Monday, May 21, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Thursday's letters: Nation waking up to dangers of religious right

A whole lot of nobody's business | Feb. 24, commentary

Waking up to religious overreach

Columnist Connie Schultz is rightfully upset by what she perceives as the integration of the religious right's morals into public policy via the political pandering of the Republican Party.

And it's not just Schultz who is upset. Everywhere there seems to be a general backlash by women's groups of all stripes regarding the invasion into private lives by the government. Schultz and women everywhere should be concerned about Rick Santorum and his policies, but they shouldn't be surprised. The religious right, by taking over the Republican Party, has long sought to impose its morals.

Finally, it seems, decent people everywhere have come to realize the dangers of allowing government control over bedroom issues.

Douglas E. Smith, Riverview

An unsettling assault

The assault on the separation of church and state is unsettling. First, St. Petersburg Bishop Robert Lynch attempted to unduly influence federal and state judges to overturn portions of the health care law.

Then Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum talked about imposing church views upon the entire country. Now comes Luanne Panacek, CEO of the Children's Board of Hillsborough County, spreading "holy oil" in her government office after hours to exorcise a demon.

Isn't it time to say "enough already" to the uber-religionists?

Chuck Hudson, Tampa

Obama: Fixing fuel problems isn't easy Feb. 26

Heavy toll of taxation

The next time you fill up your gas tank think about this: In Florida, we pay 52 cents per gallon in taxes. Of that, 18.4 cents per gallon goes to the federal government. Maybe it's time for some tax relief for our citizens, who have to buy gas as a necessity, not a luxury.

There are so many hidden taxes that most of us don't know about, such as phone, cable, power, cigarettes, alcohol, to name a few. So as our politicians talk about the income tax rates, they should consider these taxes as part of that picture to give us a true idea of how much we really pay.

Dennis Donnelly, Lutz

New face of motherhood | Feb. 26

Cautionary tale

Thanks to Jamie Lee Zehnder for showing the bleak reality for most women of what it means to be a single mom in 2012. It sure ain't the Hollywood version. But in the article, Ms. Zehnder claims to have "realized she really could do this on her own" about a year and a half ago. Respectfully, if you are receiving welfare and living with your parents rent-free, you are not "doing this on your own." The father should also know that since his child needs welfare, then the child-support payments he makes are obviously insufficient.

I hope Ms. Zehnder agrees that hers is a cautionary tale despite the fairy-tale ending, because not all single moms will be as lucky as her to find and marry a man who has his priorities straight. My wife and I sincerely wish Ms. Zehnder all happiness and success in her upcoming marriage.

Thomas Rask, Seminole

The professor learns that history trumps ideology | Feb. 27

Lessons in public service

Thank you for the great article on the behind-the-scenes operations by the Senate president. Our elected senators and representatives are sent to Tallahassee to do what is best for their district and the state of Florida and to exercise independent thinking — not to be a rubber stamp for the leadership. Pinellas County is fortunate to have independent thinkers like Sens. Jack Latvala and Mike Fasano to represent us.

Tom Anderson, former state representative, Dunedin

Florida Legislature

Attack on women's rights

The Florida Legislature is at it again, once more introducing bill after bill — 10 this year — to limit women's access to health care.

Last week, committees in both the House and Senate passed versions of an omnibus bill that would add more unnecessary government regulation on abortion providers and in so doing drive up the cost of reproductive health care.

The bill would ultimately restrict health care providers like Planned Parenthood from providing lifesaving cancer screenings, birth control, sexually transmitted infection testing and treatment, and other preventive health care services by preventing new health centers from opening.

While pretending to care about women's safety, legislators are attacking women's health and rights with this legislation designed to drive abortion providers out of practice — which will only force women to turn to unsafe options.

This anti-women's health agenda is being pushed through the Legislature at a time when Florida women already face grave obstacles when seeking access to affordable, quality health care. A recent study released by the Florida Association of Planned Parenthood Affiliates reveals that Florida women's health is already at serious risk. Key findings in the report reveal:

• Nearly 2 million women across the state do not have health insurance.

• Almost a third of the people living with HIV/AIDS in Florida are women.

• There are nearly a quarter-million unintended pregnancies each year in Florida.

• Women and communities of color are disproportionately impacted by the health care crisis in the state.

Sara Scher, Tampa


Monday’s letters: Focusing on the mental state of shooters misses the point

Texas high school shooting | May 18Criminals, angry people kill peopleSchool shootings are a distinctly American phenomenon. But shootings by people with serious mental illness represent less than 1 percent of all yearly gun-related homicides in ...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Friday’s letters: Putnam and Publix, two P’s lose my nod

Publix pours cash to Putnam | May 17A pleasure to shop elsewhereMy family and I moved to Tampa in 1974, and have made Publix our favorite grocery store ever since. Forty-four years! That is why it makes me a little sad to have to say goodbye.Firs...
Published: 05/18/18

Saturday’s letters: For Florida to move forward, focus on a healthy and sustainable environment

Tampa’s future is bright | May 12Protect Florida, boost economyThis past year, Florida set another record-breaking year for tourism, welcoming more than 116 million visitors. While Florida boasts a unique quality of life and more than 1,300 miles...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/18/18

Sunday’s letters: What conservatives stand for

How can conservatism survive after Trump | May 13, Nickens columnhed#6324 I think it obvious that traditional conservatism was squeezed out of the 2016 campaign narrative and has become a niche thesis owned by a small group of intellectuals. A gr...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/18/18

Friday's letters: Putnam and Publix, two P's lose my nod

Publix pours cash to Putnam | May 17 A pleasure to shop elsewhere My family and I moved to Tampa in 1974, and have made Publix our favorite grocery store ever since. Forty-four years! That is why it makes me a little sad to have to say goodbye. F...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/18/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for May 18

Re: Pasco panel okays Tampa Electric solar farm after five-hour meeting | April 9 storySolar farm offers many positivesThere has been much publicity regarding the proposed TECO Mountain View solar project slated for 350 acres in East Pasco that was r...
Published: 05/14/18

Thursday’s letters: Florida has arguably become the autonomous vehicle capital of North America

Autonomous vehicles in FloridaThe state for self-driving carsAlmost overnight, Florida has arguably become the autonomous vehicle capital of North America. In the last three months, Voyage, a self-driving taxi service, has begun service in the Villag...
Published: 05/12/18
Updated: 05/17/18

Wednesday’s letters: Florida’s Community Health Centers save $1.78 for every dollar spent

Florida’s Community Health CentersHealth centers are a great dealIf you gave someone a dollar and they gave you back $1.78, wouldn’t you consider that a fantastic deal? That’s the deal Florida’s Community Health Centers provide for the state’s citize...
Published: 05/12/18
Updated: 05/16/18

Monday’s letters: Good ideas to fix schools still require enough money

Another plan for faltering schools | May 9The right ideas, cash still neededThe administration of the Hillsborough County School District should be applauded for persistent efforts to find the right formula to improve educational results of stude...
Published: 05/09/18
Updated: 05/14/18

Saturday’s letters: Short-sighted prison cuts hurt society

Call to rethink prison cuts | May 10Short-sighted prison cuts hurt societyThe Florida Department of Corrections is dismantling successful substance abuse and re-entry treatment programs to fix a $28 million shortfall. The short-sighted action wi...
Published: 05/09/18
Updated: 05/11/18