Monday, December 11, 2017
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: Don’t drill in Arctic refuge

Arctic National Wildlife RefugeStop plan to drill for oil in refugeOur nation faces yet another effort to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge reserve to oil and gas drilling. Drilling in the Arctic simply doesn’t make sound financial sense. W...
Published: 12/08/17

Sunday’s letters: Tax bill puts U.S. on right course

The GOP’s regressive tax plans | Dec. 5, editorialTax bill puts U.S. on right courseThe Times is already crying wolf over the new tax cuts, claiming that the new laws "could" result an increase in the national debt of $1.5 trillion over the next ...
Published: 12/07/17

Saturday’s letters: Don’t inject political money into churches

Tax billKeep political cash out of pulpitA provision buried in the 429-page House tax bill, Section 5201, nullifies the Johnson Amendment, which protects houses of worship from partisan politics by prohibiting them from endorsing or opposing politica...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/07/17

Friday’s letters: Most unpopular tax bill ever

Tax bill clears Senate | Dec. 3The most unpopular tax bill ever"Democracy dies in darkness" is the motto of the Washington Post. At 2 a.m. on the dark morning of Sunday, Dec. 3, 51 Republicans approved the most wildly unpopular tax bill in U.S. h...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/07/17

Thursday’s letters: Give your child the gift of reading

Fatherhood Involvement in Literacy CampaignGive your child the gift of readingPart of a successful game plan in sports is identifying plays that can put points on the scoreboard. Whether I was playing quarterback at Florida State or running the point...
Published: 12/05/17
Updated: 12/06/17

Wednesday’s letters: Bill gives small businesses tax relief

Tax bill clears Senate | Dec. 3Small businesses get tax reliefThe Senate and House have now passed their respective tax bills. Once Congress sends a final package to the White House, President Donald Trump will deliver us the most powerful tax re...
Published: 12/04/17
Updated: 12/05/17

Tuesday’s letters: Transplant bill will help Medicare patients

November Letter of the MonthThe winning letter addressed the unresponsiveness of elected officials.Representatives aren’t listeningFor whom do our legislators work? I ask because my Florida senator doesn’t appear to work for me. I drove 27 miles on N...
Published: 12/04/17

Monday’s letters: A citizen’s heroic act

Suspect arrested | Nov. 29A courageous citizen’s actOn Nov. 28, a courageous act occurred in the Tampa Bay area. It was one that law enforcement professionals applaud and hope becomes more frequent. An ordinary citizen did the right thing and spo...
Published: 12/01/17

Saturday’s letters: Historic preservation process needs fixing

A preservation problem | Nov. 25, editorialApplication process needs fixingThere is a reason why smaller rather than larger groups of property owners are getting together to seek historic district designation: It is St. Petersburg’s application p...
Published: 11/30/17
Updated: 12/01/17

Friday’s letters: Allegations from distant past have political tinge

Published: 11/30/17