Tuesday, August 21, 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


Wednesday’s letters: UF no longer kills birds to protect crops at its experimental farm

Documents show 150 birds killed to protect university work | Aug. 21UF no longer kills birds at test plotThe headline on this story, though factual, obscures a more nuanced truth. The University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sci...
Updated: 8 hours ago

Tuesday’s letters: Sculpture will be safe for the birds

Sculpture raises bird safety fears | Aug. 14Sculpture will be safe for the birdsIt’s gratifying and exciting to be moving ahead with the design of an outdoor sculpture for the Pier District in St. Petersburg. I want to thank the City Council, cit...
Published: 08/20/18
Updated: 08/21/18

Hernando Letters to the Editor for Aug. 24

Thanks and praiseI would like to say thank you and praise Michael Steele, who oversees code enforcement needs in Hernando County. This man has always been on top of enforcing the codes near us and deserves recognition for the fantastic and profession...
Published: 08/20/18

Friday’s letters: I’ve lived in countries lacking a free press; you wouldn’t want to

Striving to keep truth flowingfor democracy | Editorial, Aug. 16I’ve lived in places lacking free pressMore than half my adult life I’ve lived, worked or studied in countries governed by dictators or authoritarian rulers in Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Ukr...
Published: 08/17/18

Monday’s letters: Why I left the Republican Party

Where is the blue wave of voters? | Aug. 14Why I left the Republican Party I clicked the button. Instantly I was no longer a Republican. I had believed we were experiencing a horrible hiccup in the history of the Grand Old Party. My party had sto...
Published: 08/16/18
Updated: 08/17/18

Thursday’s letters: Cigars are bad for your health

Tobacco rules don’t suit premium cigars | Editorial, Aug. 13Xyxyx xyxy xyxy xyxy xyxy xyxxxThe argument made in this editorial to exempt the premium cigar industry from FDA scrutiny is, in essence: They are not cheap, they are not fruit-flavored,...
Published: 08/13/18
Updated: 08/15/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for Aug. 17

Re: County authorizes takeover of SunWest Park | Aug. 10‘A poor idea from the startWith no fanfare whatsoever, we now have a new park that no one I know ever seems to use or even know where it is. If it is bringing hordes of tourists to our cou...
Published: 08/13/18

Tuesday’s letters: Habitat should help the poor, not hurt them

Habitat lender choice blasted | Aug. 12Help, don’t hurt, poorAs a Habitat for Humanity admirer, donor and volunteer, I was disappointed to read how Habitat for Humanity’s Hillsborough County affiliate reportedly stumbled in delivering its mission...
Published: 08/10/18
Updated: 08/13/18

Monday’s letters: A gun or a vote: danger is relative

‘I went off the deep end’ | Aug. 10A gun or a vote: danger is relativeAt the demonstrable risk of having someone lose his fragile temper, grab his guns, storm out his door and speed to my home to shoot me for saying so (and why NOT, Florida Legis...
Published: 08/10/18

Sunday’s letters: July’s letter of the month is ‘Time for more civil debate.’

July letter of the monthTime for more civil debate"Politics" is an activity which involves power and control, arriving at decisions based on differing interests. Normally, leaders weigh the needs of the individual with the abilities of the country. C...
Published: 08/09/18
Updated: 08/10/18