Rays talks a good first step | Jan. 25, editorial
Foster a good financial steward
I cannot understand why the Tampa Bay Times keeps dumping on St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster, accusing him of, among other things, "petty parochialism and stalling" because he doesn't embrace the Rays' veiled threats to move the team if they can't get the taxpayers to fund a new stadium.
Doesn't the Times understand that Foster is simply doing what a good steward of his community's finances should be doing? Doesn't the Times understand that St. Petersburg has an ironclad agreement for Rays' occupancy through 2027 and, in that regard, why would he want to be involved in any talks to move the team elsewhere?
I do not believe Major League Baseball or the Rays will consider moving any time in the foreseeable future. Why? Because major league sports teams are in the business of extracting millions of dollars from taxpayers, not paying out what might amount to millions of dollars to break a lease.
Baseball knew (or should have known) the status of the stadium and the demographics of this area when it awarded a franchise to Tampa Bay.
Bill Bravick, Tampa
Obama has lofty praise for Clinton | Jan. 26
Four years, poor record
There's no question Hillary Clinton would have made a better president than Barack Obama. However, her four years as secretary of state have left a lot to be desired.
Let's examine the state of our world. North Korea is more defiant and belligerent than ever. Iran is still pursuing a nuclear bomb at a hectic pace while threatening its neighbors. Iraq is in chaos. As soon as we pull out of Afghanistan, the country will likely be overrun by the Taliban.
The reset button with Russia isn't working. Despite our pleas, they're supporting the genocide in Syria at any cost. China has been no help with Syria or North Korea. The so-called Arab Spring has become a nightmare. Al-Qaida is on the march throughout Africa.
Our foreign policy in the last four years (leading from behind) has made our world a more dangerous place. What accomplishments?
Albert Romano, Tampa
Aquifer models full of holes | Jan. 28
Protect our drinking water
Craig Pittman's article describing our scientific understanding (or lack thereof) of the Floridan Aquifer and Florida's dynamic groundwater resources was spot on. Our drinking water supplies exist in a highly complex environment that hydrogeologists continue to learn about and politicians grapple with how to regulate. Drinking water demands serious protection as a critical resource for the sustenance and economic growth of all Floridians.
Water permits are certainly one component of this picture, but siting of risky facilities such as landfills that leak leachate into groundwater is inexcusable. Comprehensive management to preserve clean water resources is something we all need to push for. Should we lose this fight, it is not one that we can readily recover from.
Carl Roth, Port Richey
Rubio, senators in immigration pact | Jan. 28
Close visa loophole
Sen. Marco Rubio estimates that 40 percent of unlawful aliens entered legally on visas. Why doesn't our government do something about visa-jumpers? They can be tracked. They pass through customs, where their visas are examined, names noted, purpose and itinerary questioned. A finger or palm print and photo would be easy to add. They could be deported when their status is discovered in the normal course of traffic stops, emergency room visits, school enrollment, and many other contacts.
Those here illegally for years, having made their lives here despite great disadvantage, who own homes, pay taxes and have learned our language — those people deserve consideration. But the inexcusable loophole through which they came should be firmly closed.
Bud Tritschler, Clearwater
Sensory assault | Jan. 27
Image was inappropriate
Though Gasparilla may indeed be a "feast to the senses," one wonders when women's body parts became an appropriate symbol for the sense of "feel." Would the same picture be utilized for "feel" if the featured body parts were instead a whole woman? It is doubtful.
The sexual objectification of women has no place in modern society, much less on the front page of the Tampa Bay Times.
Rita Tallent, St. Petersburg
'Straw buyer' won't be charged Jan. 27
Law seems clear enough
This article cites law enforcement officials as saying Florida law is vague on straw gun buyers.
A quick perusal of Florida statutes — 790.065, section 12, paragraph (d) — shows this to be false. It states: "Any person who knowingly acquires a firearm through purchase or transfer intended for the use of a person who is prohibited by state or federal law from possessing or receiving a firearm commits a felony of the third degree."
This law seems perfectly clear to me.
Richard Hoffman, Ruskin
On climate, time for action Jan. 28, editorial
Rising threat to bay area
It was encouraging to see the back page of Sunday's Perspective section devoted to an article about the threat of rising sea level, as well as the editorial calling for action to deal with climate change. It is a good start, but you now need to bring this issue down to the local level.
The last two paragraphs of the article in Sunday's paper contained the most chilling news for this area: Even the most conservative estimates for the amount of sea level rise by the end of this century are calling for a 3-foot to 6-foot rise — but it could be much greater and in a significantly shorter period of time.
The Tampa Bay area cannot absorb a rise in sea level much more than a foot or two before we start having major problems — and if things go badly with the ice at the poles, that could happen in a matter of years, not decades. The sad reality is that sea level rise is the most important issue this area will have to face in the years ahead.
Tyler Carder, Largo