Monday, May 28, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Tuesday's letters: Act would protect big cats, humans

Big cat ownership

Act protects big cats and humans

There is an epidemic of irresponsible big cat ownership in the United States that causes unimaginable animal suffering and appalling threats to human safety. Thousands of lions, tigers, leopards and other big cat species are owned by private individuals and unqualified exhibitors. For this reason, the Big Cat Public Safety Act was introduced in Congress to prohibit the ownership of big cats by private individuals and unqualified exhibitors.

Big cats kept in homes and disreputable zoos are part of a terrible cycle of breeding and dumping animals. These big cats are deprived of everything that is natural and important to them. Private owners often purchase big cats as cute cubs from breeders and then isolate, mutilate or neglect them when they grow too big to handle. The cats suffer from confinement in cramped spaces, inadequate veterinary care, malnutrition and lack of enrichment.

Furthermore, if and when these pets escape, people can be attacked, injured or killed. In the past decade, there have been hundreds of dangerous incidents in the United States involving big cats, including hundreds of human injuries, maulings and deaths.

The Big Cat Public Safety Act is a commonsense solution to this dangerous and cruel problem, and it is time for Congress to take action. We need laws for all animals, as we are their voices.

Patti Schultze, Lutz

Health care reform

Is democracy dead?

I want the entire GOP membership of the U.S. Senate to know I am totally disgusted with the way they are jamming through their version of the Affordable Care Act repeal and replace bill. No women. Behind closed doors. No one knows what is in it. No hearings, debates, chances for amendments. Just write it, get the vice president in to break a tie, and pass it before anyone can evaluate it. Are we being run by pirates? Have the Russians compromised the Senate? Disgraceful!

Gloria Garber, Naples

Disabled citizens at risk

The American Health Care Act, passed by the U.S. House and being debated in the U.S. Senate, proposes to cut $880 billion in Medicaid funding. In addition, it proposes to fund Medicaid through a block grant system where states will receive a preset amount to take care of their state's Medicaid population. This means that if health care costs are higher than the amount received from the federal government, the state will either have to make up the difference with state money or cut services or eligibility rules to make the program work with the money received.

As co-chair of the Florida Alliance for Assistive Services & Technology and a caregiver for a child with disabilities, I know what's at stake for the disability community. For over 50 years, Medicaid has served as a safety net for the approximately 740,000 children and adults with disabilities. Services provided include long-term care, nursing homes and assistive technology helping to maintain or improve the function of individuals with disabilities.

Programs for children with special needs requiring special education are at risk. Cuts to the current Medicaid-matched funding will put Florida's school districts in a precarious position.

The proposed cuts will further reduce payments to providers, resulting in more doctors pulling out of Medicaid altogether.

Florida's disabled citizens deserve better, and our legislators should not rush to implement a law hurting our most vulnerable citizens without weighing the cost in lives.

Karen Clay, Tallahassee

Trump urged to answer for tapes | June 12

Playing games with public

Donald Trump's behavior, and persona, revealed long before his campaign for the presidency ever began, can be succinctly summed up thusly: vile, infantile, imbecile. Of late, his "teasing" Americans about the existence — or nonexistence — of recordings of his conversations with James Comey demonstrates that he cares far more about showmanship than the gravely serious issues America faces due to his grotesquely bad judgment and absence of character.

Adults "put up or shut up." We know he is incapable of doing the latter, and he clearly will play silly, childish games while we wait — in vain? — for him to do his version of the former.

Morry Bornstein, Seminole

Trump's constant turmoil

Since Donald Trump came onto the political scene, the dominating conversation and energy is about his issues instead of our nation's issues.

Fellow citizens, we are wasting precious time. Please send him back to the turbulent private sector where he belongs. America needs stability.

Doug Hicks, Tampa

Chances are slim to none

The chances of Donald Trump testifying about his meetings with James Comey are about the same as the chances that he will release his income tax returns.

Larry Bush, Tampa

Tune in next week

President Donald Trump is treating the presidency like a television show. He issues a "teaser" before former FBI director James Comey's testimony that there might be tape recordings of Comey's conversations with Trump. Then after Comey testifies, Trump adds to the teaser saying Comey lied in his testimony about their conversations. When asked if he has tape recordings of their conversations, he replies, tune in next week, same time, same channel, and you will find out.

When Kevin Spacey was promoting this season's release of House of Cards and was asked how it compares to Trump's presidency, he replied, "We have better writers." Trump seems to have pretty good writers too and knows how to string along an audience to watch next week's episode.

Mark A. Brown, Brandon


Monday’s letters: NFL finally listens to its fans

NFL moves to endanthem protests | May 24NFL’s action comes too lateThe NFL owners are, after two years, finally growing some courage.Before these kneel-downs became the elephant in the room, team owners could have taken action to minimize the imp...
Published: 05/24/18
Updated: 05/25/18

Sunday’s letters: As Jews, we should not be afraid to criticize Israel

Published: 05/24/18
Updated: 05/25/18

Saturday’s letters: Bayshore fatalities didn’t have to happen

After two fatalities, speed limits cut | May 25Cameras needed on BayshoreOnce again, two pedestrians have died as the result of careless drivers who were speeding. Once again, the Times and other media outlets are filled with opinions about the c...
Published: 05/23/18
Updated: 05/25/18

Friday's letters: Thanks to jurors for fulfilling civic duty

May is Juror Appreciation Month Thanks, jurors, for your service Trial by a jury of one’s peers is among the bedrock guarantees that make our representative democracy exceptional. Without it, the courtroom fates of defendants and civil litiga...
Published: 05/23/18
Updated: 05/25/18

Thursday’s letters: Heated chemotherapy won’t treat most ovarian cancers

Heated chemotherapy has promising results | May 16Cancer treatment not a cure-all While we were pleased to see the story about ovarian cancer treatment, we are concerned that the article could mislead many patients. The treatment described has be...
Published: 05/22/18
Updated: 05/24/18

Wednesday’s letters: A princess gives us a lesson to live by

Royal treatment | May 21Princess offers advice for us allThe radiant and joyful Princess Anna Noela Lokolo of the Democratic Republic of Congo, recent Eckerd College graduate, has given us a huge gift in her parting words. "If people have a negat...
Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/23/18

Hernando Letters to the Editor for May 25

Re: Central High School bomb threat suspect to be tried as adult | May 4Angry mob rhetoric not helpfulWe have observed the public discourse surrounding the case of Mizella Robinson with increasing unease. A sampling of the more common sentiment...
Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/22/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for May 25

Re: Proposed TECO Solar Plant Opposed to the TECO solar plantAs a 21-year resident and property owner, I am writing in opposition to the proposed Tampa Electric Company solar plant in rural northeast Pasco County.The solar plant will be .2 miles from...
Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/22/18

Tuesday’s letters: If you don’t like the Electoral College, then amend the Constitution

The popular vote | May 20, letterIf you don’t like it, amend ConstitutionA recent letter supports the idea that a state should be able to change its Electoral College vote to match that of the national popular vote winner as opposed to the result...
Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/22/18

Monday’s letters: Focusing on the mental state of shooters misses the point

Texas high school shooting | May 18Criminals, angry people kill peopleSchool shootings are a distinctly American phenomenon. But shootings by people with serious mental illness represent less than 1 percent of all yearly gun-related homicides in ...
Published: 05/19/18
Updated: 05/21/18