Key legislator took trip | Aug. 18
Voters key to change in Florida
Interesting as it is to Tampa Bay voters that another Florida legislator was found hiding under a rock of the King Ranch, only the voters of Merritt Island can deal with Rep. Steve Crisafulli as he ought be dealt with: vote him out of office.
The rest of us are on the sidelines, helpless.
A law against King Ranch visits, statewide, would yield only some other form of bribery and misgovernment, just as the latest redistricting scam will not bring us representative districts.
Until every voting district in the state decides that it doesn't want to be represented by some young future star of politics, willing to sell his votes and influence to the highest bidder, Floridians will continue to be bilked by the special interests who have bought our politicians.
Stephen Phillips, St. Petersburg
Pot foes forge unlikely friendship | Aug. 16
The article regarding the differences in opinion of John Morgan and Sheldon Adelson about the medical marijuana initiative was informative and interesting.
I totally understand Adelson's opinion due to his son losing his life to substance abuse, and I offer my condolences to him and his wife. However, his actions are disingenuous at best.
I'm willing to bet Adelson's casinos sell every kind of alcohol to its patrons. Alcohol, which has no nutritional or medical benefit, is an addictive substance that causes more death and disease every year than marijuana, and it's perfectly legal. I'm also willing to bet Adelson has never given any money to causes regarding alcohol. If and when alcohol is given the same amount of concern as marijuana will I be convinced that people with a lot of money truly care.
Alan Roberts, Largo
It's all about the election
I have difficulty believing that Sheldon Adelson's primary reason for his opposition to medical marijuana in Florida resides with family addiction issues.
Adelson donates huge sums to a medical research facility in Tel Aviv, which researches the use of marijuana as a medical treatment. More likely, his efforts are intended to affect the governor's race here.
Adelson is a large donor to Gov. Rick Scott in an effort to get casino gambling to South Florida. Scott is against the medical marijuana initiative. Charlie Crist opposes casino construction and supports medical marijuana. Could it be that's why Adelson has suddenly entered into pot politics, when he's never shown any interest elsewhere?
Steven Lipson, Valrico
SWAT cleared in fatal pot raid | Aug. 16
"Officers acted appropriately"? The wrong 415-page "investigation" was conducted. Why is it appropriate to send in a SWAT team to arrest a citizen who is suspected of selling $160 worth of marijuana over a four-month period? What else will SWAT teams be used for? Unpaid traffic tickets? Loud parties? Drunk and disorderly behavior?
Jane Castor needs to investigate the use of SWAT teams, because once a heavily armed group of men enter a house, many things can go wrong.
Celeste Almerico, Tampa
The follies of higher ed | Aug. 15
Serious proposals needed
Donald Eastman's description of higher ed provides an unfortunately distorted picture of many serious efforts to address, in less sarcastic terms, major issues facing both pubic and private higher education. We need to admit that our current system is far from perfect. Any reader of the Chronicle of Higher Education knows that reforms are needed, and being addressed.
Serious proposals are being made about how we learn, what we really need to know in various fields, how we can educate students at all ages more effectively to be global citizens, and how we can do all of these things at a lower cost to the students.
Certainly one who was educated and had his major professional experience at major public universities, such as the universities of Tennessee, Florida and Georgia, must have experienced more than the "bread and circuses of college football and basketball." One hopes that Eastman has positive proposals to address these issues.
Merle F. Allshouse, St. Petersburg
Stop these services now
As a 28-year UPS driver I have a vested interest in the transportation industry and the issues that surround it. I am appalled that Uber and Lyft are operating in our area illegally, ignoring our rules and regulations. This cannot and should not be tolerated.
It is my hope that the state attorney's office sends a swift and clear message that our regulations will be followed and enforced. I also wish the Tampa police department and Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office would step in and help in enforcing our laws. Transportation is a regulated industry for good reason. If an app-based business is all that is needed to circumvent our regulations, who knows what will be next.
Doug Padgett, Riverview
Who's behind calls? It's Lee | Aug. 15
So who is making a mockery of the political process? My vote would be for Sen. Tom Lee, R-Brandon. To purposely make robocalls to registered Democrats in Florida is crossing the line and hinges on harassment.
I, myself, have received four such calls in the past three days and still I have not wavered on who I want to vote for in November. I respectfully ask that Lee stop harassing me and other Democrats and get on with his life.
Janis Waters, Indian Rocks Beach
Former Gov. Jeb Bush is right.
If Florida voters pass the medical marijuana amendment, there goes Florida's reputation as a leading provider of illegal pain pills. Hey, you can die from an overdose. Sheeesh. When did pot ever kill anybody?
Charles Lehnert, Riverview