Thursday, December 14, 2017
Letters To The Editor

Tuesday's letters: A need for revenue, by whatever name

Tax hikes back on the table | July 6

A need for revenue, by any name

For over a year we have heard credible economists telling us we cannot cut spending enough to get balanced budgets — not at the local, state or federal levels.

St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster is one of many leaders, including those in Europe, who are finally admitting more revenue is needed in addition to responsible spending. To kindly increase revenue, he could do like Gov. Rick Scott and other more experienced politicians, that is, call revenue-enhancing measures "tolls," "fees," "user fees," "assessments," "mandates," "penalties" or other terms that do not sound like tax increases. New or higher taxes are bad; tolls are good.

Additionally, if we allowed big, profitable corporations to pay their fare share of fees and assessments (see, no taxes) instead of giving them "incentives" that bypass contributing needed revenues, maybe we could start to see more money for schools, roads and other city services. Mr. Mayor, please do not raise taxes on citizens, then give away more incentives to big corporations.

Terry Hammonds, Dunedin

Woman survives leap from Skyway | July 6

Responsible reporting

Thanks to the Tampa Bay Times and reporter Michael Finch II for following many of the guidelines for responsible media reporting on suicide. The guidelines are intended to reduce the risk of additional suicides and encourage anyone who might be at risk of suicide to seek help.

Reporting should refrain from providing details about what the person did or how he or she did it, and offer hope by noting that suicide is a preventable public health issue. Many treatment options are available for mental health problems and substance abuse, found to be causes of suicide in a majority of related deaths.

The list of risks and warning signs in the sidebar is a partial one. Internet resources are available at the Suicide Prevention Resource Center ( for those who need additional information. Responsible reporting by the media saves lives. Thanks for doing your part.

Joanne Herrygers, Land O' Lakes

Weeny bit of smashing news July 6, Daniel Ruth column

Colliding with facts

I want to offer my congratulations to Daniel Ruth for getting the "Luddite of the Year" award for his column regarding the Higgs boson discovery. It was just awe-inspiring to see Ruth stand on the rooftops and proclaim "I don't understand science and neither should you!" There are many of us who understand what an amazing discovery this was in the world of particle physics, but Ruth is not among them.

It was laughable to see him relate that particle physics is learned in biology class, and that physicists are "petri dish types." C'mon, Dan, what high school did you attend? If you are going to diss the discovery, at least get your terms right!

Well, at least I can be thankful that Ruth wasn't around when Einstein published the theory of relativity.

Brian Hathaway, Valrico

The science of a smile

Daniel Ruth continues to be a breath of fresh air in a stale world. His views about the recent Higgs boson discovery perfectly expressed my feelings. I have no idea what a proton, photon, or even a futon is — I think that last one is for napping, right? However, I do know I can embrace my weekend with a smile on my face, thanks to Mr. Ruth.

Michael Harris, Safety Harbor

Health care act

Scott should follow law

Gov. Rick Scott has been making the media rounds vowing to ignore the steps that Florida must take to move forward with the new health care law. By ignoring the laws of the United States, he has not only broken his commitment to the people of Florida, he has made a mockery of his oath. And how many millions of taxpayer dollars did he waste fighting it?

Danielle Stutts, Tampa

Alabama lands Airbus plant | July 3

Florida lagging on jobs

Our fellow Southern states have been able to attract large, lucrative corporations that contribute substantial revenues to the tax base. Alabama's recent announcement that Europe's Airbus will build a factory in that state, along with South Carolina attracting Boeing and BMW, speaks loudly to how those states have been able to economically boost themselves through strong state government leadership.

Gov. Rick Scott and his Department of Economic Opportunity have not brought significant job growth or substantial corporate relocations since the last elections. Although the governor travels to Israel, Spain, etc., no real growth for Florida has occurred from his journeys.

In the next two years, the governor needs to lead and bring significant corporate start-ups or relocations. That is the only way Florida can keep with the economic engines of our neighboring Southern states.

