Saturday, April 21, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Thursday's letters: Pulling together at the shelters

Hurricane Irma

School employees pulled together

We have lived in New Port Richey for 29 years and have never had to evacuate. This time, not knowing how bad the hurricane would be, we chose to evacuate to Longleaf Elementary. While staying at a shelter is not a fun experience, the people there were amazing. A super job was done by all the school employees (Longleaf's and district personnel), the Sheriff's Department and the National Guard. Everyone was so professional and friendly and tried to make it as comfortable as possible. I am very proud to be a school employee and it was great to see people pull together in a difficult situation.

Thanks to all who took care of the hundreds of people at Longleaf; you did a great job!

Paula Cohen, New Port Richey

Hurricane Irma

Good work in shelters

Congratulations on the efforts of our school administrators, teachers, support personnel and volunteers who put aside their personal concerns while manning the hurricane shelters in our schools. Perhaps one of the outcomes of Irma will be for our legislators to realize the value of our public schools and to distribute funding between public and charter schools with this in mind.

Jim Podd, Valrico

Utility did the job

I wanted to let Tampa Electric know how appreciative I am of their service Monday morning. My power was out for only about three hours, and then an automated call came in to make sure my power was back on. Amazing work on restoring the power under very trying conditions.

Ralph McGee, Tampa

Negative into a positive

My husband and I made the decision on Saturday to evacuate our home because of possible flooding. Since we needed to take our cat, we went to the shelter at Fivay High School in Hudson.

This emergency was turned into a positive experience for us. Since this was our first evacuation, we did not know what to expect. We took what we thought was needed, per the Pasco website, along with some food. Accommodations were in the gym. Our cat was in the girls' locker room, which was comfortable, and we could visit all day until 10 p.m.

From the time we checked in to the time we checked out on Tuesday morning, all personnel — from the Sheriff's Department, the National Guard and the volunteers — were at their best. We did not know that meals would be provided by Publix (a big thank-you to them). Every person I came into contact with was pleasant and patient. If anything was needed, you just needed to ask a volunteer, deputy or guardsman and it was handled.

If another emergency situation arises in the future, we would not hesitate to leave our home for this shelter. Job well done!

Diane and Blase Manzo, Port Richey

Focus on the real problem

Gov. Rick Scott handled Hurricane Irma like a true leader. He calmly yet firmly urged residents to evacuate, and warmly reminded them that he would help replace their belongings but couldn't replace their lives.

Unfortunately, Scott, along with President Donald Trump and a other climate change deniers, avoid any acknowledgement or mention of the real problem — climate change. Specifically, the increasing ocean temperature is providing the fuel for unprecedented storms and other volatile weather events.

Believe what you want, but know that Mother Nature will have the last word.

Kimberly Gibbs, Dade City

Hurricane preparation

For next time, tips on pets

Hurricanes Irma and Harvey are devastating reminders that disaster preparedness saves lives. American Humane is urging pet owners to take two simple yet essential steps to ensure you and your animal companions are ready before the next catastrophe strikes.

First, don't forget the basics: Pets should always wear collars and ID tags with their name, a cellphone number and any urgent medical needs. For added assurance, American Humane also recommends microchipping your pet. Remember, microchips aren't GPS devices or location trackers; the devices simply store emergency contact information, which animal owners are responsible for providing and keeping up to date.

Second, American Humane recommends developing a pet-specific disaster plan and evacuation kit, including: an extensive list of safe places that could house your pets during an emergency; a comfortable pet carrier or crate; a favorite toy or comfort item; one-week supplies of water, nonperishable pet food and medications; copies of veterinary records and vaccination history; and recent photos of you holding your pet, which can be used to help verify ownership in case of separation.

To protect your pets, be prepared.

Dr. Robin Ganzert, Washington, D.C.

The writer is president and CEO of American Humane.

No human being is illegal | Sept. 10, letter

Bright line: legal or not

I'll try and simplify it once and for all for all those bleeding heart liberals out there. If you're not in this country legally, then you must be in this country illegally. It's either; it can't be both. If you don't like using that term then change it to something else or better yet change the law. In the meantime, it is what it is.

John Waitman, Palm Harbor


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