Saturday, January 20, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Tuesday's letters: Not all sinkhole claims are fraudulent

A different model for sinkhole risk | Jan. 3

Honest sinkhole work being done

I applaud the Times for its exceptional efforts in covering the issues surrounding the sinkhole phenomenon in our area, as well as exposing those who take advantage of others' misfortune. While the damage that sinkholes can cause is undeniable, the exploitation of the problem has caused the even bigger current explosion of claims. Still, if you live in Pasco or Hernando county, you are more likely to have your home damaged by a sinkhole than by a fire.

The series does a great job of describing the abuses of sinkhole insurance coverage, but it seems to stop short of recognizing that good, honest people are also filing legitimate sinkhole claims, with their only motivation being to get their home repaired and restore the value of their largest investment.

It also doesn't mention the good, honest engineers and stabilization companies that employ hundreds of local workers and contribute heavily to our communities. You mention the "shoddy work" of contractors hired by Citizens. While there may have been incidents of unsatisfactory work, I believe this to be a very small percentage of the hundreds of homes successfully repaired by legitimate, experienced, well-vetted contractors working for Citizens. As you pointed out, many of these subsequent payouts were the result of a well-planned, opportunistic legal strategy.

It is a shame that the fear of litigation has prompted many insurance companies to simply write a check rather than pay to repair confirmed sinkhole houses. A recent Senate report shows that 73 percent of sinkhole houses are not repaired. As you have pointed out, this is decimating neighborhoods, with property values dropping as much as 66 percent in these sinkhole areas. This serves as motivation for other homeowners to file claims in hopes of hitting this new sinkhole lottery.

Ron Broadrick, Land O'Lakes

Bypassing a broken Congress Jan. 6, editorial

Compare Obama to others

This editorial failed to put into perspective the recess appointments made by President Barack Obama compared with recent presidents. According to Wikipedia as of Dec. 8, 2011, Obama had made 28 recess appointments. President Bill Clinton made 139 in eight years; President George W. Bush made 171 in eight years. So the average number of recess appointments per year in office are as follows: Clinton, 17.4; Bush, 21.4; Obama, 9.3.

Although there is a hue and cry about Obama's recess appointments in today's highly charged political climate, by the numbers it appears that he has not abused this option to use when Congress thwarts appointments.

Jim Stewart, Spring Hill

Ends and means

This editorial defended President Barack Obama's bypassing of the Constitution and the established rules of the Congress in the appointment of Richard Cordray as director of the new consumer protection agency.

It would appear that your defense of this action is based solely on one principle: "the ends justify the means." Do you see that as the standard for any action taken by any politicians? How about ordinary people?

If so, who gets to define the "justify" part of that principle? In this case it was one man — the president. That strikes me as a rather dangerous precedent for the future of our republic.

Ray Kelly, Spring Hill

Not constitutional

Is Congress broken? Perhaps so, but an imperial executive branch is no answer and by far more dangerous.

The fact that the Republicans don't like Dodd-Frank is obvious, and the procedural steps they have taken (pro forma sessions) may be distasteful, but this government is, after all, one of checks and balances. The Constitution states that there can be no recess appointments when Congress is in session, and although the Democrats don't like it (at least not now — they did the same thing during the Bush administration), those are the facts.

Obama's recent recess appointments are not constitutional.

Frederic Stutzer, Largo

Campaign 2012

Experience of the world

As a supporter of President Barack Obama, I have enjoyed watching the GOP debates, usually with a side of popcorn. However, I find myself more and more tuning into what Jon Huntsman has to say, and how he says it. He talks like an adult with a mature message. But mostly, he has lived outside of the country and can speak fluent Chinese. It would be impressive to have a president (or perhaps secretary of state) who can speak directly to the emerging superpower in their native tongue and who understands the world outside of our own hemisphere.

Gone is the Cold War era of mutually assured destruction and aggressive dialogue. Today we are threatened by computer hacks who can bring down our grid with a stoke of the key. We need a president who understands world cultures.

Kristin Kronsnoble, Tampa

Bayshore called too shabby for RNC | Jan. 7

Take out the trash

Tampa's Mayor Bob Buckhorn and the City Council think that Bayshore Boulevard has too many warts to please the out-of-town media set to come here for the August Republican convention.

Never mind that Bayshore is one of the most spectacular city walkways in the country, with a view of the bay on one side and lines of McMansions on the other.

A little "lipstick and a prom dress" might help parts of Bayshore, but what about the sackcloth and ashes sported by much of the rest of downtown Tampa?

Either get one person to pick up a million pieces of trash and weeds between downtown and the Tampa Bay Times Forum, or get a million people to pick up just one piece.

Fred Jacobsen, Apollo Beach

Social agenda, not culture war Jan. 8, commentary

Turning back the clock

Please tell me David Brooks is kidding when he suggests a "wage subsidy" for men to make them "marriageable." Men already have a "wage subsidy" as reported by the Times in the same edition on Page 4P. Men make more, on average, than women.

The implication of Brooks' statement is that couples don't stay married because men don't make enough money. I would love to see the scientific research that backs up that assumption. In any case, this doesn't sound like an idea for the 21st century — more like the 18th.

Rebecca Johns, St. Petersburg


Saturday’s letters: It’s not the word, it’s the racism

Presidential precedent | Jan. 14It’s not the word; it’s the racismThe Times went in the wrong direction and printed information that is rather useless. And that is strange. You usually get it right.I am talking about President Donald Trump’s prof...
Published: 01/19/18

Friday’s letters: Help for boaters against modern-day ‘pirates’

Marine towing and salvageHelp against modern-day piracyAs an avid recreational boat owner and sixth-generation Floridian, I know there’s no better way to enjoy our state’s spectacular waters than taking your boat out. Unfortunately, the fun of boatin...
Published: 01/17/18
Updated: 01/18/18

Thursday’s letters: All Americans need health care

Doctor: Trump got perfect score on cognitive test | Jan. 17All Americans need health carePresident Donald Trump’s extensive health exam has apparently declared him physically fit for office. As I was reading about the battery of tests he received...
Published: 01/17/18

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...
Published: 01/16/18

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