Tuesday, January 23, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Thursday's letters: Use bay for transit improvements

Before ferry sails, many questions | Feb. 24

Use bay for transit improvements

After reading the cautionary editorial on the proposed ferry between south Hillsborough County and MacDill Air Force Base, I encourage the Hillsborough County Commission to think big on transit. We have such a beautiful bay area, and to ignore this wonderful asset for transit purposes defies logic.

On a recent trip to Australia, my husband and I saw examples where cities such as Brisbane and Sydney make full use of their waterways.

In Brisbane, a river runs through the city and there are at least four ferry services, one of which is free. The fast catamaran ferries constantly crisscross the river and provide low-cost or free transit for students, business people and tourists. Brisbane has converted its riverfront to a dynamic presence that provides athletic, cultural and business benefits. You can take a ferry basically anywhere in the downtown area due to the many docks on both sides of the rivers. It's an impressive system.

In Sydney, the waterfront is well-known. The city operates large ferries that are constantly in use to benefit residents and visitors.

I agree that the feasibility needs to be studied. I also believe that, if the commission thinks big — and involves the city of St. Petersburg in its planning — the benefits for tourism, a reduction in traffic, and a pleasant way to get across the bay in either direction will be fully realized. Not only will south county residents working at MacDill have a stress-free way to and from work, but the service will grow because it makes so much sense. I urge approval of this idea as the first step in addressing the transit needs of our lovely area.

Gail Carroll, Belleair

Jolly, Sink turn aggressive | Feb. 26

Regional representation

The claim by David Jolly that Alex Sink is an interloper who won't be able to effectively advocate for the citizens of Pinellas County is negated by the fact that already a large swath of St. Petersburg, the largest city in the county, is represented (seemingly ably) by a representative from Hillsborough County. Without getting into the gerrymandering that carved out this dense, mixed-income, multicultural section of the city into the 14th District in the first place, I would say the needs of Pinellas and Hillsborough counties are similar enough from a national perspective that a representative from either county can adequately convey the needs of the region, as is already being proven by the representative we have in place.

Rebecca Davis, St. Petersburg

Barriers to democracy

The Pinellas congressional debate on Tuesday morning at the Capitol Theatre in Clearwater among Alex Sink, David Jolly and Lucas Overby was a rare chance to see the candidates debate. Too bad the public wasn't informed that they were not welcome. Though the event was highly promoted, it seems that pre-registration was required. Citizen involvement is key to a strong democracy. Why the barriers?

Cherie Collins, Clearwater

Nuke plant tubes show wear | Feb. 23

Technical assessment

I was very impressed with Ivan Penn's front-page article on the Florida Power & Light nuclear plant at St. Lucie and the erosion in the steam generator tubes. By presenting the science and technical issues so well, Penn enables readers to make informed decisions. We can weigh FPL's judgments about safety versus costs with a much better understanding of the situation. This kind of reporting is why the Times is the best paper in Florida, and one of the best in the country.

Guy Hancock, Largo

Virtual money, real woes | Feb. 26

Money for nothing

One of the most trusted Bitcoin exchange sites shut down unexpectedly, with allegedly 740,000 Bitcoins missing as a result. In October 2013, the FBI shut down the "Silk Road" website and confiscated Bitcoins stored there. In November 2013, the SheepMarket was closed unexpectedly, with allegedly $100 million worth of Bitcoins disappearing.

When a Bitcoin exchange site closes without warning, the site's "wallet" disappears with all the deposits. Imagine if you went to your brick-and-mortar bank to find it closed and all the deposits gone. It's the same thing, except with Bitcoins you may not be able to follow the money trail due to encryption.

These thefts/confiscations constitute some the most expensive thefts of currency in world history. Shouldn't there be better reporting and disclosure of the fact that, from Bitcoins' inception until now, they have proved not to be a secure currency?

Al Gallo, Holiday

Pot shots start over medical marijuana Feb. 25

Debate veers into comedy

The debate on the medical marijuana issue is getting downright comical. The experts on public policy and the antidrug advocates are funny enough, but the true comedian in this circus is John Morgan. I was ready to believe that his motives were pure and that the only reason he is spending so much of his own money on this issue is his love and concern for the sick and dying. However, it's hard to imagine there is not some economic reward waiting at the end of this cannabis rainbow.

