Thursday, March 22, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Tuesday's letters: If Texans want to leave, let them

Drive to secede is bigger in Texas | Nov. 25

If Texans want to leave, let them

So Texas wants to secede. Again. Let them go. It would go far in reducing the federal deficit.

All federal installations and offices would close, military and civilian. Military personnel would be transferred. Civilians could opt to leave, or remain and become permanent citizens of Texas. No citizen of Texas would receive Social Security or Medicare payments. There would be no federal funds expended in Texas for any purpose. No FAA. No commerce with the United States unless established by treaty, should we decide to recognize Texas as a sovereign foreign power.

Billions could be saved for use in our country. No U.S. Border Patrol along the Mexican border. Texas would have to provide that. Instead, we would patrol the Texas border. Ah, like their tourist brochures proclaim: Texas. It's a whole other country.

Harold Mathews, Riverview

Trouble bubbling | Nov. 25

Water districts to rescue

This informative Times feature points up the urgent need for a comprehensive, effective, economic solution to the growing demand for fresh water in Florida. Florida has the expertise and management structure within the water management districts to accomplish this. The districts need to be truly empowered and funded to save and recharge the Florida aquifer, conserve fresh water and promote the recreational use of once bubbling springs.

One approach might be to require a percentage of all fresh water consumed in a coastal county to be replaced by the desalinization of sea water. Will this happen? Probably not. The technology is available, but the will to act is not here yet.

John B. Weber, Spring Hill

Lowering the bar is not the answer Nov. 26, commentary

Vouchers level the field

Leonard Pitts nailed it when he wrote that lowering the bar for academic achievement for black youths is not the answer. That approach, along with affirmative action, sends a message that minorities are inherently inferior and incapable of competing on a level field.

I also agree that black youths start behind others. Why should a black baby face a future that includes being forced to attend a failing school where parental involvement, discipline and third-rate teachers are the norm? The reason is that some of our politicians are in bed with the teachers' unions. School vouchers would give these students an opportunity to learn and eliminate "social promotion."

When are black parents going to stand up for their children and say "enough is enough" and demand vouchers by voting against politicians who maintain the status quo for their own self-interest?

Mike Lyons, Apollo Beach

Food labels should inform, not alarm Nov. 26, editorial

Public trust in science

Although there is no independent science that indicates long-term health effects from consuming genetically modified (GM) foods, there is a long-standing precautionary principle to consider, along with the importance of open access to information.

California's Proposition 37 may have been flawed, but successful communication of science requires mutual trust and a perception of shared values. Appearing to withhold information that people want about the food they eat threatens to erode public perception of and trust in science.

Both perception and trust have been shown to far outweigh general science literacy in determining public attitudes, opinions and actions.

The labeling issue may alert the public to be more concerned about what food they consume. That GM corn fares better during droughts does not say anything about what occurs in the human gut when it is consumed.

JoAnn Valenti, Tampa

Health care

Excessive expense

I recently had surgery that required me to keep weight off my foot. In the doctor's office, I saw an ad for a walker that supported the leg by kneeling and propelling the walker with the other foot. I asked my insurance company if they would rent it for me. I only wanted it for two weeks. They said no, but they would have paid 80 percent of the cost of buying it.

Insurers have contracts with doctors; why can't they have contracts with medical supply rental companies? It would save money. This is another example of why costs are too high.

Nancy Schubart, Treasure Island

Specialists in medicine for elderly in short supply | Nov. 26

Image of treatment

I am a seasonal resident of Florida and have been impressed by the many senior services offered in the state as well as the respectful manner in which most services are proffered.

It was disappointing to see the photo on Monday's front page due to the nonverbal behavior and the stance this physician has chosen. A picture is worth a thousand words. I am hopeful that this is not the manner in which she treats her patients on any given day.

Carol Lee Hughes, Clearwater

Good news on Florida weather | Nov. 23

Bay area overdue

Sustaining the myth that Tampa Bay is hurricane-free does a disservice to emergency managers' efforts to get residents to change their complacency.

