Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Wednesday's letters: Hold Tampa's next mayor to high standard

Chief leaves big impact on Tampa | July 7, editorial

Hold next mayor to high standard

This editorial compliments Tampa's police Chief Eric Ward for his efforts in addressing the perceptions of "racial profiling and harassment" that existed under his predecessor. The irony is that his predecessor was Jane Castor, who is now reported to be a leading contender for Tampa's next mayor. The negative perceptions occurred due to the police practice of ticketing black bicyclists, which is evidence Castor is ill-equipped to become mayor.

In addition to advocating for a progressive and community-focused police chief, the Times should do likewise for Tampa's next mayor.

Barbara Orban, Tampa

Pruitt quickly changing how EPA operates July 2

Pollution hurts everyone

This headline should have read, "Pruitt quickly dismantling the EPA."

What is happening is so outrageous, yet not surprising, as Donald Trump has put foxes in all the henhouses. What is mind-boggling is that Scott Pruitt and those who support what he is doing have children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, wives and husbands. Don't they also need clean air and clean water? Allowing pesticides that cause neurological damage in children should alarm everyone.

Do they think they can contain these things so they only affect the poor? Pesticides run off into the aquifers that supply everyone water. Rivers and air flow toward the rich and poor alike. Is their greed so blinding that they just don't care?

Yvonne M. Osmond, Clearwater

Health care

Protect coverage for women

In the Senate's latest health care bill, one feature remains unchanged: Private insurance plans are prohibited from offering abortion coverage. This will not only make it more difficult for many to access an abortion, it will also reinforce the idea that abortion is not simply a safe and legal medical procedure, part of a full spectrum of reproductive health care, but instead a shameful and immoral act.

What is truly shameful and immoral is denying this access to women who need it. Congressional leaders should focus on improving affordability and quality of care instead of denying women the ability to make determinations for themselves and their futures.

Laurence W. Key, Stuart

All are created equally | July 8, letter

A matter of conscience

The letter writer makes this recommendation for florists, bakers, etc., with deep religious beliefs: "Post a sign on your business, and your ads and business cards, that you are opposed to gay marriage." When I read that, a picture popped into my mind of another group of religious people — Jews required to wear a Star of David under the Nazis.

For some people, their religious beliefs are deeply personal and not something they wear on their sleeves. Why should they have to publicly proclaim it? Why is it not sufficient to explain to a potential client that they while they don't mind providing services to any individual, they can't in good conscience contribute to a ceremony that goes against their religion?

Nancy Foster, Clearwater

Blanket restoration is a bad idea | July 7, letter

Works fine in other states

Blanket voter restoration is not a bad idea. It is a step in the right direction. We would join 14 states and the District of Colombia in which voter rights are lost only while incarcerated and automatically restored after release. The sky has not fallen in these states. Our present system serves only one purpose: to disenfranchise the poor and powerless. The right to vote has nothing whatsoever to do with public safety or the criminal justice system.

The best and simplest solution would be to join Maine and Vermont, where no one loses the right to vote. Even prisoners can vote and maybe even acquire a little sense of community. Then we could scrap Florida's tawdry system of poor ex-felons groveling and begging a panel of much richer legislators for restoration of their voter rights.

Pete Wilford, Holiday

Taking sides on statue | July 7

Celebrity gossip

I'm curious what prompted the question. Does your readership gain anything by finding out what a sports franchise "thinks"? I suspect you'd have gotten a more provocative headline if you'd inquired of NASCAR. I don't subscribe to the Times for celebrity gossip, which this clearly is.

T.J. Gill, St. Petersburg

Rising costs hit breaking point | July 5, letter

Care for those in need

This letter writer said Medicaid expansion added more "free riders to the unaffordable (Medicaid) plan." Note that Florida did not expand Medicaid eligibility. The writer appears to think that anyone receiving Medicaid is an able-bodied person who should be paying for his or her coverage.

