Monday, July 16, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Tuesday's letters: Steps on climate start locally

Accord a road map to change | Dec. 13

Work on climate begins at home

The U.N. Climate Change Summit provided a landmark occasion for world leaders and their staffs to complete a new global climate agreement. From Paris to our own city, we have a responsibility to encourage our local and national leaders to take bold action that measurably reduces the worst contributors to and impacts of climate change.

Some continue to argue that the evidence attributing climate change to human behavior is disputable. Even if this were the case, we know that some human actions lead to a far more sustainable environment for future generations. Let's err on the side of sustainability and choose such actions.

I look forward to 2016 and the opportunity for our Tampa Bay chapter of the United Nations Association of the USA to host discussions about and support actions that contribute to a carbon-neutral world of clean energy. The United Nations is a key ally in the effort to reverse global warming. Yet only by grass roots actions in local communities — concrete steps citizens and leaders must take to secure a prosperous and sustainable future — can we accomplish globally the United Nations' clarion call to action.

Mark Amen, president, United Nations Association-Tampa Bay Chapter, Tampa

Sheriff: Good guys with guns may have to stop bad ones | Dec. 9

Gunfire and confusion

I was surprised to read that we are being asked to arm ourselves as private citizens. There are enough people running around "carrying" as it is. Can you imagine more road rage, more shootouts, more "stand your ground" alibis?

What would happen if there was a person firing into a crowd and citizens responded with their own gunfire? This could lead to "friendly fire" casualties. Then when law enforcement arrives, officers are not aware of what they face except for what the dispatcher transmits, which most times is sketchy. They may face a person with a firearm who is the "perp" or the protector. Now the decision has to be reflex on their part. So we could read about how an innocent person was gunned down by overzealous police because he wielded a gun at the scene.

Frank Rigiero, Clearwater

Rubio shakes up Obamacare | Dec. 11

Rubio's misplaced priorities

Sen. Marco Rubio brags that he "saved" the taxpayers $2.5 billion on Obamacare. That was money that was planned for and voted on, and that helped millions of taxpaying, middle-class Americans. At the same time he has supported continuing the excessive import duties on sugar. According to Bloomberg Financial, that costs American consumers $3.5 billion a year in increased costs. That higher cost amounts to a bailout for a small number of well-connected, billionaire sugar families.

The agricultural industry news source Agri Marketing estimates that these same well-connected sugar families have contributed $400,000 to Rubio's presidential campaign so far. Am I the only one who sees a pattern here? Maybe if the middle-class citizens of America banded together, chipped in and "paid to play," there would be more laws helping us.

No wonder we see story after story about the collapse of the middle class and the growing disparity in income and wealth between them and the protected, coddled super-rich. Unfortunately, Rubio isn't the only politician operating with these severely misplaced priorities.

Peter S. Cohoon, Tampa

Scalia bases claim on unproven theory Dec. 12, PolitiFact

College overload

Justice Antonin Scalia is halfway correct in his theory of Fisher vs. University of Texas. The half he is correct on is that most of today's students, not just minorities, would be better served in slower-track schools. The misguided theory that every student must go to college to succeed is wrong. The burden society has placed on all students is backfiring; all it does is place a giant financial weight on both the students and their families. If schools like the University of Texas are so great, why is our tech industry crying for more visas for quality programmers from India? Why are so many of our doctors and nurses from India and the Philippines?

One other thing Scalia's comments show is that maybe we should have term limits on justices. In 1789 being a justice for life made sense, but our world has changed since then.

Robert Spencer, Dunedin

Fear of the fallout | Dec. 9

Making personal contact

I read with great interest this article about Muslim-Americans. When I saw the picture of the man from the bakery in Temple Terrace, I decided to drive over to lend support.

What I found was a gentle, kind man who welcomed me into his bakery. We spoke about our churches. I mentioned that mine, St. Mark's Episcopal, looks like the world, with a very diverse congregation. He replied, "Our mosque is the same way. We have people from all over the world and many different races." He told me that Temple Terrace is 20 percent Muslim.

I bought some of his excellent baklava, enough to share with the choir at St. Mark's.

