Saturday, November 25, 2017
Letters To The Editor

Thursday's letters: Honoring our brave young soldiers


Bay area pays its respects | March 26

'Thank you' can never be enough

As we line the roads while your casket rolls by, what do we say to you, Army Spc. Zack Shannon? Surely, thank you is not enough for being willing to sacrifice your life for our country. What you have done reminds all of us of the beautiful young people who have been lost fighting the "wars of the old people."

It makes me wonder what your parents did to make you love your country so much. How very proud they must be while their hearts are breaking. We talk about sacrifice while forgetting the true meaning of the word.

I grew up in a family that had a history of fighting for our country all the way back to the Revolutionary War, Civil War, Spanish-American War and World War II. And we were always so proud that our family was willing to sacrifice for our country. But we were fighting for a reason.

Now, as a country, we are wiser, and we look at our country invading other countries, starting unprovoked warfare and we watch the cream of our young people losing their lives while war has become a business where oil companies and companies like Halliburton get rich.

I bowed my head as you went by and said a prayer that America would no longer lose our wonderful young people to fighting wars. Our young people deserve something better.

Margaret Hyde, Clearwater

Embrace marriage equality March 25, editorial

Elections, not opinion polls

This article and several others recently in the Tampa Bay Times have used the results of a number of polls to suggest that the majority of Americans support same-sex marriage. The problem with using poll results to determine public policy is that the response people give to pollsters is often different than that made on a ballot.

If we made decisions based on poll results, Mitt Romney might be president. There's only one poll that really means anything, and that's the one that's taken in the voting booth.

Kenneth Reikowski, Valrico

Don't redefine marriage

The Times' editors seem determined to continue down a slippery slope with their push to redefine marriage. The editorial headline calls it "marriage equality," but this is a euphemism for redefining marriage as something it has never been. Marriage has always been between opposite genders. "Equality" does not apply here.

What the word "equality" does is push the Times editorial board down a slippery slope. "Equality" can include plural marriages. One can agitate for marrying their dog or cat under "marriage equality."

At what point will the Times put the breaks on "marriage equality?"

Christopher Martinez, St. Petersburg

Politicians and their districts disconnect March 25, commentary

The elusive rational voter

Dylan Matthews acts like it is an earthshaking finding, if true, that constituents are on average 20 points less conservative than their elected representatives.

But to any of us of an even centrist bent, such a finding has an obvious genesis: Namely, a majority of human beings will tend to favor some new policy or program in the abstract, like universal health care, when this abstract question is removed from the context of actual implementation or funding of said policy.

Matthews seems to presume a rational, coherent archetypal citizen-voter, when in fact no such creature exists. Any pollster will tell you that large majorities favor both massive entitlements and not paying for them.

John V. Linton, Tampa

Bill links education, emotion March 26

Parents are in the mix

I am a part of the Pinellas County team that helps draft individualized education plans for students with disabilities. As a special education teacher, I follow very strict guidelines relating to parents' rights. They are given copies of the procedural safeguards pamphlet, which explains their legal rights, at every meeting. If a parent does not attend the scheduled meeting after two or more notices, the IEP cannot be initiated for seven to 10 days, giving parents time to dispute what has been written for their child.

Also, the goals are all based on testing results and classroom performance. After elementary school, if the student is more than two years behind in reading, math, etc., special diploma status may be initiated so that the student is not frustrated with assignments he or she cannot do. We all are mindful and respectful of how important a parent's status is as part of the IEP team.

Luverne Taylor, Clearwater

Unfair phone, TV taxes need reform March 25, editorial

Taxing satellite signals

Your opinion that local governments get less taxes because satellite TV is not taxed the same as cable TV is flawed. Cable TV has physical property in Florida and wires going to homes, whereas satellite TV does not.

I have satellite TV and am charged $14.66 per month Florida tax for the Choice package, HBO, Showtime and three receivers. I fail to understand why Florida taxes me for receiving entertainment from space, since Florida does nothing to deserve it.

