Monday, January 22, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Thursday's letters: Obama's record of achievements

Jobs, debt are real issues | Feb. 5, letters

Obama's record of achievements

A letter writer parrots the GOP line that Barack Obama is a "failed president." This argument holds special appeal for Republicans but requires a short memory. Obama inherited an economy that was shedding 750,000 jobs a month, a banking system in ruins and an auto industry on the way out.

His predecessor, by contrast, inherited a budget surplus and a healthy economy. He immediately set about squandering both, then embroiled us in two wars.

In Obama's three years in office, more jobs have been created that in the entire eight years of George W. Bush. We're out of Iraq, bin Laden is dead, the auto industry is profitable and Obama signed health care legislation that eluded his predecessors for nearly a century.

Buck Beasom, Tampa

Midterm exams stir debate | Feb. 5

Help students to learn

The current method of midterm testing, while admirable in that it seeks to ensure that all students receive the same amount of course material, does an injustice to many Hillsborough County students. It is my understanding that the test is prepared before the start of the school year. It would be a tremendous help if the general review sheet and class syllabus for all high school courses were posted on the district website for all to access at the start of the school year.

In many instances, students receive the review/syllabus just a few short weeks before the exams. This results in either a homework overload or many nights of self-teaching for the student to be able to achieve a passing grade. Advanced notice of what the exam will contain would aid the student in learning.

J.R. Parrish, Tampa

Scene from hell | Feb. 5

Vivid reporting

The Times did a great job of giving us a glimpse into the stories of those involved in the tragedy that occurred on I-75 due to the fog and smoke.

The question that needs to be investigated is: Who made the decision to reopen I-75 under those conditions? This is the second time in recent history that this has happened. We must stop repeating these preventable tragedies.

Jack Byers, St. Petersburg

Why Obama is wrong | Feb. 8, commentary

Selective moral outrage

American Catholics decided for themselves decades ago to ignore admonitions against contraceptives. Today they should ignore the bishop's attack on the Affordable Care Act. The people are the church, not the bishop.

Where, I wonder, is the moral outrage at the death and suffering caused by lack of insurance? Where is the concern for families bankrupted by medical bills? What is the morality of denying coverage because of a prior diagnosis?

These moral dilemmas occur every day. The question of the place of contraceptives in ordinary medical care was settled years ago for Catholics as well as all other citizens.

Mark Morris, St. Petersburg

Hospice pioneer dies of cancer | Feb. 5

Pioneer in caring

I add my voice to the chorus in honor of Mary Labyak, a pioneer in the hospice care movement, whose leadership earned her international respect. While her recent passing brings sadness, her legacy inspires many to follow her teachings.

My association with Mary goes back some three decades when I learned that she provided a vision for end-of-life care that transcended cultural boundaries.

Mary saw no limitation to the need for families to understand that death is a natural part of life. Under her loving leadership of Suncoast Hospice, family members of all ages were given the opportunity to join together to give emotional support to one another in time of great stress and sorrow.

Mary Labyak's life's work was to give us the tools to trust one another and provide a safe and secure passage as we say our final goodbye to those we love.

Jack Levine, Tallahassee

Florida Legislature

Doing businesses' bidding

Republican state Rep. Rachel Burgin recently introduced a bill that requests the federal government to reduce taxes for corporations. The bill was written by a group named the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, which is funded mostly by large corporations in an effort to get legislation passed that benefits them.

Burgin apparently forgot to delete the part of the bill that stated it was written by ALEC, and she immediately withdrew the bill. A day later she introduced the same bill, minus the paragraph referring to ALEC as the authors of the bill.

Burgin withdrew the first bill because she apparently didn't want to appear to be a stooge for large corporations. It would seem that as a legislator, Burgin is more interested in assisting large companies than in representing her district.

George Petrick, Riverview

Campaign 2012

Europeans free to choose

I wish presidential aspirants and others would stop demeaning our European allies, friends and cousins because they choose to live in a different form of society. I think the wealthy, the corporations and the religious don't want us to see, feel or understand life in a social democracy (we may like it and want it). The Europeans generally have better health care and education, infrastructure and transit, guaranteed vacations, longer lives, etc.

