Tuesday, March 20, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Thursday's letters: Mulhern's fine record of public service

Mulhern drops out of election | Feb. 1

Fine record of public service

My wife and I were saddened to read of Mary Mulhern's decision to leave the coming County Commission race, first because of her illness. We are glad that her case is not severe and that she will be able to carry on in other capacities. We wish her the best of health. Second, we will miss her voice on a governmental body intended for public service where she was often the lone voice of reason.

We thank her for her maintaining her well-reasoned stances, especially when she was standing against a high and rising tide of (often misguided) public opinion and moneyed interests. We are also grateful for her reminding us all that we still live in America, where individual freedoms, the common good, and thoughtful debate and resolution are supposed to be foremost.

We appreciate her advocacy of community garden projects, privacy rights and environmental issues. People of Mulhern's caliber cannot be kept down for long, and we are sure that she will quickly attract many opportunities for additional personal and public accomplishment after her City Council term ends.

James Walter, Tampa

Medical marijuana

Simple matter of liberty

Several educated, white-collar folks have written pieces lately about the dangers of marijuana. They know firsthand because they smoked for a few years in school, then quit. These are people with degrees and accomplishments. So wait, they smoked weed for a while yet somehow did not end up hooked on heroin or crack and living in the street? They in fact went on to have successful careers?

That comes as no surprise to the legions of American marijuana users who for decades have: worked, paid taxes, raised families, had profitable and legal businesses, gone to school, fought for our country, and just generally exhibited American exceptionalism. All the while, they lived in fear of a conviction that would strip them of voting rights, gun rights, eligibility for federal loans and grants, seizure of homes, prison, families torn apart, careers and lives ruined, etc.

The reality is that anyone who wishes to use marijuana already does so. And we are your neighbors, relatives, co-workers and college-age kids who will one day be hack writers. Some of us have serious health conditions that are genuinely eased by cannabis use. Some don't. We all simply want to be left alone to pursue happiness as we are guaranteed by the Bill of Rights.

John Nason, Brooksville

Look to other states, science

Concerning the November ballot, a thorough exam of the medicalization laws in California and Colorado is appropriate. With the "loose" wording of the Florida amendment, it appears safeguards are not in place to prevent a repeat performance in Florida of what happened in California and Colorado. Colorado has more than 100,000 card-carrying "medical marijuana patients," and California sales indicate a disproportionate number of "needy patients" as well. The increased sales in both states indicate a negative impact on young people.

A historical perspective on how Congress has set up legal mechanisms for research on marijuana is also appropriate. The National Institutes of Health and the FDA have continued to inhibit research. Science should be deciding the issue, but unfortunately our government agencies in charge of public safety have ignored their responsibilities concerning marijuana.

Larry Golbom, Largo

Hardly a climate to teach, or learn, in | Feb. 2, John Romano column

What teachers are facing

I have never wanted to say "amen" more than after reading John Romano's column.

I am a retired teacher from Pasco County, and for many years I said we should only be accountable when we were the ones raising the kids. The baggage children bring to school with them is often insurmountable and makes teaching very difficult.

On many occasions my husband would stop me as I came home and tried to tell him about the bad things that had happened to my students in their homes. People do not realize how life is for most kids today. They are hungry, angry, afraid of losing their home or parents, and we expect them to excel in school.

Legislators should have to substitute in a school for a week, and I bet then they would give teachers a raise and beg them to stay in their positions instead of leaving the field like many are today after a few years in the classroom.

Thanks again for understanding what teachers are up against every day.

Sandra Chappuis, Trinity

Dozier yields 55 bodies | Jan. 29

Barriers to the truth

Still unanswered after the recent revelations of even more unmarked graves than previously expected at the former Florida School for Boys is why Gov. Rick Scott attempted last year to stop the mapping and excavations there, when his appointed Secretary of State Ken Detzner temporarily barred the USF-led team from working at the site.

Thanks to Attorney General Pam Bondi and to her fellow GOP Cabinet members Adam Putnam and Jeff Atwater, all of whom came out strongly in favor of letting the USF team resume their efforts at Dozier, Scott had no choice but to accede to the demands of the "Dozier Boys" and the families of those young men who disappeared there years ago. After that Cabinet meeting (where Bondi and her allies prevailed) last year, Scott fled the scene before he could be quizzed by the press about why his appointee Detzner, who serves at the pleasure of the governor, issued the order to stop the work at Dozier in the first place.

Joe McColloch, Tampa

Can this make a comeback? | Feb. 2

It takes only six minutes

What can be accomplished is six minutes? Proper penmanship pedagogy requires only six minutes of daily instruction. In that brief time the correct size, shape, slant and spacing of cursive letter formation can be imparted, as well as the correct way to hold the pencil or pen.

Having had the pleasure of 38 years instructing America's youth, I cannot remember a third-grader unenthused about learning the mysteries of cursive writing. In fact it seemed a rite of passage between primary and intermediate grades.

Donna Marie Kostreva, St. Petersburg


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 ...
Updated: 4 hours ago

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

Pasco Letter to the Editor for March 16

Re: Pasco to test roadside recycling | March 9 column Pasco County (and its residents) have financial incentives to recycle, but the participation rate is low. Clearly, Pasco County either needs to make recycling mandatory — by making residents r...
Published: 03/13/18