Fine player, even better friend | June 1
Player made mark off the court
Last week, basketball Hall of Famer Jack Twyman died of cancer. Normally, the passing of a sports great recalls the athlete's exploits on the field of play. However, Twyman's legacy, while well known to old-time sports fans, is deserving of more than a passing mention.
In 1958 during an NBA game, young superstar Maurice Stokes fell and suffered a head injury that would paralyze him for life. Twyman became Stokes' legal guardian. To meet the enormous medical bills required for Stokes' care, Twyman organized a charity basketball game every year that drew the biggest names in the sport.
Twyman stayed loyal to Stokes until the latter died about 40 years ago. He also organized a foundation to help other needy NBA veterans, long before they made millions of dollars a year.
Twyman always downplayed his role in helping Stokes. In 1958, a white man devoting his life to the care of a disabled black man was very rare indeed. This is a great example of how love of fellow man can overcome hate.
Michael S. Greenberg, Clearwater
Message on voting loud, clear June 3, editorial
Stop hijacking voters' rights
I am delighted to see that your paper has taken on an issue vital to Americans: the right to vote.
The Republican Party is determined to take down our president by not passing anything in the House that might help re-elect him; there is a plan to spend $1 billion by outside supporters to elect Mitt Romney; and now we have voter suppression legislation all over the country targeting mostly Democratic-leaning groups.
Please continue to enlighten your readers about these serious plans to hijack our constitutional right to vote.
D.G. Murray, New Port Richey
Integrity of list essential
Your June 1 editorial concludes somehow that removal of ineligible voters from the rolls constitutes "trampling voters' rights." I disagree. Every ineligible voter who remains on the rolls tramples my voting rights.
Your statement at the end of the editorial has it backwards.
It states, "There is no such thing as integrity in the rolls when the process for purging voters is not as exacting as signing them up." It would be far better if the process for signing them up would be more exacting. Then we would not be facing the problem today of trying to verify them.
Robert E. Streich, Ocala
Damage must be reversed
It's been 11 years since the Bush tax breaks. They have been a complete failure. The wealthy have gained and everyone else has lost. If this continues, we will have a Third World economy where 10 percent will own everything and 90 percent will be in poverty.
To get back to where we should be, spending will have to be cut and the upper-level tax breaks eliminated. Perhaps a return to the tax rates of the 1970s would make up for the time lost during the last 11-plus years.
Tom Lachat, Seffner
New details of conviction in bin Laden raid May 31
Pakistan a poor 'ally'
Where is the American outrage over Dr. Shakil Afridi's 33-year prison sentence in Pakistan? This man put his life on the line to help the United States track down Osama bin Laden inside his home country, which obviously the two-faced Pakistan government would not do.
I cannot believe the United States still backs and works with Pakistan and sends our tax money to this regime. Remember that Pakistan gave nuclear weapons information to Iran. Former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, who was a strong female leader and stood for human rights, was assassinated.
Once again this country, a so-called ally, is holding our military supply lines hostage to try to extort more of our tax dollars as our troops prepare for the drawdown out of Afghanistan. I say pay these extortionists, get these supply lines and our exit routes reopened, then start withdrawing our military personnel from the whole region and cut all future U.S. taxpayer aid to Pakistan, Afghanistan and any other back-stabbing nation.
Joseph Rowe, Tarpon Springs
All not equal in face of camera | May 23
Flashing lights at night
As a retired truck driver of over 40 years, I've seen plenty of red lights. Nothing would burn me up more than having to stop for a light at four in the morning when absolutely nothing else is on the road. And now I read where police are going through them — of course safely — but nevertheless, going through them.
Why not have all the main thoroughfare lights go to yellow blink and side streets a red blink after a later hour, say 10 at night until 6 or even 5 in the morning? The police could cruise nonstop and protect us more efficiently and the fuel that would be saved would certainly add up.
Daniel Orsello, Tampa
Venue being built for RNC fun | June 1
If the GOP is so concerned with the plight of unemployed U.S. workers and struggling businesses, couldn't they find an existing structure in the bay area to rent, thus infusing that money into our local economy instead of sending it out of the country? Why did they bypass the entire width and breadth of the United States to hire a Canadian company to build their giant bounce house for their private party?
Daniel Rapp, Tampa
St. Pete Pride
Focus on the faithful
Other years I have written this letter after the St. Pete Pride weekend. However, this year I decided to write it before in the hope that it will affect your reporting of the involvement of various faith groups in this annual event.
Every other year the Times has reported in great detail about the handful of antigay demonstrators at the parade. You have interviewed these people, reported on who they are, where they are from and what they had to say. On the other hand you have made only passing reference about the scores of people like myself who have marched with our churches and various faith groups in the parade carrying banners celebrating God's diversity and claiming "Jesus didn't reject people. Neither do we."
Hopefully this year the Times will put more effort in reporting on the scores of people of faith marching in the parade and less to the handful of homophobic protesters.
Richard Feigel, St. Petersburg