Friday, June 22, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Wednesday's letters: Companies should help commuters

Transit wishes | May 11

Bosses should help commuters

Reading this article makes me wonder why the CEOs highlighted don't do more to solve their employees' commuting problems. It's easy to look at public transit as a solution, but even if the Pinellas County transit vote passes in November, many employees may still not be able to use the new public transit options.

With CEO pay running into the millions and corporations showing revenues in the billions, companies can afford to provide transportation options for their employees including private shuttle buses, staggered start times and telecommuting where possible — rather than looking to the public to solve their employees' commuting needs.

Better yet, how about several companies getting together and providing shuttle buses for employees living in the same areas? Think how much easier it would be to attract employees if the company offered a corporate commuter shuttle to work.

Each 20-person shuttle bus would remove 19 vehicles from the roads.

Ken Gagliano, Clearwater

Guardianship audits

Bill improves oversight

Florida Court Clerks and Comptrollers thanks state Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, for exceptional work this session to add scrutiny by clerks over guardianship audits. House Bill 635, sponsored by Brandes and Rep. Kathleen Passidomo, R-Fort Myers, provides a mechanism for auditors to identify or investigate potential fraud or exploitation of the state's billions of dollars in guardianship assets.

Since 1989, Florida's court clerks have been directed by statute to audit guardianship reports and advise the court of their audit findings. However, these audits have been limited in scope.

Protecting our most vulnerable community members should be one of the highest priorities of public servants. And, as keepers of the state's court records and with the duty to provide cursory review of annual guardianship reports, the clerks are the logical governmental entity for uncovering waste, fraud and abuse in court-appointed guardianship cases. With the passage of this legislation, we've taken a step toward more accountability and curbing abuse by those who hold their own interests above the interests of those they're sworn to protect.

In addition to closer monitoring of guardians' fiduciary and financial responsibilities to the ward, this legislation allows clerks to create enhanced guardianship audits, thereby enhancing the courts' oversight of guardianship cases. The legislation also further codifies in statute the relationship between the clerks and the court.

This good bill makes Florida a leader in protecting its most vulnerable population by implementing a consistent and successful enhanced guardianship audit program.

Karen Rushing, Florida Court Clerks and Comptrollers, Tallahassee

Family's demise belies the picture | May 10

Behind closed doors

I've had the privilege to work at Avila for quite some time, and I can say that not all that glitters is gold.

I never met the Campbell family, but from all appearances they fit the Avila mold. I can't count the number of times I've driven down streets in Avila and looked at the gorgeous homes and well-manicured lawns and said to myself, "It must be nice." But what do you really know?

I've met some of the nicest people in Avila, and the majority weren't athletes or celebrities. I'll never be able to afford to live there, or be invited to any of their parties at the country club, but I'll continue show up to work and try to be content on the outside looking in.

But instead of thinking "it must be nice," maybe I should realize how good I've really got it.

Ray Brown, Tampa

Rutgers' affront to Rice | May 10, letter

It's her record, not her race

The letter writer assumes racism was behind Rutgers' rejection of Condoleezza Rice. As an accomplished African-American academic and intellectual, she might seem a fine choice.

However, Rice's pivotal role in the Bush administration's 9/11 intelligence failures and promotion of propaganda as facts to blame Saddam Hussein are not forgotten. From mobile weapons labs and yellowcake to the infamous mushroom cloud — at every turn she failed.

Anita Daniels, Dunedin

Psychology degree for Tiger Woods' ex-wife May 11

Graduate is out of touch

This article quotes Rollins College assistant dean Sharon Lusk as saying Elin Nordegren's application for Outstanding Senior "spoke to the determination of a single mom to complete her degree." Nordegren speaks of "the challenges she overcame in earning her degree."

I have nothing against Nordegren. She seems like a nice woman who did very well in college, but I would love to hear about these challenges she overcame. She received $100 million in a divorce settlement, at least one mansion, thousands more a month in alimony, and has a billionaire boyfriend.

I think she (and the assistant dean) may be a little out of touch with the many real challenges faced by the average student.

John Skey, Bradenton

Rules of the road

Keep right and let them pass

Those who insist on driving slowly in the passing lane should consult Rule 5.11.1 of the 2014 Florida Drivers Handbook: "Drive with the flow of traffic (within the speed limit). You should not drive so slowly that you block other vehicles moving at normal, safe speeds. When driving slower than the flow of traffic, keep right so others may pass."

Some people, myself included, have sense and courtesy enough to follow this rule.

Harold Der Garabedian, Madeira Beach

Obama touts gains in solar | May 10

In the voters' hands

We would have had solar programs in place long ago if we had elected Al Gore or John Kerry.

Now we have a president who is trying to accomplish what many have been encouraging for years. He needs our support and the support of Congress and our state and local governments. Please vote this November for candidates who support a cleaner and safer United States.

Peggy Goodale, Largo


Friday’s letters: What a new Rays ballpark would mean

Rays exec hints at stadium timeline | June 15What a new ballpark would doThe Tampa Bay Rays 2020 organization is working diligently with local business leaders and civic organizations to rally support for the Rays’ new ballpark in Ybor City. The ...
Updated: 27 minutes ago

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...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/21/18

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