Dubious park plan in Tampa | Oct. 6, editorial
Don't take away our green space
I still can't go downtown to Curtis Hixon Park without being amazed and proud that our community did something so right for us, "the people."
Under a strong mayor with vision, developers were fought off, the museum moved and the park created so that all of us, any day, can have access to our waterfront and a wonderful green space.
I knew it was too good to last and was saddened to read in the Times that Mayor Bob Buckhorn is after our space. I'm pretty sure there are several empty buildings downtown that could house the project proposed, and utilizing that space would be of more help to our downtown than taking a chunk of our park.
Karen Putney, Tampa
Chávez claims a new term | Oct. 8
In the recent Venezuelan presidential election, 81 percent of the nearly 19 million registered voters showed up to vote. This is a country led by Hugo Chávez! Approximately 60 percent of registered voters turn out to vote in U.S. presidential elections.
We are the "land of the free." Are we so apathetic and/or lazy that we can't exercise our right to vote at least every four years? I strongly urge my fellow citizens to get out and make your vote count. Don't just sit and complain about what you think is wrong with our country. Do something about it.
Connie McCormick, Redington Shores
No on four special tax break measures Oct. 8, Times recommends
Tax break is justified
I vehemently disagree with your position on Amendment 2. The original measure discriminated against those who entered service from other states, became Florida citizens while on active duty and, in many cases, served longer and in more wars as Floridians than those you would deem qualified. There is no logical basis for that distinction.
If your argument is that we can't afford it, then you should advocate eliminating the benefit for everyone.
Earl G. Peck, Clearwater
Lack of gratitude
I'll wager that the editorial writer who opined that combat-disabled veterans do not warrant the Amendment 2 tax break never served in the military, much less in combat. The lack of gratitude reflected in this mentality is overwhelming. A grateful nation? Maybe. A grateful Tampa Bay Times? Hardly.
Roget Jackson, St. Petersburg
Lives on the line Oct. 7
Law won't end problems
The law can go only so far in stopping problem users. They are, after all, problem users. If blocked from one drug, they will find some other drug. The "other drug" is often alcohol, potentially lethal not only to the user, but also to innocents.
The impact of alcohol on traffic safety, for instance, is well documented in double-blind studies involving over 10,000 traffic fatalities, done first in Australia in the mid 1990s, then in France. Both studies show that alcohol is two to four times as impairing as marijuana, and probably worse than opiates, the active ingredient in painkillers.
Additionally, evidence is accumulating that many drinkers will switch to marijuana when local law is liberalized, as it is in states that have legalized marijuana for medical use. One such study showed that states phasing in legal marijuana as medicine saw beer consumption decline and traffic fatalities fall sharply, both without a significant increase in underage smoking.
We should consider more effective ways than the criminal law to reduce the societal damage caused by problem use of psychoactive substances.
John Chase, Palm Harbor