Thursday, April 19, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Thursday's letters: Church shows willingness to change

Catholics celebrate pope's remarks | Sept. 23

Church's willingness to change

The recent statements by Pope Francis are very encouraging; they imply a willingness to change. Mankind's greatest source of war and troubles has been the unwillingness to change beliefs (or at least actions associated therewith) for which there is no evidence — or, worse, for which there is contrary evidence.

Hopefully, the pope's comments (especially the softening against homosexuality) represent a continuation of Christianity's evolution from the illogical barbarism of the Inquisition to today's rational discourse.

Mankind has apparently been successful in eradicating the absurd Nazi "super race" beliefs and the fallacies of communism. Can we infidels do the same with Islamic extremism?

Donald Barnhill, Trinity

They should know better | Sept. 25, editorial

The will of the people

It is unbelievable that Rep. C.W. Bill Young and the Republicans in Congress are still trying to stop Obamacare and willing to risk a government shutdown or default over it.

A strong majority of Americans elected President Barack Obama twice and support his agenda that includes the Affordable Care Act. At what point are the Republicans going to recognize, acknowledge and accept the will of the people?

Guy Hancock, Largo

Too much ignorance

I just shake my head when I hear statements like, "Most Americans don't like the Affordable Care Act." The truth is that "most Americans" have absolutely no idea what the ACA really entails.

They don't realize that for the first time ever, health care premiums for women will be the same as for men. They don't understand the subsidies that will be available for many people whose employers do not cover their health care. The nightmare of trying to find any coverage if you have a pre-existing condition will be over.

Many panicking Medicare patients bought into the Republican lie that Medicare would be cut to help fund the new law. It's not going to be cut. The numbers bandied about in the 2012 election, again by the Republicans, referred to cuts in future costs, not in the program itself.

And they certainly don't realize the damage that will be done to the economy in Florida by our governor and the Legislature in denying Medicaid dollars from the federal government.

Democrats are far from blameless in this general misunderstanding. Democrats should have anticipated how confused people would be on this law and taken much better, proactive steps in promoting the realities of the law instead of allowing Republicans to defame it as they have done.

Jane Young, Tampa

Fighting tide of higher rates | Sept. 25

Try national disaster fund

The huge anticipated premium increases for flood insurance will render many waterfront homes (the structures) virtually worthless, as no buyer will or logically can afford to pay the kind of rates going into effect Oct. 1. Buyers will simply make offers for the value of the land only and, once purchased, demolish the house to rebuild. That may be good for FEMA, but equity for retirement and the net worth of those faced with this situation will be seriously eroded.

Soon after the higher premiums take effect, homeowners, especially those who own homes built pre-1974 requiring flood insurance, will be faced with little choice: pay the exorbitant premiums or pay the mortgage off and self-insure. How many will pay the mortgage off if their devalued house is worth less than the mortgage balance? They will simply abandon the property to the bank and the economy will experience another banking and real estate crisis.

Additionally, the tax value on these homes will be diminished. This devaluation will have to be absorbed by either an increase in the millage affecting other non-flood-zoned homeowners, or a budget crisis will occur within the respective coastal counties and cities.

With a national natural disaster insurance program, many types of natural disasters could be insured. While we may have a threat of hurricanes in Florida, we're not as prone to earthquakes as in California, tornadoes in Kansas, river flooding in Colorado or wildfires in Nevada.

Having one national natural disaster program in which every American pays to protect all Americans from the many types of natural disasters that occur, no matter where, makes more sense.

Frank Dame, Clearwater

Ruling may delay sale of Channelside plaza Sept. 24

Beware the naysayers

This is just a note of caution to Mayor Bob Buckhorn and the other elected leaders in Tampa. As they watched the well-thought-out process of the St. Petersburg Pier redevelopment be crushed into the ground by 19 percent of the city's registered voters, I hope it helped them learn a lesson. After years of thoughtful debate, a small group of backward-thinking citizens succeeded in destroying the process and assuring that the current Pier structure will sit boarded up for years. And, of course, they have offered no alternative plan.

It would be tragically similar if Buckhorn and the other elected leaders in Tampa had the same thing happen in Channelside. No matter what they do or how they go about it, there will be some self-serving individuals and groups who don't like it and will try to stop it. Not knowing if the political process works the same in Tampa as in St. Petersburg, it would be wise to review all aspects early in the process and try to stop another debacle.

Scott Stewart, St. Petersburg

Immigration reform

Action is overdue

On Oct. 5, it will be 100 days since the U.S. Senate passed its version of immigration reform. In that time, the Republican-led House has done nothing. That is not acceptable.

Families are being separated and children traumatized by deportation while the House does nothing. Pass compressive immigration reform now.

Jasmina Forcan, Clearwater


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

Thursday’s letters: Focus on offender, not weapon

Use data to curb gun deaths | April 8, commentaryFocus on offenders, not weaponsThis article tiptoes around the issue: human violence. The authors point out that automobile manufactures were pressured by regulation and law to make automobile coll...
Published: 04/11/18

Wednesday’s letters: One county’s water affects us all

Sprawl seems a concern until Tampa land use lawyer appears | April 9Water impactsspan county linesThough I live in Pinellas County, I have followed the discussion on land use decisions made by Hillsborough County. Hillsborough’s decisions, perhap...
Published: 04/10/18