Thursday, July 19, 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

Thursday’s letters: Watch what Trump does ... and what he says

Trump sides with Putinover U.S.A. | Editorial, July 17 Watch what he does — and what he says, too Anyone who still takes issue with the allegation that Donald Trump is temperamentally unfit to be president need only look at his shameful and ...
Updated: 10 hours ago

Tuesday’s letters: Leave fireworks to the professionals

Nobody is scaring birds with fireworks | Editorial, July 16Leave fireworksto the professionalsThe situation with fireworks has gotten completely out of control. I was at Curtis Hixon Park on the Fourth of July, and numerous people were exploding ...
Published: 07/16/18
Updated: 07/17/18

Monday’s letters: Make investment in the Rays an actual investment with an actual return

Paying for ballpark will take teamwork | Editorial, July 12An actual return on investmentMuch attention has been given to the cost of the proposed Rays stadium in Ybor City and who will foot the bill. The three-legged stool of the Rays, the busin...
Published: 07/12/18
Updated: 07/16/18

Sunday’s letters: Stop burning of sugar cane near the Everglades

Florida’s land of black snow | Bill Maxwell column, July 1Don’t burn sugar cane, periodIn this column, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Chris King got a lot of things right about how sugarcane burning negatively impacts the Glades communities w...
Published: 07/11/18
Updated: 07/13/18

Saturday’s letters: The dangerous days before Roe vs. Wade

The reality of back-alley abortions | Column, July 11The dangerous days before RoeI am a 71-year-old retired nurse. I still remember when abortion was illegal and birth control was restricted to married women in the United States. In 1983, I set ...
Published: 07/09/18
Updated: 07/14/18

Thursday’s letters: The Rays’ Ybor City stadium will be magnificent

Rays’ big dream is small ballpark | July 11The new stadium will be gorgeousI had the pleasure of attending the unveiling of the Tampa Bay Rays "next-generation, neighborhood ballpark." I was blown away. As an 18-year resident of Tampa Bay, and ma...
Published: 07/09/18
Updated: 07/12/18

Wednesday’s letters: Let’s prepare Florida’s next generation for the jobs that have been created yet

Make Florida’s workforce globally competitivePrepare for jobs not yet createdIf you aren’t amazed by the speed at which technology is changing our world, just think back 20 years. Would you have imagined cellphones with the capabilities of a laptop c...
Published: 07/09/18
Updated: 07/11/18

Hernando Letters to the Editor for July 13

Re: School meals for all students | July 6 storyParents should pay for their ownThat article really got me to thinking ... why can’t parents feed and care for their own children? When did it become others’ responsibility to do this? No one fed our th...
Published: 07/09/18

Tuesday’s letters: It’s great that Tampa’s Democratic mayor works with a Republican governor

Dems wary of Scott, Buckhorn bromance | July 8It’s not partisan to look out for TampaThe focus of a mayor should be on success in his jurisdiction, no matter the partner, for the citizens who live in his area of responsibility. Mayor Bob Buckhorn...
Published: 07/06/18
Updated: 07/10/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for July 13

Scaring birds with fireworks is a problemThe justification of buying fireworks to scare birds is the biggest problem with fireworks. My wife and I retired to a small pond across from a nature preserve. On a recent holiday, we were enjoying watching b...
Published: 07/05/18
Updated: 07/09/18