Tuesday, May 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


Hernando Letters to the Editor for May 25

Re: Central High School bomb threat suspect to be tried as adult | May 4Angry mob rhetoric not helpfulWe have observed the public discourse surrounding the case of Mizella Robinson with increasing unease. A sampling of the more common sentiment...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Pasco Letters to the Editor for May 25

Re: Proposed TECO Solar Plant Opposed to the TECO solar plantAs a 21-year resident and property owner, I am writing in opposition to the proposed Tampa Electric Company solar plant in rural northeast Pasco County.The solar plant will be .2 miles from...
Updated: 4 hours ago

Tuesday’s letters: If you don’t like the Electoral College, then amend the Constitution

The popular vote | May 20, letterIf you don’t like it, amend ConstitutionA recent letter supports the idea that a state should be able to change its Electoral College vote to match that of the national popular vote winner as opposed to the result...
Updated: 9 hours ago

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 ...
Published: 05/19/18
Updated: 05/21/18

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