Friday, May 25, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Tuesday's letters: Prisoner swaps are nothing new

Terrorists won't forget the Bergdahl precedent | June 13, commentary

Prisoner swaps are nothing new

Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, in his enlightening book Duty, specifically details a trade of five Iranian terrorist prisoners for a British computer consultant during the administration of George W. Bush. The terrorists carried out kidnappings, killings of innocent civilians and planned the murder of five U.S. soldiers in Karbala, Iraq.

The five terrorists were released between 2007 and 2010, including the mastermind killer, Qais Khazali. The British "consultant" was specifically traded for Khazali. There was much debate within the Bush administration, but ultimately the trade was made.

The Bowe Bergdahl trade for prisoners of war is not unique to the Obama administration, and realistically is one method utilized to repatriate military and civilian detainees held by the enemy.

Ron Frankel, St. Petersburg

Warning: Neglect voting at your own risk June 12

The duty of a citizen

John Romano's column on the importance of voting was one of his best yet. If you don't like the policies, you have to change the policymakers, and the only way to do that is to make your wishes known at the ballot box.

One of the reasons Eric Cantor was defeated was that too many of his supporters thought his re-election was a slam dunk and stayed home. Don't rely on your neighbor to go to the polls for you. Don't let the majority of the minority rule.

Deborah Green, Sun City Center

Easing burden of student debt June 14, editorial

Policies push up costs

It boggles the mind that we encourage people to spend more on college, and then wonder why colleges keep charging more. The president's latest move does nothing to reduce the cost of college; rather, it makes it easier for young people to get even deeper in debt and encourages colleges to keep tuition high.

Colleges keep raising tuition because they can — they know that politicians will keep subsidizing the costs to buy votes. These policies are nothing more than price supports that have allowed tuition costs to skyrocket. Encourage students to spend and borrow responsibly, and prices would stabilize.

Chris Johnson, Clearwater

Pot foes get billionaire ally | June 11

A better alternative for pain

I continue to be amazed at all of the opposition in Florida to medical marijuana that is based entirely on fear of its use for recreational purposes.

Medical marijuana is not prohibited in Michigan, and in conversations with a responsible Michigan user I have learned that it is available there as a product that helps to suppress pain without the euphoric effects sought by recreational users.

The only side effect is increased appetite, which is relatively benign. Compare that to the many severe side effects of the opioids and steroids that now dominate the pharmaceutical market in our state. Consider also that recreational users have no interest in a product that does not produce euphoria. A medical marijuana law limiting use and sale to noneuphoric products would be of value only to people who genuinely need it for pain and other legitimate medical purposes. It would be no threat whatever to law enforcement, and only a benefit to society in general.

Even the pharmaceutical industry could benefit if it would turn its attention to perfecting marijuana-based painkillers to replace the current opioids and steroids that have destroyed the lives of so many people in recent years.

Sheila Smith, San Antonio

Adelson's political play

There is surely no mystery in Sheldon Adelson's donation to the anti-medical marijuana contingent in Florida. The aim is to turn out a conservative set of voters in November — just the sort who will back Rick Scott for a second term.

Stephen Phillips, St. Petersburg

Out-of-state meddling | June 14, letter

Casino mogul eyes Florida

The letter writer wonders why casino mogul Sheldon Adelson is bankrolling the fight against the medical marijuana initiative in Florida. For years, Adelson and other casino bigwigs have been trying to get a foot in the door to set up shop against the Seminoles. Previous governors have wisely avoided opening up our state to outside casino operators. But now, we have a governor who loves big checks. If you want a favor, write a check to the Republican Party or to one of his favorite projects and Florida is yours to exploit.

It is not a surprise that the Drug Free Florida Committee accepted outside money. They know they're fighting an uphill battle because the majority of voters support Amendment 2, and no matter how many times they show the old Reefer Madness movie, the public isn't buying it.

