Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Thursday's letters: Bypass nuclear and go with the sun

Solar power

Bypass nuclear; go with the sun

Instead of committing billions of ratepayer and shareholder dollars toward the (possible) construction of yet another nuclear plant, why not spend that money placing state of the art solar panels on customer roofs?

The risks inherent in nuclear plant construction and utilization have been well documented. Human error and this changing Earth appear to trump engineering cleverness. Homes, condos and apartments already are wired into the grid and don't require expensive transmission lines to be built from any new plant.

Florida is the Sunshine State. Let's use it in the most direct and sensible way possible. Homeowners could sell excess generation back to Progress Energy to reduce their costs and the federal government (i.e., the taxpayers) will not be stuck with additional liability to insure another nuclear plant that the private insurance industry continues to duck.

Mike Judd, Dunedin

Thieves live large on tax refunds | April 22

Change the tax system

With millions lost to fraudulent federal tax returns in just one county, can you imagine the losses nationwide?

Why not replace the federal income tax with a federal sales tax? With a sales tax, all pay — citizens, visitors, illegals, etc. — and with no regard to how they earned their money. You spend, you pay. You spend a lot, you pay a lot.

Leonard Romano, Treasure Island

Tighten up procedures

These articles about the IRS scams and what it is costing our government are infuriating. One way to cut down on these thefts is to hire more people in each IRS office and stop mailing refund checks. Make people who are getting refunds come to the offices and identify themselves before they are handed a check. It would give more people jobs and save our government millions of dollars.

Margaret Crerar, Tampa

U.S., Afghan accord set | April 23

A great game — for them

What don't we understand? The Afghan government and citizens do not want us there; they have made it clear. But they do want our dollars, and we are dumb enough to keep their game going.

Irmgard Knorr, Sun City Center

Afghan leader calls photos disgusting April 20

Time to head for the exit

I agree: Posing for pictures with body parts is disgusting. Homicide bombers blowing up innocent citizens, however, is unconscionable. This unfortunately has become a regular occurrence in Hamid Karzai's lawless wasteland. Afghan forces are incapable of any substantive "security," as Karzai has become the ineffectual puppet for terrorist factions.

A Taliban spokesman calls these photos "disrespectful." Of whom? The cowardly murderers whom these mangled remains memorialize? Remember, too, that we were castigated for destroying texts, once holy, that had already been defiled with hateful inscriptions by Islamist prisoners meaning to incite organized violence. The disconnect is analogous.

The young people sent overseas to that hostile desert fear death and dismemberment daily. Under such pressure, it is understandable that they might momentarily forget propriety to take these photos. Their behavior, though, cannot be considered immoral in the context of the despicable limbs with which they pose.

What is truly disgusting in that we have sacrificed so much precious American life for a pathetic government that doesn't appreciate us. Let's get out of that horrid place, as Karzai asks, and devote our resources to countries that have proven to be friends and allies in our war against terror.

Steven Warren, St. Petersburg

No savings from drug tests | April 19

Keep on testing

With a year of testing welfare applicants under our belts, the rate of only 2.8 percent discovered using drugs is hailed by liberals as proof the testing is unnecessary and actually costing the state more to administer than is saved in welfare payments.

The big unknown is how many people who would have applied did not because they use drugs and knew they would be caught. We will never know how many, but I suspect the figure would dwarf the 2.8 percent. Keep on testing.

Hardy W. Bryan, St. Petersburg

St. Anthony's Triathlon

Get with the times

I know that the small headline at the top of the front page is a teaser to get people to look within, in this case the Personal Best insert. But I was shocked to read Saturday's line: "A 46-year-old mom is set to compete in St. Anthony's Triathlon." Is that really such a phenomenon?

I'm sure there are parents and grandparents of both genders in their 50s and 60s in the race. It's not an Ironman we're talking about. I don't want to diminish Laure Blume's athletic achievements. It just doesn't belong on the front page.

And honestly, mentioning that she's a mom is silly, too. That a strong woman in her 40s, whether she has children or not, can be an accomplished athlete hasn't been news since about 1950.

Sidney Smith, St. Petersburg

Microfinance Act

Small loans fight poverty

Microfinance is one of the most powerful tools we have in the fight against global poverty. Access to financial services and financial opportunity has been shown time and again to provide families with the help they need to lift themselves out of poverty. Proceeds from microloans for small businesses can bring food to the table, provide a family with housing, and enable children to attend school.

The Microfinance and Microenterprise Enhancement Act of 2011 (S. 2027), a bipartisan bill, does not ask for any additional funding, only that current resources are used in the best possible way to reach the poorest people and to place a special emphasis on poor women.

I encourage Florida Sens. Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio to co-sponsor this important bill.

Ken Schatz, Tampa

Bribery claims shake Wal-Mart | April 24

Cost of doing business

Come on — anybody who has done business south of the border knows it's impossible to do business there without some form of bribery. It's customary at all levels and more like a tip in a restaurant than a dark criminal act. Sounds more like someone here didn't get paid enough. Big boys always play rough and they don't cry.

Rob Dennard, Belleair Bluffs


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 ...
Updated: 11 hours ago

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...
Updated: 11 hours ago

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

Thursday’s letters: Charter schools aren’t the enemy

Don’t plug your ears when schools ask for tax | May 20, columnCharter schools aren’t the enemyAs an educator, I am astounded when I hear claims from school board members that charter schools take away funding from the local public school system. ...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/14/18

Wednesday’s letters: Trump’s words insult our Canadian visitors

Trade disputes torpedo G-7 summit | June 10Canadian visitors are owed apologyLike many Pinellas County residents, I’m pleased that we receive thousands of Canadian "snow birds" as part-year residents. Not only do they enhance our economy, but by ...
Published: 06/11/18
Updated: 06/13/18

Hernando Letters to the Editor for June 15

Opinion: Commissioners arrogant and incompetentMy wife and I live in Hernando County. As such, we are represented by a Board of County Commissioners where all the members manifest two common traits. Those traits are arrogance and incompetence.The arr...
Published: 06/11/18
Updated: 06/12/18