Friday, March 23, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Wednesday's letters: Alcohol-exclusion laws perpetuate toll of addiction

Alcohol coverup | May 3

Laws perpetuate toll of addiction

This article should be a wakeup call to state legislatures about the harmfulness of alcohol-exclusion laws. The fact that a brief counseling session in the ER was shown to discourage problem drinking illustrates the importance of screenings and brief interventions. An alcohol-related hospital visit is not necessarily an indication of alcoholism, but it is an opportunity to talk to a patient about the risks of substance abuse. Intervening early, before a person develops a full-blown drinking problem, is the most effective means of preventing addiction. Thus, insurance laws that discourage emergency personnel from taking preventive action are both irresponsible and unethical. Legislation that hinders screening, intervention and referral to treatment will only perpetuate the tremendous toll addiction takes on individuals, families and communities — not to mention on our health care and criminal justice systems. It's bad business and bad medicine.

Patrick McEneaney, senior vice president and regional director, Phoenix Houses of Florida

Recycling will work if it's made mandatory May 7, editorial

Wake up, St. Petersburg

I guess we all have our priorities; education seems to be a popular one. But I wonder about educating children who will grow up not understanding that a garbage-filled planet will be a reality and that our resources are finite. There are huge fights over spending on education in this county, yet even our city councilmen can't fork over $33, the price of dinner, to make a real contribution to education. I can't name a single progressive, educated city in this nation that doesn't recycle. This issue should be a fait accompli, and is close to the dumbest quandary I have ever encountered. Wake up, St. Petersburg!

Robin Sterling, St. Petersburg

Grand Gesture | May 3

Salute to an awesome coach

Serving with the 6th Medical Group at MacDill allows us to provide health care to America's heroes and their families while providing my airmen and me with many opportunities to interact with leaders throughout the Tampa area who routinely provide my airmen with friendship and support no matter how challenging the mission.

This past week, my team and I were inspired by the "grand gesture" made by head coach Greg Schiano of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to former Rutgers football player Eric LeGrand. Military medics routinely pour our hearts and souls into healing our brothers and sisters. We understand that the healing process not only consists of physical but mental healing. My team and I were awed by Schiano's signing of LeGrand as a Bucs free agent. Well done, coach. We salute you and thank you for your service to our community!

Col. Robert Rocco, MacDill AFB, Tampa

Official: Trade Rays for cruise business May 4

Keep Rays where they are

Hillsborough County Commissioner Victor Crist proposes that St. Pete let the Rays relocate to Tampa in exchange for the cruise industry at the Port of Tampa. This is due to the fact that the larger cruise ships, which are anticipated to arrive in the area in five years, can't fit under the Sunshine Skyway bridge.

Is he delirious? The last time I checked, the west side of the Skyway is in Pinellas County. I say let the Rays stay in St. Pete and wait the five years for the cruise industry to relocate here. I believe the peak cruising period coincides with the baseball season. What a wonderful match. Tourists can enjoy a baseball game before or after their cruise.

I suggest that Crist visit the website

Joseph J. TenBieg, Clearwater

A shallow proposal

Has Victor Crist lost his mind? Right, the Fort De Soto/Egmont environmentally challenged ecosystem needs huge polluting ships to steam in and dock. Why not also set up a sporting clays area so when the passengers disembark, they can be the first in their block to use pelicans for shot? The area has numerous shallows, flats, shoals and the like where it's hard to maneuver even a small Sea Ray at certain tides. What does he propose, digging a really deep channel up to Pass-a-Grille? Right, we'll do that just after we build the big fancy new Pier, and possibly address fixing the rotting walls of the St. Pete Police Department before it collapses on somebody.

Sammie Taylor Bond, New Port Richey

Scott signs toughened PIP fraud law | May 5

But will rates drop?

Sounds to me like Gov. Scott's new PIP law is a boon to the insurance companies and a bust for our citizens. Does anyone think this new law will cause our auto insurance rates to go down?

Judy Recio, Brandon

The Times and its ways

The usual targets

It's quite evident the stance the Times and its writers have with gun laws and Rick Scott. In a perfect world people would demonstrate peacefully and respectfully and a gun ban would never be discussed. But some people have an agenda. Why does this paper only pound gun laws and Scott? Oh, I forgot. The agenda.

