Wednesday, January 17, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Tuesday's letters: What can end the plague of car theft in which teens are dying?

Three more teens die in plague of car theft | Aug. 7

Save teen drivers with strict laws

Again I read about the tragic loss of three young lives, teens killed when their stolen vehicle was involved in a horrible accident. Retired after 41 years of service in law enforcement, I have seen way too many accidents wasting young lives. People are quick to blame the police or the system. But sad as it may be, where are the parents whose children are stealing cars and involved in other crimes in the wee hours of the morning?

It's time for some tough laws. If they want to act like irresponsible adults, treat them as adults. Stop making the Juvenile Detention Center (JDC) a place where they enjoy themselves for a month or two. Time to hand down stricter sentences, and make it a place where they don't want to go.

The kids have no fear of JDC. They treat it like a badge of honor among their peers. Make sentences longer, make them attend boot camp, etc. Make stealing cars a game they don't want to play.

So let's wake up, Legislature. Parents, you too. It's time to end this sad, tragic waste of young lives.

Albert Ravenna, St. Pete Beach

Better locks for cars

Three deaths is another tragic result of a car theft by juveniles and the predictable demand for action by police, the social services system, more parental action, educating drivers to remove the ignition key when leaving the car, and on and on. The thread holding all of these together is action.

I know that the prevailing opinion is that regulatory actions are bad. They restrict freedoms, cost money, and are generally anti-republican. But regulations are made to reduce harm, and they do work.

What will eventually reduce automobile thefts are regulations that require passive design changes to automobiles that make them largely theftproof. How difficult would it be to require combination locks that eliminate a key altogether? This is only one suggestion. A competent engineer should be able to come up with any number of inexpensive designs that would work.

Any such required design change would solve a problem that active prevention has not solved.

Gerald M. Taylor, Wesley Chapel

College rankings | Aug. 4

Majoring in football

One has cause to question those responsible for charting the course of the institutions of higher learning in the state of Florida after reading two articles in the Tampa Bay Times.

In the local section, Forbes' highly regarded list of the top schools in the nation reported that the top institution in the state, the University of Florida, placed 80th on a list of the top 650 schools. This was followed by Miami at 97th, Florida State University at 184th and the University of South Florida at 324th.

In the same issue, in the sports section, the paper reported that in the Football Coaches Poll, FSU was rated third, Florida 16th, Miami 18th and USF 21st. Are our priorities skewed? Perhaps the state's educational institutions should turn to those running the football programs for advice on recruiting.

Robert A. Shaw, Madeira Beach

Four warnings fail infant | Aug. 5

First, protect the child

An institution can only be as good as the people within and the bylaws which govern it. What's the point of having case managers, if they can't do their job efficiently? If the case manager who had visited the home of William Hendrickson III would have had the authority to remove the children, his 8-month-old son would still be alive. Mandating that a case manager must instead call an abuse hotline, if they fear for a child's safety, is totally asinine. It's no wonder why the Department of Children and Families is failing the people which it's supposed to protect. The state laws which govern it are ineffectual.

JoAnn Lee Frank, Clearwater

Guardrails hold | Krauthammer column, Aug. 4

Four years of bumper cars

It is heartening to see conservative commentators finally acknowledging the numerous deficiencies and chaos that Donald Trump brings to the presidency. Charles Krauthammer states that Trump is a "systemic stress test" to our democracy, but that so far, the "guardrails" have held up against this reckless president.

Trump lacks the intellectual curiosity and attention span to really understand the issues and provide insightful leadership. Having no ideological compass or moral authority, the only thing this narcissist really seems to care about is maintaining his fragile self-image as a winner.

Trump is the mayhem president, and Congress and the cabinet must continuously find ways to accommodate and work around the pandemonium that he creates.

What strengths and positive attributes does Trump bring to the office that offset all the deficiencies and faults?

I cannot think of one, and I worry every day that the guardrails of our democracy cannot handle four years of this madness.

Doug Robison, St. Petersburg

Leaks aren't lies

For all of the hand-wringing and complaining from the Trump administration about leaks, it is easy to forget that leaks are the only truth coming out of the Trump White House.

Buck Beasom, Tampa

PETA checks empty cages | Aug. 5

Protect wild animals

Wild Things zoo should be closed. Its founder, Kathy Stearns, has shown that she clearly does not have the animals' best interest at heart.

Some people think PETA goes too far in their activism but I think they have to if they are going have any impact.

We should be protecting and caring for animals, not using and abusing them.

Gladys Newton, Hudson


Thursday’s letters: All Americans need health care

Doctor: Trump got perfect score on cognitive test | Jan. 17All Americans need health carePresident Donald Trump’s extensive health exam has apparently declared him physically fit for office. As I was reading about the battery of tests he received...
Updated: 9 hours ago

Wednesday’s letters: St. Petersburg’s culture, vibrancy impresses

St. PetersburgImpressive culture and vibrancyI recently visited Tampa Bay and celebrated New Year’s weekend in downtown St. Petersburg. I was awestruck by what I encountered and experienced. It has been several years since I last visited, and the tra...
Published: 01/16/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for Jan. 19

Re: Walking leads to shocking catalogue of trash | Jan. 12 column Bring back anti-littering campaignJust came back from the beautiful, clean city of Singapore, where there is a $1,000 fine, plus community service for littering. I think a presiden...
Published: 01/16/18
Tuesday’s letters: Trump’s accomplishments unheralded

Tuesday’s letters: Trump’s accomplishments unheralded

President Donald TrumpAchievements go unrecognizedAre Americans even aware that our economy is healthier and growing much faster, that ISIS has been defeated and lost their territory, that China and other countries are buying more American goods and ...
Published: 01/16/18

Monday’s letters: Don’t be fooled by drilling turnaround

Deal blocks drilling off Fla. | Jan. 10Don’t be fooled by turnaroundWhile I am very grateful that Florida has been taken off the table regarding offshore oil drilling, it is clear this is a political move to champion Gov. Rick Scott as he conside...
Published: 01/14/18

Sunday’s letters: Left wing late to the #MeToo cause

#MeTooDemocrats come late to the causeThe Times devoted an entire page to the #MeToo issues on Sunday. The ironies here for longtime observers are nearly boundless. Twenty years ago, folks like myself were called "prudes" and worse because we found P...
Published: 01/13/18

Saturday’s letters: A wall of towers isn’t progress

Skyline takes shape | Jan. 7A wall of towers isn’t progressFirst of all, once the 17 projects currently under way are completed, there will be no "skyline." There will be a wall of buildings blotting out the sun and sky. St. Petersburg has become...
Published: 01/12/18

Friday’s letters:

Gang raped at 17. Getting help at 65 | Jan. 7Help available for assault victimsEach sexual assault survivor has a unique story to tell, and Evelyn Robinson’s experience illustrates many of the emotions, and society stigmas, faced by survivors.Sex...
Published: 01/09/18
Updated: 01/11/18

Thursday’s letters: Opioid bill could do more harm than good

Opioid bill opponents line up | Jan. 6Bill’s potential to harm patientsLegislators are proposing putting more restrictions on physicians’ ability to prescribe pain medications. Yes, the addiction problem is a serious one, and the law seems well-i...
Published: 01/08/18
Updated: 01/10/18

Wednesday’s letters: Beware candidates backed by billionaires

DeSantis declares governor run | Jan. 6Beware the billionaire backingThis line says it all: "The congressman already has the support of the president and several billionaires." If you continue to vote for billionaire-backed candidates, you will g...
Published: 01/08/18
Updated: 01/09/18