Saturday, June 23, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Thursday's letters: Residents of Guam are Americans

Threats fly, worry grows | Aug. 9

Guam is part of America

In the mid-1990s, I worked in Washington, D.C., in the governor of Guam's liaison office. Guam is a U.S. territory acquired from Spain after the Spanish-American war. In World War II, Guam was attacked and occupied by the Japanese and the people of Guam were subjected to the worst treatment imaginable. When American forces retook the island in 1944 after a relentless bombardment, Guam's residents waved small American flags that they made from scraps, so as not to be mistaken for combatants.

Guam is not simply a military installation. There are more than 160,000 patriotic Americans on this 200-square-mile island. Guam's people are warm and friendly and their hospitality is extended to all. As a U.S. territory, Guam has one congressional representative who can only vote in committee, not on the floor, yet Guam's voter turnout is the highest in the United States. Guam's people are our people. President Donald Trump does not need to escalate a war of words into a nuclear nightmare. It is time for thoughtful restraint, not white-hot rhetoric. Our fellow American citizens in the Pacific deserve better than to be an afterthought in yet another avoidable conflict.

Sandra Palmer, Tampa

History is a good teacher

Trying to figure out Kim Jong Un is an almost impossible task. In trying to do that and second-guessing his next often illogical move, we should consider some good advice from history. President Franklin D. Roosevelt once said, "Never underestimate a man who overestimates himself." Think about it.

Tony Abbate, Valrico

Once upon a time, Lady Liberty welcomed all | Column, Aug. 8

Families of immigrants

I loved this column by J.M. "Mac" Stipanovich about his grandparents immigrating to this country. My grandfather, John Dlouhy, immigrated to this country in 1891 from what is now the Czech Republic. He established himself in Cicero, Ill., married, fathered two sons and five daughters. Without formal education, he became a contractor and built many buildings in the Chicago area. One son, my father, joined the Army at 17 and served in France in World War I, and I served in the Navy during the Korean Conflict.

Yes, this story can be replicated by millions, however, there is one thing Stipanovich failed to mention, that is his grandparents, my grandparents and the millions came to this country legally, abided by the laws and assimilated.

Robert J. Dlouhy, Lutz

The rules made sense

I immigrated to the United States in 1959. The requirements were that I had a basic understanding of the language and the major segments of government, that I had an occupation that would allow me to be employed, and that I was in good health. I realized this was not the turn of the century when people were desperately needed to work. Rather the country only needed people who would not be a burden on the community and taxpayers and welcomed them. I did not object to their requirements in 1959 and do not object to them now.

Valerie Visnage, Seminole

Our broken economy | Column, Aug. 9

Labor unions for the worker

One important step toward reducing the gap of wealth inequality would be a coordinated effort to significantly increase membership in labor unions. Unions give the less advantaged workers a voice, at least some leverage in negotiating with the company. In the years following World War II this country had a high percentage of unionized labor. There is a direct correlation with that and a historic increase in the standard of living for millions of Americans.

Dan Greene, Weeki Wachee

Rebel statue move stirs memories | Aug. 7

A reconciliation committee

It is becoming increasingly obvious that simply moving Hillsborough County's Confederate monument is not going to satisfy anyone's deeper needs. The statue is the symbol of the deep historical roots of our ongoing racial divide. Only a truth and reconciliation process that thoroughly examines those roots can heal everyone's festering wounds. We need safe public spaces for everyone affected to tell their truths and listen to other's truths about Tampa Bay's history with slavery, the Civil War, Jim Crow, lynching, segregation, unequal housing, failing schools and more.

Reconciliation is an ongoing and messy process. But surely we can convene a skilled group of Tampa Bay leaders to help us start our journey.

Eileen Senn, Clearwater

The president and Twitter

Tweet on, Mr. President

There has been a lot of speculation that retired Marine Gen. John Kelly will help to control the president's urge to tweet. This would match the desire of most Americans.

I offer another viewpoint. I believe the president should keep tweeting. Every speech and every tweet allows us insight into the mind of the president. The tweets allow us to view his grasp of the issues and understand how he treats "friends," peers and rivals. We get to see his knowledge of history and understanding of the law and most importantly we can see his emotional health.

I for one am glad that he shares the scary thoughts in his head with the American people. It continues to shape my opinions and beliefs.

Mike Hughes, Dunedin

Why the chicken adapted | Letter, Aug. 9

Let there be chicken wings

The letter writer seems to have a problem with the word "evolution" in the story about the Ybor City chickens. She says, "The chickens always have been and always will be chickens."

Well, maybe she can answer the age-old question, "What came first, the chicken or the egg?" Did God one day think, "Hmm, I've created cows, but my doctor tells me to eat more fish and poultry. I've got it: chickens!"

Michael Lang, Seminole


Monday’s letters: College instructors need classes in active shooter training

Active shooter perceptions disproven | June 21We need active shooter trainingThe only guns that I had seen before coming to the United States of America were in glass cases in museums. When I came to America to get a Ph.D. in English at the Unive...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/22/18

Friday’s letters: What a new Rays ballpark would mean

Rays exec hints at stadium timeline | June 15What a new ballpark would doThe Tampa Bay Rays 2020 organization is working diligently with local business leaders and civic organizations to rally support for the Rays’ new ballpark in Ybor City. The ...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/22/18

Thursday’s letters: On immigration there has to be a better way

‘Zero tolerance’ ignites outrage | June 20Find better way on immigrationOver the years I’ve voted for candidates from both parties. My observation of the Trump administration’s policy on immigration is not about politics. It has to do with having...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/21/18

Wednesday’s letters: Charters and traditional public schools each have their place

Public school as public good | Letter, June 17Both kinds of schools can workAs a mother and grandmother of children raised in both traditional public and charter schools in Pinellas County (and a 25-year supporting-services employee for public sc...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/20/18

Tuesday’s letters: Keep programs that fight AIDS

For author Biden, it’s a father’s gift | June 6Keep programs that fight AIDSAfter former Vice President Joe Biden’s recent visit to St. Petersburg, I noticed an article that he co-wrote with former Sen. Bill Frist. It reminded everyone about the ...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/19/18

Is anyone watching the money?Hernando County’s budget shortfall is ever changing going from $6 million to $11.5 million to $14 million to what is assumed a final number of $12.6 million. Who knows the budget shortfall could change again.Who’s watchi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Re: County OKs solar zones | June 8Plea ignored at solar plant hearingThe Pasco County Commission on June 5 voted to identify a utility-sized solar electric plant as a "special exception" use on agricultural-zoned land in Pasco County. What thi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

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: 06/18/18

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