Times' in-depth reporting has brought to light many stories that needed to see the light of day.

I, for one, hope the "old-fashioned business of printing on dead trees" is here to stay.

Deborah Green, Sun City Center

Deciphering the pier ballot | Aug. 11

Just say no

A wise man once told me that when you cannot understand a ballot issue, the smartest and safest thing to do is to vote "No."

Willi Rudowsky, St. Petersburg

Duke Energy

Theft plain and simple

Imagine you are a young person wanting a home but unable to afford one. A homebuilder approaches you with the promise that if you will make monthly payments over the next 10 years, he will build you that brick home of your dreams. You accept, make your monthly payments, only to find out 10 years later that the builder will not build your home.

When you ask him to return your money, he refuses. Since he is guilty of fraud and theft, a judge awards you the funds you have paid plus damages.

How is Duke Energy any different? It took our money with the promise to build power plants, but built nothing and kept our money. It simply has to give that money back or be guilty of theft.

Joe Yarborough, St. Petersburg


Friday’s letters: What a new Rays ballpark would mean

Rays exec hints at stadium timeline | June 15What a new ballpark would doThe Tampa Bay Rays 2020 organization is working diligently with local business leaders and civic organizations to rally support for the Rays’ new ballpark in Ybor City. The ...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/21/18

Thursday’s letters: On immigration there has to be a better way

‘Zero tolerance’ ignites outrage | June 20Find better way on immigrationOver the years I’ve voted for candidates from both parties. My observation of the Trump administration’s policy on immigration is not about politics. It has to do with having...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/21/18

Wednesday’s letters: Charters and traditional public schools each have their place

Public school as public good | Letter, June 17Both kinds of schools can workAs a mother and grandmother of children raised in both traditional public and charter schools in Pinellas County (and a 25-year supporting-services employee for public sc...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/20/18

Tuesday’s letters: Keep programs that fight AIDS

For author Biden, it’s a father’s gift | June 6Keep programs that fight AIDSAfter former Vice President Joe Biden’s recent visit to St. Petersburg, I noticed an article that he co-wrote with former Sen. Bill Frist. It reminded everyone about the ...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/19/18

Is anyone watching the money?Hernando County’s budget shortfall is ever changing going from $6 million to $11.5 million to $14 million to what is assumed a final number of $12.6 million. Who knows the budget shortfall could change again.Who’s watchi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Re: County OKs solar zones | June 8Plea ignored at solar plant hearingThe Pasco County Commission on June 5 voted to identify a utility-sized solar electric plant as a "special exception" use on agricultural-zoned land in Pasco County. What thi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Monday’s letters: Skip those plastic bags and save the environment

To save our seas, overcome congressional apathy | Column, June 16Do your part and skip plastic bagsEvery day we read about the shame of our landfills and oceans filling up with plastic bags, yet most people don’t care. My wife and I always carry ...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

White House defends splitting up families as ‘biblical’ | June 15The suffering of the childrenI am a mother and attorney with more than 20 years of practice living in Tampa. For the past three years, I worked as a magistrate in a Unified Family C...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Saturday’s letters: Community-based care requires community involvement

Fix foster care, and do it quickly | Editorial, June 15Involve the community itselfWhile the detailed article about the scathing state review of Hillsborough County’s foster care problems touched on leadership, a critical point was not addressed....
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Friday’s letters: Freight trains are infrastructure that works in Tampa Bay

Railroads are infrastructure that worksFreight trains carry the loadCentral Florida is our state’s fastest-growing region. We’re on track to outpace South Florida’s growth 2-to-1 over the next several years. Great news for our local economy, but it n...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/15/18