Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Tuesday's letters: Scott's veto hits families hard

Florida's budget

Scott's veto will hit families hard

Gov. Rick Scott signed what he deems as the "Florida Families First Budget." How unfortunate for my family that he chose to line-item veto funding for the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly, or PACE. This program provides care to Medicaid and Medicare patients at home rather than in a nursing home.

It provides my father with his medicines, diapers and even a home health aide to provide care while my mother and I to go to work and school. My father, 56, suffers from frontotemporal dementia. He never wanted, and it is not necessary for him, to die in a nursing home. It is not necessary for our family to be put in the poorhouse just to ensure my father has diapers. It is not necessary for our governor to displace hundreds of families across the state from the health care their loved ones so desperately need.

Our governor should be ashamed of himself. He vetoed funding for this program in three counties, in addition to funding for nonprofit charities, jobs programs and housing for needy families. Imagine receiving a phone call from your mother, crying and in despair asking how we are going to make it as a family and continue to care for Dad.

My first reaction was anger; now it is one of inquisitiveness. Are we so low on the political totem pole that the average red-blooded American middle-class family is no longer important to the governor?

Christopher Cano, Tampa

Wealth distribution a problem, most say June 14, PolitiFact

Down a path to failure

The path toward America's future is becoming increasingly more dangerous. I'm not referring to the numerous scandals that are rocking the country, nor the challenges and threats posed by the leaders of Syria, Iran, Libya, North Korea and other hot spots.

The real danger lies in the changing cultural make-up of the American people. In the past two presidential elections, over 50 percent of Americans voted for a liberal position encompassing a more generous entitlement agenda and a need for government to manage how they live, work and play. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., stated that "nearly 6 out of 10 believe that money and wealth should be more evenly distributed among a larger percentage of the people in the U.S." This was verified by PolitiFact.

Redistribution of wealth cannot be accomplished by investing in and supporting capitalism. Some of us will gain wealth through hard work, business acumen and, yes, even good luck. Others will not.

A balanced distribution of wealth can only be done by a government dedicated to leveling the economic playing field by penalizing those with more points on the board. By casting aside the tenets of capitalism in favor of dependence on government entitlement handouts and Big Brother supervision, we will indeed find ourselves headed down a dangerous path toward those countries where attempts to redistribute wealth have failed.

H.S. Smith, Palm Harbor

Living in the land of nod (and winks) June 14, Daniel Ruth column

End policy of discretion

I agree that the trooper should not have been fired. But to say that Rep. Charles McBurney is a tattletale misses the point. The point is that the legislator brought to light a policy that should not have existed in the first place. Now that it has been revealed, one can only hope that it is gone forever.

Daniel Ruth should thank McBurney for exposing what was an improper policy, and his criticism and sarcasm should rightly be directed at the Florida Highway Patrol brass.

John Bassett, St. Petersburg

Amazon may bring 1,000 jobs | June 14

The tax is due

As a retired sales tax auditor from another state, it amazes me how the governor and other Florida politicians see the collecting of sales tax from Amazon as a tax increase. Individuals are responsible for the tax on sales of taxable items that are delivered to Florida on which no sales tax is charged.

When we purchased furniture from a North Carolina distributor, the delivery truck was stopped by Florida revenue agents and we received a bill for the use tax (part of the Sales Tax Act) that was due on the shipment. We paid the tax as we understood that this was the law. Most people don't voluntarily pay this, and most individuals aren't audited for these type sales. But the tax is due.

Richard Tron, Wesley Chapel

Balancing security, privacy | June 14

New lines of attack, defense

As neither a conservative nor a liberal, I for one am comforted by the fact that the National Security Agency has the authority and means to investigate and follow trails that may lead to acts of terrorism in this country. If I am stupid enough to get online to check out ways to build bombs or communicate with people online whose actions could result in the deaths of innocent people, then I should be investigated.

Technology has changed the definition of the "war on terrorism." People who want to harm our country and its citizens have found a new line of attack. These terrorists are not a nation with an organized, traditional army. They are groups of extremists all over the world, armed, who hide under a cloak of secrecy with computers and the technological ability to wreak havoc on innocent lives.

Sept. 11, 2001, should have changed our perception of the world we live in. People who want government transparency when it comes to our national defense are ignorant of the world in which we live.

Joanne Danaher, Tampa

America's worst charities | June 9

Charitable deeds

Thank you for your informative series "America's Worst Charities." The Children's Dream Fund is a well-managed and highly effective wish-granting organization that has been serving seriously ill children on the west coast of Florida for over 30 years, and values ethics and stewardship.

We have felt the effects of the Kids Wish Network and are grieved that well-meaning donors continue to support them through their telemarketing efforts. The Children's Dream Fund consistently spends over 82 percent of revenues on programs, has a three-star rating from Charity Navigator, and adheres to the Association of Fundraising Professionals' Donor Bill of Rights. We do no telemarketing, and can be trusted to spend the dollars we receive to make memories that last a lifetime for sick children and their families.

Cynthia Lake, executive director, Children's Dream Fund, St. Petersburg


Wednesday’s letters: Charters and traditional public schools each have their place

Public school as public good | Letter, June 17Both kinds of schools can workAs a mother and grandmother of children raised in both traditional public and charter schools in Pinellas County (and a 25-year supporting-services employee for public sc...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Tuesday’s letters: Keep programs that fight AIDS

For author Biden, it’s a father’s gift | June 6Keep programs that fight AIDSAfter former Vice President Joe Biden’s recent visit to St. Petersburg, I noticed an article that he co-wrote with former Sen. Bill Frist. It reminded everyone about the ...
Updated: 11 hours ago

Is anyone watching the money?Hernando County’s budget shortfall is ever changing going from $6 million to $11.5 million to $14 million to what is assumed a final number of $12.6 million. Who knows the budget shortfall could change again.Who’s watchi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Re: County OKs solar zones | June 8Plea ignored at solar plant hearingThe Pasco County Commission on June 5 voted to identify a utility-sized solar electric plant as a "special exception" use on agricultural-zoned land in Pasco County. What thi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

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: 06/18/18

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