Friday, April 20, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Wednesday's letters: Alimony bill is ticket to welfare

Alimony bill draws fire | April 4

Bill will result in more welfare

It is simply false to claim that the Senate alimony bill is pro-family. The bill makes it much more difficult to make a claim for alimony in any marriage. This is not fair to any spouse who has modified his or her earning ability to care for the wage-earning spouse or to care for children.

If we want to encourage marriage, we need to encourage spouses to order their own affairs in a permanent union. If the permanent union fails, then trial court judges need to be empowered to make reasoned decisions as to which spouse should receive what income and for what time period.

The Senate bill places many burdens on the spouse claiming alimony. There are time limitations; limitations on the amounts of alimony that can be claimed; and burden of proof requirements. In a short-term marriage, defined in the bill, incredibly, as 11 years or less, a spouse can presumptively not receive any alimony. Permanent alimony is presumptively eliminated even if one spouse has a permanently handicapped ability to earn due to his or her household role in the family.

This legislation will result in many new welfare recipients. Shame on the Florida Senate.

Mark Sessums, Lakeland

Alimony bill draws fire | April 4

Walk away and start over

I strongly support the legislation to abolish permanent alimony. At the conclusion of a divorce, both parties should walk away in an equitable manner. Prior to the marriage they were individuals with separate lives; during marriage they merged; and upon divorce they should be allowed to return to their separate lives.

One should not leave the marriage permanently tethered to the other. One should not reap the benefits of a free lifetime of alimony, while the other spends a lifetime wearing a financial yoke. By providing permanent alimony, Florida's law today does just that.

The current law rewards one spouse at the expense of the other. It took two people to make the marriage, and two people to make the divorce. In Florida, a no-fault divorce state, the permanent alimony provision certainly runs counter to the fairness and equality that is the spirit of the law, punishing the person forced to make lifetime alimony payments. It's not fair. It's not right. It needs to change.

Elvina Bergmann, St. Pete Beach

Rays' impact up for debate | March 31

Soaking up the funds

This article states: "Sports franchises also drain an economy by soaking up taxpayer money that could go to other city services or tax relief — both of which stimulate economic activity."

Just the day before, the Times ran an article headlined "Fire units idled by cash crunch" on 1B.

Feeding the insatiable greed of Major League Baseball really can have unhappy consequences for essential activities in our area.

Palmer O. Hanson Jr., Largo

Yellow lights end too fast? | April 4

Count down to red

Slowing down the yellow lights is a negative solution, especially when we wish to improve traffic flow to reduce energy consumption. Far better is the example set by those who introduced pedestrian countdown lights at many corners.

Even if your attention is momentarily diverted by an image of an immense garbage truck getting bigger and bigger in your rearview mirror, merely checking the numbers on the pedestrian countdown device provides the driver with necessary information to stop safely and lawfully.

Maybe yellow traffic lights that were designed a hundred years ago (or so) need to be redesigned to allow the same information to the motoring public.

Hal Cusick, Tierra Verde

A chained price index helpful April 9, commentary

Everyone should pitch in

I am a senior citizen, a Vietnam veteran, and live on a fixed income of Social Security and combat disability. I am also a registered Democrat, voted for Barack Obama twice, and live pretty much month to month.

That said, I wish to pledge my support for the change in the way the consumer price index is calculated. If we are ever to get our fiscal house in order, all of us should make a sacrifice, however painful, however small. This country has done so in the past and, in my opinion, must do so now. Maybe it's time to change our selfishness and begin to once again give until it hurts in order to save the Republic.

Robert Brian Palin, Tampa

Cafes brace for the end | April 6

Try something useful

The most disturbing part of the story on Internet cafes was the justification for the existence of these cafes. The story quotes senior citizens who claim that it "keeps them alive" or "keeps my mind busy." It is a sad state that staring at a computer screen and clicking a mouse is the way to use their "golden years."

May I suggest some other activities to keep busy? How about volunteering at your local church, temple, or synagogue? How about volunteering at a local school to read to children? How about going to the library and reading a book? How about starting or joining a bridge club? How about volunteering for your local political party, civic organization, or charity?

Please do not waste a lifetime of wisdom and experience staring at a computer game.

Richard Feigel, St. Petersburg

Let the seniors play

Apparently for the state of Florida and the Tampa Bay Times, it's okay to spend money at dog tracks, horse tracks and casinos, but don't go to Internet cafes.

A simple solution is to tax and regulate Internet cafes, meaning more jobs and state revenue and also keeping senior citizens from going to the park and feeding the pigeons. Heaven forbid they should do what they want, not what someone else feels they should.

Melvin J. Perez, Tampa


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...
Updated: 5 hours ago

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

Hernando Letters to the Editor for April 20

Bar Association celebrates Law WeekPresident Dwight D. Eisenhower proclaimed May 1, 1958, as the first Law Day to mark the nation’s commitment to the rule of law. Every year on this day, we reflect on the significance of the rule of law and rededicat...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18

Tuesday’s letters: Stop cooperating with ICE

Sheriff’s ICE policy blasted | April 10Pinellas should end partnership with ICEPinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri recently participated in a community conversation on his controversial agreement with ICE to voluntarily detain immigrants in the...
Published: 04/16/18

Sunday’s letters: The future of oyster production

Shell game | April 15Future of oyster productionThanks to Laura Reiley for an excellent synopsis of the current state of oyster production in Florida. The collapse of the Apalachicola oyster fishery is merely the latest example of the demise of a...
Published: 04/14/18

Monday’s letters: Public education is foundation of the nation

Voters beware of ballot deceptionApril 13, commentarySchools’ role underminedIt was with great pain that I read (not for the first time) that we must be aware of "ballot deception." Public schools were founded to make sure that future generations of ...
Published: 04/13/18

Saturday’s letters: Health Department should butt out

Judge: Grow pot, Mr. Redner | April 12Health officials should butt outThe Times reports that the Florida Department of Health filed an appeal to the decision allowing a man who is a Stage 4 lung cancer survivor to grow pot in his backyard for his ...
Published: 04/11/18
Updated: 04/13/18

Friday’s letters: Open and shut: Enforce the law

Sheriff’s ICE aid policy blasted | April 10Open and shut: Enforce the lawPeople and institutions that insist on the using the euphemism "undocumented immigrant" do nothing but affirm their lack of objectivity by using such a phrase to support an ...
Published: 04/11/18
Updated: 04/12/18