Monday, May 21, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Thursday's letters: Three ideas to revise the state Constitution

Constitution Revision Commission

Three ideas for Florida's Constitution

Florida college students gathered at the University of Florida for three days last month to participate in the Bob Graham Center for Public Service's Future of Florida Summit. The summit focused on the upcoming Constitution Revision Commission, a 37-member body appointed every 20 years with the unique power to place constitutional amendments on the ballot.

Participants worked with panelists to come up with amendment ideas. Three amendment ideas were chosen for submission to the Constitution Revision Commission: increase the mandatory retirement age for judges to 75; eliminate the write-in loophole in elections, which allows write-in candidates to "close" primaries that would otherwise be open and allow all registered voters to participate; and change elected constitutional officer positions in non-charter counties to nonpartisan

The groups' proposals were judged based on the clarity of the amendment and ballot summary text, the plausibility it would receive the required 60 percent approval, the amendment's constitutional worthiness and the quality of the presentation. The three amendment ideas that will be forwarded represent common sense improvements to the state's Constitution.

T.J. Pyche, Gainesville

Corcoran's clout | March 5

Support public schools

I would thank House Speaker Richard Corcoran for exposing the wasted tax money the governor wants for his two pet projects, Enterprise Florida and Visit Florida. Who knew that the head of Visit Hillsborough makes as much as a university president? Unfortunately Corcoran is doing a far greater disservice to the citizens of Florida. He is out to gut one of the ideas that has made our country what it is today: a free high-quality public education. The plan would gut public education in the name of "school choice." I always felt public education was the great mixer in our society. You meet people of differing religions, color and social standing. From the beginning, I felt school vouchers were nothing more than an attempt to divert what should be public tax money into religious schools.

F.M. Younglove, Brandon

GOP criticizes health plan | March 8

We'll talk about it

Yes, it would appear that not all Republicans agree with the proposed health plan. It is the first draft. Unlike the Democratic sheep led by Nancy Pelosi, we Republicans may actually discuss a new plan. Novel concept.

Mary Wuerth, Valrico

In harm's way | Feb. 25

Keep guns off campus

As a mother of a Florida college student and a retired educator, I am strongly opposed to the "guns everywhere" bills in front of our Legislature. I have never met a parent of a college age student who asked for this legislation.

A 2015 USF-Nielsen Sunshine State Survey found that 73 percent of Floridians indicated that allowing students to carry concealed weapons on campuses was a move in the wrong direction. I recently met a professor who resigned because of the threat to free speech that guns pose in a classroom.

My daughter is much safer on her campus as patrolled by trained, professional, police officers who know how to respond if necessary. Our state legislators should be working to keep our citizens safe, not doing the bidding of the NRA.

Nancy Millichamp, Treasure Island

St. Petersburg Grand Prix

Not a race track yet

As a resident of downtown St. Petersburg, I am actually looking forward to the grand prix since the amount of noise in the city might decrease. This past year there has been a noticeable increase in the number of very loud motorcycles and cars roaming the streets, particularly in the late afternoon and evening. I wonder what the drivers are trying to prove by being such a nuisance?

Donald Cunningham, St. Petersburg

Firearm fiction | March 7, Hiaasen column

Gun facts, not fiction

Never has a column been more aptly titled. It truly does represent the triumph of fiction over fact. Dozens of people have been gunned down in churches, schools, nightclubs and other designated "gun-free" zones. This is fact. Being gun-free didn't save anyone's life in those places.

Carl Hiaasen may be correct that it's a Hollywood fiction to think that a good guy with a gun will be able to stop a bad guy with a gun, but the proven fact is that the gun-free designation didn't stop anything.

John S.V. Weiss, Spring Hill

Guns and make-believe

I would like to commend Carl Hiaasen for his well-written article. We live in a world where technology makes movies and games seem so realistic that we come to believe anything is possible. However, life is not a fictional game that can be turned off at will. I believe this article captured the essence of what should be a grave concern to our society.

