Big givers still send big money elsewhere and A monumental undertaking | Nov. 11-12
Generosity in numbers big, small
The generous contributions of Drs. Kiran and Pallavi Patel to USF and their plans for a multigeneration family residence highlight their devotion to their adopted country as well as to their native land and its culture and values.
Spectacular as their generosity is, no less remarkable are the contributions of so many recent immigrants with far fewer resources to our nation, its economy and culture. They deserve far more respect and recognition than is the case now.
The Patels also provide a stark contrast to the many superrich who pour their wealth into political coffers aspiring for commensurate rewards but showing little or no concern for their less fortunate citizens. My hope is that philanthropy locally and elsewhere is targeted a lot more on areas of greater need — our schools, affordable housing, environment and the homeless — in addition to more "prestigious" causes.
Mukunda Rao, Tampa
Obama, Boehner agree on goals, not method Nov. 10
Compromise is way of life
We compromise every morning when we get out of bed and it continues all day, every day, from choosing healthy food to paying our bills. People who don't compromise are maladjusted or unwell and receive our disapproval, as demonstrated in the 13 percent Gallup rating of the U.S. Congress.
Drilling down, we find some in Congress deserve this rating and some don't. One group is the proverbial fly in the American ointment: the U.S. House of Representatives. Drill a little further and you start getting close to the real problem: If you're honest, it's the Republican House membership. The last bit of drilling reveals it's the tea party, the Grover Norquist signatories.
They need to hear from us while the election is fresh on their minds.
Michael Bartley, Fort Myers Beach
Losses point to GOP's weakness among minorities | Nov. 11
Appeal to worst instincts
The Republican Party has pandered to the fears of white voters for the past several decades. It worked for Lee Atwater, Jesse Helms and Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee. Now that they are facing the reality of the changing demography of this country, they have run into a brick wall.
It is not a repackaging of their message that needs changing. It's getting rid of the institutionalized racism.
Contrary to what the Republicans said, I didn't vote for the president because he's black or because I'm looking for free stuff. I voted for him because I felt he was the best candidate. But they can't understand that.
Also, look at how they demonized the president: "I wish he would learn how to be an American," "He's not one of us," "He's the food stamp president," "He's lazy," "He's not a legitimate president."
As a black person, that tells me everything I need to know about the leaders of this party.
Alan Hawkins, Ocala
On to 2016 | Nov. 10, letter
'Taking' takes all forms
The writer observes that after Barack Obama's re-election, "The workers will keep working and takers will keep taking." Meanwhile, Mitt Romney enjoys a low tax rate on millions of income and shelters other income in offshore accounts.
These are forms of "taking," but they are available only to the wealthy.
Burke Voit, New Port Richey
Meaning of the day
After watching the news on TV Sunday, and hearing a local weatherman mention that he officiated at a Veterans Day ceremony at the Bushnell National Cemetery, I just wanted to remind everyone that Veterans Day is to honor living men and woman who served in the armed forces, and Memorial Day is to honor those service members who are no longer living, especially those who died in battle.
You can celebrate Thanksgiving Day on Christmas Day if you like, and I'm glad you do, but they are two separate things.
Thomas Scott, Tampa
The wounded among us and One word changes everything | Nov. 11
Devotion and sacrifice
Thank you so much for the beautiful articles on the wounded veterans and Charlie Gopher. These stories further illustrated what Americans proved last week: We have the right to vote; no one can take our vote away; and we all rest on these men's shoulders when we exercise our right to do so.
Thank you for your sacrifice, gentlemen, and thank you for your devotion to our wonderful country.
Melissa G. Thompson, Apollo Beach
Even Obama wants to fix Florida's long lines Nov. 8
Mail-in ballot delays
On Election Day, I was a poll worker. One thing that slows down the line is a message in my voter register that says "ballot mailed." What this means is the voter requested a mailed ballot.
When a voter comes in to vote in person, I have to tell them about this message and ask them if they brought the mailed ballot with them. I always applaud them when they do, because they can surrender it to me.
If they did not, I hear all kinds of reasons why: "I never got it," "I never asked for a mail-in ballot," "I left it home," "Oh, I thought it was a cheat sheet," etc. At this point I explain to the voter that I have to fill out a form that they take over to the clerk on duty who then calls the election headquarters to find out if this ballot was mailed in or not. We can't take a chance that a person would vote twice. All this slows down the line.
People need more education on mail-in ballots. It is an official ballot, but many voters do not treat it as one.
Karen Jodal, Seminole
Inside pitch to save old Y | Nov. 12
Preserve our history
I remember this YMCA from my youth growing up in St. Petersburg. A neighbor used to take me and his son to go swimming there.
I also remember going to the Saturday matinees at the now-gone and magnificent Florida Theater, a close cousin to the wonderful Tampa Theatre. What a loss that was. Think what it could have been today.
It would be a great loss to lose yet another of St. Petersburg's historic buildings. I hope St. Petersburg Preservation is successful in saving the old Y to be reborn in a manner all can see and enjoy.
David White, Clearwater