Thursday, April 26, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Thursday's letters: TECO execs cleaning up

Help choose August Letter of the Month

Letters to the editor offer a significant contribution to the discussion of public policy and life in Tampa Bay. To recognize some of that work by our most engaged readers, the Times will select a letter of the month and the writers will be recognized at the end of the year.

Help us choose from the nominations for letter of the month for August 2013 by visiting the website listed below by Friday. Read through the three letters and vote on the ballot at the bottom of the web page. We will choose the finalists each month based on relevance on topical issues, persuasiveness and writing style. The writer's opinion does not need to match the editorial board's opinion on the issue to be nominated. But clarity of thinking, brevity and a sense of humor certainly help.

To see the three August nominees and vote, go to

Electric bills may rise $11 | Aug. 31

Executives cleaning up

The utter gall to request customers pay more is beyond my comprehension. I have done some research and was appalled to discover the compensation (base pay, bonus, stock awards and "other") paid to several of the executives at TECO in 2012.

John Ramil, president and CEO, was paid $4,209,890 total compensation. His bonus and non-equity incentive compensation totaled $631,074 or 84 percent of his base pay. Gordon Gillette, president, was paid $1,595,167 total compensation. His bonus and non-equity compensation totaled $852,777 or 62 percent of his base pay. This is outrageous to say the least.

TECO officials need to be held accountable for the manner in which they run their business. They should not be allowed to gouge their customers by paying extravagant executive compensation and then ask for more funding. TECO needs to tighten its belt and look for ways to cut costs internally and become more efficient.

Unfortunately, there is little doubt that the Florida Public Service Commission will approve the increase, and once again the consumer has no say. It's not as if we can choose another electric provider.

Jean Incerto, Tampa

Scott jabs at Crist, taxes | Aug. 31

Invest in Florida

So what is Gov. Rick Scott's new idea for going forward? Another round of tax cuts, of course. Despite the reality that tax cuts have damaged the middle class for the last 30 years and contributed to severe income inequality, and despite the understanding that tax cuts in the good years have led to massive deficits in the bad years, this is the Republicans' only mantra.

There has been no legislation on gun control or health care, and nothing at all to benefit education. Wouldn't it be a much better idea to invest in education, rebuild infrastructure and reduce state college tuition, rather than simply benefiting the wealthy with another round of tax cuts?

Christopher Radulich, Apollo Beach

On Syria, eight questions | Sept. 1

Keep money, troops home

Thank you for running the article by Max Fisher about Syria. I am a Democrat, but this time I agree with the Republicans who are opposed to the United States taking action now. For us to jump in alone and drop a few bombs will not make anything better for those people.

Please start a poll — ask the citizens of Florida whether they support the idea of U.S. intervention or not. Then our lawmakers can know how to vote when they meet in Washington.

I know a lot of people who share my views on this subject, and I think most people simply do not want to get into a war in the Middle East now. We want our troops to come home. And I would like to keep our money here, too.

Dorothy Roper, Dunedin

Aid to understanding

I'd like to thank you for the article in the Perspective section on Syria.

The format you used, providing the eight questions and answers, gave the reader some understanding of the current crisis in the Middle East, and also provided information regarding past problems — how and why we become involved even though we are so very far away.

I have been trying to keep current on these issues and find so much of it overwhelming.

I'm also hoping that teachers in our school system will be using this material in the classroom to help provide the basic understanding of this crisis we are currently dealing with in order to encourage the students to continue to follow these very important current events in history.

Doreen Pirnik, Valrico

Redraw the maps

After reading eight questions on Syria and then David Brooks' column, it appears that the genesis for most, if not all, of the problems the world is experiencing in the Middle East can be traced to the borders established by the colonial powers as they relinquished control after World War I.

It would seem that a solution, needless to say not easy, would be to hold a conference of all the principals in the area and redraw these lines more along the established religious sects.

Of course, this solution would lead to some disruptions, but as it stands now no group in the Mideast seems to be happy with the status quo.

James Donelon, St. Petersburg

Punishment for atrocity

I was totally against any U.S. intervention in Syria — until I turned the page and saw all those dead children lying there without a mark on them. If the president wants to bomb those responsible for that atrocity, he has my blessing.

John Waitman, Palm Harbor

Labor Day

The forgotten worker

America has two holidays that act as bookends for the summer season: Memorial Day and Labor Day.

On Memorial Day we remember our war dead, and rightfully so. Memorial Day is alive and well.

Labor Day is intended to recognize the people (most of us) who work for a living. But what happened to that idea? You don't hear a peep about honoring the people who built the nation's roads, cars or other products.

If "innovation" and "free market" are magic words, then "worker" and "labor" are dud words. As we value ownership and inheritance more and more, we value actual work less and less. Labor and workers are just the losers in the musical-chairs game of capitalism. Labor Day is now an excuse for a mattress sale, and nothing more.

Scott Cochran, Tampa


Thursday’s letters: A surgeon responds to story about a needle being left in a baby’s heart

All Children’s surgeon left a needle in a baby’s heart | April 22My view as one of the surgeonsI am one of the physicians discussed (but not interviewed) in this article. Whatever the motive for such an article, I disagree with many of the claims...
Published: 04/23/18
Updated: 04/26/18

Wednesday’s letters: How we plan to improve foster care in Hillsborough

Improving foster care inHillsborough | April 19, editorialOur plans for helping kidsThis editorial poses many good questions. The Department of Children and Families’ peer review report is expected to be released soon. And while we welcome the an...
Published: 04/23/18
Updated: 04/25/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for April 27

Stop Ridge Road extension, reader saysWhen I spoke at the Dade City meeting of the Pasco County Commissioners on my opposition to the Ridge Road Extension, three of them responded, but only when my three minutes of free speech expired, and I could sa...
Published: 04/23/18

Monday’s letters: Term limits don’t work

U.S. Senate campaignTerm limitsdon’t workGov. Rick Scott has begun his run for the U.S. Senate with TV ads promoting term limits for representatives and senators. Aside from the probability that this would require a constitutional amendment, I think ...
Published: 04/22/18
Updated: 04/23/18

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

Tuesday’s letters: Student journalists push to save their newsrooms and independence

Save student newsroomsAs professional newsrooms shrink, student newsrooms have become an increasingly important source of local coverage, holding not only our universities accountable but also local government. We write these articles, attending meet...
Published: 04/20/18
Updated: 04/24/18

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