Sunday, November 19, 2017
Letters To The Editor

Tuesday's letters: Snowden's theft, treachery


Help choose Letter of the Month

Letters to the editor offer a significant contribution to the discussion of public policy and life in Tampa Bay. To recognize some of that work by our most engaged readers, the Times will select a letter of the month and the writers will be recognized annually.

Help us choose from the nominations for letter of the month for December 2013 by visiting the website listed below by Friday. Read through the three letters and vote on the ballot at the bottom of the web page. We will choose the finalists each month based on relevance on topical issues, persuasiveness and writing style. The writer's opinion does not need to match the editorial board's opinion on the issue to be nominated. But clarity of thinking, brevity and a sense of humor certainly help.

To see the three December nominees and vote, go to

Snowden deserves plea deal Jan. 3, commentary

Snowden's theft, treachery

It was appalling to read the New York Times editorial supporting leniency for Edward Snowden. But thanks to the Tampa Bay Times for printing Ruth Marcus' article, which details the scope and the massive damage of Snowden's theft and treachery.

Snowden did not limit his revelations to domestic surveillance but stole and distributed classified foreign intelligence. Does anyone really believe Snowden was smart enough to be employed by one of the world's leading management and technology consulting companies — but not smart enough to find a way to give a proper alert to what he believed was unwarranted domestic surveillance? He made an attempt, he says: "told two supervisors." That's it? How diligent; how exhaustive.

The bottom line is that Edward Snowden loved Edward Snowden more than he loved his country, and he gave in to his narcissistic and self-absorbed impulses to steal and divulge classified foreign intelligence without regard to the harm to his country. He wants to leave Russia? Let him stay; they deserve each other. Should he return, he should be prosecuted to the fullest extent permitted by law

William R. Eleazer, St. Petersburg

Hillsborough schools opt for armed guards Dec. 19

Expensive and dangerous

As a junior attending Steinbrenner High School, I was troubled to hear our elementary schools were to soon be receiving armed guards. Like anyone else, I was horrified by the Connecticut shootings, however I feel this defensive measure is a mistake. Tragedies such as Sandy Hook reflect complicated societal issues that cannot be solved with a simple solution, certainly not one that is expensive and introduces weaponry to our elementary schools.

Melissa Ferrin, Lutz

Reforms target military pensions | Jan. 1

Spread the sacrifice

Lt. Col. Stephen Preston expresses his anger that Congress may trim military pensions by a small cut — "a one percentage point reduction in the annual cost-of-living increase."

The 2010 report of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform (Simpson-Bowles) warned us that we can't get a handle on our debt unless we reform civilian and military retirement benefits and also the real long-term drivers of debt, including the growth of health care entitlements and Social Security. The commission reported a desperate need "to reform the tax code, which is riddled with trillions of dollars in economy-distorting loopholes."

Yes, Congress has been too generous over the years in increasing the above programs. Most of us condemn our Congress for not having political courage to do the right thing. I think we ought to get behind Congress and support those who prudently spread the sacrifice among all but the poorest.

I served in infantry units in Korea and Vietnam, and I'm blessed that I'm in good health and have what I consider a good retirement; I'm willing to give my share. After all, it's the future of our country, and as some in Congress have often said, we don't want to pass a huge debt burden on to our children and grandchildren. So write, phone and email your senators and representatives to do the right thing.

Paul D. McPartland Sr., U.S. Marine Corps (Ret.), Port Richey

Florida tuition

Governor deserves praise

College students across the state are returning to classes this week and paying our tuition bills. We should also be thanking Gov. Rick Scott. This past year, the governor used his veto pen to "hold the line" against yet another year of tuition increases on our students and families, demonstrating that access to public higher education is still a Floridian value. His action broke an unsustainable trend of cost increases on students, and that deserves applause.

It's important, too, that our state continues to see its public universities as an invaluable asset deserving of investment. This past year, the Legislature agreed to this principle and began restoring some of the funding our schools lost during the recession. This matters because our universities are engines for growth that provide thousands of jobs, generate billions of dollars in statewide economic impact and lead to the creation of new industries through research and patent activities. They also supply a diverse, talented and highly educated workforce to our state's employers. At a time when growth remains necessary to encourage new development and drive our state's economic recovery, policymakers should be encouraged to continue the positive trends they started in 2013.

So thank you, Florida, for seeing a path forward and embracing it. Thank you for acknowledging that severe and repeated tuition hikes hurt families and don't help our state economy. Thank you for affirming that massive cuts to public education budgets aren't the answer to our state's economic questions. And thank you for showing that investing in human capital is a primary tool to position Florida's economy for success in the 21st century.

Carlo Fassi, president, University of North Florida student government, Jacksonville


Monday’s letters: Doctors should speak up on harassment

Sexual harassmentDoctors need to speak upThe recent widespread recognition, followed by disapproval, of sexual harassment across many workplaces signals a paradigm shift in social attitudes toward abuse of power that is long overdue.The male-dominate...
Published: 11/17/17

Saturday’s letters: Reservoir project off to a good start

Lake OkeechobeeReservoir project off to good startThis year, more than 70,000 Floridians contacted their legislators to support expediting a reservoir project south of Lake Okeechobee. Another 150 business people, anglers, health care professionals a...
Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/17/17

Sunday’s letters: Roundabout way to help the rich

Senate GOP’s tax plan to kill ACA mandate | Nov. 15Devious way to hurt middle classSo, let’s see if we have this straight. The proposed amendment to the Senate tax plan, to kill the individual mandate, will cause young people to not buy health in...
Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/17/17

Friday’s letters: Stop laying blame on teachers

Hillsborough teachers are set to protest | Nov. 14Stop laying blame on teachersI am a veteran teacher, coming up on 30 years of service to public education. My mother was also an educator, clocking over 40 years of service in public education. Sh...
Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/16/17

Pasco Letters to the Editor for Nov. 17

Questioning fees draws snarky responseYou are probably aware of the new Pasco utility fees that became effective last month.Under the dubious title of "convenience fee" for making utility payments by credit card or e-check, Pasco Utilities adds $2.75...
Published: 11/15/17

Dollars need to stay at home if south Brooksville is to survive

As a member of the Moton High School Class of 1967, I grew up a poor but very happy child because of the love given to me by all. So all I had to do was be a child and not rush to be an adult.There were many black businesses along a four-block area o...
Updated: 7 hours ago

Wednesday’s letters: Generosity makes all the difference

National Adoption MonthThe difference generosity makesAs a football coach, I always had to be ready to overcome unexpected challenges. With injuries, crowd noise and especially weather, the game plan is always adjusting to overcome adversity.Our stat...
Published: 11/13/17
Updated: 11/14/17

Monday’s letters: Moore is not fit for public office

Woman: Candidate pursued her as a teen | Nov. 10Moore is not fit for public officeIt is sad that Roy Moore, a self-professed religious man, is running for a Senate seat when he is clearly unfit for any job involving the public for so many reasons...
Published: 11/10/17
Updated: 11/13/17

Monday’s letters: Don’t fall for the tax cut ruse

Tax billDon’t take your eye off the ballThe rush is on. The Republican Congress is rushing to pass a modest tax cut for the middle class while giving corporations a massive tax cut. While taking away some of the tax deductions from ordinary taxpayers...
Published: 11/10/17

Sunday’s letters: End greyhound racing in Florida

Tom Lee wants to phase out greyhound racing | Nov. 8Put a stop to this cruel industryKudos to Sen. Tom Lee for shepherding a constitutional amendment to end greyhound racing in Florida. Greyhounds forced to race live in misery and frequently die ...
Published: 11/09/17
Updated: 11/10/17