Sunday, June 24, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Thursday's letters: Mormon skeletons in the closet

Don't lose the faith, Romney | July 23, commentary

Mormon skeletons in the closet

Columnist Michael Kinsley wrote that, instead of downplaying his religion, Mitt Romney should "make Mormonism a key part of his campaign." I disagree.

Mormons have a lot of commendable attributes, such as their sobriety and their reputation for honesty. But the Mormon church also has a lot of skeletons in its closet, such as polygamy; the massacre of approximately 120 innocent travelers at Mountain Meadows, Utah, in 1857; and the facts that for 150 years the Mormon church taught that all black people were cursed and that, until 1978, no black man could become a bishop of the church.

Polls have shown that many fundamentalist Christians, a key Republican voting bloc, consider Mormons to be a cult rather than a branch of Christianity. By flaunting his Mormonism, Romney would call attention to some of the Mormon practices that these fundamentalists consider un-Christian, such as wearing special underwear, called "temple garments," to protect them from evil. That would probably lose Romney more votes than it would gain.

James Nelson, Largo

Colorado killings

Violent entertainment

Once again we have a multiple shooting rampage and once again the same old arguments about gun control come forward. How is it that the entertainment industry gets a pass? The gunman apparently was obsessed with a villain from the Batman movies and comic books.

Go to the library and pull a graphic novel off the shelf and view the violence in its pages. Large body counts and gore are prominent. So too in many shows that have been coming out of Hollywood for decades. Characters have no problem obtaining fully automatic weapons and using them with wild abandon.

The entertainment industry has been feeding our culture horrible stuff for years, so it should come as no surprise that there are warped people out there.

The entertainment industry has a First Amendment right to glorify killing, but I think the peddling of demented garbage for years has much to do with these violent outbursts.

Ed Mills, Clearwater

Look out for each other

Letters are pouring in talking about doing something about keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and lunatics. Ban the guns and there will be a black market for them. Do we see less drug dealing because of the banning of drugs?

What we really need to do is to connect once again. I don't mean Facebook or Twitter. I mean face-to-face. How many of you actually know your neighbor? There apparently were plenty of signs from James Holmes, but they just weren't picked up by anyone in his life.

Ronald Melone, Clearwater

Penn State penalties | July 24

This isn't a sports issue

The Penn State case is not about sports; it is about greed and the abuse of power. The actions by Jerry Sandusky and others at Penn State, including Joe Paterno, were reprehensible. However, this was not a football issue. There was no advantage gained by the team from any of these actions.

The circumstances of this case should be adjudicated by government agencies and not the NCAA. An appropriate sanction might be to limit government aid, and those involved should be prosecuted. The NCAA's sanctions are nothing more than saber-rattling and showing off its power. Why are so many student athletes being punished — not just football players, but all of the other athletes who gain from funding from the football program?

Ken Cunha, St. Petersburg

State blinded by devotion to testing July 24, John Romano column

Test taking: wrong answer

John Romano's column is right on target. Schools are teaching our children how to take tests, not how to think and solve problems. Our country did not become great by taking tests. It progressed because there were people who could find solutions to challenges and find ways to improve the quality of our lives.

So to all the "smart people" in Tallahassee, enough with the testing. Get back to the basics of teaching our children reading, writing and arithmetic and how to think and solve problems along with respect for teachers and other people.

Sylvia Fies, St. Petersburg

Senate jobs bill

Bring back the jobs

Senate Bill 3664 has been proposed to end tax breaks for companies moving jobs overseas. The bill would continue to allow deductions for jobs moved within the United States, or brought back to the United States. It also proposes an additional tax credit for 20 percent of the cost of moving jobs back here.

Considering the unemployment situation, this bill is a no-brainer. However, one of Florida's senators, Marco Rubio, voted no on even allowing this bill to proceed. Floridians deserve a yes vote on a bill that will actually bring jobs back to the United States.

Karen Spisak, Tampa

Food stamps

Too much fraud

Congress is debating an almost $1 trillion farm bill that includes funding for food stamps. While I support the bill in general, something must be done about the abuse and fraud in the food stamp program.

The going rate on the street for food stamp cards is 50 percent of face value. So someone who qualifies for $200 in food stamps can sell their EBT card for $100 cash, because you can buy beer and cigarettes with cash but not with the EBT card.

There is a very simple way to fix most of this abuse: Require a photo ID to be presented when paying with a food stamp card.

Ashley Hill, Palm Harbor

A rough crowd benefits | July 22

Self-defense is basic right

Every human being has an inherent right to self-defense. Even murderers in prison retain that right, although unarmed.

The other reality is that there is no method of counting how many citizens have successfully used a firearm (while standing their ground or not) in legitimate self-defense by simply displaying a firearm or other deadly weapon and ending the threat. There is no such statistic.

In addition, criminal activity is discouraged by the chance that a potential victim may be armed. Florida's plummeting crime rates over the last 23 years, since its concealed carry law was legislated, surely seem to support that concept.

Lee Hanson, Hudson


Monday’s letters: College instructors need classes in active shooter training

Active shooter perceptions disproven | June 21We need active shooter trainingThe only guns that I had seen before coming to the United States of America were in glass cases in museums. When I came to America to get a Ph.D. in English at the Unive...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/22/18

Friday’s letters: What a new Rays ballpark would mean

Rays exec hints at stadium timeline | June 15What a new ballpark would doThe Tampa Bay Rays 2020 organization is working diligently with local business leaders and civic organizations to rally support for the Rays’ new ballpark in Ybor City. The ...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/22/18

Thursday’s letters: On immigration there has to be a better way

‘Zero tolerance’ ignites outrage | June 20Find better way on immigrationOver the years I’ve voted for candidates from both parties. My observation of the Trump administration’s policy on immigration is not about politics. It has to do with having...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/21/18

Wednesday’s letters: Charters and traditional public schools each have their place

Public school as public good | Letter, June 17Both kinds of schools can workAs a mother and grandmother of children raised in both traditional public and charter schools in Pinellas County (and a 25-year supporting-services employee for public sc...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/20/18

Tuesday’s letters: Keep programs that fight AIDS

For author Biden, it’s a father’s gift | June 6Keep programs that fight AIDSAfter former Vice President Joe Biden’s recent visit to St. Petersburg, I noticed an article that he co-wrote with former Sen. Bill Frist. It reminded everyone about the ...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/19/18

Is anyone watching the money?Hernando County’s budget shortfall is ever changing going from $6 million to $11.5 million to $14 million to what is assumed a final number of $12.6 million. Who knows the budget shortfall could change again.Who’s watchi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Re: County OKs solar zones | June 8Plea ignored at solar plant hearingThe Pasco County Commission on June 5 voted to identify a utility-sized solar electric plant as a "special exception" use on agricultural-zoned land in Pasco County. What thi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Monday’s letters: Skip those plastic bags and save the environment

To save our seas, overcome congressional apathy | Column, June 16Do your part and skip plastic bagsEvery day we read about the shame of our landfills and oceans filling up with plastic bags, yet most people don’t care. My wife and I always carry ...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

White House defends splitting up families as ‘biblical’ | June 15The suffering of the childrenI am a mother and attorney with more than 20 years of practice living in Tampa. For the past three years, I worked as a magistrate in a Unified Family C...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Saturday’s letters: Community-based care requires community involvement

Fix foster care, and do it quickly | Editorial, June 15Involve the community itselfWhile the detailed article about the scathing state review of Hillsborough County’s foster care problems touched on leadership, a critical point was not addressed....
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18