I don't see these civilized people clamoring for change to mean-spirited, survival-of-the-fittest American capitalism. They are democracies, free to choose.

John Culkin, St. Petersburg

January hiring spurt lifts markets | Feb. 4

Behind the jobs numbers

Everybody seems overjoyed at the recent release of unemployment numbers at 8.3 percent. However, the painful truth is in the detailed numbers.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics said the Labor Participation Rate has dropped to 63.7 percent. This is the percentage of people employed or looking for work compared to the total of the age-eligible population. This is lowest it has been since 1981. This indicates that the lower jobless rate is driven by people simply giving up looking for work.

We are by no means "out of the woods" when it comes to getting America back to work.

Joe Wareham, Tierra Verde


Monday’s letters: Tampa Bay deserves rail as an option

New transit option: BRT | Jan. 12Tampa deserves rail as an optionI was disheartened by Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn’s statement about his exhaustion with public transit discussions. It sounds like the government of Tampa has given up on ever realizin...
Published: 01/21/18

Sunday’s letters: Bay area shortchanged on foster care funds

Opioid crisis herds kids to foster care | Jan. 9Bay area foster care shortchangedAs mentioned in this article, the growing opioid epidemic is unfortunately bringing more children into the Florida foster care system. While substance abuse has hist...
Published: 01/20/18

Saturday’s letters: It’s not the word, it’s the racism

Presidential precedent | Jan. 14It’s not the word; it’s the racismThe Times went in the wrong direction and printed information that is rather useless. And that is strange. You usually get it right.I am talking about President Donald Trump’s prof...
Published: 01/19/18

Friday’s letters: Help for boaters against modern-day ‘pirates’

Marine towing and salvageHelp against modern-day piracyAs an avid recreational boat owner and sixth-generation Floridian, I know there’s no better way to enjoy our state’s spectacular waters than taking your boat out. Unfortunately, the fun of boatin...
Published: 01/17/18
Updated: 01/18/18

Thursday’s letters: All Americans need health care

Doctor: Trump got perfect score on cognitive test | Jan. 17All Americans need health carePresident Donald Trump’s extensive health exam has apparently declared him physically fit for office. As I was reading about the battery of tests he received...
Published: 01/17/18

Wednesday’s letters: St. Petersburg’s culture, vibrancy impresses

St. PetersburgImpressive culture and vibrancyI recently visited Tampa Bay and celebrated New Year’s weekend in downtown St. Petersburg. I was awestruck by what I encountered and experienced. It has been several years since I last visited, and the tra...
Published: 01/16/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for Jan. 19

Re: Walking leads to shocking catalogue of trash | Jan. 12 column Bring back anti-littering campaignJust came back from the beautiful, clean city of Singapore, where there is a $1,000 fine, plus community service for littering. I think a presiden...
Published: 01/16/18
Tuesday’s letters: Trump’s accomplishments unheralded

Tuesday’s letters: Trump’s accomplishments unheralded

President Donald TrumpAchievements go unrecognizedAre Americans even aware that our economy is healthier and growing much faster, that ISIS has been defeated and lost their territory, that China and other countries are buying more American goods and ...
Published: 01/16/18

Monday’s letters: Don’t be fooled by drilling turnaround

Deal blocks drilling off Fla. | Jan. 10Don’t be fooled by turnaroundWhile I am very grateful that Florida has been taken off the table regarding offshore oil drilling, it is clear this is a political move to champion Gov. Rick Scott as he conside...
Published: 01/14/18

Sunday’s letters: Left wing late to the #MeToo cause

#MeTooDemocrats come late to the causeThe Times devoted an entire page to the #MeToo issues on Sunday. The ironies here for longtime observers are nearly boundless. Twenty years ago, folks like myself were called "prudes" and worse because we found P...
Published: 01/13/18