Monday, April 23, 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

Comments

Pasco Letters to the Editor for April 27

Stop Ridge Road extension, reader saysWhen I spoke at the Dade City meeting of the Pasco County Commissioners on my opposition to the Ridge Road Extension, three of them responded, but only when my three minutes of free speech expired, and I could sa...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Monday’s letters: Term limits don’t work

U.S. Senate campaignTerm limitsdon’t workGov. Rick Scott has begun his run for the U.S. Senate with TV ads promoting term limits for representatives and senators. Aside from the probability that this would require a constitutional amendment, I think ...
Updated: 9 hours ago

Sunday’s letters: Problems with high-speed rail

Thanks, Gov. Scott, for ghastly I-4 drives | April 18, Sue Carlton columnProblems with high-speed railIn her Wednesday column, the writer bemoaned the traffic on I-4 and blasted Gov. Rick Scott for turning down free government money for a high-sp...
Published: 04/21/18

Saturday’s letters: Don’t weaken rules on fisheries

Florida fisheriesDon’t weaken rules on fish stocksMembers of Congress are proposing changes to an important ocean law, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, that would adversely affect coastal states including Florida.Since it...
Published: 04/19/18
Updated: 04/20/18

Friday’s letters: We owe it to our children to teach them history

If we don’t understand past, future looks grim | April 19, Daniel Ruth columnThe history we owe our childrenIt’s not often I agree with Daniel Ruth, but this article was spot-on. I’m not sure when the schools started ignoring Germany’s World War ...
Published: 04/19/18

Thursday’s letters: Gun research can save lives

Gun ownershipCommon ground: Find the factsThere are many areas in the current debate about guns and gun ownership where both sides must agree to disagree. But there is one area where common ground ought to exist. That concerns the need for continuing...
Published: 04/18/18

Wednesday’s letters:

Poverty and plenty in bay area | April 7, editorialStruggling poor are not a priorityI commend your newspaper for continuing to produce real and relevant news, particularly the recent editorial pointing out that a prospering Tampa Bay should not ...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18

Hernando Letters to the Editor for April 20

Bar Association celebrates Law WeekPresident Dwight D. Eisenhower proclaimed May 1, 1958, as the first Law Day to mark the nation’s commitment to the rule of law. Every year on this day, we reflect on the significance of the rule of law and rededicat...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18

Tuesday’s letters: Stop cooperating with ICE

Sheriff’s ICE policy blasted | April 10Pinellas should end partnership with ICEPinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri recently participated in a community conversation on his controversial agreement with ICE to voluntarily detain immigrants in the...
Published: 04/16/18

Sunday’s letters: The future of oyster production

Shell game | April 15Future of oyster productionThanks to Laura Reiley for an excellent synopsis of the current state of oyster production in Florida. The collapse of the Apalachicola oyster fishery is merely the latest example of the demise of a...
Published: 04/14/18