Saturday, February 24, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Tuesday's letters: Humane Society does much good for abandoned animals

Shelter's actions faulted | April 1

Giving help to homeless animals

As a 12-year volunteer at the Humane Society working primarily with dogs, I was saddened by the article about the shelter. We do so much to help homeless animals.

Yes, with new management some dogs were euthanized — but I could understand why. Yes, in addition to taking in local animals, others were brought in from out of town — but all homeless animals need help. As a nonprofit, adoptable animals were needed to help us get back on our feet financially.

Because of space and finances, we cannot accept every unwanted animal, treat every medical condition, and provide lifetime sanctuary to unadoptable animals. In a perfect world there would be no more homeless pets. But we are not there yet.

Judy Tureck, Oldsmar

Oil industry tax subsidies

Passing on the costs

There is much that can be discussed regarding raising taxes on oil companies. But there is one thing that is not subject to discussion: Since taxes are merely a "cost of doing business," they are reflected in the cost to the end consumer.

So, if President Barack Obama wants to raise the taxes on these companies, it must be understood that he would be raising the cost of gas we buy.

That may well be his intention. If so — fine, just admit it. It disturbs me to see this sort of increased cost to every car driver in America couched in terms of "helping the little guy."

Ray Kelly, Spring Hill

Subsidies make no sense

The U.S. Senate again failed to advance a bill that would end millions in taxpayer-funded oil subsidies. How can our Congress expect us to take their talk of cutting the deficit and cutting waste seriously if they won't end these unnecessary subsidies?

It makes no sense to continue to pay millions to oil companies who make billions in profit. Instead our representatives want to push measures to cut Social Security and Medicare. Sorry, but until you stop the hypocrisy, your preaching about reining in spending will fall on deaf ears.

Deborah Green, Sun City Center

Police station scrapped | March 30

Station should be a priority

So St. Petersburg can't afford a new, $64 million police station? Soon will come the siren song of raising taxes. However, remember where our city "leaders" have placed their priorities.

A $50 million memorial pier to the politicians? Check. Billions planned for doomed light rail? Check. Double-wide sidewalk/bike paths that bikers ignore? Check. Raising up curbs along streets that were paved too high in the first place? Check. Outrageous government employee pensions and health benefits that the private taxpayer could never have on their own? Check. Money for well-connected private charities? Check. Well over $1 million a year of subsidy money for the Rays with low-cost police officers directing traffic at games? Check.

Seems the city leaders are good at spending money on everything — except on what we really need: a new police station.

David McKalip, St. Petersburg

The money is out there

The city has $50 million available for phase one of a new pier, the design of which many residents find uninspired and may never be completed. It also has $32 million available for a new police station, estimated to cost $64 million. So, the total currently available, $82 million, would fund a fully completed pier or a first-rate, modern police station.

Which one would most benefit the residents of St. Petersburg? I contend it is a new police station.

Bruce J. Barber, St. Petersburg

Supreme Court votes today | March 30

Bill rushed into law

"We have to pass this bill so we can find out what is in it." Remember that now-famous quote from then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's speech about health care on March 10, 2010, to the National Association of Counties.

In retrospect, it sure looks like that wasn't the smartest approach. It is possible we wouldn't be having the Supreme Court intervention now if ample time had been allowed to read and debate the bill in the normal manner. So how is that a problem created by the Republicans?

Thomas Varnum, North Redington Beach

Trayvon Martin case

Guns and confrontations

Trayvon Martin's killing is not really shocking. In Florida, you can bring a loaded gun to a confrontation. It does not matter if you start the confrontation yourself by following someone or getting in their face.

It's easy to be bold when you know you have the option of pumping hot lead into someone if things don't go your way. When a guy with a loaded gun gets in a fight with someone carrying a bag of Skittles, it does not take a genius to figure out who is responsible.

This is what we voted for when we gave complete control of our state government to the Republicans years ago. The media should stop acting surprised. This is the way people want it. The blood of this teenager is on more hands than just one aggressive gunman's.

