May's Letter of the Month
May's winning letter was from Amy C. Kelly of Palm Harbor, who wrote about Florida's springs.
Lawmakers imperil environment
Thank you to the Tampa Bay Times for the important articles and editorials about the Florida Legislature and lack of money allocated to springs cleanup.
The pictures of lawmakers hugging and congratulating themselves after finishing work on the budget was infuriating. There are a lot of issues clamoring for attention, but springs cleanup should have been a priority. How can lawmakers not know or not care that environmental health is essential to human health and the health of the economy?
I grew up in Pinellas County before electronic distractions and we were always outside, enjoying and appreciating the beauty of our salt and freshwater resources. Swimming with the mermaids at Weeki Wachee in the '60s, tubing down the Ichetucknee River in the '70s, and canoeing down the Rainbow River with my children in the '90s was as close to paradise as one could get. I still think Florida is beautiful, but we must repair and actively care for this fragile beauty.
How can our lawmakers, Republican and Democrat, many with children and grandchildren, fail to take immediate action or, worse, make deals with big business at the expense of Florida's environment and our future?
Amy C. Kelly, Palm Harbor
Crossing guard honored at service | May 24
Thanks from guard's family
The Carey family would like to thank the Clearwater community for their love and support as we deal with the tragic loss of the heart of our family. Nothing about this time has been easy, but the love from the community has been comforting.
A special thanks to Doug's brothers in the Clearwater Police Department, especially Chief Anthony Holloway; Detective Jonathan Walser. president of the Fraternal Order of Police; Honor Guard Commander John Brown; Chaplain Rev. Bob Swick; and too many others to name.
There are many businesses and organizations in the community who have opened their hearts to support us, including Peter Hardy and Paul Weitzel of Sylvan Abbey, Grace Lutheran Church, Lenny's Restaurant, Publix, the Tampa Bay Times, Manos Bakery, Jeremy Brown of BluMoon Transportation and Mark Douglas of WFLA-Ch. 8 news.
Family of Doug Carey, Clearwater
Plan prods the states on pollution | June 3, editorial
Senate holding up progress
In your editorial on the carbon cuts President Barack Obama will impose, you say his inability to get things through Congress is due to Republican opposition. I think it would be more accurate to attribute the do-nothing Congress to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's intransigence; most bills that the House passes he won't even let the Senate debate. Also there is the president's lack of leadership; unlike his predecessors, he doesn't work with a House controlled by the other party.
The Senate should vote on House bills, go to conference, and send the result to the president, who can then veto or accept them.
Ernest Lane, Trinity
Mean streets take deadly bay area toll June 2, editorial
Often, pedestrians to blame
As for pedestrian injuries and deaths in the bay area, I see this problem as being 90 percent the pedestrians' fault. I invite one of your reporters to visit the southeast corner of Waters and Himes Avenues in Tampa from 7 to 10 a.m. any workday. Pedestrians brazenly ignore all the rules of the road by crossing against the light, cutting between cars and more.
I'm sure there are cases where the drivers are at fault, too. A police officer could stand at this intersection and have no problem issuing many tickets each morning. This would include cyclists who also ignore the traffic lights.
Dan Mason, Tampa
Land of the grieved, home of the depraved June 1, Daniel Ruth column
Is Daniel Ruth so biased against guns that he was afraid to admit that three of the victims in the California tragedy were stabbed to death? What happened to printing the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?
Until people with mental health problems can be better identified, this will probably happen again. To blame it on the NRA is disingenuous.
Robert L. Simister, Seminole
Work to stop the killing
This cycle of gun deaths, followed by attempts to put a stop to it, was put in high gear by what Daniel Ruth accurately describes as a "grotesque misreading of the U.S. Constitution." In District of Columbia vs. Heller in 2008, the conservative-leaning Supreme Court voted 5-4 to ignore the militia language in the Second Amendment and instead asserted a much wider right to gun ownership.
People interested in stopping the killing must continue to press their representatives in government to pass sensible gun legislation. If the lawmakers don't, then we must work just as hard to replace them with people who understand what the majority of the American people want. Ruth feels this is a no-win situation. I don't believe it is.
Chuck Bayer, Redington Shores
U.S. soldier released in Taliban deal | June 1
Our country as we have known it may not survive the Obama administration's last two years. Just when you think his reign of ignorance could not be more absurd, he releases five terrorists who have caused deaths throughout the world. This happens just in time to correspond with the information about when we are leaving Afghanistan, so these folks can work uninterrupted by our military.
Don Niemann, Seminole
Benefactor's ties to FSU go back decades June 2
The so called "process" of selecting a new president for Florida State University seems to be going exactly as might be expected. Politics and power win out over qualifications to lead a proud institution. State Sen. John Thrasher has done much for "his" school; now it can really be his. Does anyone wonder why Florida State is ranked where it is compared to other public universities?
Gary Bullock, Palm Harbor