Friday, May 25, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Wednesday's letters: Bills promote a tech revolution

Yes to tech; no to telecom giveaway | March 31, commentary

Bills promote a tech revolution

We agree Florida needs an improved wireless infrastructure to drive the economy forward; however, we disagree with this recent column that 5G would negatively affect Tampa.

Senate Bill 596, by Sen. Travis Hutson, and House Bill 687, by Rep. Mike La Rosa, allow cities and counties across Florida to be a part of the smart cities revolution. This legislation brings Florida into the next generation of wireless technology — 5G — to support communities of the future.

This good public policy spurs increased investments, attracting innovative and technologically advanced companies to Florida. It gives Florida families and businesses the wireless bandwidth needed as their data demands rise.

Most of us want to have the technology of the future, like smart cities, autonomous vehicles and instantaneous speeds, but for these innovative ideas to become a reality within cities like Tampa, our state needs to embrace the uniform deployment of small cell technology.

The column implies this deployment would clutter public spaces; however, small cells are compact and unobtrusive, attaching to existing utility/light poles and buildings. Further, this technology enhances the ability for law enforcement to act in a crisis. With small cell technology deployment, law enforcement will have increased bandwidth needed for communication, as well as the tool to pinpoint an emergency at a given location.

Associated Industries of Florida urges lawmakers to support SB 596 and HB 687, allowing Florida to prepare now for the future of technology in the Sunshine State.

Brewster B. Bevis, Tallahassee

The writer is senior vice president of state and federal affairs for Associated Industries of Florida.

County considers tax to cover Trump costs April 11

Not the whole story

Your article on costs for President Donald Trump doesn't tell the whole story. FDR had three residences; Harry Truman had the Key West White House; and as a resident of West Palm Beach and Palm Beach I would see Jack and Jackie Kennedy fly in on weekends to Palm Beach. At no time did any paper make mention of this.

Eventually the costs will be worked out with the feds, but it is unfair of your paper to tell us that Trump is getting anything free. The Associated Press and your paper should start giving us correct news. Stop faking it. Thank you.

Frederick Edwards, St. Pete Beach

To get big things done, let's meet in the middle | April 5, commentary

The missing middle

This column imagines "America's team, devout centrists who lean conservative on economics, express tolerance on social issues and are unapologetic about balancing principles and perspective." Should a centrist like this run in a safely Republican district — which, thanks to partisan gerrymandering, means most congressional and legislative districts in our state and others — he or she is guaranteed a well-funded primary attack from the right, largely thanks to Citizens United.

Even the wackiest science-denying, government-drowning Freedom Caucus member can be elected in such districts, because the right knows a Democratic candidate simply has no chance.

The centrists are already there, and they're Democrats like our own U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor. Perhaps Florida can consider the model of California, which has open primaries with the top two vote-getters facing off in the general election. That has produced a dramatic shift to the center and far greater growth than, say, Kansas, which went for tea party policies.

Joseph Discenza, Tampa

Medicaid may require fees | April 8

Look into Medicaid claims

I would like the Times to check claims by Rep. Travis Cummings on Medicaid. First, we should know how many recipients are capable of working before making it a requirement that they work.

He says health providers "complain of patients missing appointments or avoiding preventive care entirely." Is this problem more common among Medicaid recipients than the general public? If Medicaid recipients are working in low-paying jobs, are they able to take time off for preventive services?

His suggestion for them to have "more skin in the game" might be well-intended, but is there any research that this idea would really help?

If we are worried about health care costs, why didn't Florida sign on to Medicaid expansion, which could have brought in billions of dollars? Instead, we are using assumptions rather than research to put more burdens onto the poor.

Cecilia Yocum, Tampa

Mar-a-Lago situation room photo | April 8

Photo shows the problem

What's wrong with this picture? There are 14 people in the room. All are white men except for Dina Powell. The decisionmakers in this room clearly do not represent the real America. What's wrong with this picture? Pretty much everything.