Scott Cochran, Tampa

Pain and punishment March 30, commentary

Speak up for sufferers

Bravo — thank you for this article. I was so happy to read it. Please keep on top of this national crisis. Florida is the worst state for this sort of abuse of pain patients.

Sarah Bauer, Melbourne

Budget slashes safety net | March 31, editorial

Senate inaction

I find it amazing that the Times and other left-leaning news organizations denigrate any and all budget proposals put forth by the Republican House while going along with the Democratic Senate's doing nothing about even preparing a budget. To the best of my knowledge, it has been over three years since the Senate has put forth any sort of a budget proposal.

It is always easier to stand on the sidelines and pick apart someone else's ideas than to come up with your own. I would suggest if the Times really wants our government to come up with a solution, urge those in the Senate to actually propose a budget for the American people to see and decide who has the better idea.

Don Reich, Largo


Saturday’s letters: Preserve home rule in Florida

LegislaturePreserve home rule in FloridaOn behalf of the members of Business Watch, a trade association for government contractors, I would like to voice our dismay over the Legislature’s wholesale attack on home rule. As local government contractors...
Published: 02/23/18

Thursday’s letters: Second Amendment is outdated

Second AmendmentCongress can act on firearmsThe Second Amendment is outdated, since it is predicated on the need for a "well regulated militia." Militias are defined as civilian soldiers trained under the command of competent military leadership. The...
Published: 02/20/18
Updated: 02/22/18

Wednesday’s letters:

House Bill 21Opioid proposal merits supportIn 2016, Florida recorded 952 heroin-related and 1,390 fentanyl-related deaths. Four in five new heroin users began by misusing prescription pain medications, also known as opioids. Despite the widespread op...
Published: 02/20/18

Hernando Letter to the Editor for Feb. 23

Re: Hernando business leaders push to loosen development rules | Feb. 9; Re: Deny Brooksville mine expansion, planning commissioners say | Feb. 16Wish to register my opposition to both the draft of the new Hernando County Comprehensive Plan that elim...
Published: 02/20/18

Tuesday’s letters: Making politics personal is one way toward reasonable gun control

The Parkland shootingMake gun politics personalAs an educator of 32 years, it encourages me to see our young people engaged after the horror at Stoneman Douglas High School. The tragedy at Parkland has awakened the sleeping giant that is the millenni...
Published: 02/19/18

Sunday’s letters: Congress must act on firearms

Deadly toll: 17 | Feb. 15Congress must act on firearmsIt’s time for Congress to be counted.The failure of Congress to act to: (1) limit access to assault rifles and (2) require meaningful background checks for all gun purchases is appalling.Surel...
Published: 02/17/18

Monday’s letters: Call it by its name: terrorism

Deadly toll: 17 | Feb. 15Call it whatit is: terrorismLet’s just call it what it is. It’s terrorism. No school in the country is immune. They all have procedures for sheltering in place or emergency evacuation from a shooter. It’s prudent to be pr...
Published: 02/16/18

Saturday’s letters: Payoff to porn star not front-page news?

Lawyer: I personally paid porn star | Feb. 14Where we’re at: This is 4A newsOnly under the Trump presidency does a story about the president’s lawyer paying off a porn star to cover up an affair with the president show up on page 4A. Never mind t...
Published: 02/16/18

Friday’s letters: Water quality too important to gamble on

State to update water rules | Feb. 10Don’t gamble with water safetyI wondered whether this front-page article was an early April Fool’s joke. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection "updated" its pollution regulations in 2016, with str...
Published: 02/15/18

Thursday’s letters: Bill protects pharmacy customers

House Bill 351Bill protects pharmacy customersWe all need the protections provided in Florida House Bill 351 to ensure pharmacy benefit managers, or PBMs, are transparently operating with patients. Currently, PBMs are not regulated by the state and o...
Published: 02/14/18