The hurricane database of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows that the immediate Tampa Bay "area" has been hit by seven hurricanes since 1851. This limited area is defined as Pinellas, Hillsborough, Pasco and Manatee counties — all coastal counties home to or neighboring the city of Tampa — even though hurricanes are usually twice (and often three or more times) that size.

If you define Tampa Bay as just the dot showing the city of Tampa on a map, then a zero tally would be correct. The Tampa Bay area is overdue for a direct hurricane strike.

Chris Cappella, Largo

GOP has a future if it looks to its past Nov. 23, Daniel Ruth column

Reason over rhetoric

This column on Warren Rudman hit the nail on the head. We are not a nation of extremists but a people that respects logic and reason. These bring positive results.

The fact that the GOP let the inmates run the asylum was eventually punished at the polls.

Jack Levine, Palm Harbor


Thursday’s letters: School safety requires funding

Constitution Revision CommissionSchool safety requires fundingThe Constitution Revision Commission should consider amending a proposal (45, 93 or 72) to allocate the necessary recurring funding for the new school safety mandates, separate from the ba...
Published: 03/21/18

Wednesday’s letters: Let the teachers decide on guns

Trump touts arming staff as key in plan for school security | March 12It’s the teacher’s call on weaponsPlease, let’s try an alternate view about guns in the classroom. First, it hasn’t gone unnoticed that the preponderance of letters about guns ...
Published: 03/20/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for March 23

Re: Residents object to solar farm | March 16, storyLakeland Electric has shown that residential customers can be incentivized to allow placement of utility-owned solar panels on their roofs. Likewise, business owners can be incentivized to allow...
Published: 03/19/18

Tuesday’s letters: It shouldn’t be this hard to fly

Tampa International AirportIt shouldn’t be this hard to flyI’ve given the train two tries now from economy parking at Tampa airport. It’s a lot of work. How silly to go down one bank of elevators, then take a good walk to the next set of elevators to...
Published: 03/19/18

Monday’s letters: Protect Floridians’ right to privacy

People push for changes at Constitution hearing | March 14Protect Florida’s right to privacyI attended the Constitution Revision Commission’s public hearing at USF St. Petersburg last week. I was there because I thought it was important to have m...
Published: 03/18/18

Sunday’s letters: Effort to stem pet cruelty pays off

Puppy millsEffort to stem cruelty pays offThank you to everyone who contacted their legislators, and a huge shout-out to the Tampa Bay Times for letting us know that state legislators were considering a bill to eliminate the hard-achieved gains on lo...
Published: 03/17/18

Saturday’s letters: Insurer focused on repairs, not fees

Citizens hit with $12.7M verdict | March 15Insurer’s focus: repairs, not feesCitizens Property Insurance Corp. has spent the past several years making sure that insurance proceeds for sinkhole repairs are used to restore a home and make it whole....
Published: 03/16/18

Friday’s letters: Put young people to work rebuilding infrastructure

Smart way to pay for infrastructure | March 13, commentaryMake rebuilding a youth project Raising gas taxes to pay for infrastructure may not be the best way to go. I suggest we re-invent the old WPA (Works Progress Administration) and draft high...
Published: 03/13/18
Updated: 03/15/18

Thursday’s letters: An alternative for giving: Breadcoin

Panhandling paradox | March 11Innovation in giving: BreadcoinPanhandling is destructive to the donor, panhandler and our community — a guilt trip that erodes personal dignity, respect and self-worth, making the recipient more beholden and entitle...
Published: 03/13/18
Updated: 03/14/18
Wednesday’s letters: Daylight bill is bad for business

Wednesday’s letters: Daylight bill is bad for business

Daylight saving timeDaylight bill is bad for businessI encourage Gov. Rick Scott to veto the daylight saving time extension bill. It makes no sense. It puts Florida out of sync with the rest of the country. Commerce will be affected. The entire Easte...
Published: 03/13/18