Ron Frankel, St. Petersburg

Lifeguards are just that | July 7, editorial

Beware of the risks

Concerning the Hallandale lifeguard who was fired for leaving his assigned post to rescue a swimmer on a nonprotected beach, let me propose a hypothetical situation. Suppose a mother with a couple of children wanted to take her kids to the beach. Knowing her children can't swim well, she decides to take them to a beach where a lifeguard is on duty rather than another beach that's posted as nonprotected. While at the beach, one of the children is caught in a riptide and is washed out to sea. Unfortunately the child drowns because the lifeguard who's supposed to be watching this beach is off rescuing a swimmer on an unprotected beach where there's no lifeguard. Can you even begin to imagine the lawsuits against the city, the county, and the lifeguard company that would result from this event?

It's hard to tell a trained lifeguard that he's not allowed to go to the aid of a swimmer in trouble, but on the other hand, that lifeguard has an obligation to the people he's hired to protect. When people swim on beaches where there's no lifeguard on duty, they assume a certain elevated level of risk. They're aware of the risk when they go to that beach, and they must be prepared to accept the consequences of that decision.

A.T. Barnard, Beverly Hills


Thursday’s letters: Trump’s values hardly admirable

Finally, a president who cares | Dec. 13, letterTrump’s values hardly admirableThe letter writer is happy to have someone in the White House who "truly cares about our country’s business" and is "unafraid … of mentioning God and religious values....
Updated: 11 hours ago

Wednesday’s letters: Proposal would restore Florida Forever funding

Florida ForeverPlan boosts land protectionMost of us thought funding for land conservation in Florida would be restored when we voted the Water and Land Conservation Amendment (Amendment 1) into law in 2014. It passed easily, with 75 percent of voter...
Published: 12/11/17
Updated: 12/12/17

Tuesday’s letters: Writer should look to his own mistakes

Is anyone ever wrong anymore? | Dec. 8Writer should look to own errorsIn Mitch Daniels’ article about people who have been wrong, he finishes with the statement that our lives would be greatly improved with more people saying, "I was wrong."He mi...
Published: 12/08/17
Updated: 12/11/17

Monday’s letters: Don’t drill in Arctic refuge

Arctic National Wildlife RefugeStop plan to drill for oil in refugeOur nation faces yet another effort to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge reserve to oil and gas drilling. Drilling in the Arctic simply doesn’t make sound financial sense. W...
Published: 12/08/17

Sunday’s letters: Tax bill puts U.S. on right course

The GOP’s regressive tax plans | Dec. 5, editorialTax bill puts U.S. on right courseThe Times is already crying wolf over the new tax cuts, claiming that the new laws "could" result an increase in the national debt of $1.5 trillion over the next ...
Published: 12/07/17

Pasco letters to the editor for Dec. 15

Re: Helping Others Fulfills our purpose here on Earth | Nov. 17 guest columnThe good doctor acknowledges a CreatorThank you for publishing Dr. Rao Musunuru’s guest column. As Congressman Gus Bilirakis said in the Congressional Record, this good d...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/13/17

Saturday’s letters: Don’t inject political money into churches

Tax billKeep political cash out of pulpitA provision buried in the 429-page House tax bill, Section 5201, nullifies the Johnson Amendment, which protects houses of worship from partisan politics by prohibiting them from endorsing or opposing politica...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/07/17

Friday’s letters: Most unpopular tax bill ever

Tax bill clears Senate | Dec. 3The most unpopular tax bill ever"Democracy dies in darkness" is the motto of the Washington Post. At 2 a.m. on the dark morning of Sunday, Dec. 3, 51 Republicans approved the most wildly unpopular tax bill in U.S. h...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/07/17

Thursday’s letters: Give your child the gift of reading

Fatherhood Involvement in Literacy CampaignGive your child the gift of readingPart of a successful game plan in sports is identifying plays that can put points on the scoreboard. Whether I was playing quarterback at Florida State or running the point...
Published: 12/05/17
Updated: 12/06/17

Wednesday’s letters: Bill gives small businesses tax relief

Tax bill clears Senate | Dec. 3Small businesses get tax reliefThe Senate and House have now passed their respective tax bills. Once Congress sends a final package to the White House, President Donald Trump will deliver us the most powerful tax re...
Published: 12/04/17
Updated: 12/05/17