Monday, December 18, 2017
Letters To The Editor

Tuesday's letters: Water users vs. weary warriors

Where's the outrage about Fla.'s springs? | May 28, commentary

Water users and weary warriors

In response to Sonny Vergara's column, I expect that most people fall into one of two categories: users and tired warriors.

The vast majority are in the group using the groundwater pumped from under these springs and most of west-central Florida. They've been told repeatedly that their water bills will increase if alternative water sources have to be developed. And to prove it, the installation of desalination in Tampa was bungled.

Maybe the rest of us already fought the fight and now understand the futility. Our property is next to the Cross Bar Wellfield. We spent most of the '90s "seeking out our elected representatives," water management officials and water authority representatives, and giving them our "disaster tours."

What was the end result? A promise to reduce the pumping, which you can't tell by our land. And we were given a couple of water wells and concrete troughs for our cattle since they have no surface water to drink from. Plus we are "allowed" to augment the Fish Lake, once the centerpiece of the ranch. This barely keeps it alive. It is currently less than 40 acres and has not met its minimum healthy level since shortly after El Nino.

The environment will not win the economic battle in west-central Florida when fighting for its fair share of the water.

Jan Dillard, Barthle Brothers Ranch, Dade City

Punished for her stance | May 28

Short-term thinking

shortchanges environment

I was amazed to read that numerous employees were fired (or, in this case, suspended) from various state environmental agencies for doing their jobs — in other words following laws and regulations to protect our environment — because their supervisors told them to ignore the law. This is another example of short-term thinking to put money in the pockets of those for whom the laws just don't suit their needs.

The Times ran a series of articles in 2006 about these flawed mitigation banks. Perhaps it's time to run another investigative series exposing these unlawful practices by those people we are supposed to trust to follow the law but who, instead, run their agencies as if they are running their own private businesses.

Diane Kornick, Clearwater

Wrong person punished

After reading this article concerning the punishment of Department of Environmental Protection wetlands expert Connie Bersok, it's obvious that the wrong person is being punished. Since DEP Deputy Secretary Jeff Littlejohn stated, "I don't speak wetlands ecologist," what made him believe he had the right to ask Bersok to bend DEP rules? I hope the Times will follow up on the outrageous treatment of Bersok for doing the job "we the people" pay her to do.

Joe Whetstone, Valrico

Vets' disability claims soar | May 28

Costs of rushing to war

I read, with anger, this article about recent war veterans' record disability rates.

It is clear that in light of the consequences we face in treating these veterans — whom we absolutely must take care of — that the United States should be required to have a clear consensus across party lines and among voters before going to war with any country. The nation should also exhaust all possibilities of peaceful resolution before taking military action, and establish that there is an imminent danger to the American public if we don't take action.

At this point, the United States government and citizenry have a moral obligation to pay for any and all disabilities our war veterans have suffered based on the decisions we have allowed our leaders to make.

Let me not read again that we can't keep the promises that we made to them after they have fulfilled their obligations to us.

Beth Crosa, St. Petersburg

Boat slams jetty, tossing 9 out | May 28

Dangerous conditions

Having driven commercial boats through Clearwater Pass and Bayboro Harbor — location of the jetty where the teen was killed several years ago when the boat she was in hit an unlit jetty by the Coast Guard station — I can attest that jetties can be very hazardous at night. The reason is the red and green channel lights in the passes can be seen over the top of the rocks, but contrary to the assertion that the jetties are "lit up like Christmas trees," they are dark.

When the boater sees the channel lights and wants to enter the pass, he or she aims for the lights and runs right in to the rocks.

Boat operators are responsible for being knowledgeable about the area they operate in, but over the years so many boats have hit the jetties, resulting in a number of deaths, that in the name of safety high-intensity flashing yellow caution lights should be installed on top of the rocks.

