Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Letters To The Editor

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

RECOMMENDED READING


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

Wednesday’s letters: Breaking down health data

Don’t let news on blood pressure raise yours | Nov. 17, commentaryBreaking down health numbersThank you for publishing the timely commentary by Dr. H. Gilbert Welch on blood pressure. The point he makes about relative risks versus absolute risks ...
Updated: 7 hours ago

Tuesday’s letters: Disgraceful tax proposals

Tax billDisgraceful, harmful proposalsThe very fact that the Congress of the people of the United States would propose, not to mention pass, the current tax bill is nothing short of disgraceful. What sort of representatives of the people support cutt...
Published: 11/20/17

Monday’s letters: Doctors should speak up on harassment

Sexual harassmentDoctors need to speak upThe recent widespread recognition, followed by disapproval, of sexual harassment across many workplaces signals a paradigm shift in social attitudes toward abuse of power that is long overdue.The male-dominate...
Published: 11/17/17

Saturday’s letters: Reservoir project off to a good start

Lake OkeechobeeReservoir project off to good startThis year, more than 70,000 Floridians contacted their legislators to support expediting a reservoir project south of Lake Okeechobee. Another 150 business people, anglers, health care professionals a...
Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/17/17

Sunday’s letters: Roundabout way to help the rich

Senate GOP’s tax plan to kill ACA mandate | Nov. 15Devious way to hurt middle classSo, let’s see if we have this straight. The proposed amendment to the Senate tax plan, to kill the individual mandate, will cause young people to not buy health in...
Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/17/17

Friday’s letters: Stop laying blame on teachers

Hillsborough teachers are set to protest | Nov. 14Stop laying blame on teachersI am a veteran teacher, coming up on 30 years of service to public education. My mother was also an educator, clocking over 40 years of service in public education. Sh...
Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/16/17

Pasco Letters to the Editor for Nov. 17

Questioning fees draws snarky responseYou are probably aware of the new Pasco utility fees that became effective last month.Under the dubious title of "convenience fee" for making utility payments by credit card or e-check, Pasco Utilities adds $2.75...
Published: 11/15/17

Dollars need to stay at home if south Brooksville is to survive

As a member of the Moton High School Class of 1967, I grew up a poor but very happy child because of the love given to me by all. So all I had to do was be a child and not rush to be an adult.There were many black businesses along a four-block area o...
Published: 11/14/17
Updated: 11/21/17

Wednesday’s letters: Generosity makes all the difference

National Adoption MonthThe difference generosity makesAs a football coach, I always had to be ready to overcome unexpected challenges. With injuries, crowd noise and especially weather, the game plan is always adjusting to overcome adversity.Our stat...
Published: 11/13/17
Updated: 11/14/17

Monday’s letters: Moore is not fit for public office

Woman: Candidate pursued her as a teen | Nov. 10Moore is not fit for public officeIt is sad that Roy Moore, a self-professed religious man, is running for a Senate seat when he is clearly unfit for any job involving the public for so many reasons...
Published: 11/10/17
Updated: 11/13/17