Sunday, June 17, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Tuesday's letters: Raising limits will waste fuel

State speed limit may rise to 75 mph | Nov. 13

Raising limits will waste gasoline

I have to shake my head in disbelief that the Florida Legislature would even consider raising the speed limits in Florida. It demonstrates how out of touch they are with real-world issues.

According to the U.S. Energy Department, there is a 7 percent decrease in fuel economy for every 5 miles per hour over 50 mph. At a time when our planet is undergoing severe weather changes due to human interference, the Legislature should be lowering speed limits, not raising them.

In the early '70s the nation's speed limit was reduced to 55 mph to increase fuel efficiency due to a fuel shortage. Even though it was not a popular move with the public, the outcome was positive. Fuel economy was achieved and, as a bonus, highway fatalities were reduced.

Speed limits have slowly increased since then based on safety, but fuel economy has not been a factor. The truth is, if measures to reduce carbon emissions are not imposed soon, far greater austerities will be forced upon us. Getting to your destination 10 minutes sooner is not worth a global disaster.

Alfred Renedo, Brooksville

How fast is too fast? | Nov. 15, letter

Driver not following rules

By moving to the left lane and driving 75 mph in a 70 mph speed zone, the letter writer is actually creating a bigger safety hazard than those drivers driving 80 mph, as his actions result in drivers swerving in and out of lanes to try and get around him.

Has the letter writer never seen the signs along the interstate instructing slower traffic to keep right? It is not the letter writer's job to control speeds on the highway — that is a police function. If the letter writer was truly concerned with road safety, he would abide by the posted instruction for slower-moving traffic to stay right.

Dave O'Brien, Belleair Bluffs

Driverless cars just up ahead, transportation leaders say | Nov. 15

Flexible transit solutions

Automated cars are coming. In one scenario, most homes will continue to have one car per driver, but driving will become better and more efficient. Cars will still consume a substantial portion of the average household's income, but you will be able to text while in the driver's seat and driving will be safer.

In another scenario, automated cars will be used to deliver a supercharged version of car-sharing. You will no longer own a car, but have access to one, on demand, 24/7. Parking spaces will become obsolete because the car will pick someone else up when it drops you off. Without the need for parking, cities will get denser.

But even in the most ambitious scenario for car-sharing, we still need more density in the urban core, more transit and decreased parking regulations.

If you can make a driverless car, you can make a driverless train or bus. So transit will likely still be the most cost-effective option.

Will automated vehicles change how we drive and live? Maybe. Will automated vehicles make the need for transit choices obsolete or transit spending today wasteful? No. In the future, as it is today, people with different needs and different wants will seek out different transportation options.

There is no transportation silver bullet. Government should never pick a winning transit technology and force it on everyone. Cities with good transit systems and walkable neighborhoods are already benefiting from car-sharing and, in the future, cities with dense urban centers will benefit the most from automated cars.

Brian Willis, president, Connect Tampa Bay, Tampa

For honor roll, D's don't make the grade Nov. 16, editorial

Disservice to students

I believe it is a terrible idea to disqualify a high school student who makes a C or below from the honor roll. It is demoralizing to hard-working students.

This would mean that a student could get five A's and one C for the quarter and not be recognized as an honor roll student. This student would have a grade-point average of 3.66.

Another student could get four B's and two A's and make the honor roll with a GPA of 3.33.

In many cases, bright, hard-working students have deficit areas. Suppose a student is weak in math and gets a 79 for the quarter. This is a C. He or she could earn five A's in the other classes but still be excluded from honor roll status.

I hope the school board reconsiders this proposed policy. In this day and age, to not reward a hard-working student who earns a 3.4, 3.5 or 3.6 grade-point average in a quarter to me is professional negligence.

Andy Kern, New Port Richey

Kerry, Biden seek time to negotiate with Iran Nov. 14

Time for peace

I visited Iran in 1972, during the time of the U.S. puppet, the shah. I made apologizes to the people for what the United States and our CIA was doing. Many times I was told, "We like the people of the United States, but the government is bad."

For more than 40 years I have said that if the Iranian people forgive the United States in my lifetime, it will be sooner than we deserve.

Now I ask all to support peace, and ask for removal of sanctions. The drums of war only bring suffering and do not add to the security of anyone.

Patrick Lawhead, Tampa

Priorities for next police chief Nov. 18, editorial

Thanks for police

During this time of giving thanks, I would like to express appreciation to our St. Petersburg Police Department: Chief Chuck Harmon, his assistant chiefs, and every police officer who serves and protects our community. We are truly blessed to have such a committed, professional and caring group of individuals. I have never met a police officer who was not of stellar quality.

The next time you see an officer on duty, thank him or her. The next life they protect may be your own.

Nancy Williams, St. Petersburg


Monday’s letters: Skip those plastic bags and save the environment

To save our seas, overcome congressional apathy | Column, June 16Do your part and skip plastic bagsEvery day we read about the shame of our landfills and oceans filling up with plastic bags, yet most people don’t care. My wife and I always carry ...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

White House defends splitting up families as ‘biblical’ | June 15The suffering of the childrenI am a mother and attorney with more than 20 years of practice living in Tampa. For the past three years, I worked as a magistrate in a Unified Family C...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Saturday’s letters: Community-based care requires community involvement

Fix foster care, and do it quickly | Editorial, June 15Involve the community itselfWhile the detailed article about the scathing state review of Hillsborough County’s foster care problems touched on leadership, a critical point was not addressed....
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Friday’s letters: Freight trains are infrastructure that works in Tampa Bay

Railroads are infrastructure that worksFreight trains carry the loadCentral Florida is our state’s fastest-growing region. We’re on track to outpace South Florida’s growth 2-to-1 over the next several years. Great news for our local economy, but it n...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Thursday’s letters: Charter schools aren’t the enemy

Don’t plug your ears when schools ask for tax | May 20, columnCharter schools aren’t the enemyAs an educator, I am astounded when I hear claims from school board members that charter schools take away funding from the local public school system. ...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/14/18

Wednesday’s letters: Trump’s words insult our Canadian visitors

Trade disputes torpedo G-7 summit | June 10Canadian visitors are owed apologyLike many Pinellas County residents, I’m pleased that we receive thousands of Canadian "snow birds" as part-year residents. Not only do they enhance our economy, but by ...
Published: 06/11/18
Updated: 06/13/18

Hernando Letters to the Editor for June 15

Opinion: Commissioners arrogant and incompetentMy wife and I live in Hernando County. As such, we are represented by a Board of County Commissioners where all the members manifest two common traits. Those traits are arrogance and incompetence.The arr...
Published: 06/11/18
Updated: 06/12/18

Tuesday’s letters: Fewer guns would reduce suicides

U.S. under suicide watch | June 8Fewer guns mean fewer suicidesIt is a fact that deserves more attention, but got only one sentence in the article about the U.S. "suicide watch:" "The most common method used across all groups was firearms." I spe...
Published: 06/11/18
Updated: 06/12/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for June 15

New group to address real women’s issuesLast Saturday our Congressman Gus Bilirakis sponsored a "Woman’s Summit" at East Lake High School that was supposed to deal with women’s issues. Some topics covered were gardening, weight loss and quilting.Mayb...
Published: 06/11/18

Monday’s letters: Bring back the ferry, kick-start transit

Cross bay, but who’ll pay? | June 8Ferry could be a gateway to transitIt’s great news that St. Petersburg is committed to bringing back the world class cross bay ferry service. What a common-sense and practical thing to do in order to ease us int...
Published: 06/08/18
Updated: 06/11/18