Tuesday, January 16, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Wednesday's letters: Head off a war between the ages

The elderly should share the burden | Feb. 23, commentary

Head off a war between the ages

Robert Samuelson deserves praise for his courageous column. The vast majority of recommendations to overhaul Social Security and Medicare protect the status quo not only for people already drawing on such "entitlements," but people age 55 and over.

That's outrageous. Many politicians are already instigating "class warfare" by promoting tax legislation that favors the rich over the poor, or vice versa, but this particular approach to fixing entitlement programs is blatantly unfair and would bring about a "generational war," pitting grandchildren against grandparents.

I should point out that both my wife and I draw Social Security benefits and are covered by Medicare. We don't consider ourselves wealthy, but like many others in our situation, we can and must shoulder our share of the burden. We cannot jeopardize the economic survival of future generations while we continue to drain the Treasury.

In addition to other needed changes in Social Security, such as delaying the eligibility age, raising the earnings ceiling and adjusting payout levels, we should consider making up to 100 percent of Social Security payments, as opposed to the current maximum of 85 percent, taxable for annual incomes over something like $35,000.

I sincerely hope that the elected officials whom we entrusted — or will entrust in elections later this year — with the awesome task facing our nation will pick up the ball and run with it.

Frank Yanacek, Sun City Center

Audit: Schools top-heavy | Feb. 25

Administration shell game

With every new Pinellas County school superintendent, we hear that there will be cutbacks of central administrative staff. The paper heralds these cuts, but in most cases it is nothing more than a shell game where job titles are eliminated and new jobs are created for those who lost their jobs.

Pinellas County schools must do a better job of focusing on the areas where we are lacking and stop making excuses for past failures. Right now, Pinellas County schools are simply in the middle of the pack in a state that is middle of the pack, in a country that is middle of the pack in the world.

Our teachers, parents and students deserve better. To be successful we will need creative, honest and dedicated leaders to bring Pinellas County schools back to their place of excellence in Florida.

William B. Cooper, Dunedin

32 arrested at U.S. 19 checkpoint | Feb. 19

Step up the punishment

I read constantly that people arrested for DUI accidents have a suspended license and/or no insurance. How are these people able to get and keep a car on the road? If you cancel your insurance, the company should notify the state and they should confiscate the car. The same with suspended for DUI: Confiscate the car. If someone loans a car to the driver, take that as well.

There needs to be better punishment to remove these people from the roads to reduce accidents. It's time the state got tougher on this major problem.

Llewellyn Denny, Safety Harbor

A matter of focus | Feb. 26

Deadly distraction

A University of Utah study released in 2006 found that drivers who talk on either hand-held or hands-free cellphones are as impaired as drunken drivers. The study showed that cellphone users are more than five times more likely to get in an accident than those not using phones.

The details on this study are readily available online. What is not readily available is the amount of money donated by the cellphone industry to legislators intent on blocking a ban on texting and cellphone use while driving.

Randy Campbell, Lutz

A hero's welcome: cheers, tears, hugs Feb. 20

Heartwarming coverage

A huge thank-you to the Tampa Bay Times and the journalist who covered the story of Cpl. Michael Nicholson's return to Tampa. My family and I joined the hundreds of other residents to show our support for this local hero. We were honored and humbled to be there.

I have forwarded your online video and article to friends and family. I hope you continue to cover heartwarming homecoming stories such as this one. With all the bad news out there, it's a welcome change. Kudos to the Times.

Rose Chervitz, Palm Harbor

Light rail plans get rolling | Feb. 26, editorial

Promote redevelopment

I am a strong proponent of light rail for Pinellas County, but I am concerned that the proposed route in St. Petersburg provides little redevelopment opportunities outside of downtown. Instead of running north from downtown along I-275 until jogging over to Shoppes at Park Place, it would seem better to simply extend west along Central Avenue and then turn north at 34th Street. This would add only three-fourths of a mile to the proposed 24-mile route but would allow for stations at Central Plaza as well as 34th Street and 22nd Avenue N, both of which could attract substantial redevelopment investments.

The most successful light rail systems around the country are those that have resulted in attractive mixed-use centers adjacent to transit stops. It is important that we design our system to maximize such opportunities.

Tim Clemmons, St. Petersburg

USF finds an unlikely hero | Feb. 25

Hero or zero?

Only in Florida can the hero be an ethics-challenged senator who saved a process that cuts funding for 11 existing universities so as to fund the creation of a 12th.

Evan Odden, Largo

Shame is not the solution | Feb. 24, commentary

The parental problem

I agree with Bill Gates about developing a systematic way to help teachers get better. His is a powerful solution that's making a difference in Hillsborough County.

Now, a question: How do we develop a system to make better parents?

Mary Lou Moore, Bradenton

Rubio's Mormon roots revealed | Feb. 24

Just one question

Your stunning revelation that Marco Rubio was baptized as a Mormon raises an important question. So what?

John McFadden, Inverness

Comments

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...
Updated: 9 hours ago

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

Monday’s letters: Don’t be fooled by drilling turnaround

Deal blocks drilling off Fla. | Jan. 10Don’t be fooled by turnaroundWhile I am very grateful that Florida has been taken off the table regarding offshore oil drilling, it is clear this is a political move to champion Gov. Rick Scott as he conside...
Published: 01/14/18

Sunday’s letters: Left wing late to the #MeToo cause

#MeTooDemocrats come late to the causeThe Times devoted an entire page to the #MeToo issues on Sunday. The ironies here for longtime observers are nearly boundless. Twenty years ago, folks like myself were called "prudes" and worse because we found P...
Published: 01/13/18

Saturday’s letters: A wall of towers isn’t progress

Skyline takes shape | Jan. 7A wall of towers isn’t progressFirst of all, once the 17 projects currently under way are completed, there will be no "skyline." There will be a wall of buildings blotting out the sun and sky. St. Petersburg has become...
Published: 01/12/18

Friday’s letters:

Gang raped at 17. Getting help at 65 | Jan. 7Help available for assault victimsEach sexual assault survivor has a unique story to tell, and Evelyn Robinson’s experience illustrates many of the emotions, and society stigmas, faced by survivors.Sex...
Published: 01/09/18
Updated: 01/11/18

Thursday’s letters: Opioid bill could do more harm than good

Opioid bill opponents line up | Jan. 6Bill’s potential to harm patientsLegislators are proposing putting more restrictions on physicians’ ability to prescribe pain medications. Yes, the addiction problem is a serious one, and the law seems well-i...
Published: 01/08/18
Updated: 01/10/18

Wednesday’s letters: Beware candidates backed by billionaires

DeSantis declares governor run | Jan. 6Beware the billionaire backingThis line says it all: "The congressman already has the support of the president and several billionaires." If you continue to vote for billionaire-backed candidates, you will g...
Published: 01/08/18
Updated: 01/09/18

Tuesday’s letters: Drilling not worth the risk to Florida

Trump’s plan: to drill | Jan. 5Drilling not worth risk to FloridaAs a Republican and a supporter of President Donald Trump supporter, I am appalled by the proposal to drill for oil off Florida’s Atlantic and Gulf coasts, whose beaches and economi...
Published: 01/08/18