Friday, April 20, 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


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...
Updated: 3 hours ago

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

Hernando Letters to the Editor for April 20

Bar Association celebrates Law WeekPresident Dwight D. Eisenhower proclaimed May 1, 1958, as the first Law Day to mark the nation’s commitment to the rule of law. Every year on this day, we reflect on the significance of the rule of law and rededicat...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18

Tuesday’s letters: Stop cooperating with ICE

Sheriff’s ICE policy blasted | April 10Pinellas should end partnership with ICEPinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri recently participated in a community conversation on his controversial agreement with ICE to voluntarily detain immigrants in the...
Published: 04/16/18

Sunday’s letters: The future of oyster production

Shell game | April 15Future of oyster productionThanks to Laura Reiley for an excellent synopsis of the current state of oyster production in Florida. The collapse of the Apalachicola oyster fishery is merely the latest example of the demise of a...
Published: 04/14/18

Monday’s letters: Public education is foundation of the nation

Voters beware of ballot deceptionApril 13, commentarySchools’ role underminedIt was with great pain that I read (not for the first time) that we must be aware of "ballot deception." Public schools were founded to make sure that future generations of ...
Published: 04/13/18

Saturday’s letters: Health Department should butt out

Judge: Grow pot, Mr. Redner | April 12Health officials should butt outThe Times reports that the Florida Department of Health filed an appeal to the decision allowing a man who is a Stage 4 lung cancer survivor to grow pot in his backyard for his ...
Published: 04/11/18
Updated: 04/13/18

Friday’s letters: Open and shut: Enforce the law

Sheriff’s ICE aid policy blasted | April 10Open and shut: Enforce the lawPeople and institutions that insist on the using the euphemism "undocumented immigrant" do nothing but affirm their lack of objectivity by using such a phrase to support an ...
Published: 04/11/18
Updated: 04/12/18