Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Thursday's letters: Times is rewarding, enriching

Tampa Bay Times

Times is rewarding, enriching

Since moving to the Tampa Bay area as a young man more than 35 years ago, I can think of only one constant in my life (other than my wife): having the St. Petersburg Times in my hand.

In the beginning I read mostly sports, jobs, local news, entertainment, police reports and business. As my life changed with children, and I became self-employed, I added a few things like local and national politics.

I am proud to say it has enriched my life, because when I placed an ad in the Times for my new business, and it worked, it helped me to succeed. The ad reps were great people who helped in that regard.

Culturally, I have learned many things in the Times; socially, I was able to converse about many subjects I read about. Occasionally, I would even write an opinion letter to vent or express a view.

Overall, it has been rewarding and enriching to my life, and I feel that some of the longtime reporters and writers are my friends, whom I dearly need to hear from!

I've just reached a number where I have to stop calling myself middle-aged, but as long as I can get up and go to my driveway, I will start my day reading the St. P … I mean Tampa Bay Times. Keep the presses going, the reporters writing, the classifieds selling, and the editors editorializing, because I can't wait to read what the new year brings.

Jerry Tetro, Seminole

New $5 parking fees start | Jan. 3

Taxes by another name

Welcome to the wonderful world of Republican taxes. The new park fees for Pinellas County went into effect Tuesday.

Add this to the higher insurance rates from Citizens Insurance Corp., which is a co-owner of the Republican Legislature along with other financial institutions and special interest groups; the new charges, for their lack of oversight, from Progress Energy (a company that also owns the Public Service Commission); to name just a few Republican taxes, and one can see the Republicans are not at all as tax-shy as they so often claim.

Ronald Reagan — excuse me for a moment while I genuflect at the mention of his name — called taxes "revenue enhancements." As Shakespeare once said, "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet." Taxes are taxes no matter what Republicans choose to call them.

R.R. Campbell, St. Petersburg

Lift state gun law's cloak of secrecy Dec. 30, editorial

Don't inform the criminals

The logic of publishing the names and addresses of individuals who have obtained a concealed weapons permit escapes me. Perhaps we should also publish an additional list of any expensive electronic equipment, jewelry and other valuable personal belongings that a criminal might be searching for.

Statistics prove that as the percentage of legally armed citizens goes up, crime goes down. Of course, those statistics may change dramatically as soon as the bad guys know where to find the tools of their trade.

John Kauzlarich, Largo

System works fine already

The assertion that Florida's concealed weapons permit program lacks accountability, based on a New York Times review of another state's database, is the most "disturbing" aspect of this Tampa Bay Times editorial.

It fails to articulate a single compelling reason, other than idle curiosity, to publicly identify the 878,174 Floridians with such legal capacity. The knowledge that your "neighbors, estranged spouses or co-workers could be packing" would not address public safety, since every qualified Floridian may legally own and transport guns in anonymity.

Similarly, the claim of public disclosure being necessary to ensure accountability in the proper issuance of such licenses is hollow given that many of a potential applicant's disqualifiers are not public record.

There are many good reasons for maintaining the current confidentiality, including the significant percentage who are current or former law enforcement officers, or because doing so would create a de facto directory of "homes likely to contain one or more firearms" for criminals to target.

Florida now subjects every prospective applicant to fingerprinting, a criminal background check, and proof of minimum levels of knowledge and skill proficiency — a much higher standard than obtaining a driver's license, which, by the way, is also shielded from public disclosure.

Florida provides broad information such as licensee demographics, geographical distribution, total licenses issued, revoked, suspended and denied.

According to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services' website, the program has denied 648 licenses, revoked 354 and suspended 1,551 for disqualifying arrests or DUI over the past six months. Additionally, the department responds to records requests from editorial boards and the general public for other aggregate information such as the number of licensees committing gun-related crimes.

Instead of denouncing our current system using North Carolina data from the New York Times, perhaps a well-informed, fact-based presentation of the current situation in Florida might be in order?

Foster Harbin, Lloyd

Honor all who saved Jews | Dec. 30

Courage and humanity

I was touched by Eva Weisel's story about Khaled Abdul Wahab, who rescued her and her family from the Germans in Tunisia. By any standards, his actions merit him being designated as one of the "righteous" protectors. At risk to himself, he provided shelter, sustenance and comfort to Jewish families. Although Abdul Wahab may have been so far denied recognition for his courage and humanity by the commission, I know he is enjoying his just reward in the afterlife.

Deborah Green, Sun City Center

12 phrases on avoid list for '12 | Dec. 31

Four to bring back in 2012

While Lake Superior State University lists phrases like "baby bump" and "man cave" to be eliminated in 2012, my wish for the new year is to bring back these words: happiness, health, prosperity and stability.

Edward Coombs, St. Petersburg


Thursday’s letters: On immigration there has to be a better way

‘Zero tolerance’ ignites outrage | June 20Find better way on immigrationOver the years I’ve voted for candidates from both parties. My observation of the Trump administration’s policy on immigration is not about politics. It has to do with having...
Updated: 9 hours ago

Wednesday’s letters: Charters and traditional public schools each have their place

Public school as public good | Letter, June 17Both kinds of schools can workAs a mother and grandmother of children raised in both traditional public and charter schools in Pinellas County (and a 25-year supporting-services employee for public sc...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/20/18

Tuesday’s letters: Keep programs that fight AIDS

For author Biden, it’s a father’s gift | June 6Keep programs that fight AIDSAfter former Vice President Joe Biden’s recent visit to St. Petersburg, I noticed an article that he co-wrote with former Sen. Bill Frist. It reminded everyone about the ...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/19/18

Is anyone watching the money?Hernando County’s budget shortfall is ever changing going from $6 million to $11.5 million to $14 million to what is assumed a final number of $12.6 million. Who knows the budget shortfall could change again.Who’s watchi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Re: County OKs solar zones | June 8Plea ignored at solar plant hearingThe Pasco County Commission on June 5 voted to identify a utility-sized solar electric plant as a "special exception" use on agricultural-zoned land in Pasco County. What thi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Monday’s letters: Skip those plastic bags and save the environment

To save our seas, overcome congressional apathy | Column, June 16Do your part and skip plastic bagsEvery day we read about the shame of our landfills and oceans filling up with plastic bags, yet most people don’t care. My wife and I always carry ...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

White House defends splitting up families as ‘biblical’ | June 15The suffering of the childrenI am a mother and attorney with more than 20 years of practice living in Tampa. For the past three years, I worked as a magistrate in a Unified Family C...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Saturday’s letters: Community-based care requires community involvement

Fix foster care, and do it quickly | Editorial, June 15Involve the community itselfWhile the detailed article about the scathing state review of Hillsborough County’s foster care problems touched on leadership, a critical point was not addressed....
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Friday’s letters: Freight trains are infrastructure that works in Tampa Bay

Railroads are infrastructure that worksFreight trains carry the loadCentral Florida is our state’s fastest-growing region. We’re on track to outpace South Florida’s growth 2-to-1 over the next several years. Great news for our local economy, but it n...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Thursday’s letters: Charter schools aren’t the enemy

Don’t plug your ears when schools ask for tax | May 20, columnCharter schools aren’t the enemyAs an educator, I am astounded when I hear claims from school board members that charter schools take away funding from the local public school system. ...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/14/18