Thursday, June 21, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Wednesday's letters: All would benefit from wage hike

Minimum wage hike generally win-win | March 10, commentary

All would benefit from increase

While the U.S. House busies itself passing the umpteenth repeal of Obamacare, the real issues affecting American citizens get zero attention. If all U.S. workers were able to live above the poverty level, and women were paid on a scale equal to men, everyone would benefit.

Raising the minimum wage to $10.10 would cut the need for public assistance to those workers who have full-time jobs yet still live below the poverty level. It would also cut the national debt, as well as put more money in circulation that would go to buy more goods and services, which in turn would create the need for additional jobs.

Opponents say raising the wage would hurt small business. But if a business owner is burdened by paying a higher wage, the price increase he would have to pass along to customers would be minimal and hardly noticed. And I don't believe any large retailers would be put out of business.

Congress needs to work on programs that benefit the American people, not just special interest friends.

Charles Bayer, Redington Shores

Red-light cameras out | March 7

What price a life?

This article reveals the strongest motivating fact for removing the red-light cameras is loss of revenue.

My question for the mayor and the six City Council members who voted to remove the cameras: What is the worth of a life lost as a result of a red-light runner?

I would like them to picture themselves standing before the surviving family members of a victim who was killed or maimed by a red-light runner and explaining to them what they think this victim's life is worth.

On another note, I believe the length of yellow lights should be realistic and fair. But drivers who enter and pass through an intersection with a completely red light should receive a hefty fine. Intersections with red-light cameras should be changed from time to time to different locations to become an even stronger deterrent.

Aila Erman, St. Petersburg

Following too closely

People should stop blaming intersection rear-end crashes on red lights. Most drivers tailgate. There should be a two- or three-second distance between cars depending on speed. This is what is creating the accidents.

Another thing I immediately noticed after moving here from New York City: yellow lights that are too short.

Stanley Oring, Tampa

Florida's water

Corps protects resources

On a day people from across the state traveled to Tallahassee to voice their concerns about Florida's appalling water-quality problems, one politician attempted to hijack this public concern and direct it toward empowering the state to commit even greater environmental abuses.

State Sen. Joe Negron, R-Stuart, released a statement saying, "I am asking Congress to remove the Army Corps' sole jurisdiction over Lake Okeechobee releases."

Negron's attempt to evict the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from Lake Okeechobee, the Caloosahatchee River and the St. Lucie River water-control structures is a deceptive maneuver aimed at convincing Floridians that the solution to our state's water problems is to get rid of the Corps.

The truth is the exact opposite.

For the past several years it has been only the Corps of Engineers that has worked to introduce some balance into water management decisions. The Corps has listened to Caloosahatchee Estuary advocates and sent much-needed lake water westward in the dry season to moderate estuary salinity levels. By contrast, Florida agencies have failed to implement "shared adversity," whereby cities, agriculture and the environment all share the hardships brought on by too much, too little, or too dirty water.

If we allow Negron to get rid of the federal "adult in the room," Florida politicians will have greater power to make our water problems even worse. They already have the inclination.

Bill Bucolo, president, Democratic Environmental Caucus of Florida,

St. Petersburg

Pinellas County

Image problems

The article "A chilly welcome" in the current issue of the Economist calls Pinellas County "a flashy region of mobile home parks, 'senior living' complexes, golf courses and strip malls." It seems that after all our efforts at image-building, we really haven't come very far beyond the green benches.

Palmer O. Hanson Jr., Largo

Proposal could lead to packed court March 8

Let voters' voices be heard

What company would yield the appointment of directors or auditors to the departing management team? What an absurd way to implement the will of the people. This amendment should instead clarify a preference for the most recent word of the electorate. Isn't that the whole idea of elections?

If we don't allow the implementation of new policies by handicapping new administrations, we disable our ability to make positive change. Magnifying the voice of the failed party hobbles the ability of the system to work. Elections matter. Let the new leader appoint the new court.

R. Muhlhan, Palm Harbor

The orange, endangered | March 9, Perspective

Threat to Florida citrus

Thank you for this great article. The orange is a big part of Florida's history, and the threats to it have worried me for years: the Mediterranean fruit fly, canker, winter freezes, droughts and now citrus greening.

The Florida Department of Agriculture has been aware of this devastating disease since it first appeared in Florida in 2005. Yet I have not seen one word from our Department of Agriculture (now under Adam Putnam) on the importance of finding a cure, or how to combat it. Second, what became of the $10 million Coca-Cola was going to spend replanting? Why not put the $10 million toward research? To replant without a cure is "fruitless."

Linda Martin, Odessa


Thursday’s letters: On immigration there has to be a better way

‘Zero tolerance’ ignites outrage | June 20Find better way on immigrationOver the years I’ve voted for candidates from both parties. My observation of the Trump administration’s policy on immigration is not about politics. It has to do with having...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Wednesday’s letters: Charters and traditional public schools each have their place

Public school as public good | Letter, June 17Both kinds of schools can workAs a mother and grandmother of children raised in both traditional public and charter schools in Pinellas County (and a 25-year supporting-services employee for public sc...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/20/18

Tuesday’s letters: Keep programs that fight AIDS

For author Biden, it’s a father’s gift | June 6Keep programs that fight AIDSAfter former Vice President Joe Biden’s recent visit to St. Petersburg, I noticed an article that he co-wrote with former Sen. Bill Frist. It reminded everyone about the ...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/19/18

Is anyone watching the money?Hernando County’s budget shortfall is ever changing going from $6 million to $11.5 million to $14 million to what is assumed a final number of $12.6 million. Who knows the budget shortfall could change again.Who’s watchi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Re: County OKs solar zones | June 8Plea ignored at solar plant hearingThe Pasco County Commission on June 5 voted to identify a utility-sized solar electric plant as a "special exception" use on agricultural-zoned land in Pasco County. What thi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Monday’s letters: Skip those plastic bags and save the environment

To save our seas, overcome congressional apathy | Column, June 16Do your part and skip plastic bagsEvery day we read about the shame of our landfills and oceans filling up with plastic bags, yet most people don’t care. My wife and I always carry ...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

White House defends splitting up families as ‘biblical’ | June 15The suffering of the childrenI am a mother and attorney with more than 20 years of practice living in Tampa. For the past three years, I worked as a magistrate in a Unified Family C...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Saturday’s letters: Community-based care requires community involvement

Fix foster care, and do it quickly | Editorial, June 15Involve the community itselfWhile the detailed article about the scathing state review of Hillsborough County’s foster care problems touched on leadership, a critical point was not addressed....
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Friday’s letters: Freight trains are infrastructure that works in Tampa Bay

Railroads are infrastructure that worksFreight trains carry the loadCentral Florida is our state’s fastest-growing region. We’re on track to outpace South Florida’s growth 2-to-1 over the next several years. Great news for our local economy, but it n...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Thursday’s letters: Charter schools aren’t the enemy

Don’t plug your ears when schools ask for tax | May 20, columnCharter schools aren’t the enemyAs an educator, I am astounded when I hear claims from school board members that charter schools take away funding from the local public school system. ...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/14/18