Bob Dalzell, St. Petersburg

Mass killing in Iraq claimed | June 16

It was only a matter of time

When the United States invaded Iraq, everyone with any knowledge of the history of the Middle East knew that three things were going to happen.

First, sooner or later Saddam Hussein was going to be gone. Second, sooner or later the United States was going to leave Iraq. Third, sooner or later Sunnis and Shiites were going to be at each other's throats, as they have been for over a thousand years.

It was only a matter of time.

Ralph Scott, Gulfport

Rays fans didn't ring their cowbells right June 14

Support the home team

As I was reading this article on the Rays fans thrown out after ringing their cowbells at "inappropriate" times, I was dumbfounded to see it all came at the instigation of Red Sox fans. It floored me that Rays fans who came to support their team would be escorted out because of complaints by probably the most arrogant, full-of-hot-air fans who visit Tropicana Field.

Rays fans go to have a good time and support their team. Those Boston fans had some gall to complain considering the stuff they dish out on a regular basis.

Rene Tamargo, Tampa


Friday's letters: Thanks to jurors for fulfilling civic duty

May is Juror Appreciation Month Thanks, jurors, for your service Trial by a jury of one’s peers is among the bedrock guarantees that make our representative democracy exceptional. Without it, the courtroom fates of defendants and civil litiga...
Updated: 7 hours ago

Thursday’s letters: Heated chemotherapy won’t treat most ovarian cancers

Heated chemotherapy has promising results | May 16Cancer treatment not a cure-all While we were pleased to see the story about ovarian cancer treatment, we are concerned that the article could mislead many patients. The treatment described has be...
Published: 05/22/18
Updated: 05/24/18

Wednesday’s letters: A princess gives us a lesson to live by

Royal treatment | May 21Princess offers advice for us allThe radiant and joyful Princess Anna Noela Lokolo of the Democratic Republic of Congo, recent Eckerd College graduate, has given us a huge gift in her parting words. "If people have a negat...
Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/23/18

Hernando Letters to the Editor for May 25

Re: Central High School bomb threat suspect to be tried as adult | May 4Angry mob rhetoric not helpfulWe have observed the public discourse surrounding the case of Mizella Robinson with increasing unease. A sampling of the more common sentiment...
Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/22/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for May 25

Re: Proposed TECO Solar Plant Opposed to the TECO solar plantAs a 21-year resident and property owner, I am writing in opposition to the proposed Tampa Electric Company solar plant in rural northeast Pasco County.The solar plant will be .2 miles from...
Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/22/18

Tuesday’s letters: If you don’t like the Electoral College, then amend the Constitution

The popular vote | May 20, letterIf you don’t like it, amend ConstitutionA recent letter supports the idea that a state should be able to change its Electoral College vote to match that of the national popular vote winner as opposed to the result...
Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/22/18

Monday’s letters: Focusing on the mental state of shooters misses the point

Texas high school shooting | May 18Criminals, angry people kill peopleSchool shootings are a distinctly American phenomenon. But shootings by people with serious mental illness represent less than 1 percent of all yearly gun-related homicides in ...
Published: 05/19/18
Updated: 05/21/18

Friday’s letters: Putnam and Publix, two P’s lose my nod

Publix pours cash to Putnam | May 17A pleasure to shop elsewhereMy family and I moved to Tampa in 1974, and have made Publix our favorite grocery store ever since. Forty-four years! That is why it makes me a little sad to have to say goodbye.Firs...
Published: 05/18/18

Saturday’s letters: For Florida to move forward, focus on a healthy and sustainable environment

Tampa’s future is bright | May 12Protect Florida, boost economyThis past year, Florida set another record-breaking year for tourism, welcoming more than 116 million visitors. While Florida boasts a unique quality of life and more than 1,300 miles...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/18/18

Sunday’s letters: What conservatives stand for

How can conservatism survive after Trump | May 13, Nickens columnhed#6324 I think it obvious that traditional conservatism was squeezed out of the 2016 campaign narrative and has become a niche thesis owned by a small group of intellectuals. A gr...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/18/18