Katherine Di Guiseppi, New Port Richey

Legislature opens

Watch Tallahassee

As the 2017 Legislative session opens, I am keeping score on the votes on issues of importance to me. I will not vote for anyone who supports open carry of weapons in public places and especially on campuses.

I will not vote for anyone who votes to further limit women's health-care issues. I am not for abortion, but I cannot understand why any woman should have to ask the government what she can do with her body.

I will further be watching to see who votes to keep our waterways clean and our environment pristine. And, yes, I am a fiscal conservative who wants maximum value for every dollar expended. I will also be watching educational issues. I hope that every voter out there will let them know what is important to them and hold them accountable at the polls.

Connie Kone, St. Petersburg

Comments

Monday’s letters: Focusing on the mental state of shooters misses the point

Texas high school shooting | May 18Criminals, angry people kill peopleSchool shootings are a distinctly American phenomenon. But shootings by people with serious mental illness represent less than 1 percent of all yearly gun-related homicides in ...
Updated: 8 hours ago

Friday’s letters: Putnam and Publix, two P’s lose my nod

Publix pours cash to Putnam | May 17A pleasure to shop elsewhereMy family and I moved to Tampa in 1974, and have made Publix our favorite grocery store ever since. Forty-four years! That is why it makes me a little sad to have to say goodbye.Firs...
Published: 05/18/18

Saturday’s letters: For Florida to move forward, focus on a healthy and sustainable environment

Tampa’s future is bright | May 12Protect Florida, boost economyThis past year, Florida set another record-breaking year for tourism, welcoming more than 116 million visitors. While Florida boasts a unique quality of life and more than 1,300 miles...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/18/18

Sunday’s letters: What conservatives stand for

How can conservatism survive after Trump | May 13, Nickens columnhed#6324 I think it obvious that traditional conservatism was squeezed out of the 2016 campaign narrative and has become a niche thesis owned by a small group of intellectuals. A gr...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/18/18

Friday's letters: Putnam and Publix, two P's lose my nod

Publix pours cash to Putnam | May 17 A pleasure to shop elsewhere My family and I moved to Tampa in 1974, and have made Publix our favorite grocery store ever since. Forty-four years! That is why it makes me a little sad to have to say goodbye. F...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/18/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for May 18

Re: Pasco panel okays Tampa Electric solar farm after five-hour meeting | April 9 storySolar farm offers many positivesThere has been much publicity regarding the proposed TECO Mountain View solar project slated for 350 acres in East Pasco that was r...
Published: 05/14/18

Thursday’s letters: Florida has arguably become the autonomous vehicle capital of North America

Autonomous vehicles in FloridaThe state for self-driving carsAlmost overnight, Florida has arguably become the autonomous vehicle capital of North America. In the last three months, Voyage, a self-driving taxi service, has begun service in the Villag...
Published: 05/12/18
Updated: 05/17/18

Wednesday’s letters: Florida’s Community Health Centers save $1.78 for every dollar spent

Florida’s Community Health CentersHealth centers are a great dealIf you gave someone a dollar and they gave you back $1.78, wouldn’t you consider that a fantastic deal? That’s the deal Florida’s Community Health Centers provide for the state’s citize...
Published: 05/12/18
Updated: 05/16/18

Monday’s letters: Good ideas to fix schools still require enough money

Another plan for faltering schools | May 9The right ideas, cash still neededThe administration of the Hillsborough County School District should be applauded for persistent efforts to find the right formula to improve educational results of stude...
Published: 05/09/18
Updated: 05/14/18

Saturday’s letters: Short-sighted prison cuts hurt society

Call to rethink prison cuts | May 10Short-sighted prison cuts hurt societyThe Florida Department of Corrections is dismantling successful substance abuse and re-entry treatment programs to fix a $28 million shortfall. The short-sighted action wi...
Published: 05/09/18
Updated: 05/11/18