Saturday, May 26, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Wednesday's letters: Legal drugs have risks, too

Expert: Pot can be harmful | June 6

Legal medicines also carry risks

This is a risk vs. reward debate. It is a fact that prescription and nonprescription drugs pose a risk of harm whether used as directed or misused. These risks are often identified in the drugs' disclaimers. Who can argue that oxycodone and Xanax cannot cause harm? What about the risks of steroid usage, even when taken as prescribed? But of course, FDA-approved drugs have demonstrated benefits as well.

Marijuana also has medical benefits. The fact that there may be risks makes it little different from legal drugs widely in use today, except that the risks associated with marijuana may in fact be less.

The vast risks of using alcohol and tobacco are well known. Why are these products not illegal?

There are zero "use as directed" regulations for either alcohol or tobacco, and they are frequently abused.

I submit that the benefits of medical marijuana are well known and documented, against very limited known and documented risks. Many drugs used legally every day, to include alcohol and tobacco, are joined by products like sugar in posing widespread and lethal risks that our laws do not protect us from.

Why has medical marijuana (and recreational marijuana) been singled out as being so sinister?

Thomas Morton, Sun City Center

It's time to change mind-set on transit June 7, Sue Carlton column

Go for flexible bus service

This column by Sue Carlton hit a home run. Why invest in a light rail system that is expensive to build and maintain when basic transportation needs can be met with trolleys, shuttles and buses to special events? Downtown areas can be easier served by those modes of flexible transportation. Buses between downtown Clearwater and downtown St. Petersburg would serve the public much better than a nonflexible train.

The mind-set of our lawmakers needs to change for us to provide a 21st century transportation system for our region. People need downtown shuttles in St. Petersburg and Tampa, shuttles to airports, shuttles to beaches, shuttles to entertainment venues and shuttles to hotels. All of this can be accomplished quicker and cheaper without trains.

Ken Gagliano, Clearwater

Mean streets take deadly toll on bay area and Pedestrians on wild side of statistic June 2, May 30

Make crossings safer

You recently published an editorial and a column by Daniel Ruth, both addressing pedestrian safety (or lack thereof) in the Tampa Bay area. One factor I haven't seen addressed is the spacing of traffic lights, often a mile or more apart, relative to the number of bus stops on major arteries.

I work on Hillsborough Avenue in Tampa and live off Fourth Street N in St. Petersburg. Every day I see people, many with children and strollers, crossing five lanes of moving traffic. I counted nine bus stops on Hillsborough Avenue between the traffic light at Habana Avenue and the next one at Himes Avenue, and 11 bus stops on Fourth Street N between the traffic light at Ninth Avenue and the next one at 22nd Avenue.

Fortunately, St. Petersburg recently completed a series of attractively landscaped islands in the median along Fourth Street that not only add visual appeal but also enhance safety. Perhaps Tampa could design something similar.

Judy Cole, St. Petersburg

Get on the bus

Once again Daniel Ruth proves to be a hypocrite.

In his Friday column, he expresses how long he sits in traffic and how great it would be to have more public transportation.

But he's part of the problem. Why isn't he riding the bus and taking his car off the road?

James Molloy, Pinellas Park

NRA backtracks from rare instance of lucidity | June 8, commentary

Society's fright meter

The sight of average Americans of any race carrying firearms that can clearly be seen is much less disconcerting than not-so-average Americans of any race with their pants halfway down their backside and otherwise putting forth a thuggy vibe with no firearm visible.

That being the case, perhaps if liberals are so concerned about appearances, they should focus more on the latter than the former when attempting to adjust the national societal fright meter.

We all know gun control of any kind is aimed only at those likely to obey the law and therefore only really intended to disarm certain Americans — again, the former aforementioned group rather than the latter.

The Second Amendment isn't going anywhere without turning our country into a Fallujah on steroids, so the leftist quixotic quest to disarm those segments of the population least likely to support them is foolhardy.

