Saturday, April 21, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Thursday's letters: Offer bounty for invasive species

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

Trans-Pacific Partnership

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.

Harriet Heywood,


'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


Sunday’s letters: Problems with high-speed rail

Thanks, Gov. Scott, for ghastly I-4 drives | April 18, Sue Carlton columnProblems with high-speed railIn her Wednesday column, the writer bemoaned the traffic on I-4 and blasted Gov. Rick Scott for turning down free government money for a high-sp...
Published: 04/21/18

Saturday’s letters: Don’t weaken rules on fisheries

Florida fisheriesDon’t weaken rules on fish stocksMembers of Congress are proposing changes to an important ocean law, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, that would adversely affect coastal states including Florida.Since it...
Published: 04/19/18
Updated: 04/20/18

Friday’s letters: We owe it to our children to teach them history

If we don’t understand past, future looks grim | April 19, Daniel Ruth columnThe history we owe our childrenIt’s not often I agree with Daniel Ruth, but this article was spot-on. I’m not sure when the schools started ignoring Germany’s World War ...
Published: 04/19/18

Thursday’s letters: Gun research can save lives

Gun ownershipCommon ground: Find the factsThere are many areas in the current debate about guns and gun ownership where both sides must agree to disagree. But there is one area where common ground ought to exist. That concerns the need for continuing...
Published: 04/18/18

Wednesday’s letters:

Poverty and plenty in bay area | April 7, editorialStruggling poor are not a priorityI commend your newspaper for continuing to produce real and relevant news, particularly the recent editorial pointing out that a prospering Tampa Bay should not ...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18

Hernando Letters to the Editor for April 20

Bar Association celebrates Law WeekPresident Dwight D. Eisenhower proclaimed May 1, 1958, as the first Law Day to mark the nation’s commitment to the rule of law. Every year on this day, we reflect on the significance of the rule of law and rededicat...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18

Tuesday’s letters: Stop cooperating with ICE

Sheriff’s ICE policy blasted | April 10Pinellas should end partnership with ICEPinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri recently participated in a community conversation on his controversial agreement with ICE to voluntarily detain immigrants in the...
Published: 04/16/18

Sunday’s letters: The future of oyster production

Shell game | April 15Future of oyster productionThanks to Laura Reiley for an excellent synopsis of the current state of oyster production in Florida. The collapse of the Apalachicola oyster fishery is merely the latest example of the demise of a...
Published: 04/14/18

Monday’s letters: Public education is foundation of the nation

Voters beware of ballot deceptionApril 13, commentarySchools’ role underminedIt was with great pain that I read (not for the first time) that we must be aware of "ballot deception." Public schools were founded to make sure that future generations of ...
Published: 04/13/18

Saturday’s letters: Health Department should butt out

Judge: Grow pot, Mr. Redner | April 12Health officials should butt outThe Times reports that the Florida Department of Health filed an appeal to the decision allowing a man who is a Stage 4 lung cancer survivor to grow pot in his backyard for his ...
Published: 04/11/18
Updated: 04/13/18