Friday, June 22, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Thursday's letters: Election coverage lacked balance

Jolly wins race in national eye | March 12

Election coverage lacked balance

The Times interviewed significantly more Democratic voters as polls opened Tuesday in the Pinellas congressional race, while hardly giving a voice to supporters of eventual winner David Jolly. Four of the first five people the Times interviewed as polls opened said they voted for Alex Sink. Moreover, only three Jolly voters apparently could be found in online updates over the course of an entire election day by Times' journalists, compared to nine Sink voters quoted by the Times.

You do a disservice to your readers — and to your profession — with this unbalanced of voters in such an important race with national implications for the fall elections.

Some might even think the Times was trying to use its online platform to portray Tuesday's race as already won by Sink based on the voters you quoted. Such skeptics might believe that Times reporters — and the editors who let them get away with it — were engaged in a deliberate effort to pad the numbers of Sink supporters to dissuade Jolly supporters from showing up to the polls for a "lost" cause.

The Times published front-page stories about Jolly's recent divorce and a tragic driving accident when he was 16 years old. Yet when an actual campaign issue occurred, such as Sink's shameful, borderline racist statement about Hispanic workers, it seemed too insignificant to merit significant coverage.

As a subscriber and loyal reader, and someone who cares about our election process, I believe that newspapers can still play an important role in our electoral process. All I ask is fairness.

Michael Kersmarki, Tampa

Trauma payday | March 10

Consumers get gouged

If a hurricane sweeps through our state and causes a major power outage, it's illegal for me to load my truck up with generators and sell them to people in need for a couple hundred more than they actually cost. That's considered price-gouging.

However, if I become injured in an accident and have to go to a trauma center, they can charge me 30 or 40 times what the actual cost should be and that's perfectly legal.

I guess this makes perfect sense to our leadership in Tallahassee.

David Bieniecki, New Port Richey

Looking out for the public

You are to be commended for your excellent and timely report on the outrageous fees being charged by some Florida hospitals.

Your continuing exposure of harmful, dangerous and illegal situations in the bay area — the cancellation of water fluoridation, the dangers associated with the Goodwill work release center, and the abuses at unlicensed religious children's homes, to name but three — demonstrate that your many Pulitzer awards are well deserved.

Few realize that if it wasn't for crusading newspapers like the Tampa Bay Times, there would be nobody who would fight the good fight on behalf of ordinary citizens. Please keep up the good work.

Brandon Jones, Clearwater

Talking amid new pier ideas | March 9

One-stop shopping

I suggest that the city of St. Petersburg simply give the remaining $45 million to Bill Edwards and ask that he build the new pier. Everything he has done for this community has been done with class, and I have no doubt that he would come up with a better plan than has heretofore been suggested by various interest groups or hired experts.

Marvin Honig, St. Petersburg

Go for classic design

It is refreshing to watch St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman in action with the pier process. Let's hope that the transparency and openness continue.

Many of us would like to see the resurrection of the Mediterranean Million Dollar Pier as an option. Virtually every design we have been seeing in the Times is modernist, and one can only think that we may be repeating the mistakes of the past. Trendy designs like the inverted pyramid go woefully out of style. Classic designs like the Million Dollar Pier are timeless and may just be the true compromise choice for our very important public pier.

Jeannie Cline, St. Petersburg

Leave the land alone

The current round of pier proposals are starting to sound similar to the previous failed designs. The designers seem incapable of leaving our green space and the shoreline "unimproved."

Most residents are proud of the wisdom of previous city administrations that had the foresight to create our extraordinary waterfront park system. The pier designers, however, seem to hate all that empty space that we city residents and thousands of visitors love.

Those considering proposing a design for the pier would do well to learn from the past failure and concentrate on building a pier, not land-side restaurants, carnivals and tourist traps.

The city administration would do well to inform the bidders that there is $45 million remaining to build a pier, so please do exactly that. Design an extraordinary pier and leave the land-side parks alone.

Bruce Mattern, St. Petersburg

Math textbook claims don't add up March 10

Publishers to blame

As a recently retired elementary teacher of 29 years who held national board certification and a minor in college math, I find this situation with the state-approved textbook publishers unacceptable. I do not understand how they could have been allowed to sell their series under the premise that it meets the needs of the Common Core when it doesn't.

Is that not a form of fraud? Were they not working off a list of criteria for each grade level to be checked off and verified? Are they not going to be held accountable to now provide materials to those classrooms to correct the shortcomings?

Please stop blaming the teachers for not "filling in the gaps." Teachers are told what to teach and when. They are not allowed to step off the directed curriculum guidelines. Now they will be blamed when their students fall short of expectations. That is unfair and demoralizing.

It is time to place the blame where it belongs, at the feet of the publishers who sold their inferior product.

Joyce Ostrom, Oldsmar


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 ...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/21/18

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