Dwayne Keith, Valrico

Bergdahl is focus of debates | June 9

Logical failure

PunditFact's rating of Stephen Hayes' contention as "half true" renders its investigation of the statement meaningless.

"Yes, the Obama administration went to court," the ruling says, "but not for the reason Hayes said" (that the man was dangerous). That isn't half true. The point of Hayes' statement — that they went to court because this man was a danger — is false. By PunditFact's logic, this statement is worthy of being deemed half true: The Titanic hit an iceberg and then was transported to the planet Zod by aliens. According to PunditFact, that rates as half true because indeed the Titanic did hit an iceberg.

Philip Ryan, Land O'Lakes

The facts are not in

What happened to the presumption of innocence and the benefit of the doubt ? We are not yet in possession of all the necessary information regarding Bowe Bergdahl, but some politicians are screaming "treason." Are they vexed about the soldier or are they pouting because they have not been consulted?

Had Bergdahl died in captivity, the same yellers would accuse the president of inaction. And I wonder if all these political loudmouths would behave that way if Bergdahl was their own son.

Patrick Bauer, Wesley Chapel


Monday’s letters: NFL finally listens to its fans

NFL moves to endanthem protests | May 24NFL’s action comes too lateThe NFL owners are, after two years, finally growing some courage.Before these kneel-downs became the elephant in the room, team owners could have taken action to minimize the imp...
Updated: 12 hours ago

Sunday’s letters: As Jews, we should not be afraid to criticize Israel

Published: 05/24/18
Updated: 05/25/18

Saturday’s letters: Bayshore fatalities didn’t have to happen

After two fatalities, speed limits cut | May 25Cameras needed on BayshoreOnce again, two pedestrians have died as the result of careless drivers who were speeding. Once again, the Times and other media outlets are filled with opinions about the c...
Updated: 11 hours ago

Friday's letters: Thanks to jurors for fulfilling civic duty

May is Juror Appreciation Month Thanks, jurors, for your service Trial by a jury of one’s peers is among the bedrock guarantees that make our representative democracy exceptional. Without it, the courtroom fates of defendants and civil litiga...
Published: 05/23/18
Updated: 05/25/18

Thursday’s letters: Heated chemotherapy won’t treat most ovarian cancers

Heated chemotherapy has promising results | May 16Cancer treatment not a cure-all While we were pleased to see the story about ovarian cancer treatment, we are concerned that the article could mislead many patients. The treatment described has be...
Published: 05/22/18
Updated: 05/24/18

Wednesday’s letters: A princess gives us a lesson to live by

Royal treatment | May 21Princess offers advice for us allThe radiant and joyful Princess Anna Noela Lokolo of the Democratic Republic of Congo, recent Eckerd College graduate, has given us a huge gift in her parting words. "If people have a negat...
Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/23/18

Hernando Letters to the Editor for May 25

Re: Central High School bomb threat suspect to be tried as adult | May 4Angry mob rhetoric not helpfulWe have observed the public discourse surrounding the case of Mizella Robinson with increasing unease. A sampling of the more common sentiment...
Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/22/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for May 25

Re: Proposed TECO Solar Plant Opposed to the TECO solar plantAs a 21-year resident and property owner, I am writing in opposition to the proposed Tampa Electric Company solar plant in rural northeast Pasco County.The solar plant will be .2 miles from...
Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/22/18

Tuesday’s letters: If you don’t like the Electoral College, then amend the Constitution

The popular vote | May 20, letterIf you don’t like it, amend ConstitutionA recent letter supports the idea that a state should be able to change its Electoral College vote to match that of the national popular vote winner as opposed to the result...
Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/22/18

Monday’s letters: Focusing on the mental state of shooters misses the point

Texas high school shooting | May 18Criminals, angry people kill peopleSchool shootings are a distinctly American phenomenon. But shootings by people with serious mental illness represent less than 1 percent of all yearly gun-related homicides in ...
Published: 05/19/18
Updated: 05/21/18