Monday, February 19, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Thursday's letters: Mideast borders at root of unrest

Middle East

National borders at root of unrest

Most of the Middle East national boundaries were not established by its inhabitants. Britain and France secretly decided how the Middle East was to be divided up as spoils of war and to secure oil reserves. This was approved by the League of Nations as a mandate in 1920. France got Syria and placed a minority Alawite Islamic sect in power over a Sunni Islamic majority and another minority group of Kurds. King Faisal I, a Sunni, was exiled.

Britain then placed King Faisal I on the throne in Iraq as well as placing Sunnis in key government positions to rule over a Shiite majority and a Kurdish minority group.

Establishing minority rule is a recipe for disaster. To expect otherwise was foolish. Insisting on maintaining these boundaries that were established without consideration of the prevailing demographic is only asking for continued violence.

Jordan is 90 percent-plus Sunni Islamic and stable. Syria and Iraq need to be allowed to subdivide into four demographic, autonomous areas.

George Ellsworth, Dade City

Duke is caught in TV ad crossfire | Aug. 26

A choice of scoundrels

Who is the bigger scoundrel when it comes to Duke Energy's fleecing of its customers, Charlie Crist or Rick Scott? I am not sure. They are probably both equally guilty, but that being said, the fleecing is happening on Scott's watch. He and his administration had a chance to stop this and didn't, so my vote for most reprehensible scoundrel goes to him.

Nancy Parker, St. Petersburg

Blame the Legislature

I agree with recent letter writers bemoaning Duke Energy's latest incident of increasing revenues on the backs of its consumers. But Duke is only doing what is legal. Our Legislature is the real culprit. At some point they said, "Sure, you can charge your customers for a power plant that will never be built" and allowed other financial shenanigans to benefit these monopolies.

So if you go to the polls and vote the "same old, same old," that's what you'll get. In addition to increasing your insulation and planting trees, you have the power to right these wrongs and be charged a fair price for the power you use — but only if you pay close attention to whom you vote for.

Janet Bibber, Seminole

Duke gets the cash, you get the shaft Aug. 24, John Romano column

For publicly owned power

In reference to John Romano's challenge on what we are going to do about Duke Energy playing its customers for chumps, he has pointed out in past columns that many of our politicians run unopposed, and when they do run against a candidate, that person is often another politician who has pledged "loyalty to corporate bigwigs and out-of-state interests instead of the folks back home."

Although thankfully I am not a current Duke Energy customer, I want to make a bolder, more radical and perhaps utopian suggestion than merely demanding answers: Let us start a movement to find a way to boot Duke Energy out of Florida and start a publicly owned utility in its place.

Dan Corson, Riverview

Judge upholds map revisions | Aug. 23

Draw impartial lines

Judge Terry Lewis is wrong. Those slight tweaks to our congressional districts are no more constitutional than the original. Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford's delight confirms that fact.

Fortunately, the Florida Supreme Court can overrule Lewis and can find this charade unconstitutional. It can also find that the Legislature is incapable by its very structure of creating impartial districts. By its nature it's a political body. You can't expect it to act nonpolitically. It never has.

But who can do an unbiased job? The court can direct the Legislature to delegate three impartial circuit judges to design unbiased districts. Choose them from around the state. Make the new districts effective 10 months before the 2016 election.

Bill Cooper, St. Petersburg

Tampa bracing for boom of bikes | Aug. 24

Traffic and bicycles

Tampa's Channelside shopping center has a new, successful owner; the majestic River Walk is almost complete; and young people are rapidly moving into the downtown business district. And now there will be more than 300 bikes available to downtowners to rent and navigate through the bustling, chaotic traffic.

This concept works in bustling Manhattan, where vehicular mayhem is a 24-hour-a-day occurrence. And perhaps it's also doing well in the other 35 cities offering rental bikes by the hour. However, I don't believe it's a concept that is ready to be widely accepted. I wish the promoters luck, and as a supporter of downtown growth, I hope it doesn't become another failed albatross like the trolley.

