Monday, January 22, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Tuesday's letters: An appeal to ugly, divisive politics

Don't ignore history's lessons | June 8, editorial

Appeal to ugly, divisive politics

In this offensive editorial, the Tampa Bay Times turned its opinion pages into a tool of ugly, divisive politics by comparing Florida Gov. Rick Scott to notorious segregationist George Wallace.

Scott's offense? An insistence that we prevent non-U.S. citizens from voting in our nation's elections.

For weeks, opponents of Scott have questioned whether noncitizens are on our voter rolls. Scott's efforts proved they are. Then opponents questioned whether any had ever actually voted in elections. Even the Times has reported that this too is an irrefutable fact. So only one question really remains: What number of illegal voters, and illegally cast votes, will these opponents abide?

Further, we should all be asking the Tampa Bay Times to explain how there are parallels between a reasonable effort to end noncitizen voting and segregationists who put race before the law. The answer, I find, is that the Tampa Bay Times would rather incite fear among minority communities than inform all Floridians about the real problem that is posed when we surrender the integrity of our vote. This proves you to be an organization willing to put politics ahead of truth. It's shameful.

Sam Newby, chairman, Florida Assembly of Black Republicans, Jacksonville

Don't ignore history's lessons June 8, editorial

Comparison grossly unfair

This editorial comparing Gov. Rick Scott's approach to validating/cleaning up the voter registration database and Gov. George Wallace's attempt to block black Americans from their right to a public education is grossly unfair. It's apples and oranges. Shame on the Times for using a race card.

While I am not a fan of Scott, his attempt to verify that people registered to vote are in fact citizens is commendable and should be supported by all citizens.

Randy Eisenberg, Valrico

Scott protects legal voters

Gov. Rick Scott is not disenfranchising anyone. He is protecting my vote as a legal U.S. citizen. Even one illegal vote disenfranchises my vote.

You insult the integrity and intelligence of the poor or minorities by insinuating they cannot respond to an inquiring letter.

Geraldine Williams, Seminole

A matter for the courts

Your use of the picture of the late Gov. George Wallace attempting to bar the entrance of African-Americans to the University of Alabama 50 years ago and likening it to Gov. Rick Scott's efforts to purge the voter rolls of ineligible voters is despicable.

You write, "This June, the governor of another Southern state is challenging the federal government's authority." There are many states that are being sued by the Justice Department over immigration enforcement issues and proposed voter ID laws. Scott is in good company.

I, like many other Floridians, am tired of being told by the Big Brother feds what the states can and cannot do. If the federal government wants to stop the state's effort to prevent noncitizens from voting, sue us. That's what the court system is all about.

Mike Lyons, Apollo Beach

Getting ID is the issue

The problem is not showing your ID — it's the Florida laws that make getting one so difficult.

During the past few years newspapers have published accounts of how hard it is for many people, especially the elderly or divorced women, to get a new or renewed driver's license or ID because the documents they have used for many years to establish identity are no longer recognized. This can be for something such as a clerical or registration error in a name spelling, or something now required on a document, such as the maiden name on a divorce decree, that was not considered necessary by the jurisdiction issuing the decree.

My name was changed in Tampa by court order in 1977, but last year the Bureau of Vital Statistics would not honor it because they said the wrong judge ordered it. After 35 years, I had to spend time and money to get another judge to okay this so I could get new ID to prove I could vote at my new address.

Theressa Placke, Tampa

We need a national ID card

Were it not for all of the self-serving interests of our legislative branch in Washington, this perennial problem could be solved in a heartbeat. Pass a law that requires one-time proof of citizenship and issuance of a national ID card. No excuses accepted — no card, no vote.

This eliminates all discussion regarding discrimination against certain blocs of voters.

Fred Beerman, Tampa

Don't expect others to bail us out June 11, letter

Disasters happen all over

This letter seems to suggest a national disaster fund is all about Florida. It's not. In recent years, there has been far more costly damage to the Midwest and "Tornado Alley" than to Florida. Devastating snowstorms abound in northern regions. Wildfires are a continuous problem in Texas and other Western states, and let's not forget California wildfires and landslides.

Creating the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund and Citizens Property Insurance Corp. were poor choices. The problem is, they primarily benefit those who live in high-risk areas along the coasts. If you choose to live in a high-risk area, you should pay premiums commensurate with the risk.

Before the concept of insurance, no one lived in high-risk areas. You want to play, you need to pay.

Richard Golden, San Antonio

A liberating choice for the liberal arts June 8, commentary

Education, then training

Kudos to Andy Thomason for his column about liberal arts education. He reminds us that the original intent of a university was to provide an education, which would then be the foundation for a full and productive life. Training for a specific occupation should follow that.

As Thomason so aptly states, "the heightened capacity to reason, to think and to argue" learned in liberal arts courses will serve you well the rest of your life.

STEM is all well and good. However, people in the scientific world need, first and foremost, to be grounded in the basics. In a world of specialists, how much more important are the generalists who can tie it all together — who see the big picture and not just the details.

Catherine F. Mitchell, Tampa


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

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

Monday’s letters: Don’t be fooled by drilling turnaround

Deal blocks drilling off Fla. | Jan. 10Don’t be fooled by turnaroundWhile I am very grateful that Florida has been taken off the table regarding offshore oil drilling, it is clear this is a political move to champion Gov. Rick Scott as he conside...
Published: 01/14/18

Sunday’s letters: Left wing late to the #MeToo cause

#MeTooDemocrats come late to the causeThe Times devoted an entire page to the #MeToo issues on Sunday. The ironies here for longtime observers are nearly boundless. Twenty years ago, folks like myself were called "prudes" and worse because we found P...
Published: 01/13/18