Thursday, January 18, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Tuesday's letters: Punishing the homeless helps no one

Panhandling rules stricter | July 19

Punishing homeless is pointless

The ordinances recently passed by Tampa's City Council make homelessness illegal by making behaviors intrinsically linked with homelessness illegal. Aside from the cruelty of this stance, the new laws are unenforceable. People cannot be arrested without alternative services being available, such as free storage of belongings, sufficient shelter beds and places for people to be for free during the day.

Why did the City Council pass rules the police cannot actually enforce? I believe that it's at least in part so council members can appear to be doing something about homelessness when they are not.

I applaud council member Mary Mulhern for speaking on behalf of the homeless, "our neighbors." The highlight of her remarks was the following: "We have no commitment from the city of Tampa to do anything other than put these people in jail. At this point, we don't have a strategy, we don't have a plan, we don't have any property."

Putting people in jail will not solve the problem, and it may be more expensive than maintaining new shelters and services.

Jessica Prescott, Tampa

Sustenance for children and society July 19 editorial

Government must help

Kudos to the Pinellas County School Board for partnering with the YMCA to provide free hot dinners at schools for needy families. This effort stands in stark contrast to the Republican-led efforts in the U.S. House to cut to the bone funding for food stamps for the neediest Americans, especially children.

A recent letter writer asserted, "It is not a federal government function to feed the less fortunate," maintaining that it is a societal responsibility that can better be done "through our houses of worship, directly or through charities." I maintain that it is precisely a federal government function, if not its primary function, to feed, clothe, house, heal and educate the less fortunate.

The Republican efforts to deprive our most needy of the means to meet basic needs is mean-spirited and disingenuous, under the guise of "fiscal responsibility." Their professed concern for our nation's well-being cries out for an infusion of conscience and caring for the all the members of our society they were elected to serve.

Morry Bornstein, Seminole

Lottery winner moving on up | July 19

A right to privacy

When did you turn into a trashy spy newspaper? What happened to your integrity? You left that woman nothing!

Any hope for peace and security she may seek is practically nil.

I too am an 83-year-old woman. I buy two lottery tickets every week, but I'm now scared to death that I wouldn't stand a chance of surviving your public exposure if I won.

Kay Grandolfo, St. Petersburg

'Stand your ground' law

Smacks of the Wild West

"Shoot first and ask questions later" is a more appropriate name for Florida's terribly ill-conceived law. People have always been permitted to defend themselves from attack, but now, rather than retreating from confrontation if they can, they can simply start shooting if they "believe" they are going to be attacked.

This gunslinger law right out of the Wild West must be repealed and sanity returned to our law.

Paul Carlucci, Valrico

Profits at BofA jump 70% in quarter | July 18

Gouge customers, reap cash

Seems like every other day we read about one or more of the nation's "too big to fail" banks thwarting consumer mortgage relief or gouging customers with unfounded fees. Now this. They pay financial penalties to government regulators that are more like a slap on the wrist, a cost of doing business. All this skulduggery and nobody ever goes to jail.

Joe King, New Port Richey

Top of their game | July 21

A success all around

I had the privilege of volunteering at the National Veterans Wheelchair Games in Tampa over the past eight days.

Some observations:

Participants were impressed by the cleanliness of downtown Tampa and the quality of the sporting venues, the Convention Center and the Marriott and Embassy Suites hotels.

They were extremely appreciative of the volunteer efforts.

They were very competitive. If you won a medal, you were going to wear it until you got home.

Spouses were loving, supportive and tough. And the support animals (dogs) were just astounding!

Well done, Tampa Bay. This was a national event you should be proud of.

Ron Heimburger, Riverview

Aid for poor given back | July 20

Gross mismanagement

How horrible to read that the Early Learning Coalition of Pinellas County returned $2.4 million that the needy children of our county were entitled to. You can be sure the incompetent bureaucrats responsible for this mismanagement would not have let this happen if their own families were involved. They should be summarily fired and replaced with individuals who are dedicated to serving the needs the next generation.

George Meyers, St. Pete Beach


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...
Updated: 12 hours ago

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

Thursday’s letters: Opioid bill could do more harm than good

Opioid bill opponents line up | Jan. 6Bill’s potential to harm patientsLegislators are proposing putting more restrictions on physicians’ ability to prescribe pain medications. Yes, the addiction problem is a serious one, and the law seems well-i...
Published: 01/08/18
Updated: 01/10/18