Doug Birchard, St. Petersburg

Effort started years ago | May 5, letter

What Obama inherited

The writer states that Obama was able to get Osama bin Laden through intelligence information he inherited from the Bush administration. The writer seems to forget that Bush shut down the bin Laden desk at the CIA. He also seems to forget that when questioned on bin Laden later in his presidency, Bush's answer was "I just don't think about him anymore." It was Bush who removed the antiterrorism position from his Cabinet. Some inheritance. Though to give the writer his due, Obama did inherit two wars from Bush.

Jack Smith, Oldsmar

Task force to pitch college reforms | May 5

First, look at dumb decision

Well, bully for the task force. Perhaps it will take as Item 1 on its agenda an evaluation of the stupidity of authorizing a 12th Florida university when the state is unable to adequately fund the 11 we already have, arrogance by the Legislature, and a disastrous decision by the governor in failing to veto, as an overwhelming majority of Floridians wished. Item 2 could be to fund the new school, starting July 1, at zero.

Norm Lucas, Tampa


Friday’s letters: Think through assault weapons ban

Gun controlThink through assault rifle banI recently emailed a Florida state representative who had pledged, among other things, to ban assault rifles in the state. I asked him if he would ban the sale and transfer of these guns or ultimately make th...
Published: 03/22/18

Thursday’s letters: School safety requires funding

Constitution Revision CommissionSchool safety requires fundingThe Constitution Revision Commission should consider amending a proposal (45, 93 or 72) to allocate the necessary recurring funding for the new school safety mandates, separate from the ba...
Published: 03/21/18

Wednesday’s letters: Let the teachers decide on guns

Trump touts arming staff as key in plan for school security | March 12It’s the teacher’s call on weaponsPlease, let’s try an alternate view about guns in the classroom. First, it hasn’t gone unnoticed that the preponderance of letters about guns ...
Published: 03/20/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for March 23

Re: Residents object to solar farm | March 16, storyLakeland Electric has shown that residential customers can be incentivized to allow placement of utility-owned solar panels on their roofs. Likewise, business owners can be incentivized to allow...
Published: 03/19/18

Tuesday’s letters: It shouldn’t be this hard to fly

Tampa International AirportIt shouldn’t be this hard to flyI’ve given the train two tries now from economy parking at Tampa airport. It’s a lot of work. How silly to go down one bank of elevators, then take a good walk to the next set of elevators to...
Published: 03/19/18

Monday’s letters: Protect Floridians’ right to privacy

People push for changes at Constitution hearing | March 14Protect Florida’s right to privacyI attended the Constitution Revision Commission’s public hearing at USF St. Petersburg last week. I was there because I thought it was important to have m...
Published: 03/18/18

Sunday’s letters: Effort to stem pet cruelty pays off

Puppy millsEffort to stem cruelty pays offThank you to everyone who contacted their legislators, and a huge shout-out to the Tampa Bay Times for letting us know that state legislators were considering a bill to eliminate the hard-achieved gains on lo...
Published: 03/17/18

Saturday’s letters: Insurer focused on repairs, not fees

Citizens hit with $12.7M verdict | March 15Insurer’s focus: repairs, not feesCitizens Property Insurance Corp. has spent the past several years making sure that insurance proceeds for sinkhole repairs are used to restore a home and make it whole....
Published: 03/16/18

Friday’s letters: Put young people to work rebuilding infrastructure

Smart way to pay for infrastructure | March 13, commentaryMake rebuilding a youth project Raising gas taxes to pay for infrastructure may not be the best way to go. I suggest we re-invent the old WPA (Works Progress Administration) and draft high...
Published: 03/13/18
Updated: 03/15/18

Thursday’s letters: An alternative for giving: Breadcoin

Panhandling paradox | March 11Innovation in giving: BreadcoinPanhandling is destructive to the donor, panhandler and our community — a guilt trip that erodes personal dignity, respect and self-worth, making the recipient more beholden and entitle...
Published: 03/13/18
Updated: 03/14/18