Sunday, May 20, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Wednesday's letters: Mosaic acts are an undiluted fraud

Mosaic pumps water to dilute waste | July 21

Unadulterated corporate fraud

A corporation can pump 70 million gallons of water to dilute its polluted waste, yet we as citizens have water restrictions inflicted on us. But without this water, Mosaic would have to pay to have its waste removed. How can we allow this corporation to pay nothing to pollute our environment? Sure, it is being diluted at the source, but it will concentrate somewhere, underground or the Gulf of Mexico for centuries.

This is an excellent example of how corporations rob natural resources (water) and then proceed to pollute our environment, and these indirect costs are passed on to the citizens, with toxic cleanups and the building of more drinking water facilities and wells.

Why do we need the Southwest Florida Water Management District if it allows processes like these to happen? This is a not only unjust, it is fraud, and it certainly is unhealthy.

Jim Demmy, Kenneth City

For-profit HCA buys 3 local hospitals | July 19

Palms of Pasadena positives

I must respectfully disagree with my colleague's comments about Palms of Pasadena Hospital. Although Palms is not my only hospital, I perform about 600 major operations a year at that facility. Contact of this degree gives me a better perspective on the overall function of the hospital, I believe, than physicians who spend less time there.

No hospital is perfect, and care can vary in any of them. But some positive aspects of Palms should be stated:

The operating room area is clean and up to date, and the laparoscopic equipment is "state of the art." It is a certified Center of Excellence for weight loss surgery. The anesthesia staff is made up of 100 percent M.D. board certified anesthesiologists. All patient rooms are private, with required frequent nursing visits. The administration has been very supportive in my requests for changes related to better patient care.

Reputations, both good and bad, are famous for outliving their accuracy.

John M. Clarke, M.D., St. Petersburg

Doubting 'stand your ground' is reasonable July 21, John Romano column

Right-wing trajectory

In his otherwise excellent column on the "stand your ground" law, it is unfortunate that John Romano failed to mention who was behind this law and why it was written. Readers should know that this statute was the product of the American Legislative Exchange Council. This bill-churning mill is on a mission to undermine our democracy by crafting legislation that undercuts workers' rights, privatizes government services and, in the current instance, promotes the manufacture and sale of guns and ammunition. ALEC uses corporate money to draft model legislation, which is then proposed by mostly Republican state legislators.

Romano laments that the governor misses the point that Florida's "stand your ground" law has "spawned too many unintended consequences" (an increase in justifiable homicides being one of them). But what the governor hasn't missed is that the law has succeeded in facilitating an increase in gun and ammunition sales. Never mind that it has also brought more unnecessary deaths in Florida. Dead people don't contribute to elections or vote.

If Scott were to cater to those who question whether "stand your ground" is an effective law, he might lose support from the NRA and other similar-minded groups, and that is why he won't cave on this issue.

Stephen Feldman, Valrico

'Stand your ground'

A necessary addition

Before the "stand your ground" clause was added to the justifiable-use-of-force statute, a defender had to prove that he was not engaged in unlawful activity, had enough reason to fear death or severe bodily injury and could not retreat from the attack. Proving the latter was very difficult. Many overzealous prosecutors convicted people unjustly. The "stand your ground" clause was added to correct this flaw.

Daniel Vogel, Tampa

'Bro Bowl' mustn't stifle broader vision July 23, editorial

Keep beloved bowl as is, bro

First let me say that I am a "black American" who also happens to be a 49-year-old skateboarder who has enjoyed the "Bro Bowl" since its creation. I realize that there are two sides to every argument, so let me tell you why I believe the bowl should stay.

Skateboarding is a clean, creative and fun activity. It has kept me young and vibrant. Why did the city of Tampa originally build the bowl where it sits today? Because property values were low, downtown did not have the development that it has today, and it was near the projects.

Now property values have gone up around that area and the land has become more valuable. So they want to put the skateboarders on a reservation a little farther north with the promise of its being a really great skating environment. But that's not why we skate the "bowl"! We like its 1970s style, the concrete is a little rougher, and it wasn't designed for today's street skater. The bowl still has surfing in its bones; you can just roll down and catch the concrete wave. Its simplicity has made it iconic. It even appears in Tony Hawk's video game. Everybody who's anybody in skateboarding has heard of the Bro Bowl worldwide!