Data from the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration presents a different picture. In 2016, Medicaid covered about 53 percent of aged people receiving long-term care in nursing homes, which Medicare does not cover and which costs about $7,500 per month. Twenty-one percent of the Medicaid budget went for aged residents who have used up their private resources. Disabled people are 14 percent of Medicaid enrollees but account for 40 percent of the budget. These recipients have severe conditions, many from birth, and would die without Medicaid services. A recent study showed that if AHCA paid commercial insurance rates for this care, the total cost would be 25 percent higher. Children in very low-income families represent 43 percent of enrollees but use only 19 percent of the budget.

Medicaid costs more than necessary because health care provider services, drug manufacturer products and insurance company administration and profits are too costly. Neither Obamacare nor Republican-proposed legislation addresses this. An army of lobbyists have made sure of that.

Robert H. More, Riverview


Tuesday’s letters: Making politics personal is one way toward reasonable gun control

The Parkland shootingMake gun politics personalAs an educator of 32 years, it encourages me to see our young people engaged after the horror at Stoneman Douglas High School. The tragedy at Parkland has awakened the sleeping giant that is the millenni...
Published: 02/19/18

Sunday’s letters: Congress must act on firearms

Deadly toll: 17 | Feb. 15Congress must act on firearmsIt’s time for Congress to be counted.The failure of Congress to act to: (1) limit access to assault rifles and (2) require meaningful background checks for all gun purchases is appalling.Surel...
Published: 02/17/18

Monday’s letters: Call it by its name: terrorism

Deadly toll: 17 | Feb. 15Call it whatit is: terrorismLet’s just call it what it is. It’s terrorism. No school in the country is immune. They all have procedures for sheltering in place or emergency evacuation from a shooter. It’s prudent to be pr...
Published: 02/16/18

Saturday’s letters: Payoff to porn star not front-page news?

Lawyer: I personally paid porn star | Feb. 14Where we’re at: This is 4A newsOnly under the Trump presidency does a story about the president’s lawyer paying off a porn star to cover up an affair with the president show up on page 4A. Never mind t...
Published: 02/16/18

Friday’s letters: Water quality too important to gamble on

State to update water rules | Feb. 10Don’t gamble with water safetyI wondered whether this front-page article was an early April Fool’s joke. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection "updated" its pollution regulations in 2016, with str...
Published: 02/15/18

Thursday’s letters: Bill protects pharmacy customers

House Bill 351Bill protects pharmacy customersWe all need the protections provided in Florida House Bill 351 to ensure pharmacy benefit managers, or PBMs, are transparently operating with patients. Currently, PBMs are not regulated by the state and o...
Published: 02/14/18

Wednesday’s letters: The ocean is no place for amateurs

Youthful dream sinks in two days | Feb. 12Ocean is no place for amateursFirst of all, let me say I am sorry this couple lost their boat and I do applaud their adventurous spirit. However, I have spent over 20 years at sea and would like to commen...
Published: 02/13/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for Feb. 16

A vote against Pasco’s jail bond issueThere are two stories on the front page of the Feb. 9 Pasco Times that drew my attention.The top headline reports that the Pasco County commissioners are discussing submitting a $185 million bond issue to the vot...
Published: 02/13/18

Tuesday’s letters: Challenges in Hillsborough foster care

Foster failures under scrutiny | Feb. 10Challenges in foster care systemNo young person deserves to be treated as shown in the Ch. 8 segment on Youth and Family Alternatives Inc., an Eckerd Connects subcontractor. It is difficult to fathom how th...
Published: 02/12/18

Saturday’s letters: We’re all just trying to get home, one zip tie at a time

I detest Trump, but a ‘redneck’ fixed my Prius with zip ties | Feb. 3, Ruth Mayer columnWe’re all just trying to get homeLike columnist Ruth Mayer, I too am trying to find my level ground, my level-set. I too have held a tremendously deep resentm...
Published: 02/07/18
Updated: 02/09/18