Thursday, April 26, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Vote for June Letter of the Month

Editor's note: Letters to the editor offer a significant contribution to the discussion of public policy and life in Tampa Bay. To recognize some of that work by our most engaged readers, the Times will select a letter of the month and the writers will be recognized at the end of the year. We will choose the finalists each month based on relevance on topical issues, persuasiveness and writing style. The writer's opinion does not need to match the editorial board's opinion on the issue to be nominated. But clarity of thinking, brevity and a sense of humor certainly helps.

Help us choose the letter of the month for June 2013 by reading through the three nominated letters and voting on the ballot at the bottom of the web page.

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Sick leave bill

A matter of public health

Our governor has rendered a lot of controversial decisions in the wake of the one of the worst sessions of Florida lawmaking in my 30 years living here. Recently he decided to uphold the bill that prevents local communities from mandating paid sick leave for employees.

A huge majority of Floridians (70 to 80 percent) favor paid sick leave. A small number of giant corporations do not. Darden Restaurants (Olive Garden, Red Lobster and others) and Disney lobbied hard to secure this right to obstruct home rule and promote pestilence.

Paid sick leave is a valuable individual benefit, but it is also a critical element of public safety, especially in densely populated areas with large numbers of tourists. Food workers and those who interact with large crowds (like employees of amusement parks) should be able to stay home when they are sick. Otherwise, they risk infecting others with communicable diseases.

Restaurants that coerce their servers and preparers to come to work sick are practicing a dubious business model. Who wants to eat in a place where the food handlers might give you a disease? Local officials and the general public may understand that public health is important, but it seems that some big corporations do not, even when their own customers are in jeopardy.

Susan Greenbaum, Temple Terrace (June 21)

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Sweet deal, but not for consumers | June 19, editorial

Hunger and malnutrition at home

We have an undeveloped nation living among us in the United States. And we're treating them worse than we treat foreign undeveloped nations.

We know that hunger and malnutrition stunt the growth of children worldwide. If they don't get adequate nutrition in their first 1,000 days, from conception to age 2, people grow up stunted in their bodies and their brains. This leaves them less likely to learn and become self-sustaining. They remain a problem to our community.

The recession has pushed many people into hunger danger, people who once were self-supporting.

With our foreign aid, we know it helps us to assist people in developing nations to become self-sufficient. It permits them to lift themselves from poverty and makes them good world citizens, not terrorists.

But in our own country, we are cutting SNAP (food stamps). This is a mistake. It's bad for the people who are getting their food cut (fetuses, children, adults) and it's bad for the people who are doing the cutting since it contributes to problems in our communities and goes against the high principles we say we live by.

Ken Schatz, Tampa (June 24)

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Sex assaults in military: 53% on men | June 24

Inside the numbers

This rather startling headline is misleading regarding the percentage of men versus women in the military who have been sexually assaulted, and it is not clarified sufficiently in the article.

With a number of 26,000 total assaults as reported in the article, 53 percent on men would equate to a total of 13,780 assaults, whereas for women it would be 12,220. Yet, according to data published in numerous places, there are approximately 203,000 women in the military and 1,197,000 men. If you do the math, this means that 6 percent of women (12,200 of 203,000) have been sexually assaulted, whereas 1 percent of men (13,780 of 1,197,000) were assaulted. So the rate for women is still six times that for men.

Joel K. Thompson, professor of psychology, USF, Tampa (June 25)

 

 

 

Comments

Thursday’s letters: A surgeon responds to story about a needle being left in a baby’s heart

All Children’s surgeon left a needle in a baby’s heart | April 22My view as one of the surgeonsI am one of the physicians discussed (but not interviewed) in this article. Whatever the motive for such an article, I disagree with many of the claims...
Updated: 8 hours ago

Wednesday’s letters: How we plan to improve foster care in Hillsborough

Improving foster care inHillsborough | April 19, editorialOur plans for helping kidsThis editorial poses many good questions. The Department of Children and Families’ peer review report is expected to be released soon. And while we welcome the an...
Published: 04/23/18
Updated: 04/25/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for April 27

Stop Ridge Road extension, reader saysWhen I spoke at the Dade City meeting of the Pasco County Commissioners on my opposition to the Ridge Road Extension, three of them responded, but only when my three minutes of free speech expired, and I could sa...
Published: 04/23/18

Monday’s letters: Term limits don’t work

U.S. Senate campaignTerm limitsdon’t workGov. Rick Scott has begun his run for the U.S. Senate with TV ads promoting term limits for representatives and senators. Aside from the probability that this would require a constitutional amendment, I think ...
Published: 04/22/18
Updated: 04/23/18

Sunday’s letters: Problems with high-speed rail

Thanks, Gov. Scott, for ghastly I-4 drives | April 18, Sue Carlton columnProblems with high-speed railIn her Wednesday column, the writer bemoaned the traffic on I-4 and blasted Gov. Rick Scott for turning down free government money for a high-sp...
Published: 04/21/18

Tuesday’s letters: Student journalists push to save their newsrooms and independence

Save student newsroomsAs professional newsrooms shrink, student newsrooms have become an increasingly important source of local coverage, holding not only our universities accountable but also local government. We write these articles, attending meet...
Published: 04/20/18
Updated: 04/24/18

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...
Published: 04/19/18
Updated: 04/20/18

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