Tuesday, January 23, 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


Do you have a gold star yet?

Do you have a gold star on your Florida driver’s license, and are you REAL ID compliant?Florida is a federal REAL ID compliant state, which means that driver’s license and identification cards here meet federal law as to security standards and confir...
Published: 01/22/18

Monday’s letters: Tampa Bay deserves rail as an option

New transit option: BRT | Jan. 12Tampa deserves rail as an optionI was disheartened by Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn’s statement about his exhaustion with public transit discussions. It sounds like the government of Tampa has given up on ever realizin...
Published: 01/21/18

Sunday’s letters: Bay area shortchanged on foster care funds

Opioid crisis herds kids to foster care | Jan. 9Bay area foster care shortchangedAs mentioned in this article, the growing opioid epidemic is unfortunately bringing more children into the Florida foster care system. While substance abuse has hist...
Published: 01/20/18

Tuesday’s letters: Diagnosis by journalist playing doctor

Trump’s sanity grades | Jan. 19, commentaryAn inept journalistic diagnosisI was worried the Tampa Bay Times wouldn’t find someone qualified to rebuke the findings of noted physician Dr. Ronny Jackson. To the rescue came the brilliant Gail Collins...
Published: 01/19/18
Updated: 01/22/18

Saturday’s letters: It’s not the word, it’s the racism

Presidential precedent | Jan. 14It’s not the word; it’s the racismThe Times went in the wrong direction and printed information that is rather useless. And that is strange. You usually get it right.I am talking about President Donald Trump’s prof...
Published: 01/19/18

Friday’s letters: Help for boaters against modern-day ‘pirates’

Marine towing and salvageHelp against modern-day piracyAs an avid recreational boat owner and sixth-generation Floridian, I know there’s no better way to enjoy our state’s spectacular waters than taking your boat out. Unfortunately, the fun of boatin...
Published: 01/17/18
Updated: 01/18/18

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...
Published: 01/17/18

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