Friday, April 20, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Tuesday's letters: Longer the wait, worse debt gets

Rhetoric vs. reality | May 3, letter

Longer the wait, worse debt gets

A recent letter perfectly symbolizes the denial liberals and their politicians are in about the financial crisis this country faces. It doesn't matter if money is owed to China or future Medicare recipients; they are still debts that reflect payments required to be made in the coming years. And the amount of that debt is only projected to get bigger. This is why in a recent report the Government Accountability Office said we are on "an unsustainable long-term fiscal path." And the longer we wait, the harder the fix will be.

Relative to the federal budget, the sequester was only a small step and is hardly draconian. As with the FAA, the air traffic control solution can be managed intelligently and demonstrates reductions can be made without affecting vital government functions. Any similar future issues can be handled in the same manner.

But of course it is the big programs like Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid and Obamacare that will be the main drivers of our huge and growing debt. Unfortunately, no matter how well-intentioned or compassionate programs like that are, there is no way getting around the fact that there is no such thing as a free lunch. We must do a better job or the whole system will collapse.

Tim Curtis, Tampa

Florida Legislature

Put legislators to the test

For the last several years now politicians in Tallahassee have been mandating that students in Florida take more and more standardized tests. They argue that these are important assessments that will demonstrate how well our teachers are teaching and how well our students are learning. They place a premium of importance on these tests and base the majority of decisions made about public education on the results.

I think that it is time these politicians put their money where their mouth is and lead by example. If these tests are so valid and so essential to the future of education in Florida, then why don't all of our elected leaders take them as a requirement to run for office? Newspapers around the state could publish these politicians' results so constituents would be able to see them and be sure that they are truly voting for the smartest person for the job.

These politicians are quick to demand accountability from teachers and students, but they seem to shy away from their own accountability in the state's current educational policy debacle. If this is a state run by true leaders with our best interests at heart, then they should have no problem demonstrating their strong belief in the testing system by taking these tests and having their results published.

Bryan Conley, Palm Harbor

A whole lot of nothing

It amazes me how our elected representatives can celebrate an end of a session where they did practically nothing. The picture of Will Weatherford and Don Gaetz on the front of Saturday's paper with big smiles makes me wonder what planet these guys live on. Where I work, my peers and I would not be celebrating if we didn't accomplish anything for two months; we would be fired.

Alan Roberts, Largo

Children need, deserve a daily dose of exercise | May 3, commentary

What exercise looks like

Of course kids need some daily PE during the school day for a variety of reasons. However, after witnessing my two children go through the Pinellas County school system, here is the problem: Most of that 30 minutes is not spent doing any physical activity. The PE school year is broken up into units, and each unit is about a different sport, so a good deal of time is spent instructing students about each sport. And then, in most cases, this is not a sport that involves all the children at the same time, so the majority of the 30 minutes is spent standing around or sitting and watching, as when the unit is on stickball.

When I was in high school, I remember PE this way: We were arranged in lines and everyone spent the entire period doing calisthenics led by the teacher. Every student was moving the entire time, and everyone had a workout. If school administrators were really serious about conditioning, they would do PE this way and leave the instruction in stickball, etc., to after school activities.

Shirley Copperman, Tarpon Spring

Arming Syrian rebels gets a new look | May 3

Rebels are U.S. enemies

How many Americans would agree to the United States arming rebels in Syria if they knew that by doing so they would be on the same side as al-Qaida in Syria? After all, isn't al-Qaida the sworn enemy of the United States? So, wouldn't it be hypocritical to provide them with weaponry?

So, please, when you run an article about the Obama administration considering whether or not to arm Syria's rebels, please tell the whole story.

Marianne Huber, St. Petersburg

Scott vetoes alimony bill | May 2

Alimony unfairness

Getting up in the morning and doing a good day's work for a good day's pay is the American way. It's what keeps our country running. But those who pay permanent alimony get up in the morning, do a good day's work, and then give much of their money away to someone who doesn't have to work. Ever again. How is it that the state of Florida actually approves and enforces such a situation. How is this fair?

To the woman who raised the children and now never has to earn a living again, I would say: Ma'am, both you and your ex-husband got up every day and worked. But since your divorce, he has to keep working and you never have to work again. How is that fair?

Eileen Flaxman, Wimauma

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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

Monday’s letters: Public education is foundation of the nation

Voters beware of ballot deceptionApril 13, commentarySchools’ role underminedIt was with great pain that I read (not for the first time) that we must be aware of "ballot deception." Public schools were founded to make sure that future generations of ...
Published: 04/13/18

Saturday’s letters: Health Department should butt out

Judge: Grow pot, Mr. Redner | April 12Health officials should butt outThe Times reports that the Florida Department of Health filed an appeal to the decision allowing a man who is a Stage 4 lung cancer survivor to grow pot in his backyard for his ...
Published: 04/11/18
Updated: 04/13/18

Friday’s letters: Open and shut: Enforce the law

Sheriff’s ICE aid policy blasted | April 10Open and shut: Enforce the lawPeople and institutions that insist on the using the euphemism "undocumented immigrant" do nothing but affirm their lack of objectivity by using such a phrase to support an ...
Published: 04/11/18
Updated: 04/12/18

Thursday’s letters: Focus on offender, not weapon

Use data to curb gun deaths | April 8, commentaryFocus on offenders, not weaponsThis article tiptoes around the issue: human violence. The authors point out that automobile manufactures were pressured by regulation and law to make automobile coll...
Published: 04/11/18