Saturday, February 24, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Thursday's letters: Signs of GOP radicalism were apparent

The GOP left me | Dec. 16, commentary

She should have seen it coming

As a liberal, I've enjoyed Paula Dockery's columns for the Times since she left politics. I often finish her pieces asking myself, "She seems like a thoughtful, reasonable person of conscience. What in the world was she doing as a Republican legislator in Tallahassee?"

I respect her dismay for what the GOP has become, and the domestic jihad it wages against the poor, women, people of color and, lately, facts and political dissent. But when she made her choice to sign up, the party had long since shown its colors as the protector of the rich and the ground force of capitalism at any cost, including the perversion of democracy. The GOP might not yet have been the party of Trump and Bannon, but it was squarely that of Lee Atwater, with Newt Gingrich and Karl Rove on deck. But I get it; a red wind was coming to Florida's Capitol, and she had a career to start.

Dockery has my sympathy and often my ear, but if she'd heeded history when she was picking her home team, she might not today be looking back as someone who helped make the mess we're in.

Andrew McAlister, Temple Terrace

The GOP left me | Dec. 16, commentary

Working toward better life

The Democrats have long suppressed job growth by ensuring that all prospective workers are provided all the "entitlements" that effectively make staying at home monetarily more attractive than actually working.

Now Democrats are pushing for a higher minimum wage, arguing that these newcomers must have an adequate wage to support a family. The minimum wage was never meant to support anyone but the worker, and then only while he or she continued an education to vault into a better position and start thinking about supporting a family.

It's appalling to look at a family today, with everyone going their separate ways and those lucky enough to have a job seeing no escape to a better future. To them, it's much better to fall back on unemployment insurance, visit the food bank and hang with their friends than to work to gain the experience to advance to better-paying jobs.

Americans, we can do better!

Roger H. Oddson, Sun City Center

U.S. ties Putin to hacks | Dec. 16

Stretching the facts

It seems typical of most of the media that any misstatement that will bring attention is okay to publish. This headline says the United States tied Vladimir Putin to computer hacks, and yet in the very first line of the article it states that the Obama administration "suggested" that Putin personally authorized the hacking. "Suggested" and "ties" are quite different.

Today, it seems that all media are more concerned with attention-grabbing headlines rather than doing research and publishing the actual news. This goes for both sides of the aisle.

Vern Von Werder, Largo

Trump's Cabinet

Experience should count

It seems the choices for Cabinet positions come down to personal accomplishments and contacts, not necessarily governmental experience. While this may constitute some people's idea of "draining the swamp," it leaves many others unsettled.

For instance, Ben Carson for housing secretary? Based on what? Having raised himself up from meager beginnings? It's a nice story, but how else is he qualified? It isn't just Carson. How is Steve Bannon qualified? Rex Tillerson and others? What have these men, and women, done to gain our trust and confidence?

Since I drove a 40-foot-long bus through Manhattan traffic for 25 years, with nary an incident, maybe I'm too qualified to submit my name for consideration as secretary of transportation?

Allan A. Love, New Port Richey

Florida Constitution

Respect the three branches

As state leaders begin shaping their agendas for both the coming legislative session and the soon-to-be-named Constitution Revision Commission, a discussion of a proposal to impose term limits on all judges has arisen.

Term-limiting judges greatly concerns the Florida Bar and should concern all Floridians. The three, co-equal branches of our state government require that we have a fair and impartial judiciary free from political influence or persuasion. We also need judges who have the experience and temperament to deal with the many complex issues that confront our citizens today.

The shared goal of ensuring that each branch respects the sovereignty of the others is a fundamental concept of our democracy. Florida's comprehensive constitution revision process also provides a critical reminder that all three branches must be empowered and protected to serve every Floridian in the spirit in which they were designed.

As we enter a new year that will be filled with challenges and opportunities, the Florida Bar looks forward to working closely with the Legislature and the Constitution Revision Commission to ensure that all branches of our state government are productive and responsive to citizens.

William J. Schifino Jr., president, Florida Bar, Tallahassee

Pier's ballooning budget | Dec. 16, editorial

Focus on the essentials

St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman should be more concerned with the needs of the city of St. Petersburg than in leaving a monument to his legacy — the pier. Our sewage system is in dire need of repair yet he wants to spend $14 million on enhancements to the new pier project.

Mary Ellen Reichard, St. Petersburg

Howard Frankland bridge plans, in Legos Dec. 15

Animated explanation

Loved your Lego-animated explanation of the DOT misdirection concerning the Howard Frankland bridge. Now if you could do something similar with Lincoln Logs explaining the 2016 presidential campaign, we'd all be grateful!

Vince Piccolo, Largo


Sunday’s letters: Slogans won’t ensure safety

LegislatureSafety requires more than slogansOn Wednesday, our Florida House passed House Bill 839 requiring all public schools to post the state motto, "In God We Trust," in a "conspicuous place." The day before, the same Florida House declined to ev...
Published: 02/24/18

Saturday’s letters: Preserve home rule in Florida

LegislaturePreserve home rule in FloridaOn behalf of the members of Business Watch, a trade association for government contractors, I would like to voice our dismay over the Legislature’s wholesale attack on home rule. As local government contractors...
Published: 02/23/18

Thursday’s letters: Second Amendment is outdated

Second AmendmentCongress can act on firearmsThe Second Amendment is outdated, since it is predicated on the need for a "well regulated militia." Militias are defined as civilian soldiers trained under the command of competent military leadership. The...
Published: 02/20/18
Updated: 02/22/18

Wednesday’s letters:

House Bill 21Opioid proposal merits supportIn 2016, Florida recorded 952 heroin-related and 1,390 fentanyl-related deaths. Four in five new heroin users began by misusing prescription pain medications, also known as opioids. Despite the widespread op...
Published: 02/20/18

Hernando Letter to the Editor for Feb. 23

Re: Hernando business leaders push to loosen development rules | Feb. 9; Re: Deny Brooksville mine expansion, planning commissioners say | Feb. 16Wish to register my opposition to both the draft of the new Hernando County Comprehensive Plan that elim...
Published: 02/20/18

Tuesday’s letters: Making politics personal is one way toward reasonable gun control

The Parkland shootingMake gun politics personalAs an educator of 32 years, it encourages me to see our young people engaged after the horror at Stoneman Douglas High School. The tragedy at Parkland has awakened the sleeping giant that is the millenni...
Published: 02/19/18

Sunday’s letters: Congress must act on firearms

Deadly toll: 17 | Feb. 15Congress must act on firearmsIt’s time for Congress to be counted.The failure of Congress to act to: (1) limit access to assault rifles and (2) require meaningful background checks for all gun purchases is appalling.Surel...
Published: 02/17/18

Monday’s letters: Call it by its name: terrorism

Deadly toll: 17 | Feb. 15Call it whatit is: terrorismLet’s just call it what it is. It’s terrorism. No school in the country is immune. They all have procedures for sheltering in place or emergency evacuation from a shooter. It’s prudent to be pr...
Published: 02/16/18

Saturday’s letters: Payoff to porn star not front-page news?

Lawyer: I personally paid porn star | Feb. 14Where we’re at: This is 4A newsOnly under the Trump presidency does a story about the president’s lawyer paying off a porn star to cover up an affair with the president show up on page 4A. Never mind t...
Published: 02/16/18

Friday’s letters: Water quality too important to gamble on

State to update water rules | Feb. 10Don’t gamble with water safetyI wondered whether this front-page article was an early April Fool’s joke. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection "updated" its pollution regulations in 2016, with str...
Published: 02/15/18