Saturday, June 16, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Thursday's letters: President oversteps his authority

Obama pre-empts Rubio | June 16

President oversteps his authority

Every newly elected president takes an oath to faithfully execute the office of president of the United States, and to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. Section 3 of Article II of the Constitution says the president is to "take care that the laws be faithfully executed." Congress has the job of passing legislation, which can be signed into law by the president or vetoed.

By issuing an executive order regarding immigrant children brought here by their law-breaking parents through no fault or choice on their part, President Barack Obama has demonstrated that he will only preserve, protect and defend the laws he agrees with and further that he will make law where none existed before — i.e., issuing work permits to an estimated 800,000 illegals.

A year ago he said he had no authority to overturn immigration law on his own. Maybe he consulted with Hugo Chavez of Venezuela and the Castros of Cuba, who convinced him he can ignore laws he doesn't like and issue orders from the Oval Office disguised as policy decisions.

No matter where one stands on immigration, all Americans should be concerned about Obama's disregard for the Constitution and separation of powers.

Sharon Lam, Hudson

Obama pre-empts Rubio | June 16

Obama's political ploy

President Barack Obama apparently believes that the "sermon of compassion" he delivered when he announced his executive order regarding the children of illegal immigrants will effectively disguise an otherwise blatant political sleight of hand from the American electorate until November. With a straight face, he characterized his decision as "not immunity, not amnesty, and not a path to citizenship." Sure.

Most thinking Americans are ambivalent about the plight of children who are brought here illegally by their parents at a young age. While obtaining a high school and/or college education at public expense should not automatically protect these children from existing immigration rules, most all should agree that those children who thereafter serve in the military should be exempt from subsequent deportation.

The real problem is that Obama has usurped the authority of a divided Congress for purely political gain. I only wish Mitt Romney had been as direct in his response. He should stress that Congress will take action upon current immigration issues when we have a president who will lead — not one who files lawsuits against states that attempt to solve their local problems in the absence of federal action, or one who expresses feigned "compassion" in an effort to solidify his political base.

Robert Heyman, St. Petersburg

What Republicans think June 17, commentary

European success story

In his column, David Brooks notes that Republicans look at the financial crisis in Europe and see it as a prelude to what is likely to happen in the United States unless we shift more control of the economy to corporations and big business. Republicans caution that we will go the way of Greece, Spain and Italy unless we significantly cut programs in areas such as education and health care.

But what about Germany? The unemployment rate in Germany is only 5.4 percent and they are the fourth largest economy in the world. Yet the Germans spend substantially more on social programs (25.2 percent of GDP) than the United States (16.2 percent). Most universities in Germany offer free tuition and the Germans have universal health care. As the largest economy in the world, one has to wonder why we can't expand educational opportunities and health care coverage to a level that is at least comparable to the Germans.

Jeff Grabel, Brandon

Unlicensed activity on rise | June 17

Check for permits

In addition to the rising number of unlicensed contractors not pulling permits, keep in mind the growing number of "licensed" contractors who are choosing not to pull permits due to their rising costs. I believe this is going to continue as long as the individual jurisdictions' reaction to the lower number of permits being pulled is to raise the prices. Homeowners beware: Permits are a hassle, they cost you money, but they are designed to protect you.

I believe there should be a bounty put on contractors who are not pulling permits. Legitimate contractors and homeowners could be rewarded for turning in those who profit from doing unpermitted work by splitting a large fine that could be levied against the perpetrators.

Lastly, I would ask everyone to support your local contractors who go to the trouble of doing the right thing by going to school, getting licensed, paying for liability insurance and pulling permits.

David Venier, Seminole

Charter's closure exposes weaknesses June 17

Public education is key

In an era of reduced education budgets, declining teacher pay and a state government that trumpets reduced government spending, the Florida Department of Education last year unveiled a $30 million fund to help subsidize the creation of new charter schools.

Why should taxpayers stand by and watch as Florida Republicans destroy public education, one of the cornerstones of our democracy? Is this what the Founders had in mind?

Karen Knop, St. Pete Beach

Evolving views of creation | June 16

Science shortage

How discouraging it was to see your chart showing under 20 percent of Americans believe in evolution without help of a god. Americans need to get over their ancient superstitions and realize that humans are the dominant animal species because of the primary evolutionary benefit of being bipedal, giving us the greatest warrior abilities in all the animal kingdom.

It's been said that without religion the world would be at least a thousand years more advanced. Our schools have really failed teaching science and thinking skills because of the influence of organized religion.

Francis Prahl, St. Petersburg


Monday’s letters: Skip those plastic bags and save the environment

To save our seas, overcome congressional apathy | Column, June 16Do your part and skip plastic bagsEvery day we read about the shame of our landfills and oceans filling up with plastic bags, yet most people don’t care. My wife and I always carry ...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

White House defends splitting up families as ‘biblical’ | June 15The suffering of the childrenI am a mother and attorney with more than 20 years of practice living in Tampa. For the past three years, I worked as a magistrate in a Unified Family C...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Saturday’s letters: Community-based care requires community involvement

Fix foster care, and do it quickly | Editorial, June 15Involve the community itselfWhile the detailed article about the scathing state review of Hillsborough County’s foster care problems touched on leadership, a critical point was not addressed....
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Friday’s letters: Freight trains are infrastructure that works in Tampa Bay

Railroads are infrastructure that worksFreight trains carry the loadCentral Florida is our state’s fastest-growing region. We’re on track to outpace South Florida’s growth 2-to-1 over the next several years. Great news for our local economy, but it n...
Updated: 12 hours ago

Thursday’s letters: Charter schools aren’t the enemy

Don’t plug your ears when schools ask for tax | May 20, columnCharter schools aren’t the enemyAs an educator, I am astounded when I hear claims from school board members that charter schools take away funding from the local public school system. ...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/14/18

Wednesday’s letters: Trump’s words insult our Canadian visitors

Trade disputes torpedo G-7 summit | June 10Canadian visitors are owed apologyLike many Pinellas County residents, I’m pleased that we receive thousands of Canadian "snow birds" as part-year residents. Not only do they enhance our economy, but by ...
Published: 06/11/18
Updated: 06/13/18

Hernando Letters to the Editor for June 15

Opinion: Commissioners arrogant and incompetentMy wife and I live in Hernando County. As such, we are represented by a Board of County Commissioners where all the members manifest two common traits. Those traits are arrogance and incompetence.The arr...
Published: 06/11/18
Updated: 06/12/18

Tuesday’s letters: Fewer guns would reduce suicides

U.S. under suicide watch | June 8Fewer guns mean fewer suicidesIt is a fact that deserves more attention, but got only one sentence in the article about the U.S. "suicide watch:" "The most common method used across all groups was firearms." I spe...
Published: 06/11/18
Updated: 06/12/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for June 15

New group to address real women’s issuesLast Saturday our Congressman Gus Bilirakis sponsored a "Woman’s Summit" at East Lake High School that was supposed to deal with women’s issues. Some topics covered were gardening, weight loss and quilting.Mayb...
Published: 06/11/18

Monday’s letters: Bring back the ferry, kick-start transit

Cross bay, but who’ll pay? | June 8Ferry could be a gateway to transitIt’s great news that St. Petersburg is committed to bringing back the world class cross bay ferry service. What a common-sense and practical thing to do in order to ease us int...
Published: 06/08/18
Updated: 06/11/18