Then to use God as a rebuttal argument? God put the plant on Earth for man because he knew it would work? Really?

Finally there are the youths who are suddenly so interested in a political issue. It's inspiring, isn't it? Although I doubt many of them will take a similar interest in the David Jolly/Alex Sink race. It couldn't be they see this as a pathway to a future legalization of marijuana for recreational use, could it?

This just proves once again that no matter what the subject matter, everyone has their own agenda.

Thomas Parnell, Tampa

Dangerous drilling | Feb. 25, letter

Noise, not pollution

A letter trying to scare people about fracking cited a Wall Street Journal article about the Exxon chairman's suing to stop fracking near his personal estate. The reason stated in the article was the "noise nuisance and traffic hazards" from the heavy trucks that would be needed. That's a different reason from what the letter wanted us to infer.

Tom Miller, Clearwater


Do you have a gold star yet?

Do you have a gold star on your Florida driver’s license, and are you REAL ID compliant?Florida is a federal REAL ID compliant state, which means that driver’s license and identification cards here meet federal law as to security standards and confir...
Published: 01/22/18

Monday’s letters: Tampa Bay deserves rail as an option

New transit option: BRT | Jan. 12Tampa deserves rail as an optionI was disheartened by Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn’s statement about his exhaustion with public transit discussions. It sounds like the government of Tampa has given up on ever realizin...
Published: 01/21/18

Sunday’s letters: Bay area shortchanged on foster care funds

Opioid crisis herds kids to foster care | Jan. 9Bay area foster care shortchangedAs mentioned in this article, the growing opioid epidemic is unfortunately bringing more children into the Florida foster care system. While substance abuse has hist...
Published: 01/20/18

Tuesday’s letters: Diagnosis by journalist playing doctor

Trump’s sanity grades | Jan. 19, commentaryAn inept journalistic diagnosisI was worried the Tampa Bay Times wouldn’t find someone qualified to rebuke the findings of noted physician Dr. Ronny Jackson. To the rescue came the brilliant Gail Collins...
Published: 01/19/18
Updated: 01/22/18

Saturday’s letters: It’s not the word, it’s the racism

Presidential precedent | Jan. 14It’s not the word; it’s the racismThe Times went in the wrong direction and printed information that is rather useless. And that is strange. You usually get it right.I am talking about President Donald Trump’s prof...
Published: 01/19/18

Friday’s letters: Help for boaters against modern-day ‘pirates’

Marine towing and salvageHelp against modern-day piracyAs an avid recreational boat owner and sixth-generation Floridian, I know there’s no better way to enjoy our state’s spectacular waters than taking your boat out. Unfortunately, the fun of boatin...
Published: 01/17/18
Updated: 01/18/18

Thursday’s letters: All Americans need health care

Doctor: Trump got perfect score on cognitive test | Jan. 17All Americans need health carePresident Donald Trump’s extensive health exam has apparently declared him physically fit for office. As I was reading about the battery of tests he received...
Published: 01/17/18

Wednesday’s letters: St. Petersburg’s culture, vibrancy impresses

St. PetersburgImpressive culture and vibrancyI recently visited Tampa Bay and celebrated New Year’s weekend in downtown St. Petersburg. I was awestruck by what I encountered and experienced. It has been several years since I last visited, and the tra...
Published: 01/16/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for Jan. 19

Re: Walking leads to shocking catalogue of trash | Jan. 12 column Bring back anti-littering campaignJust came back from the beautiful, clean city of Singapore, where there is a $1,000 fine, plus community service for littering. I think a presiden...
Published: 01/16/18
Tuesday’s letters: Trump’s accomplishments unheralded

Tuesday’s letters: Trump’s accomplishments unheralded

President Donald TrumpAchievements go unrecognizedAre Americans even aware that our economy is healthier and growing much faster, that ISIS has been defeated and lost their territory, that China and other countries are buying more American goods and ...
Published: 01/16/18