As I left, I gained more than I gave. I found a gentle, holy man. My thinking was once again confirmed. People are people. We must talk one-on-one with each other. We ought to share a meal together. We ought to discover how much of a difference kindness and love can make.

The Rev. Thomas L. Shanklin, Tampa

'Failure Factories'

Parental responsibilities

It's gratifying to read letters discussing the parental side of the equation in the Times' series on failing Pinellas County schools. The dreadful situation in these and other schools is not the real problem; it is a symptom. The disease is an increasing number of children, of all races, who are not being raised by a family that fulfills its responsibility (to their children and to society) to parent children with love, support, structure and discipline.

The real question becomes: To what extent are we going to rely on, and require, our government to become surrogate parents?

Gordon Stevenson, Tampa


Monday’s letters: Make investment in the Rays an actual investment with an actual return

Paying for ballpark will take teamwork | Editorial, July 12An actual return on investmentMuch attention has been given to the cost of the proposed Rays stadium in Ybor City and who will foot the bill. The three-legged stool of the Rays, the busin...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Sunday’s letters: Stop burning of sugar cane near the Everglades

Florida’s land of black snow | Bill Maxwell column, July 1Don’t burn sugar cane, periodIn this column, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Chris King got a lot of things right about how sugarcane burning negatively impacts the Glades communities w...
Published: 07/11/18
Updated: 07/13/18

Saturday’s letters: The dangerous days before Roe vs. Wade

The reality of back-alley abortions | Column, July 11The dangerous days before RoeI am a 71-year-old retired nurse. I still remember when abortion was illegal and birth control was restricted to married women in the United States. In 1983, I set ...
Published: 07/09/18
Updated: 07/14/18

Thursday’s letters: The Rays’ Ybor City stadium will be magnificent

Rays’ big dream is small ballpark | July 11The new stadium will be gorgeousI had the pleasure of attending the unveiling of the Tampa Bay Rays "next-generation, neighborhood ballpark." I was blown away. As an 18-year resident of Tampa Bay, and ma...
Published: 07/09/18
Updated: 07/12/18

Wednesday’s letters: Let’s prepare Florida’s next generation for the jobs that have been created yet

Make Florida’s workforce globally competitivePrepare for jobs not yet createdIf you aren’t amazed by the speed at which technology is changing our world, just think back 20 years. Would you have imagined cellphones with the capabilities of a laptop c...
Published: 07/09/18
Updated: 07/11/18

Hernando Letters to the Editor for July 13

Re: School meals for all students | July 6 storyParents should pay for their ownThat article really got me to thinking ... why can’t parents feed and care for their own children? When did it become others’ responsibility to do this? No one fed our th...
Published: 07/09/18

Tuesday’s letters: It’s great that Tampa’s Democratic mayor works with a Republican governor

Dems wary of Scott, Buckhorn bromance | July 8It’s not partisan to look out for TampaThe focus of a mayor should be on success in his jurisdiction, no matter the partner, for the citizens who live in his area of responsibility. Mayor Bob Buckhorn...
Published: 07/06/18
Updated: 07/10/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for July 13

Scaring birds with fireworks is a problemThe justification of buying fireworks to scare birds is the biggest problem with fireworks. My wife and I retired to a small pond across from a nature preserve. On a recent holiday, we were enjoying watching b...
Published: 07/05/18
Updated: 07/09/18

Monday’s letters: Let’s keep plastics out of the ocean now

Is a ban on plastic straws a step too far? | July 4 Plastic in oceanis not fantastic As a Tampa Bay native, I am thrilled to see a concerted effort to eliminate plastics pollution in the area, and encouraged to see small business and restaurant ow...
Published: 07/05/18
Updated: 07/09/18

Sunday’s letters: Keep the Rays in Tampa Bay

Ballpark site catches break | July 5Keep the Rays in Tampa BayLast month, the Tampa Bay Partnership led a delegation of nearly 20 Tampa Bay business leaders on a benchmarking trip to Houston, to explore the nationally recognized workforce develop...
Published: 07/05/18
Updated: 07/06/18