Al Kamosa, New Port Richey

There's no free pass

I think you have the situation backwards. I recently changed to a satellite provider for my TV programming. As usual they give you pretty much everything free for three months. The surprising thing is, you pay tax on those freebies. So on a $51 bill there is $10 in tax, for a rate of about 20 percent.

Meanwhile in Florida, if you are wealthy and can afford a $200 million yacht or private jet, the state asks you to pay virtually no sales tax. I don't think satellite TV is the culprit here.

F.M. Younglove, Brandon

Budget debate has corkscrew twist March 25

Yale high jinks

I started reading the front page about a grant given Yale University to study ducks' sexual behavior. I checked the date. No, it was not April Fool's Day. Then I thought it was a joke by Yale students, as they are known at Vassar College for pulling jokes. Our "brother" school used to put black shoe polish on the black toilet seats.

Haylee Tyler, Clearwater


Monday’s letters: Don’t forget pain sufferers

Fighting opioids on many fronts Nov. 22, editorialDon’t forget pain sufferersSufferers of debilitating, chronic pain seem to be largely forgotten in the public and corporate hysteria about opioid abuse. There are millions of people whose chronic pain...
Published: 11/22/17
Updated: 11/24/17

Sunday’s letters: Tax bill will benefit all businesses

Nelson warns of tax bill’s effects | Nov. 21Proposal is win for all concernedHas Sen. Bill Nelson even read the new proposed tax bill?If he knew anything about it he should be embarrassed by his rhetoric as stated in the Times article. The corpor...
Published: 11/22/17
Updated: 11/24/17

Saturday’s letters: Value and respect our teachers

Crowd backs raises | Nov. 15Respect and value our teachersTeachers are the "engine" that drives the "train" of our Hillsborough County school district. Teachers and support personnel affect every aspect of a child’s life. They are the students’ "...
Published: 11/22/17
Updated: 11/24/17

Friday’s letters: Find private investors for a new stadium

Opening offer from Rays on stadium sounds too low | Nov. 17, editorialFind private investors for stadiumThe Rays "offered" to pay 18.75 percent of the costs? How outrageously presumptuous to say that they offered! Put another way, they demanded t...
Published: 11/21/17
Updated: 11/22/17

Thursday’s letters: Tax plan won’t help wages

Tax billThis won’t help stagnant wagesThe unfair tax proposal that cuts taxes for the rich and most powerful and cuts the ability of working people to claim any comparable deductions is no more than another greedy power grab by the rich and powerful....
Published: 11/20/17
Updated: 11/22/17

Wednesday’s letters: Breaking down health data

Don’t let news on blood pressure raise yours | Nov. 17, commentaryBreaking down health numbersThank you for publishing the timely commentary by Dr. H. Gilbert Welch on blood pressure. The point he makes about relative risks versus absolute risks ...
Published: 11/20/17
Updated: 11/21/17

Tuesday’s letters: Disgraceful tax proposals

Tax billDisgraceful, harmful proposalsThe very fact that the Congress of the people of the United States would propose, not to mention pass, the current tax bill is nothing short of disgraceful. What sort of representatives of the people support cutt...
Published: 11/20/17

Monday’s letters: Doctors should speak up on harassment

Sexual harassmentDoctors need to speak upThe recent widespread recognition, followed by disapproval, of sexual harassment across many workplaces signals a paradigm shift in social attitudes toward abuse of power that is long overdue.The male-dominate...
Published: 11/17/17

Saturday’s letters: Reservoir project off to a good start

Lake OkeechobeeReservoir project off to good startThis year, more than 70,000 Floridians contacted their legislators to support expediting a reservoir project south of Lake Okeechobee. Another 150 business people, anglers, health care professionals a...
Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/17/17

Sunday’s letters: Roundabout way to help the rich

Senate GOP’s tax plan to kill ACA mandate | Nov. 15Devious way to hurt middle classSo, let’s see if we have this straight. The proposed amendment to the Senate tax plan, to kill the individual mandate, will cause young people to not buy health in...
Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/17/17