Thursday, April 26, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Tuesday's letters: Put pressure on oil producers

Tense rhetoric, threats get hotter between U.S., Iran | Dec. 29

Put pressure on the oil producers

It appears Iran has reversed Theodore Roose­velt's adage and is now speaking loudly and carrying a small stick. The threat Iranians pose to the stability of the Middle East and the flow of petroleum has given justifiable concern to the United States and Europe.

There is no doubt the Strait of Hormuz must remain open. The crude oil exported through this strategic passageway accounts for 40 percent of the world's oil supply, of which an estimated 18 percent is exported to the United States. Meanwhile, at a time when the U.S. economy is starting to recover, the price of crude oil is hovering around $100 a barrel.

There are 32 American military bases in the Middle East. Do these greedy and selfish oil-rich nations realize their precious oil would be lost to aggressive countries in their region if not for our presence in the Middle East? Talk about the dog biting the hand that feeds it.

Maybe it is time for our elected officials to take off their kid gloves and send the leaders of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries a simple message: "Either you compensate us for every barrel of your oil we protect through the Strait of Hormuz, or we start closing U.S. bases in your region."

I don't think that would be asking too much of OPEC, considering the United States provides stability to the Middle East and each day puts our most precious assets — the young men and women who serve this great nation — at risk. It's time for Washington to play hardball.

John Botelho, New Port Richey

Six for 12 | Jan. 1, editorial

Money isn't the problem

Contrary to this newspaper's recommendation, our education system in Florida may not need more money. What it may need, just like the rest of American education, is to spend only on programs that are known to work.

All other spending in the area should be thought of as experimental and subject to defunding in future years for proven nonperformance.

Where are the truly serious change proposals, such as vouchers for every parent? Deep-sixed by the existing system's beneficiaries, that's where.

Rolf H. Parta, Bradenton

Times columnists

A welcome new voice

Not being a sports fanatic, I didn't know anything about John Romano, the new Times metro columnist. However, I took a moment on New Year's Day, the first day of your paper's name change, to read his personal introduction to readers of this all-important section. I was quite pleased with his overall candor and simple, blunt honesty. In addition, it was fitting that he gave the readers a brief history of his lifelong ties to the bay area. I also appreciated the fact he acknowledged that he has some big shoes to fill as he replaces former columnist Howard Troxler. That shows character.

Therefore, as a daily Times reader, I welcome Romano with an open mind. Besides, anyone who hates reality TV as much as I do is now a friend of mine.

Good luck, John!

Mike Merino, Tampa

Breath of fresh air

Welcome to John Romano as the new metro columnist. Based on his self-description, he will be a breath of fresh air.

I don't miss Howard Troxler and his coarse tirades. He and Daniel Ruth seem to belong to that group of writers and politicians who think that the only way to influence people is through insult and inane metaphors.

I wonder how many people actually understood all the references in Ruth's Dec. 30 column. He went on and on and on: "Bowery Boy dunces vying for votes," "pulled a George Patton," "Hedley Lamarr gang recruiting scene," "attention to detail of Mr. Magoo," "went all H. Rap Brown," "the Gracie Allen of the hustings," "more … unelectable than Archie Bunker," "the Bluto of the hustings," "somewhere between Who's on First and What's on Second," "the Louse That Bored." Is Ruth writing for us or for himself?

I hope Romano will be writing for me and people like me who are offended by tirades and attacks and want our discourse to be civil and thought-provoking.

Virginia Walker, Dunedin

Child hit by stray bullet in Ruskin | Jan. 2

Terrible tragedy

The tragedy of this young man might not have happened if the state of Florida enforced the "faux" fireworks law that is in place. He more than likely would not have been out on the porch after midnight watching his neighbors' display of "illegal fireworks," but instead watching it in a controlled situation.

Chances are, someone could have determined where this shot came from if the shot fired was not in competition with an illegal display of fireworks. Stop the nonsense.

Cathy L. Meeker, Riverview

Voting requirements

Be an informed voter

There is a lot if misinformation going around about the identification requirement for voting in Florida.

If you vote by mail, your signature on the envelope containing your ballot is sufficient. If you show up at your precinct on election day without your ID, you are issued a provisional ballot. When your signature is validated the following day, your ballot is counted.

Our supervisor of elections, Deborah Clark, has all this spelled out at I encourage all voters to visit the website of your county's supervisor of elections and be an informed voter.

Dennis V. Hughes, St. Petersburg

Tampa Bay Times

Well done, except …

Congratulations on the name change to Tampa Bay Times. I agree that it is fitting with our overall region's identity and growth.

However, I can't understand why the Tampa Bay Times, and formerly the St. Petersburg Times, covers up its brand and identity on the front page with stickers hawking auctions and department store discounts. It really diminishes the professionalism of the paper, which you have been promoting for over a hundred years.

I can't imagine Coca-Cola, Apple or any other major company covering up the brand that they worked so hard to build.

Jeff Chilcott, Tampa


Thursday’s letters: A surgeon responds to story about a needle being left in a baby’s heart

All Children’s surgeon left a needle in a baby’s heart | April 22My view as one of the surgeonsI am one of the physicians discussed (but not interviewed) in this article. Whatever the motive for such an article, I disagree with many of the claims...
Published: 04/23/18
Updated: 04/25/18

Wednesday’s letters: How we plan to improve foster care in Hillsborough

Improving foster care inHillsborough | April 19, editorialOur plans for helping kidsThis editorial poses many good questions. The Department of Children and Families’ peer review report is expected to be released soon. And while we welcome the an...
Published: 04/23/18
Updated: 04/25/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for April 27

Stop Ridge Road extension, reader saysWhen I spoke at the Dade City meeting of the Pasco County Commissioners on my opposition to the Ridge Road Extension, three of them responded, but only when my three minutes of free speech expired, and I could sa...
Published: 04/23/18

Monday’s letters: Term limits don’t work

U.S. Senate campaignTerm limitsdon’t workGov. Rick Scott has begun his run for the U.S. Senate with TV ads promoting term limits for representatives and senators. Aside from the probability that this would require a constitutional amendment, I think ...
Published: 04/22/18
Updated: 04/23/18

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

Tuesday’s letters: Student journalists push to save their newsrooms and independence

Save student newsroomsAs professional newsrooms shrink, student newsrooms have become an increasingly important source of local coverage, holding not only our universities accountable but also local government. We write these articles, attending meet...
Published: 04/20/18
Updated: 04/24/18

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