The frustrating part for me as a black citizen is to hear all this talk of slaves, "the Scrub" and the Central Avenue heydays. It's disrespectful for any black leaders who stand to profit from big developers to invoke any of that. Why didn't they try to save all of Central Avenue when they had the opportunity, like the Latin community did for Seventh Avenue in Ybor?

The descendants of many sides of Tampa's communities enjoy the Bro Bowl daily. It's been a bridge to two different communities to unite through the love of skateboarding for over 35 years.

The black history of that area was destroyed many years ago, and having a few streets named after musicians will not create the unity that the bowl provides.

Cleo Coney, St. Petersburg

End PTC's ride | July 22, editorial

Consumers lose

The Legislature has granted the Public Transportation Commission in Hillsborough County the authority to set minimum pricing and to enact business-protective measures at the expense of the consumer. The PTC practices impact every person needing prearranged transportation to interstate hubs such as TIA and the cruise ship terminals. Tampa taxicabs can block the licensing of other county transport services seeking authority to pick up returning passengers.

The purpose of a free market is to encourage a competitive atmosphere where quality service is what keeps the business rolling. The PTC's existence fosters bad service at a high cost to the consumer.

Walter Kozak, Spring Hill


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

Friday’s letters: Putnam and Publix, two P’s lose my nod

Publix pours cash to Putnam | May 17A pleasure to shop elsewhereMy family and I moved to Tampa in 1974, and have made Publix our favorite grocery store ever since. Forty-four years! That is why it makes me a little sad to have to say goodbye.Firs...
Published: 05/18/18

Saturday’s letters: For Florida to move forward, focus on a healthy and sustainable environment

Tampa’s future is bright | May 12Protect Florida, boost economyThis past year, Florida set another record-breaking year for tourism, welcoming more than 116 million visitors. While Florida boasts a unique quality of life and more than 1,300 miles...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/18/18

Sunday’s letters: What conservatives stand for

How can conservatism survive after Trump | May 13, Nickens columnhed#6324 I think it obvious that traditional conservatism was squeezed out of the 2016 campaign narrative and has become a niche thesis owned by a small group of intellectuals. A gr...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/18/18

Friday's letters: Putnam and Publix, two P's lose my nod

Publix pours cash to Putnam | May 17 A pleasure to shop elsewhere My family and I moved to Tampa in 1974, and have made Publix our favorite grocery store ever since. Forty-four years! That is why it makes me a little sad to have to say goodbye. F...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/18/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for May 18

Re: Pasco panel okays Tampa Electric solar farm after five-hour meeting | April 9 storySolar farm offers many positivesThere has been much publicity regarding the proposed TECO Mountain View solar project slated for 350 acres in East Pasco that was r...
Published: 05/14/18

Thursday’s letters: Florida has arguably become the autonomous vehicle capital of North America

Autonomous vehicles in FloridaThe state for self-driving carsAlmost overnight, Florida has arguably become the autonomous vehicle capital of North America. In the last three months, Voyage, a self-driving taxi service, has begun service in the Villag...
Published: 05/12/18
Updated: 05/17/18

Wednesday’s letters: Florida’s Community Health Centers save $1.78 for every dollar spent

Florida’s Community Health CentersHealth centers are a great dealIf you gave someone a dollar and they gave you back $1.78, wouldn’t you consider that a fantastic deal? That’s the deal Florida’s Community Health Centers provide for the state’s citize...
Published: 05/12/18
Updated: 05/16/18

Monday’s letters: Good ideas to fix schools still require enough money

Another plan for faltering schools | May 9The right ideas, cash still neededThe administration of the Hillsborough County School District should be applauded for persistent efforts to find the right formula to improve educational results of stude...
Published: 05/09/18
Updated: 05/14/18

Saturday’s letters: Short-sighted prison cuts hurt society

Call to rethink prison cuts | May 10Short-sighted prison cuts hurt societyThe Florida Department of Corrections is dismantling successful substance abuse and re-entry treatment programs to fix a $28 million shortfall. The short-sighted action wi...
Published: 05/09/18
Updated: 05/11/18