Mike Merino, Tampa

Bank of America let off too easily Aug. 25, editorial

Government is culpable

In the spirit of going after every financial institution that contributed to the mortgage crisis, the next target of the U.S. Justice Department should be the federal government.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, two private companies at the time, pushed banks hard to underwrite mortgages for people who could not afford them. They then wrapped up these mortgages for willing Wall Street firms.

Today, both Fannie and Freddie are owned by the federal government and turn over almost $100 billion per year in profits to the U.S. Treasury.

Perhaps the first person who could be "punished individually," as the Times suggests, is former U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, who before the financial crisis resisted further regulation of Fannie and Freddie.

Scott Stolz, Tarpon Springs


Sunday’s letters: Congress must act on firearms

Deadly toll: 17 | Feb. 15Congress must act on firearmsIt’s time for Congress to be counted.The failure of Congress to act to: (1) limit access to assault rifles and (2) require meaningful background checks for all gun purchases is appalling.Surel...
Published: 02/17/18

Monday’s letters: Call it by its name: terrorism

Deadly toll: 17 | Feb. 15Call it whatit is: terrorismLet’s just call it what it is. It’s terrorism. No school in the country is immune. They all have procedures for sheltering in place or emergency evacuation from a shooter. It’s prudent to be pr...
Published: 02/16/18

Saturday’s letters: Payoff to porn star not front-page news?

Lawyer: I personally paid porn star | Feb. 14Where we’re at: This is 4A newsOnly under the Trump presidency does a story about the president’s lawyer paying off a porn star to cover up an affair with the president show up on page 4A. Never mind t...
Published: 02/16/18

Friday’s letters: Water quality too important to gamble on

State to update water rules | Feb. 10Don’t gamble with water safetyI wondered whether this front-page article was an early April Fool’s joke. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection "updated" its pollution regulations in 2016, with str...
Published: 02/15/18

Thursday’s letters: Bill protects pharmacy customers

House Bill 351Bill protects pharmacy customersWe all need the protections provided in Florida House Bill 351 to ensure pharmacy benefit managers, or PBMs, are transparently operating with patients. Currently, PBMs are not regulated by the state and o...
Published: 02/14/18

Wednesday’s letters: The ocean is no place for amateurs

Youthful dream sinks in two days | Feb. 12Ocean is no place for amateursFirst of all, let me say I am sorry this couple lost their boat and I do applaud their adventurous spirit. However, I have spent over 20 years at sea and would like to commen...
Published: 02/13/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for Feb. 16

A vote against Pasco’s jail bond issueThere are two stories on the front page of the Feb. 9 Pasco Times that drew my attention.The top headline reports that the Pasco County commissioners are discussing submitting a $185 million bond issue to the vot...
Published: 02/13/18

Tuesday’s letters: Challenges in Hillsborough foster care

Foster failures under scrutiny | Feb. 10Challenges in foster care systemNo young person deserves to be treated as shown in the Ch. 8 segment on Youth and Family Alternatives Inc., an Eckerd Connects subcontractor. It is difficult to fathom how th...
Published: 02/12/18

Saturday’s letters: We’re all just trying to get home, one zip tie at a time

I detest Trump, but a ‘redneck’ fixed my Prius with zip ties | Feb. 3, Ruth Mayer columnWe’re all just trying to get homeLike columnist Ruth Mayer, I too am trying to find my level ground, my level-set. I too have held a tremendously deep resentm...
Published: 02/07/18
Updated: 02/09/18

Sunday’s letters: Let’s make America good again

Everyone loves a parade | Feb. 9, editorialI’ll sit on the sidelinesAs a 30-year veteran I was appalled at the president’s plan for a military parade. Having marched in numerous parades in my career I can say without hesitation that members of th...
Published: 02/07/18
Updated: 02/09/18