Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Wednesday's letters: Great for CEOs, not the rest of us

Scott goes out of state for jobs | June 9

Great for CEOs, not the rest of us

I can envision the CEOs of those firms targeted by Gov. Rick Scott to move to Florida being interested in moving to Florida due to our supposedly low tax rates. After all, they will hide out in their gated communities, paying no state income tax and having their beach home insurance subsidized by the rest of us. They probably won't even care that our state motto for education is, "Thank God for Louisiana and Mississippi" or that Scott just made it easier to sidestep environmental regulation and send innocent folks to death.

I am sure those CEOs will be thrilled that our Legislature passed a bill that makes it harder for local governments to implement a business tax; and who can forget the recent bills to disenfranchise voters? If they actually bring employees, think how thrilled those employees will be to have given up the uniqueness of their old hometown to enjoy the cookie-cutter subdivisions with their cookie-cutter homes all situated next to dozens of Publix, Winn-Dixie, Walgreens, CVS, Wal-Mart, Kmart and Target stores every 5 miles.

How happy they will be when they find out that when the next hurricane hits, they will have to help rebuild the mansions on the water and the homes that were allowed to be built on barrier islands with an assessment that may well bankrupt us all.

My advice to anyone considering moving a business to Florida is, "Careful what you don't pay for."

John Hayes, Sun City Center

The assault on privacy | June 9, editorial

Outrage is misplaced

Sunday's lead editorial headline denounces the federal government's telephone and Internet surveillance programs as an "assault on privacy." My dictionary defines "assault" as a "violent attack, either physical or verbal." But no matter how hoarse President Barack Obama, the director of national intelligence, the director of the National Security Agency, or the chairs and ranking members of the Senate and House Intelligence Committees have become in publicly explaining the limited intrusiveness of these programs and the proven benefits they have rendered to our national security, critics, including Times editorial writers, seem unable to contain their misplaced outrage at these congressionally authorized and closely supervised programs.

The editorial's injudicious and overreaching statements go so far as to brand the decisions of the secret FISA (Federal Intelligence Surveillance Act) Court, a panel of 11 federal judges who rotate periodically onto that bench and rule on the legality/constitutionality of these programs, little more than a "rubber stamp" on the government's surveillance activities. Apparently, the Times editors know better about such matters.

In sharp contrast, no outrage has been directed at the person who leaked highly classified information about these programs deemed so vital to our national security. But where would editorial writers be without such leakers, whose illegal actions frankly border on sedition?

Finally, Times editors cap their high dudgeon with, "Americans have a right to know the basic structure of surveillance programs that gobble up so much private information." And just how would that knowledge be disseminated without also informing our enemies about the government's efforts to safeguard our security? What Americans have a basic right to are "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness," all of which are threatened by those whom our once secret surveillance activities seek to identify and stop in their tracks.

Fred Kalhammer, Sun City Center

Florida's spring baseball boost | June 9, letter

Corporate welfare

It seems that the Chambers of Commerce from three communities have nothing but praise for the state decision to give $5 million to "construct and renovate stadiums used for spring training." Since the practice of coming to Florida began 100 years ago, I am curious how (up until now) these teams were able to come and play here without being subsidized with taxpayer money.

The public keeps hearing about shortfalls in all aspects of government operations, yet government can "find" $5 million for projects like this with no problem. If indeed there is a need to build or renovate these facilities, get the funds from the owners' pockets and the fans.

Believe it or not, there are people who couldn't care less about sports, so why should they help pay for others who do?

Robert Delimon, Largo

Tea party brews trouble for GOP June 9, commentary

Move to the center

I believe that the downsizing of the tea party movement may be an opportunity for the Republicans to right the ship that has been taking on water the past several years. The reason Republicans are losing elections is not because candidates aren't conservative enough; it's because their candidates are too conservative, even the so-called moderates.

The Democrats have moved more closely to the center after Bill Clinton's time in office, and that has proved to be the magic potion for their party. Our country has changed demographically in the past decade and the older conservative white base is drying up. Our country has shifted from a center-right country to a centrist country, and the party that moves closest to that center (which has been the Democrats lately) will win national elections. In the pure red states, of course, the most conservative players will win, but not on a national playing field.

The reason I and many other former Republicans have left the party is because of the extreme elements like Ted Cruz that the party now embrace. They can't make a long-term strategy by piling on President Barack Obama. At some point they are going to have to produce solutions like one of the great Republican presidents of our past, Dwight Eisenhower.

George Chase, St. Pete Beach

America's worst charities | June 9

Giving till it hurts

Unfortunately you left out the worst one in the country. This organization takes in over $3 trillion per year. There are billions and billions in waste and mismanagement, bloated salaries and pensions, lavish trips, expensive vacations, and the list goes on and on. No one is held accountable and everyone blames someone else.

In case you haven't guessed, that charity is one that every hardworking American who has a job is required to give to: the U.S. government.

At least with the charities that you have outlined there is no one forcing you to donate. With our government you don't have a choice.

Jim Byers, St. Petersburg


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: 06/19/18

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

Wednesday’s letters: Trump’s words insult our Canadian visitors

Trade disputes torpedo G-7 summit | June 10Canadian visitors are owed apologyLike many Pinellas County residents, I’m pleased that we receive thousands of Canadian "snow birds" as part-year residents. Not only do they enhance our economy, but by ...
Published: 06/11/18
Updated: 06/13/18