Jim Heady, South Pasadena

All not equal in face of camera | May 23

Looking out for citizens

I was a police officer a long time ago, and we regularly went past red lights, safely and slowly, not interfering with pedestrians or cross traffic. On the midnight shift, especially, it would be considered unproductive to sit at a light looking straight ahead. Imagine the time lost within eight hours. The idea of a patrol is to keep moving and observing. Even our unmarked units slipped through lights for the same reason. They are not disobeying the law; they are looking out for the citizens.

John Culkin, St. Petersburg

Change for Catholic schools | May 14

Schools of excellence

This article addressed the changes facing the future of Catholic schools within the Diocese of St. Petersburg. Mention was made about the enrollment challenges facing some Catholic schools. As a proud parent of students enrolled in Catholic schools, I feel it is important to clarify that there are several schools within the diocese that are thriving and enrollment in some schools has actually increased over the course of the past few years.

Two of the schools have recently been named "National Blue Ribbon Award Winners." Three schools are adopting the International Baccalaureate Program. The article's underlying tone was negative.

I want to convey that excellence in education is unparalleled in Catholic schools and will remain so in the future.

Carol Purcell, Safety Harbor


Monday’s letters: Tax plan bad for the country

Trump, GOP make good on tax cuts Dec. 14Tax plan is bad for the countryUnless senators such as Susan Collins, R-Maine, and our own Marco Rubio develop some backbone, the Republican tax bill could well pass.The bill would inflict harm on the people wh...
Published: 12/15/17
Sunday’s letters: Rule of law at stake in Mueller inquiry

Sunday’s letters: Rule of law at stake in Mueller inquiry

Justice official parries attacks | Dec. 14Rule of law at stake in inquiryConservative media outlets and a number of Republicans in both chambers of Congress have launched an all-out assault on special counsel Robert Mueller and his team in an eff...
Published: 12/14/17
Updated: 12/15/17

Saturday’s letters: Project silent on rising sea levels

Published: 12/13/17
Updated: 12/15/17

Friday’s letters: Put yourself in a business owner’s shoes

GOP plan favors owners | Dec. 11Perils of small business ownersI wonder if the author of this article has even a clue about owning a business. Businessmen — especially small business owners — risk it all. They risk their savings, their car, their...
Published: 12/13/17
Updated: 12/14/17

Thursday’s letters: Trump’s values hardly admirable

Finally, a president who cares | Dec. 13, letterTrump’s values hardly admirableThe letter writer is happy to have someone in the White House who "truly cares about our country’s business" and is "unafraid … of mentioning God and religious values....
Published: 12/13/17

Wednesday’s letters: Proposal would restore Florida Forever funding

Florida ForeverPlan boosts land protectionMost of us thought funding for land conservation in Florida would be restored when we voted the Water and Land Conservation Amendment (Amendment 1) into law in 2014. It passed easily, with 75 percent of voter...
Published: 12/11/17
Updated: 12/12/17

Tuesday’s letters: Writer should look to his own mistakes

Is anyone ever wrong anymore? | Dec. 8Writer should look to own errorsIn Mitch Daniels’ article about people who have been wrong, he finishes with the statement that our lives would be greatly improved with more people saying, "I was wrong."He mi...
Published: 12/08/17
Updated: 12/11/17

Monday’s letters: Don’t drill in Arctic refuge

Arctic National Wildlife RefugeStop plan to drill for oil in refugeOur nation faces yet another effort to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge reserve to oil and gas drilling. Drilling in the Arctic simply doesn’t make sound financial sense. W...
Published: 12/08/17

Sunday’s letters: Tax bill puts U.S. on right course

The GOP’s regressive tax plans | Dec. 5, editorialTax bill puts U.S. on right courseThe Times is already crying wolf over the new tax cuts, claiming that the new laws "could" result an increase in the national debt of $1.5 trillion over the next ...
Published: 12/07/17

Pasco letters to the editor for Dec. 15

Re: Helping Others Fulfills our purpose here on Earth | Nov. 17 guest columnThe good doctor acknowledges a CreatorThank you for publishing Dr. Rao Musunuru’s guest column. As Congressman Gus Bilirakis said in the Congressional Record, this good d...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/13/17