Margaret O'Connell, St. Petersburg

What's become of the American dream? April 9, commentary

America's caste system

Given Peggy Noonan's bona fides as a Republican pundit, her tortuous twisting of the American dream is not surprising. It is precisely the same spin that Donald Trump and Paul Ryan put on health care: "Access" is all that matters, even if millions who have "access" can't afford to use it. Noonan misses the fact that America's gulf in wealth and wages has created a caste system, traceable to Republican transfers of wealth, beginning with Ronald Reagan's tax "reforms."

Thanks to conservatives over the past 40 years, the notion that "I can do better" has frayed, as both economics and politics increasingly reward those whom Alexander Hamilton called "the wealthy, well-born, and wise." One need look no further than the make-up of Trump's Cabinet for validation: We have a government of the rich, by the rich, and for the rich.

Stephen Phillips, St. Petersburg


Friday's letters: Thanks to jurors for fulfilling civic duty

May is Juror Appreciation Month Thanks, jurors, for your service Trial by a jury of one’s peers is among the bedrock guarantees that make our representative democracy exceptional. Without it, the courtroom fates of defendants and civil litiga...
Updated: 7 hours ago

Thursday’s letters: Heated chemotherapy won’t treat most ovarian cancers

Heated chemotherapy has promising results | May 16Cancer treatment not a cure-all While we were pleased to see the story about ovarian cancer treatment, we are concerned that the article could mislead many patients. The treatment described has be...
Published: 05/22/18
Updated: 05/24/18

Wednesday’s letters: A princess gives us a lesson to live by

Royal treatment | May 21Princess offers advice for us allThe radiant and joyful Princess Anna Noela Lokolo of the Democratic Republic of Congo, recent Eckerd College graduate, has given us a huge gift in her parting words. "If people have a negat...
Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/23/18

Hernando Letters to the Editor for May 25

Re: Central High School bomb threat suspect to be tried as adult | May 4Angry mob rhetoric not helpfulWe have observed the public discourse surrounding the case of Mizella Robinson with increasing unease. A sampling of the more common sentiment...
Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/22/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for May 25

Re: Proposed TECO Solar Plant Opposed to the TECO solar plantAs a 21-year resident and property owner, I am writing in opposition to the proposed Tampa Electric Company solar plant in rural northeast Pasco County.The solar plant will be .2 miles from...
Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/22/18

Tuesday’s letters: If you don’t like the Electoral College, then amend the Constitution

The popular vote | May 20, letterIf you don’t like it, amend ConstitutionA recent letter supports the idea that a state should be able to change its Electoral College vote to match that of the national popular vote winner as opposed to the result...
Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/22/18

Monday’s letters: Focusing on the mental state of shooters misses the point

Texas high school shooting | May 18Criminals, angry people kill peopleSchool shootings are a distinctly American phenomenon. But shootings by people with serious mental illness represent less than 1 percent of all yearly gun-related homicides in ...
Published: 05/19/18
Updated: 05/21/18

Friday’s letters: Putnam and Publix, two P’s lose my nod

Publix pours cash to Putnam | May 17A pleasure to shop elsewhereMy family and I moved to Tampa in 1974, and have made Publix our favorite grocery store ever since. Forty-four years! That is why it makes me a little sad to have to say goodbye.Firs...
Published: 05/18/18

Saturday’s letters: For Florida to move forward, focus on a healthy and sustainable environment

Tampa’s future is bright | May 12Protect Florida, boost economyThis past year, Florida set another record-breaking year for tourism, welcoming more than 116 million visitors. While Florida boasts a unique quality of life and more than 1,300 miles...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/18/18

Sunday’s letters: What conservatives stand for

How can conservatism survive after Trump | May 13, Nickens columnhed#6324 I think it obvious that traditional conservatism was squeezed out of the 2016 campaign narrative and has become a niche thesis owned by a small group of intellectuals. A gr...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/18/18