Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Tuesday's letters: A vote for regression, intolerance

Panel rejects couple listing | Jan. 25

A vote for regression, intolerance

I recently moved to Hillsborough County and have spent the better part of the last year bragging to friends and family about how proud I am of my new home.

That pride was shattered by the Hillsborough County Commission's rejection last week of a domestic partnership registry. I could not be more ashamed of this community. The four "no" votes were a step backwards — signaling regression, hate and intolerance. History will mark these commissioners' place alongside the bigots and extremists of other eras.

The fight is far from over, and in the end we will win. Good and right always do. The four commissioners had their chance and failed. But now we know where they stand and we can move forward.

Kaitlyn Little, Tampa

Panel rejects couple listing | Jan. 25

Inclusion is good business

On the same day that the Hillsborough County Commission was meeting with the principals of the Tampa Bay Rays, a vote to allow county residents a domestic partnership registry was being defeated. The Rays should remind the commission that the Rays is an inclusive organization and that this vote is not in line with those values.

Twenty years ago, the NFL informed Ye Mystic Krewe that the NFL would not tolerate having the Super Bowl associated with an organization that was not inclusive. So too should Major League Baseball and the Tampa Bay Rays remind the county that there are consequences to its acts as well.

Jeff Thofner, Tampa

New 'fluoride four'

Hillsborough County commissioners need only look across the bay to see where this decision will lead them.

I am not sure how to rank the stupidity of this vote compared to the fluoridation vote in Pinellas County, but the end result will be the same: Luddite commissioners looking for a new job come election day.

Leonard C. Silva, St. Petersburg

Beyond the bay | Jan. 25

Things are looking up

Based on the continued positive economic news that the stock market is up, the housing market is up and unemployment claims are down, it is apparent that President Barack Obama's economic policies are effective.

The Times reported that the number of Americans filing for unemployment has fallen to its lowest level in five years. Do we remember how grim everything looked when Obama took office in January 2009? It is amazing what he has been able to accomplish these past four years, especially considering the amount of vitriolic opposition he has faced.

Everyone should contact their congressional representative and insist they work with instead of against our president. If he can accomplish this much with the considerable opposition he has faced, imagine what he could accomplish if the House and Senate worked with him. United we stand, divided we fall.

Mary Bright, Tampa

Let vote pick PSC board, bill says | Jan. 25

Step toward reform

Marking your ballot to choose a legislator is like buying a lottery ticket. Chances are you're going to end up with a loser. Occasionally, very occasionally, the voter lucks into a winner. So it is with Rep. Dwight Dudley and the bill he filed allowing voters to pick Public Service Commission members.

Except when the commission was populated with several of Gov. Charlie Crist's appointees, the PSC has leaned probusiness. Recently, thanks to a very compliant Legislature and an abundant amount of utility company campaign cash, the PSC has become a wholly owned subsidiary of the state's power companies. How else can you explain a state government that allows utility companies to extort money from ratepayers to pay for repairs to a nuclear power plant that the power company itself caused? Or to pay for a nuclear power plant they have no intention of building?

Putting in place a PSC that will honestly represent both the citizens of our state and its utility companies will be an almost impossible journey. Overcoming entrenched political influence, a Legislature that welcomes back-slapping lobbyists, and fast campaign dollars won't be easy. But it appears we have a few public servants who, at last, are willing try.

Gary West, St. Petersburg

Jindal to Republicans: Stop being 'stupid party' | Jan. 25

Denying science isn't smart

It was disingenuous of Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal to tell the Republican Party to "stop being the stupid party" when he himself is contributing to the stupidity. The possible presidential candidate believes that "intelligent design" should be taught in Louisiana's public schools alongside evolution, and that human activities have little impact on global warming. So here we have a science denier calling his own party stupid.

Jindal is a well-educated Rhodes scholar. What a pity he is using his many talents to pander to the right for money, power and votes instead of advancing established science for the betterment of mankind.

Stephen Feldman, Valrico

They bear witness | Jan. 28

Soviet achievement

In this article, the second paragraph is somewhat misleading, noting that Auschwitz prisoner "Phil Gans emerged nearly two years later, liberated by U.S. and Russian soldiers."

As much as I am grateful to the American people for liberating Germany from Hitler's fascism, it is not correct that U.S. soldiers participated in freeing the Auschwitz death camp on Jan. 27, 1945. It is the Soviet army that must be given credit for liberating Auschwitz.

Ruth Defoy, St. Pete Beach

Transportation is key to progress | Jan. 25

We're too spread out

In a recent letter, Jeff Danner, the chair of PSTA, refers to our neck of the woods as a "metropolitan" area. If you Google that term you will find that metropolitan is described as having a densely populated urban core. And indeed, when you think of metropolitan areas — New York, Washington, Los Angeles — that's exactly what they have.

And in those places, the effort and expense to build a robust mass transit system makes perfect sense — to reduce what would be a paralyzing vehicular traffic situation. But can someone point to where such a high concentration of population exists in Hillsborough or Pinellas counties? Without that densely populated urban core, Danner's vision for light rail doesn't seem worth the cost to local taxpayers.

Mark Grosenbaugh, Tampa


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

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

Wednesday’s letters: Trump’s words insult our Canadian visitors

Trade disputes torpedo G-7 summit | June 10Canadian visitors are owed apologyLike many Pinellas County residents, I’m pleased that we receive thousands of Canadian "snow birds" as part-year residents. Not only do they enhance our economy, but by ...
Published: 06/11/18
Updated: 06/13/18

Hernando Letters to the Editor for June 15

Opinion: Commissioners arrogant and incompetentMy wife and I live in Hernando County. As such, we are represented by a Board of County Commissioners where all the members manifest two common traits. Those traits are arrogance and incompetence.The arr...
Published: 06/11/18
Updated: 06/12/18