Wednesday, March 21, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Thursday's letters: Democrats standing up for Floridians

What's ailing Florida Dems? | March 4

Democrats act to check excesses

While I'm leaving the actions of my colleagues in the Florida House and the party to speak for themselves, I would like to address the sweeping generalizations made by Adam C. Smith, declaring Democrats as "invisible and irrelevant."

I beg to differ.

In 2011, Senate Democrats blocked attacks on public employee unions and the Florida Supreme Court. Granted, it took a coalition with moderate Republicans to do that, but just as we couldn't have stopped these alone, neither could that group of Republicans. So are those moderate Republicans equally "invisible and irrelevant" as Smith dismissively characterized us?

This year, a similar coalition halted prison privatization.

Smith also wrote that our numbers are "so small … that Democrats can't even use procedural moves to slow the Republican agenda."

Let's check the record.

Last week, Senate Democrats raised the objection to stop the Republican leadership from rushing the controversial "parent trigger" bill — which would pave the way for the corporate takeover of our public schools.

Last weekend, Sen. Arthenia Joyner and I uncovered budget language that would allow prison privatization to proceed. Our objections forced its withdrawal.

This week, we've already used points of order to kill amendments that would undermine environmental protections, to stop the fast-tracking of yet another antichoice bill, and to delay the "parent trigger" bill. Finally, that same "coalition of moderates" teamed up to ensure that Citizens Insurance customers are notified before they're placed with unregulated companies.

Despite these accomplishments, Smith failed to include a single Senate Democratic voice, let alone acknowledge what we have accomplished in bipartisan fashion.

Senate Democrats are visible and relevant, and proud to be part of the voice of moderation the majority of Floridians deserve.

Florida Senate Minority Leader Nan Rich, Weston

What's ailing Florida Dems? | March 4

Outdated leadership

This was an excellent article by Adam C. Smith, asking once again the right questions. The problem with Florida Democrats is a void in leadership. Currently it's a parody of Old South Democrats, with potbellied, old, white men deciding obsolete tactics in cigar-smelling back rooms. And I'm not talking about age or physical appearance but about mentality.

Simon Agmann, St. Petersburg

Small thinking, big insecurity | March 4, Tim Nickens column

An outstanding city

The name of our newspaper, the St. Petersburg Times, has been changed to the Tampa Bay Times, which is a body of water. We are dropping our identification with St. Petersburg, a city enjoying a renaissance as one of America's outstanding cities.

Years ago, our citizens went to Tampa for all kinds of activities. Today, St. Petersburg is a vibrant city of activity that draws visitors from all over.

After touring most of Florida, my family picked St. Petersburg to be our home in the early 1950s. We chose it for its outstanding quality of life and opportunity, and we have never been disappointed.

I was elected and honored to serve as St. Petersburg council member and then mayor (1967-69). Those were troubled times in America and St. Petersburg. We got through them by building bridges in our community instead of burning them. We were then, as we are today, a city that has always looked for a better way and found it.

Mayor Bill Foster gets up every day to one of the most difficult jobs in America. He is mayor in one of the most challenging times in American history. It is truly a shame that there are those who feel compelled to throw stones instead of building bridges.

A contract is a contract (Rays). A panhandler is a panhandler. Light rail is a black hole in which to pour public money. Public schools across America are in decline, but the city of St. Petersburg does not run, or operate, the school system.

Foster represents the people of St. Petersburg. He listens to the people who elected him, he regularly meets with them and he works with them. He is good man. He is an outstanding mayor.

Small thinking? Insecure? Never!

Don Jones, St. Petersburg

Rush Limbaugh

All for the money

Rush Limbaugh has apologized for his word choices after he called a young lady a "prostitute" and requested that she post film of herself having sex so that taxpayers can get a return on their investment of paying for her birth control.

Those comments, made over the course of a few programs, prompted some of Limbaugh's sponsors to pull their commercials from his show. As a result, Limbaugh has apologized.

A man of integrity would have stood by his words and would not have folded under pressure. However, Limbaugh, because he stood to lose money, buckled under the pressure. Now who's the prostitute?

