Thursday, August 16, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Wednesday's letters: Move away from 'roads first' thinking

A long way to go | Feb. 19

'Roads first' is the wrong route

Recent heartfelt statements by Hillsborough County commissioners sound as if they really are trying to fund public transportation. But when $98.8 million of new money was allocated in July 2015, zero went to public transit. Last October, $600 million was earmarked for transportation but went to roads only. And now, with an additional $212 million, there's still no funding for public transportation.

There has never existed an efficient, effective metropolitan transportation system without a vigorous public transportation component. No amount of money can cure our road congestion if it is spent only on roads.

If we persist in a "roads first" solution, we will never fund public transportation because "roads first" will never succeed. Congestion will continue to escalate until we have a vigorous, modern public transportation system in place.

Kent Bailey, chair, Tampa Bay Sierra Club, Tampa

Why should Tampa Bay rank last in transit? Feb. 26, editorial

Transit saves lives, money

Tampa Bay's woefully underfunded transit system doesn't just limit access to jobs and education in the region. It also contributes to our notoriously unsafe streets.

Public transit is 10 times safer per mile than driving, and communities that effectively promote and fund transit are about five times safer than automobile-oriented communities ("The hidden traffic safety solution: public transit," American Public Transportation Association, September 2016). That could mean 30 fewer lives lost already this year in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties.

Our safety problem is costly. Car crashes cost Pinellas County more than $1.5 billion every year, according to Forward Pinellas — nearly seven times the projected annual cost of the unsuccessful Greenlight Pinellas transit initiative that would have constructed $2.2 billion in transit improvements over 10 years. Investing in transit could even save us money by reducing crashes.

Improving transit access would not only boost our region's economy; it would also save lives. How much is that worth?

Lisa Frank, campaign organizer, Florida Consumer Action Network, St. Petersburg

In harm's way | Feb. 26-28

Gun safety isn't partisan

Kudos to Kathleen McGrory for her insightful series. When I read these articles I was saddened by the tragic loss of lives, the horrific injuries and the crippling medical expenses incurred by the preventable events she reported.

Gun safety should be a nonpartisan issue. Legislators need to get past the politics and do the right thing for our children. If a home with children is not "gun-free," then the guns must be inaccessible to our children. Gun safes and trigger locks are effective measures to keep our youngsters safe.

Criminal penalties must be severe enough to provide the motivation, when common sense does not prevail, for gun owners to properly secure their guns when children are in their homes. I strongly urge the passage of SB 142/HB 835 to help prevent further tragic gun deaths and injuries by requiring the use of trigger locks and gun safes.

Gene Pizzo, Tampa

Compare and contrast | Feb. 24, letter

Numbers tell the story

It appears that this letter writer, like her hero, has chosen alternative facts and is ignoring the "fake news" that has covered this issue. Of course the facts are provided by a "terrible" media that constantly "lies," but the figures the writer overlooked are out there.

Ignoring these figures — because they don't fit a viewpoint that dislikes former President Barack Obama and thinks everything Donald Trump does is acceptable — doesn't make them less true., and others pointed out that Obama cost the taxpayers $97 million for his eight years in office for security on travel; while Trump and his family have cost $11 million in one month.

Trump pledged that he would "rarely leave the White House because there's so much work to be done." So much for that.

Michael Sales, Madeira Beach


Thursday’s letters: Cigars are bad for your health

Tobacco rules don’t suit premium cigars | Editorial, Aug. 13Xyxyx xyxy xyxy xyxy xyxy xyxxxThe argument made in this editorial to exempt the premium cigar industry from FDA scrutiny is, in essence: They are not cheap, they are not fruit-flavored,...
Published: 08/13/18
Updated: 08/15/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for Aug. 17

Re: County authorizes takeover of SunWest Park | Aug. 10‘A poor idea from the startWith no fanfare whatsoever, we now have a new park that no one I know ever seems to use or even know where it is. If it is bringing hordes of tourists to our cou...
Published: 08/13/18

Tuesday’s letters: Habitat should help the poor, not hurt them

Habitat lender choice blasted | Aug. 12Help, don’t hurt, poorAs a Habitat for Humanity admirer, donor and volunteer, I was disappointed to read how Habitat for Humanity’s Hillsborough County affiliate reportedly stumbled in delivering its mission...
Published: 08/10/18
Updated: 08/13/18

Monday’s letters: A gun or a vote: danger is relative

‘I went off the deep end’ | Aug. 10A gun or a vote: danger is relativeAt the demonstrable risk of having someone lose his fragile temper, grab his guns, storm out his door and speed to my home to shoot me for saying so (and why NOT, Florida Legis...
Published: 08/10/18

Sunday’s letters: July’s letter of the month is ‘Time for more civil debate.’

July letter of the monthTime for more civil debate"Politics" is an activity which involves power and control, arriving at decisions based on differing interests. Normally, leaders weigh the needs of the individual with the abilities of the country. C...
Published: 08/09/18
Updated: 08/10/18

Saturday’s letters: A team effort made USF preeminent

USF and preeminenceA team effort vaulted USF The University of South Florida’s designation as a preeminent state research university is a prestigious accomplishment and a tribute to the hard work of faculty, staff and students and USF System Presiden...
Published: 08/09/18
Updated: 08/10/18

Friday’s letters: Don’t let pollution be our legacy

Algae blooms amid cuts | Aug. 8Brown can’t be the new greenThis headline should have said "Republicans continue to pave their way across Florida, pollute the water supply and destroy animals and their habitat." The Republicans have controlled Tal...
Published: 08/07/18
Updated: 08/09/18

Wednesday’s letters: Girl’s drowning death is one of two tragedies

Mother: Dead girl now ‘pure’ | Aug. 7Two tragediesThis is another tragedy of a parent who became overwhelmed by the responsibility of caring for an autistic child. But an equally bad sequence of events is likely to happen in the days and months t...
Published: 08/06/18
Updated: 08/07/18

Hernando Letters to the Editor for Aug. 10

Jacqueline Road being misusedI have issued complaints to the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office, traffic division and also a letter to the sheriff and have had very little positive response.We have an issue on Jacqueline Road with speeding vehicles and...
Published: 08/06/18

Monday’s letters: Enough with praise for Pier sculpture

Aerial art to billow at Pier | Aug. 3Pier art: boon or boondoggle?Well, finally! The Janet Echelman sculpture project has been approved. The dust has settled and now, at the cost of $2.8 million an over-priced, glorified flag will be flapping ove...
Published: 08/03/18