Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Tuesday's letters: Utility deal benefits consumers

No budget deal in sight | Sept. 30

Reject government by extortion

For the past four years, the Republican Party and its extremist tea party allies have repeatedly shown themselves ready and, in fact, eager to lie about the Affordable Care Act. These unscrupulous ideologues have lied about "a government takeover," "death panels," "rationed care," "forced contraception," "forced vaccinations," and every other hobby horse they could imagine. All this was in an effort to confuse and frighten the American public.

Now, with their lies about to be exposed by the act's implementation, they have stooped to simple extortion. Like kidnappers who "negotiate" by holding a gun to their victim's head, the GOP representatives in the House have decided that unless they get their way, they will force the shutdown of a large part of the government. Worse yet, if the Democrats still haven't given in, these extremists are threatening to force the United States into defaulting on its legal obligations.

It is incumbent on every voter to understand these issues and to remember them at the next election. Before then, when default causes huge slides in the stock markets, everyone who is, or hopes to be retired should send a great big "thanks a lot" to their tea party neighbors.

Gregg Niemi, Tampa

Don't silence voice of utility customers Sept. 29, editorial

Deal benefits consumers

The Public Service Commission did, in fact, conduct an exhaustive process that included more than 350,000 pages of documents, nine customer hearings around the state and weeks of technical hearings with testimony from expert witnesses.

Organizations representing customers who consume nearly half of the power we produce — including military bases, hospitals, manufacturers and other entities that employ hundreds of thousands of Floridians — came together on a thoughtful compromise. However, despite my repeated invitations, the public counsel refused to come to the table and instead chose to promote extreme positions.

Fortunately, after extending the hearing, the commission approved a four-year rate agreement — an important win for all Florida Power & Light customers.

The agreement is a step forward, helping ensure we can continue delivering reliability and award-winning customer service at affordable rates. It maintains our ability to invest billions of dollars in critical infrastructure improvements to help us better serve customers and support our state's economic rebound.

We're accelerating our storm-hardening efforts — strengthening lines and incorporating lessons from Superstorm Sandy to better protect substations from flooding. We're modernizing power plants, making our fleet even cleaner and more fuel-efficient by using U.S.-produced natural gas.

Today, FPL customers pay less for electricity than they did in 2006. This is no accident. It took planning and smart investing. That's why our customers continue to receive cleaner, more reliable electricity for a typical bill that's the lowest in Florida and about 25 percent less than the national average.

Eric Silagy, president, Florida Power & Light Co., Juno Beach

Try national disaster fund | Sept. 26, letter

A workable approach

I like the letter writer's ideas about creating a national disaster insurance fund to lower costs. I'll bet this might work for other things, perhaps health care.

Maybe we could call it something like Single Payer Health Care Plan.

John Richter, Tampa

Insurance for all? Hardly | Sept. 29

Hold them to account

The Florida Legislature turned down federal money to expand Medicaid. It would have cost Florida and Floridians nothing to provide health care for these million people. It would have been good for the economy and made for a healthier workforce. It would have brought down health costs by keeping people out of emergency rooms.

The names of the people in the Legislature who voted against Medicaid expansion need to be printed in the paper so they can be targeted. They need to be removed. They obviously don't care if they bring down our economy with their blind hatred and bigotry for the president of the United States.

Marlin Moore, St. Petersburg

'Revenge porn' scourge Sept. 27, commentary

Attitudes must change

It is reprehensible behavior to exploit one's previous intimate partner. Recourse may lie in part in legal remedy. A larger part of the answer lies in a discussion that challenges the cultural narrative of shame we brand on women who are publicly engaged in sexual expression or behavior.

Holly Jacobs cites the damage to her as current and potential employers became aware of these images. Do employers believe that female and male employees do not have a sexual component to their lives? Of course not.

If it is the issue of judgment on the woman's part, it is not within the control of the person who did not post the pictures — there is no judgment issue.

Why do we hold women accountable for their participation in sexual expression and activity with a partner when that partner later uses that information, or it is used by others? So pursue legal remedy, but as civil rights activist Audrey Lourde said, "The master's tools will never dismantle the master's house."

We need to think about why there is such a market for this "product" of women's bodies. We need to challenge the misogynistic, prudish and voyeuristic attitudes we hold.

Julie Dumois-Sands, Tampa

Disney changes disabled access Sept. 24

Abuse of a privilege

Like many, I applaud the action taken by Disney to stop those who repulsively take advantage of the special assistance afforded impaired individuals. Perhaps the same sense of anger should be targeted at people whom most of us see every day: individuals, clearly not disabled, who choose to park permit-carrying vehicles in designated handicapped spots.

There are fines for nonpermitted cars, yet there appears to be no consequence for those who borrow a vehicle or just the identifying sticker from disabled relatives for the sole purpose of getting a closer parking spot.

Thomas I. Hayes, 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: 11 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 ...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/19/18

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