By the way, I agree that tax money should not be used to pay for personal medical expenses, but I also do not believe that those who practice birth control are promiscuous or prostitutes.

Larry Bush, Lutz

What's wrong with Florida March 4, editorial

Crooks thrive in Florida

This editorial is correct that the political leadership in Florida is corrupt and self-serving.

The Times shows other instances of this problem in the Sunday paper: "Resale Ripoff" and "When it's the Capitol vs. courts." These and other articles (Scientology, drug prescriptions, car crash insurance scams, etc.) show that scams and crooks thrive in Florida.

What makes this so difficult to change is the Florida education system. As pointed out in a number of articles, Florida has a poor education system and no Florida public universities rank in the top 50 nationwide.

The state politicians must love the education system in Florida. An uneducated electorate is easy to fool and lead astray.

Don Johnson, Clearwater

Electorate to blame

Actually, what's wrong with Florida is the apathy and shallow thinking of its electorate. Shallow, knee-jerk thinking brought us "leaders" like state Sen. JD Alexander and Gov. Rick Scott in the first place.

D. Lawton, St. Petersburg


Thursday’s letters: School safety requires funding

Constitution Revision CommissionSchool safety requires fundingThe Constitution Revision Commission should consider amending a proposal (45, 93 or 72) to allocate the necessary recurring funding for the new school safety mandates, separate from the ba...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Wednesday’s letters: Let the teachers decide on guns

Trump touts arming staff as key in plan for school security | March 12It’s the teacher’s call on weaponsPlease, let’s try an alternate view about guns in the classroom. First, it hasn’t gone unnoticed that the preponderance of letters about guns ...
Published: 03/20/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for March 23

Re: Residents object to solar farm | March 16, storyLakeland Electric has shown that residential customers can be incentivized to allow placement of utility-owned solar panels on their roofs. Likewise, business owners can be incentivized to allow...
Published: 03/19/18

Tuesday’s letters: It shouldn’t be this hard to fly

Tampa International AirportIt shouldn’t be this hard to flyI’ve given the train two tries now from economy parking at Tampa airport. It’s a lot of work. How silly to go down one bank of elevators, then take a good walk to the next set of elevators to...
Published: 03/19/18

Monday’s letters: Protect Floridians’ right to privacy

People push for changes at Constitution hearing | March 14Protect Florida’s right to privacyI attended the Constitution Revision Commission’s public hearing at USF St. Petersburg last week. I was there because I thought it was important to have m...
Published: 03/18/18

Sunday’s letters: Effort to stem pet cruelty pays off

Puppy millsEffort to stem cruelty pays offThank you to everyone who contacted their legislators, and a huge shout-out to the Tampa Bay Times for letting us know that state legislators were considering a bill to eliminate the hard-achieved gains on lo...
Published: 03/17/18

Saturday’s letters: Insurer focused on repairs, not fees

Citizens hit with $12.7M verdict | March 15Insurer’s focus: repairs, not feesCitizens Property Insurance Corp. has spent the past several years making sure that insurance proceeds for sinkhole repairs are used to restore a home and make it whole....
Published: 03/16/18

Friday’s letters: Put young people to work rebuilding infrastructure

Smart way to pay for infrastructure | March 13, commentaryMake rebuilding a youth project Raising gas taxes to pay for infrastructure may not be the best way to go. I suggest we re-invent the old WPA (Works Progress Administration) and draft high...
Published: 03/13/18
Updated: 03/15/18

Thursday’s letters: An alternative for giving: Breadcoin

Panhandling paradox | March 11Innovation in giving: BreadcoinPanhandling is destructive to the donor, panhandler and our community — a guilt trip that erodes personal dignity, respect and self-worth, making the recipient more beholden and entitle...
Published: 03/13/18
Updated: 03/14/18
Wednesday’s letters: Daylight bill is bad for business

Wednesday’s letters: Daylight bill is bad for business

Daylight saving timeDaylight bill is bad for businessI encourage Gov. Rick Scott to veto the daylight saving time extension bill. It makes no sense. It puts Florida out of sync with the rest of the country. Commerce will be affected. The entire Easte...
Published: 03/13/18