Thursday, March 22, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Thursday's letters: It pays to invest in children

Early education

It pays to invest in children

Amid the partisanship in Washington, there is something a majority of people of all political stripes care about: high-quality early childhood education. Three national polls conducted this summer show that Americans strongly support public investment in young children. Yes, it's a tough fiscal climate, but the polls, along with the work of noted economists, show this should not be a tough decision for policymakers.

Florida has made progress in early childhood education, but too many children lack access to high-quality early learning experiences. Families have difficulties finding and affording quality early childhood programs, and many children came to kindergarten this year behind their peers who did have access to programs that support their developmental and learning readiness.

Sens. Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio should vote to end the flawed sequestration and support the economically sound expansion of access to quality programs for children in their first five years. We can make smart investments now, or pay much more later because we didn't seize an opportunity to come together for the sake of our children and our economy.

On an issue where so many people agree, and where we know how to provide high-quality early childhood education, this should be a no-brainer and an opportunity for bipartisan congressional action.

Suzanne Gellens, executive director, Florida Association for the Education of Young Children, Tampa

Amazon center on way | Oct. 11

Jobs for whom?

It is a wonderful thing to see a company the size of Amazon coming to the area and providing 1,000 much-needed jobs.

My hope is that someone will oversee the hiring so that qualified American citizens get these jobs and not so much as one single illegal or undocumented person is employed.

A couple of times in past American history when our unemployment rates were so high our president sent visiting foreigners home — legal or not.

We have 11 million illegals. What are we waiting for?

Chuck Fuller, Riverview

Debt ceiling

Damage has been done

At this point it really won't matter if Congress and the White House agree on a plan to extend the debt ceiling. Already the European Union, International Monetary Fund and major creditors, represented by China, have stated that U.S. leadership in the world economy has been dealt a serious blow.

We have criticized the European Union, Russia and China as having unstable economic systems. Now these economies are sneering at the United States because our democratic system has failed us and brought us to the brink of financial ruin.

Ron Frankel, St. Petersburg

Young to retire | Oct. 9

Spending us into crisis

Your newspaper is making a hero out of Congressman C.W. Bill Young, simply because he delivered quite a sum of money to his home district. Those were taxpayer dollars.

This is precisely the reason our country is in a financial bind today. Wake up and tell your readers the truth.

Edward Leonard Flom, Tampa

Government shutdown

Insult to those who served

How awful that our veterans who gave so much for our freedom were not allowed, by this administration, to view the memorial honoring their service and valor fighting to protect our freedom in World War II.

I applaud the many Americans who came to their assistance by taking down the barricades and allowing the veterans, many in wheelchairs and well into their 90s, to gain access to the outdoor memorial.

Many veterans came from all across our country and were stopped just outside the memorial. How disgusting to do this to those who gave so much.

Lt. Col. Carmen LaBianca, USMC (Ret.), Largo

Pay for play

This might sound obvious, but if the government can pay employees to keep our parks and monuments closed, why can't it pay them to keep the parks and monuments open?

Kenneth R. Gilder, St. Petersburg

Florida backs flood lawsuit | Oct. 11

Human toll of flood rates

I have seen the face of this flood insurance debacle, and it is frightening. Our St. Pete Beach neighborhood association held a meeting last week that included a Q&A with local officials about the Biggert-Waters impact.

Over 60 percent of the attendees were retirees, nearly all of whom bought their modest, non-waterfront houses in our neighborhood in the late 1950s. When told that not only will their flood insurance rates be raised by 25 percent per year but that they will be unable to sell their homes because of the immediate $15,000 per year insurance rates the new homebuyer will inherit, we all heard a collective gasp from the entire audience.

As the meeting was breaking up, a 90-year-old widow who bought her little 1,200-square-foot bungalow in 1956 was on the verge of tears. She told me she has been wanting to sell her house and can't afford the insurance increase and asked me what she should do.

It darn near broke my heart to tell her there was nothing that could be done. Hers is the real face of this terrible bill, not the 5 percent of the wealthier waterfront homeowners.

Gregory Premer, St. Pete Beach

Hallmarks of decline | Oct. 14, letter

A wealth of problems

This letter asks whether the United States is heading in the direction of becoming a Third World country, giving an excellent listing of the hallmarks.

However, there was one missing: A major part of the nation's wealth is held by a small number of its citizens.

Donald W. Chandler, Clearwater


Thursday’s letters: School safety requires funding

Constitution Revision CommissionSchool safety requires fundingThe Constitution Revision Commission should consider amending a proposal (45, 93 or 72) to allocate the necessary recurring funding for the new school safety mandates, separate from the ba...
Published: 03/21/18

Wednesday’s letters: Let the teachers decide on guns

Trump touts arming staff as key in plan for school security | March 12It’s the teacher’s call on weaponsPlease, let’s try an alternate view about guns in the classroom. First, it hasn’t gone unnoticed that the preponderance of letters about guns ...
Published: 03/20/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for March 23

Re: Residents object to solar farm | March 16, storyLakeland Electric has shown that residential customers can be incentivized to allow placement of utility-owned solar panels on their roofs. Likewise, business owners can be incentivized to allow...
Published: 03/19/18

Tuesday’s letters: It shouldn’t be this hard to fly

Tampa International AirportIt shouldn’t be this hard to flyI’ve given the train two tries now from economy parking at Tampa airport. It’s a lot of work. How silly to go down one bank of elevators, then take a good walk to the next set of elevators to...
Published: 03/19/18

Monday’s letters: Protect Floridians’ right to privacy

People push for changes at Constitution hearing | March 14Protect Florida’s right to privacyI attended the Constitution Revision Commission’s public hearing at USF St. Petersburg last week. I was there because I thought it was important to have m...
Published: 03/18/18

Sunday’s letters: Effort to stem pet cruelty pays off

Puppy millsEffort to stem cruelty pays offThank you to everyone who contacted their legislators, and a huge shout-out to the Tampa Bay Times for letting us know that state legislators were considering a bill to eliminate the hard-achieved gains on lo...
Published: 03/17/18

Saturday’s letters: Insurer focused on repairs, not fees

Citizens hit with $12.7M verdict | March 15Insurer’s focus: repairs, not feesCitizens Property Insurance Corp. has spent the past several years making sure that insurance proceeds for sinkhole repairs are used to restore a home and make it whole....
Published: 03/16/18

Friday’s letters: Put young people to work rebuilding infrastructure

Smart way to pay for infrastructure | March 13, commentaryMake rebuilding a youth project Raising gas taxes to pay for infrastructure may not be the best way to go. I suggest we re-invent the old WPA (Works Progress Administration) and draft high...
Published: 03/13/18
Updated: 03/15/18

Thursday’s letters: An alternative for giving: Breadcoin

Panhandling paradox | March 11Innovation in giving: BreadcoinPanhandling is destructive to the donor, panhandler and our community — a guilt trip that erodes personal dignity, respect and self-worth, making the recipient more beholden and entitle...
Published: 03/13/18
Updated: 03/14/18
Wednesday’s letters: Daylight bill is bad for business

Wednesday’s letters: Daylight bill is bad for business

Daylight saving timeDaylight bill is bad for businessI encourage Gov. Rick Scott to veto the daylight saving time extension bill. It makes no sense. It puts Florida out of sync with the rest of the country. Commerce will be affected. The entire Easte...
Published: 03/13/18