Saturday, February 24, 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

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