Friday, June 22, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Thursday's letters: Citizens' privacy needs protecting

Sheriff: Privacy bill protects criminals | April 6

Citizens' privacy needs protecting

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri and Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, among other law enforcement types, apparently believe they should not be hindered in their jobs by some silly Fourth Amendment, which they seem to think only favors criminals. They clearly fail to recognize that our Founding Fathers wrote the Fourth Amendment specifically to protect us from the likes of them — overzealous police and prosecutors.

In any such privacy debate, many ignorant people will say something like, "I'm not worried because I don't have anything to hide." Well, maybe I do and maybe you will someday. What if you voted for the sheriff's opponent and have pictures on your phone with that opponent?

Thankfully, state Sen. Jeff Brandes, like our Founding Fathers, believes that, as the Constitution states: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause."

Note to Gualtieri and Bondi: Please take a constitutional law class and try to learn from it.

William Nye, Clearwater

An argument for 'inclusion' | March 31

Classes met special needs

Special education, now called education for the exceptional child, came into existence in the 1960s. As a guidance counselor, I remember children with emotional needs who had developmental, physical, emotional or mental problems. These students previously had been in special classes provided to meet their many needs. They were taught by teachers who had trained as special education teachers, and generally only were with the regular students during lunch and physical education, depending on their handicaps.

As more parents entered the workforce, they demanded more from the schools. The special education parents were strongly united with their demands, and the federal government agreed to provide the extra funds that would be required to meet the demands of those parents. The funds were to pay the difference in cost for educating the average and above-average students from those with special needs. Costs grew as more children came to the public schools with greater individual needs. Such needs included small classes and/or individual teaching, but some also needed special diets, counseling, diaper-changing and aides to assist them with breathing and swallowing.

As these programs grew, government money paid for less, and the school districts had to find more money elsewhere. In the end, the special education students — many of whom could have benefited from such individualized education planning, parent involvement and counseling — could not be offered such individual assistance. Many who could have been successful were in larger classes, and some became dropouts. Until the parents of students who are in average and above classes demand at least as much care and planning for their children, the loss of opportunity and success will continue.

Linda de Bottari, Clearwater

Honda Grand Prix

Information, please

Dear city of St. Petersburg: The citizens deserve a clear, precise answer. How much does it cost the city to stage the Grand Prix and how much does the city earn?

Donald Cunningham, St. Petersburg

Medical marijuana

Danger to society

You can't talk about the pain "medical marijuana" relieves and get the whole picture. The other side of the coin is the pain marijuana creates: the lost lives, futures and heartaches of the users who loose their ambition, concentration and ability to learn, complete a task, keep or even have a job. The heartaches and draining of energy, time and resources of family and friends. The destruction of families and relationships because the user loses all consideration for others.

There are medicines and therapies available to relieve and treat pain without needing to legalize marijuana. The real push is to legalize it for recreation. This is a danger to society.

Rose Marginson, Tampa

Rubio should follow Nelson's lead | April 6, editorial

Consult the source

This editorial is disturbing and an affront to many Christians. You state that Sen. Marco Rubio should join Sen. Bill Nelson in supporting same-sex marriage. In essence, he should get on the right side of history. When did men having sex with men, and women having sex with women, become right?

Nelson is quoted as saying "the Lord made homosexuals as well as heterosexuals." Since Nelson is referencing the Lord, why not fact check his statement by taking a look at what the Lord's book (the Bible) says. In Genesis, it states that God created man in his own image. Later, God created woman as a helpmate from one of Adam's ribs.

Homosexuality is a behavior. I can fine no reference in God's book that states He created homosexuals. In fact, if you check Genesis, Chapter 19, God destroyed Sodom because of sinful behavior which included homosexuality.

I recommend that Nelson and all of our elected Congress members might want to actually read the Bible before they start telling people what God has done, or is doing.

Randy Eisenberg, Valrico

Personal Injury Protection

You cause damage, you pay

For yet another year, lawmakers in Tallahassee are trying to fix the broken automobile insurance system called Personal Injury Protection, or PIP. In 2013, changes to PIP went into effect that included: a 14-day limit to seek medical care after an accident; elimination of massage therapy and acupuncture; and a drastic reduction of benefits to $2,500 if the injuries are not deemed an "emergency medical condition."

Recently, a circuit court judge agreed with a group of providers and said the new PIP law was unconstitutional. As a result, legislators in Tallahassee (SB 7152) are proposing to do away with PIP altogether and join the majority of states by making it mandatory for every driver to carry bodily injury coverage. This type of coverage means that the driver who caused the accident pays for damages. This system is a good idea as it holds people responsible for their actions as well as eliminates PIP, which is broken beyond repair.

Let us all hope that our elected can get this right this session and pass mandatory bodily injury coverage.

Dr. Marc J. Rogers, Largo


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 ...
Updated: 7 hours ago

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