Tuesday, January 23, 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


Do you have a gold star yet?

Do you have a gold star on your Florida driver’s license, and are you REAL ID compliant?Florida is a federal REAL ID compliant state, which means that driver’s license and identification cards here meet federal law as to security standards and confir...
Published: 01/22/18

Monday’s letters: Tampa Bay deserves rail as an option

New transit option: BRT | Jan. 12Tampa deserves rail as an optionI was disheartened by Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn’s statement about his exhaustion with public transit discussions. It sounds like the government of Tampa has given up on ever realizin...
Published: 01/21/18

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

Tuesday’s letters: Diagnosis by journalist playing doctor

Trump’s sanity grades | Jan. 19, commentaryAn inept journalistic diagnosisI was worried the Tampa Bay Times wouldn’t find someone qualified to rebuke the findings of noted physician Dr. Ronny Jackson. To the rescue came the brilliant Gail Collins...
Updated: 12 hours ago

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