Lionfish invasion growing | May 9
Offer bounty for invasive species
I am a resident of New Jersey's barrier island community of Lavallette. Our residents, like Floridians, have a deep concern for the ecological well-being of our surrounding waters. My local paper published a similar article recently to this one in the Times about the lionfish invasion in Florida waters.
The implementation of a lionfish bounty hunting program would be a step in the right direction to control this invasive species. A monetary bounty would be placed on a per-fish basis to incentivize divers. The bounty would need to take into consideration the divers' costs and how many fish an experienced diver could collect to make the monetary gains substantial enough to attract experienced divers.
I hope this article does not fall on deaf ears. This problem is not naturally occurring, and the marine ecosystem is in dire need of our help.
Bert Hawkins, Lavallette, N.J.
Governor just won't take no for answer May 11, John Romano column
Drug test: small price to pay
John Romano is way off the mark on this one. Gov. Rick Scott has every right to test people who expect to collect money from the taxpayers. My friend's daughter just joined the Air Force. She now works for the government. She has routine drug tests, and there is no getting around it.
I know countless other people who work for companies who are drug-tested. What is it about you bleeding hearts who think that just because someone is poor or a minority or unemployed that somehow anything we make them do is unjust or demonizing?
If you want a free check every week from the government, there should be some reciprocity. A drug test is a small price to pay. We have half the country on some type of government assistance. That is disgraceful.
Linda Wade, Palm Harbor
Don't fast-track this deal
President Barack Obama was in Asia recently, desperately trying to broker support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership despite growing opposition at home and abroad. This secretly negotiated "free trade" agreement would encompass 40 percent of the global economy and change the face of trade for many years to come.
Corporations and labor are starting to unite in a struggle to add currency regulation to the TPP text, a sticking point among several trading partners. Sixty-seven free-trade proponents in the U.S. House recently signed a letter to Obama demanding that the TPP include protections against currency manipulation.
So far, Obama has been unable to secure such an agreement. Auto manufacturers and workers alike are calling out the deal as being modeled after the failed Korean Free Trade Agreement, passed two years ago. Negotiators promised the pact would increase exports and jobs in the United States, but instead it led to dumping, massive job losses and a trade deficit with Korea $8.6 billion higher since it passed.
The administration needs fast-track authority to pass the TPP, because should the text becomes public, it will die. The Camp/Baucus Fast Track bill is dead; not a single House Democrat will risk sponsoring the hot potato, renamed the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities Act of 2014.
Any bill that would force a quick up-or-down vote on such a massive trade deal before Congress is able to review the content must be viewed with suspicion. Our representatives should debate the TPP using regular order and certainly not fast-track it.
'Check my privilege'? It's not what you think May 6, commentary
No apologies required
Thank you for your excellent choice of this column by the Princeton freshman Tal Fortgang. It was so well-written, and clearly pointed out that many different groups of people have been deprived of their freedoms through forced captivity, torture and death. And as he stated, their sacrifices led others to better lives.
I appreciated that he checked his privilege and apologized for nothing.
Julia Hamilton Simpson, Seminole
Rubio says he's ready to be president May 12
Head in the sand
Sen. Marco Rubio says he is ready to be president in 2016. Let's face it, Rubio has been running for that office ever since he was elected to represent Florida in the Senate. What we need is a senator who is committed to representing Florida and our interests instead of furthering his political ambitions.
The bigger news is that Rubio made remarks that firmly put him in the camp of those who believe no urgent action is needed to prevent further global warming to preserve our planet. He has adopted the classic "head in the sand" attitude, which is not what our state — surrounded by water and filled with beautiful natural springs and wildlife — needs or deserves.
Deborah Green, Sun City Center
Try doing your job first
In an interview on ABC's This Week, Sen. Marco Rubio declared that he did not believe that climate change was due to human activity. He also said he did not believe any laws that would be passed to alleviate the impact that humans were having on the climate would do anything except destroy the economy.
Finally, having disappointed every science teacher who ever tried to teach him anything, Rubio announced he was ready to be president.
Rubio ought to try doing the job he was elected to do. That does not take a degree in science — only common sense and a touch of compassion.
Jeff Thofner, Tampa
Selling out their future
Sen. Marco Rubio has four young children. Climate change will affect his children far worse than it will affect him.
It is shameful that he would sell them out on this important issue just to advance his political career.
Kevin McLean, Tampa