Saturday, April 21, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Tuesday's letters: Pier plan aims beyond commerce

Lens moves ahead, slowly | Dec. 7

Pier plan aims beyond commerce

Communities across the country have reached into their pockets, bonded future tax revenue and given short shrift to libraries, roads and other public projects — all to build sports stadiums.

In St. Petersburg, we have the chance to do something different. We have the chance to use funds that are already earmarked for the purpose to construct a beautiful synthesis of sunlight, water, recreation and society. This is a facility whose first priority isn't commerce; it wasn't designed around the needs of capital or economy, but reaches for that something greater that architecture can sometimes achieve.

Paddling under the Pier approach is a frightening testament to what saltwater can do to aged infrastructure. There are areas where spalling is the norm and clean edges can't be found. The road bed will soon be unsafe for vehicles. So we can't do nothing or live with the status quo.

I wasn't a big fan of the process that brought us here but have come to appreciate the design that resulted. I think St. Petersburg should build the Lens.

Chris Kelly, St. Petersburg

Look to other examples

What happened to the idea that making a new pier shorter in length would cut costs? Then proper materials could afford to be used. A long walk to an open-air restaurant on a pier is not practical in Florida heat, wind and rain.

The architect needs to look in his own backyard at the San Clemente, Calif., pedestrian-only pier built in 1920s by a private builder and still a city landmark. Two restaurants are at base of this wide wooden pier, with a snack bar near the end where fishermen cast their lines. Shops, restaurants and parking are located across the street.

Sylvia Walbridge, St. Petersburg

Her story of infamy | Dec. 7

We need to remember

Thank you so much for finally letting Elizabeth McIntosh give her firsthand account about the Pearl Harbor attack. Yes, it is graphic and probably too much so for the sensibilities of 1941, but those of us not born then need to know the truth and why our elders can never forget what happened. It was most appropriate for Friday's front page.

It also tells us why the country became so united in the effort to defeat the Axis powers, something the Allies on a few occasions came very close to not doing. Even with today's economic problems, very few are being called to the sacrifices Americans, in uniform and out, made then to ensure this victory.

It's also nice that Elizabeth McIntosh is still alive to receive this appreciation, albeit 70 years late. She deserves our gratitude.

Theressa Placke, Tampa

Homeless still here, though not as visible Dec. 4, John Romano column

Afflicted can recover

I was dismayed at the throwaway comment in John Romano's column in which he distinguished between working families who are homeless and individuals with mental illnesses or addictions. He states that persons with these afflictions will "never be fully integrated back into society" — which is patently untrue. The science is clear. With the proper support and treatment, individuals with mental illnesses and addictions can fully recover.

Relatedly, the working poor are at extremely high risk to develop mental illnesses and/or addictions if they continue to live in uncertain and traumatic environments. Romano perpetuates a myth that mitigates against action to help those in need. What we need is the political will to do what we know will work. In fact, action to house homeless individuals with behavioral health disorders is smart public policy — ultimately resulting in net social savings.

David L. Shern, president, Mental Health America, Temple Terrace

Teacher ratings unreliable | Dec. 8, editorial

Rush to judgment

In view of such a rush to judgment, what rational outcome could be expected? As a master's degree "teacher of the year" with teaching experience in three states and England, I consider Florida a vacuum in terms of sanity related to teacher evaluation and teaching conditions. Teachers are now the favorite punching bag. Every eager politician from the county level to the state level claims to have the magical cure-all.

Even those with marginal awareness of child development know that growth in children is uneven, whether you are talking about height or student achievement. First, the student must be conceptually mature enough to master the material.

One of the wisest principals in my experience encouraged us to look at three successive years on a student's achievement test.

Lou Hunter, Clearwater

Crist all in as a Democrat | Dec. 8

It's all about power

Had Charlie Crist remained an independent, I may have considered him for a second run as governor. But now as a Democrat, I cannot.

Years ago it wasn't that uncommon to hear someone say "I don't vote the party, I vote the man." Those days are long gone. Today, we no longer elect a man (or a woman), we elect a party. And our two-party system is failing us. Governance is no longer about serving the people and serving the greater good. It's about serving the party. And the party is money — lots and lots of it.

Somehow Crist is able to attract voters and attract backers. I would like to have seen him take the political risk, put ambition aside (although there is no precedent for that) and continue as a populist-independent. Instead, Crist is a Democrat. It's politically convenient. He's just another mouth for the party, the power and the money.

Len Keller, Seminole

Principled act

I adamantly disagree with those critics who say that Charlie Crist is willing to throw out his principles to achieve the goal. In fact, it's quite the contrary. Crist appears to be a man of principles, who has been continuously chastised by the GOP for his freethinking and not kowtowing to their mean-spirited "my way or the highway" attitude.

As President Barack Obama has stated, Crist's values are neither Republican nor Democrat. They are American values.

JoAnn Lee Frank, Clearwater


Sunday’s letters: Problems with high-speed rail

Thanks, Gov. Scott, for ghastly I-4 drives | April 18, Sue Carlton columnProblems with high-speed railIn her Wednesday column, the writer bemoaned the traffic on I-4 and blasted Gov. Rick Scott for turning down free government money for a high-sp...
Published: 04/21/18

Saturday’s letters: Don’t weaken rules on fisheries

Florida fisheriesDon’t weaken rules on fish stocksMembers of Congress are proposing changes to an important ocean law, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, that would adversely affect coastal states including Florida.Since it...
Published: 04/19/18
Updated: 04/20/18

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