Monday, April 23, 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.

Forbes.com, CNBC.com 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

Comments

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...
Updated: 1 hour ago

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 ...
Updated: 9 hours ago

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

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

Tuesday’s letters: Stop cooperating with ICE

Sheriff’s ICE policy blasted | April 10Pinellas should end partnership with ICEPinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri recently participated in a community conversation on his controversial agreement with ICE to voluntarily detain immigrants in the...
Published: 04/16/18

Sunday’s letters: The future of oyster production

Shell game | April 15Future of oyster productionThanks to Laura Reiley for an excellent synopsis of the current state of oyster production in Florida. The collapse of the Apalachicola oyster fishery is merely the latest example of the demise of a...
Published: 04/14/18