Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Tuesday's letters: Amendments betray Republican principles

The 11 amendments on the ballot | Sept. 30

Measures betray GOP principles

The 11 constitutional amendments placed on the ballot by the Republican-controlled Legislature violate the basic principles of the Republican Party. The Republican Party used to believe that less government was better, that decisions should be made at the local level and that constitutions should be respected.

As a group, these amendments create more unchanging government rules, seize decisionmaking from local governments by transferring it to Tallahassee, and change a Constitution that Republicans usually claim should be followed as its writers intended. Real Republicans, those who believe in basic Republican principles, should vote no on the Tallahassee amendments.

Martin Peters, Tarpon Springs

Campaign 2012

Ditch the Electoral College

The Electoral College must go for one simple reason: With it, all votes are not equal; in fact, some don't count at all.

Under the current system, only about 10 states have a real say in who gets elected president; the remaining 40 are relegated to just being quiet and watching the show. The solidly Republican or Democratic states send their votes to the same party's candidate every presidential election, barring extreme circumstances. If you live in one of those states and are with the majority, then it's not so bad. But it's horrible if you're always with the minority. For Democrats in Kentucky and Republicans in New York, their vote for president is utterly worthless; those states will go Republican and Democratic, respectively, no matter what.

This system is blatantly wrong and undemocratic. We should not have "battleground states" but rather a battleground nation, where the candidates must appeal to all Americans, not just a select few.

We should abolish this archaic system in order to make every vote count and let every voice be heard.

Stephen Lapp, Tampa

Theme music for the ages | Sept. 27

Memorable music

The last time I saw Andy Williams was on the telecast of the Grammy Awards in 2008 when the 80-year-old singer presented the Record of the Year award to 24-year-old Amy Winehouse.

Considering all of the memorable songs he sang with such beautiful lyrics over the years, it seemed strange to hear him announce the name of the winning record: Rehab. Will anyone be singing that tune 50 years from now?

Ray Smith, Tampa

An intriguing idea in the wrong spot Sept. 29

Central location is best

The Carillon Park plan is the best solution to the Rays relocation dilemma. The nightmare of access to Tropicana Field is the main issue. The illusion of convenience, with I-275 mere yards away from the stadium, initially attracts Clearwater and Tampa fans — until they have experienced the one-way streets and two-lane traffic that you face after a game at the Trop.

It's a nightmare that would be exacerbated with a downtown Tampa location. And what about the overlap with hockey season in downtown Tampa? Talk about a logistical nightmare.

A central location, with multiple lanes of traffic going in three directions, will be the most successful spot in terms of attendance.

Bruce Caplan, Redington Beach

Not much improvement

If the Tampa Bay area had a good baseball fan base, people would be flocking to the Trop and the Rays wouldn't have the worst attendance in Major League Baseball.

To really succeed, the Rays have to double their attendance at least. Building a $540 million to $570 million stadium in the Carillon area won't do this. It simply isn't that much easier to drive to.

A good way to test the waters would be to put the stadium up for a public offering — sell shares. If enough people ante up and sufficient funds are raised, go ahead and build. If not, refund.

Pete Wilford, Holiday

ID thefts require a tougher response Sept. 30, editorial

Vulnerable to theft

As long as Medicare uses Social Security numbers as Medicare claim numbers, we will always be vulnerable to Social Security theft. Think of it: Each time a senior goes to the doctor, lab, therapy or for any treatment at all, his or her Social Security number is available for all in the office to see.

If Medicare would issue random numbers instead, this would solve a majority of the problem of Social Security theft, but it needs to be done now before more people become victims. This might not stop all of the thefts, but it should stop a large majority of them.

Myrna Forton, Spring Hill

We can't tax our way to recovery | Sept. 28, letter

Incomes and equity

I am tired of the silly argument about the top 10 percent paying 70 percent of all taxes collected. Of course they pay a higher dollar amount: They control 80 percent of the wealth. If a person who has $10 is taxed at 50 percent, that's $5. If a person who has a $1 million is taxed at 1 percent, he pays $10,000. That doesn't mean either one has been taxed fairly. One has paid half his wealth, the other a pittance.

There is no correlation between tax breaks for the wealthy and economic growth or job creation. None. The biggest element to private sector job growth is demand. The best path to demand is when the average person has more disposable income, because they have a tendency to spend it.

Yvonne M. Osmond, Clearwater

Times columnists

Point, counterpoint

Is this the best that the Times has to offer? First, we have Sue Carlton writing about a driver's license renewal, and then John Romano and his instant "wrong" declaration on the new stadium location. Aren't there any other writers in the building who can talk to us? These two are pretty worn-out, predictable and boring.

Cut their column in half and put it up against someone with a different point of view on the same subject. That would certainly improve the content and stimulate the thought process.

Doug Birchard, St. Petersburg


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...
Updated: 12 hours ago

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

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