Tuesday, January 16, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Tuesday's letters: Case points to need for immigration reform

Immigrant loses high court battle | March 7

Case points to need for reforms

The recent decision of the Florida Supreme Court denying Jose Godinez-Samperio admission to the Florida Bar should be required reading for all people who are interested in the issue of comprehensive immigration reform — whether pro or con.

First, the decision of the court as well as the concurring decision unabashedly recognize the unfairness, indeed illogic, in denying Godinez-Samperio the privilege of practicing law even though he is highly qualified in all respects. Second, the decision acknowledges that Godinez-Samperio is morally innocent with respect to the decision by his parents to enter the United States. Third, it highlights the conflict between federal and state law and practice as to eligibility to practice any occupation that requires a state license, even if the non-U.S. citizen has been granted employment authorization by the federal government.

The law as it exists is the equivalent of a cruel version of a legal chess game for which there are divergent rules, resulting in dire, life-changing consequences. Worse yet, there surely are thousands of other young people confronting the same situation. All of this is below the standards of fairness and humanity for which our country prides itself. It is time for our nation to face up to the reality that our immigration law needs a complete overhaul.

Ramon Carrion, Clearwater

Immigrant loses high court battle | March 7

He didn't follow the rules

One has to admire Jose Godinez-Samperio for his tenaciousness in pursuing his dream of becoming a lawyer. From reading the article and the editorial, he did, in fact, follow the rules any person in his situation would do to achieve a goal. But one rule he did not follow was to become a citizen so that he could become a licensed lawyer in the state of Florida.

Why did he not apply for citizenship when he knew that it was a requirement in getting a law license? Surely with all the teachers, Scout masters and co-workers at the law firm supporting him, one would have mentioned this to him and encouraged him to apply.

Godinez-Samperio seems to be a perfect case of a person who wants to live and work in the United States but does not want to follow the laws. The exact laws that he wants to practice to help other "residents who left their birthplaces to work hard and seek better lives here" are the ones he is not willing to follow. Why should the rules be bent for him or others?

Marilyn Calora, Oldsmar

Don't tighten rules on dropoff ballots March 10, editorial

Give voters options

Ballot dropoff sites are convenient and well-monitored options for voters. Our county elections supervisor, Deborah Clark, apparently violated a "directive" — not a law — in allowing these dropoff points to remain although Gov. Rick Scott and Secretary of State Ken Detzner want them removed on the grounds that "no law allows it."

But does any law disallow it? To punish her these two officials want to punish all of us. Why not try to help local citizens exercise their democratic rights instead of continually finding ways to make that process harder? It seems that a thoughtful body of elected officials would do all they can to help their constituents, not thwart them.

Elaine Markowitz, Palm Harbor

Lots of cash pumping into vouchers March 6

Private, public funding

Private schools, a part of America since colonial days, should remain private. Those wishing to attend should pay. Scholarships for those unable to pay the fees should be provided by a private foundation to which individuals and corporations contribute.

Public money should be given to public schools, the foundation of a democratic society. The voucher system siphons off funds that our public schools desperately need not only to exist but to provide quality education.

Unfortunately, our Florida legislators are once again failing our public schools by backing the voucher system legislation and often criticize the public schools' performance while slashing their incomes.

Lois Rogers-Watson, Palm Harbor

Military sexual assault bill fails | March 7

'Good old boy' approach

When the Senate defeated Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand's bill to move sexual assault cases from out of the chain of command, it defied all logic.

Army Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair has pleaded guilty to sexual assault to avoid more serious charges and in order to keep salacious details out of open court. The Army's top sex crimes investigator, Lt. Col. Joseph Morse, is under investigation for allegations he groped a female lawyer. Don't facts such as these make it obvious that the military leadership is utterly incapable of effectively handing such cases within the chain of command?

Even though sexual assaults go in both directions, many are the case of she-said vs. he-said with the male aggressor and the female victim. It appears the "good old boys" still rule our Congress and our military.

Jay Hall, Tampa

Red-light cameras out | March 7

Costly decision

Deciding to remove the intersection cameras because people have modified their driving habits and ticket revenue is therefore down is like had we chosen to dispense with the Salk vaccine as soon as when outcome studies showed fewer cases of polio being recorded.

If one simply factored into this reasoning the money saved by the city of St. Petersburg, which previously was expended for hospital emergency room care of victims injured in intersection collisions, the cost/benefit figures would look remarkably different.

This decision gives a whole new meaning to the phrase, "Penny-wise and pound-foolish."

Thomas Fredrick, Port Richey

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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...
Updated: 7 hours ago

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

Saturday’s letters: A wall of towers isn’t progress

Skyline takes shape | Jan. 7A wall of towers isn’t progressFirst of all, once the 17 projects currently under way are completed, there will be no "skyline." There will be a wall of buildings blotting out the sun and sky. St. Petersburg has become...
Published: 01/12/18

Friday’s letters:

Gang raped at 17. Getting help at 65 | Jan. 7Help available for assault victimsEach sexual assault survivor has a unique story to tell, and Evelyn Robinson’s experience illustrates many of the emotions, and society stigmas, faced by survivors.Sex...
Published: 01/09/18
Updated: 01/11/18

Thursday’s letters: Opioid bill could do more harm than good

Opioid bill opponents line up | Jan. 6Bill’s potential to harm patientsLegislators are proposing putting more restrictions on physicians’ ability to prescribe pain medications. Yes, the addiction problem is a serious one, and the law seems well-i...
Published: 01/08/18
Updated: 01/10/18

Wednesday’s letters: Beware candidates backed by billionaires

DeSantis declares governor run | Jan. 6Beware the billionaire backingThis line says it all: "The congressman already has the support of the president and several billionaires." If you continue to vote for billionaire-backed candidates, you will g...
Published: 01/08/18
Updated: 01/09/18

Tuesday’s letters: Drilling not worth the risk to Florida

Trump’s plan: to drill | Jan. 5Drilling not worth risk to FloridaAs a Republican and a supporter of President Donald Trump supporter, I am appalled by the proposal to drill for oil off Florida’s Atlantic and Gulf coasts, whose beaches and economi...
Published: 01/08/18