Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Wednesday's letters: Homeowners must take preventive steps on floods

When your flood insurance falls short | Feb. 12, John Romano column

Owners: Take preventive steps

John Romano's column omits a key aspect of this story — these homes are likely to be flooded again and again unless preventive measures are taken to reduce the risk.

Taxpayer-subsidized flood insurance does provide critical rebuilding assistance to people whose homes have been damaged in a flood. Yet rebuilding these properties without incorporating more protective measures after a flood event traps homeowners in the cycle of "flood, rebuild and repeat." This cycle is not only a hardship for the impacted homeowners, but is also a burden on the taxpayer-backed National Flood Insurance Program, which is $25 billion in debt.

That's why owners of homes at high risk of flooding should take actions, like elevating their homes to satisfy local code requirements, to reduce their flood risk. This not only lowers their exposure, but the exposure to taxpayers who ultimately cover the NFIP's massive debt.

Additionally, these homeowners are not "left in the lurch," as Romano implies in his article. When required to elevate due to a substantial damage assessment, FEMA guarantees $33,000 to homeowners to help cover that cost, in addition to paying to repair the flood damages to the home. More assistance is available if needed in the form inexpensive loans.

Requiring flood-damaged homes to be better protected is not unfair, but what is unfair is expecting taxpayers to repeatedly pay to rebuild homes that will flood over and over.

Joel Scata, Chicago

The writer is a project attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Court rejects Florida's 'Docs vs. Glocks' law Feb. 17

Danger in the home

Bravo to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for determining that doctors can ask patients about gun ownership. This is a First Amendment issue for doctors who are trying to protect and safeguard the patients and families who may have firearms in their residences. Physicians realize people with guns in the home are three times more likely to die from homicide than those without guns at home.

Further, physicians know when a child or teen is killed by a firearm, the gun that killed them comes from their own home 72 percent of the time. And because between 6 and 14 percent of firearms-owning households with a child under 18 have an unlocked and loaded firearm, it is understandable why doctors want to ask about the accessibility of these firearms.

Joan Lund, Tampa

Trump punches back | Feb. 17

Public should fight back

Watching President Donald Trump rant about the "dishonest media" is like hearing a bad joke with no punch line, as his own lies are so frequent and obvious. It's nothing more than a distraction to divert attention from the very things he claims are "fake news," like the Russian oil deal he stands to profit from, the leaks coming from his own administration and his attempts to subvert the Constitution at every turn.

His latest press conference was wackier than any reality show, but when he starts calling the media the enemy of the American people, it's time for the people to stand up before government-controlled media becomes the next executive order on his agenda.

Dennis Bush, Tampa

Need for a free press

From President John Kennedy's administration to President Barrack Obama's, I have never experienced any anxiety about our country's future until now.

After watching President Donald Trump's alarming performance during his press conference, I feel he is totally unqualified for the presidency. His lack of respect for the press corps and the First Amendment is disturbing. His goal seems to be to delegitimize the press. Now more than ever, we need a free press to hold our elected officials accountable for their actions.

Kenneth Henderson, Tarpon Springs

Trump's bizarre behavior

I found the president's behavior toward reporters Jake Turx and April Ryan to be appalling and reprehensible. Turx, in particular, asked a reasonable question concerning the increasing level of anti-Semitic activity in this country. Instead of giving a reasonable answer, the president complained the question was "complicated" (it wasn't), rudely told Turx to be quiet when the reporter attempted to further explain his question, and stated categorically that he was neither anti-Semitic nor racist, instead of answering the question.

The president's defensive response was rather bizarre, since Turx had already said that neither he nor his community considered the president antiSemitic. The president's avoidance of addressing the anti-Semitism issue, here and at other times, says to me that he doesn't want to offend those of his supporters who are anti-Semitic.

Diane Kornick, Clearwater

A long way to go | Feb. 19

Smaller may be better

I noticed in the pictures in this article, there were very few riders on each of the buses. This raises the question: Have the Hillsborough or Pinellas County transit authorities considered replacing these large, expensive, mostly empty buses with smaller, more cost-effective vehicles that could cover more routes in a shorter time and give more people access to the system?

The transit authorities should be open to purchasing smaller vehicles with lower maintenance costs, while promoting job growth with the additional drivers needed, to more adequately meet the demand for public transportation.

Bob Howard, St. Petersburg

Affordable Care Act

American lives at risk

Repeal with no reasonable replacement of the Affordable Care Act and the dismantling of the Environmental Protection Agency will kill more Americans than ISIS.

Lee Cook, Tampa


Wednesday’s letters: How we plan to improve foster care in Hillsborough

Improving foster care inHillsborough | April 19, editorialOur plans for helping kidsThis editorial poses many good questions. The Department of Children and Families’ peer review report is expected to be released soon. And while we welcome the an...
Updated: 10 minutes ago

Pasco Letters to the Editor for April 27

Stop Ridge Road extension, reader saysWhen I spoke at the Dade City meeting of the Pasco County Commissioners on my opposition to the Ridge Road Extension, three of them responded, but only when my three minutes of free speech expired, and I could sa...
Published: 04/23/18

Monday’s letters: Term limits don’t work

U.S. Senate campaignTerm limitsdon’t workGov. Rick Scott has begun his run for the U.S. Senate with TV ads promoting term limits for representatives and senators. Aside from the probability that this would require a constitutional amendment, I think ...
Published: 04/22/18
Updated: 04/23/18

Sunday’s letters: Problems with high-speed rail

Thanks, Gov. Scott, for ghastly I-4 drives | April 18, Sue Carlton columnProblems with high-speed railIn her Wednesday column, the writer bemoaned the traffic on I-4 and blasted Gov. Rick Scott for turning down free government money for a high-sp...
Published: 04/21/18

Tuesday’s letters: Student journalists push to save their newsrooms and independence

Save student newsroomsAs professional newsrooms shrink, student newsrooms have become an increasingly important source of local coverage, holding not only our universities accountable but also local government. We write these articles, attending meet...
Published: 04/20/18
Updated: 04/24/18

Saturday’s letters: Don’t weaken rules on fisheries

Florida fisheriesDon’t weaken rules on fish stocksMembers of Congress are proposing changes to an important ocean law, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, that would adversely affect coastal states including Florida.Since it...
Published: 04/19/18
Updated: 04/20/18

Friday’s letters: We owe it to our children to teach them history

If we don’t understand past, future looks grim | April 19, Daniel Ruth columnThe history we owe our childrenIt’s not often I agree with Daniel Ruth, but this article was spot-on. I’m not sure when the schools started ignoring Germany’s World War ...
Published: 04/19/18

Thursday’s letters: Gun research can save lives

Gun ownershipCommon ground: Find the factsThere are many areas in the current debate about guns and gun ownership where both sides must agree to disagree. But there is one area where common ground ought to exist. That concerns the need for continuing...
Published: 04/18/18

Wednesday’s letters:

Poverty and plenty in bay area | April 7, editorialStruggling poor are not a priorityI commend your newspaper for continuing to produce real and relevant news, particularly the recent editorial pointing out that a prospering Tampa Bay should not ...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18

Hernando Letters to the Editor for April 20

Bar Association celebrates Law WeekPresident Dwight D. Eisenhower proclaimed May 1, 1958, as the first Law Day to mark the nation’s commitment to the rule of law. Every year on this day, we reflect on the significance of the rule of law and rededicat...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18