Thursday, April 19, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Wednesday's letters: Officer's presence at school reassuring

Schools, safety and gun laws | Jan. 6, editorial

Officer's presence is reassuring

My children attend a Hillsborough County school that has had an armed officer on campus since they starting attending more than two years ago. It has never bothered them to see a police officer on site; in fact, quite the opposite. The officer takes the time to get to know the kids and teaches them about safety, strangers, etc.

As a parent, I think it is great to see officers interacting with the children on a personal level. I don't worry about children having a reaction to seeing police officials on campus; rather, I find it to be more difficult for the parents. I admit that I was initially bothered by it at my children's school, but that was a very temporary feeling. I am thankful that the officer is there, and we all look forward to seeing him every morning at school.

Jennifer Keith, Ruskin

Hiring ordinance

Putting people to work

I hope it is clear to all St. Petersburg residents that your elected officials are truly working together to put you back to work. The St. Petersburg City Council will vote this week to put real teeth in a local hiring ordinance that will give opportunities to the many residents presently unemployed or underemployed who need to go to work. The ordinance draft is not a perfect document and, like anything new, will be reviewed in time to be sure it fits the intended purpose. But it attempts to meet two important objectives.

First, it mandates a requirement that contractors bidding on city construction contracts, where the project value exceeds $2 million, include a participation percentage of at least 25 percent of all hours worked be performed by unemployed or underemployed workers. Next, it requires all construction contractors and subcontractors to make a good-faith effort to employ indentured apprentices for at least 20 percent of all hours worked.

These goals will never be utilized on a volunteer or good-faith basis and must be outlined clearly for all contractor participants to follow. City officials should be commended for their efforts to create and enhance job opportunities for those who live and pay taxes in the community.

William L. Dever Jr., president, Florida Gulf Coast Building & Construction Trades Council, Tampa

Congress couldn't be worse — could it? Jan. 4, commentary

What about Democrats?

As a columnist, Gail Collins certainly has a right to express a political viewpoint. But this article is replete with Republicans named as examples of bad statesmanship, without a single Democrat. Why is she dismissive of the misdeeds of those of one party and not of the other?

In fairness, she could have mentioned these Democrats: Charles Rangel being censured for ethics violations; Anthony Weiner resigning from Congress over explicit photos; Jesse Jackson Jr. resigning his House seat amid a federal ethics investigations; and Sen. Harry Reid's lying about Mitt Romney paying no taxes for 10 years.

Republicans as well as Democrats should be held accountable.

Anthony Comitos, Palm Harbor

Florida polluters protected | Jan. 4, editorial

Protect pristine places

It is apparent that Gov. Rick Scott is giving gifts to industry by deregulating businesses while garnering campaign funds to support his next election campaign. With his public poll numbers so low, he must turn somewhere.

The problem is, he is turning to industries that would destroy Florida for profit and greed. We don't have mountaintops to remove, but we do have many pristine properties in Florida and they should remain just that.

As indicated in this editorial, the most senior and experienced staff members were terminated. This would lead one to believe that those who are left are quaking in their boots. Please remember this the next time you vote for someone to govern Florida.

Don Mott, Largo

Band-Aid for our gun plague is no remedy Jan. 5, Sue Carlton column

Corrosive culture

Sue Carlton thinks we have a gun "plague." Chair-bound, city-dwelling goody-two-shoes will always think that guns are the problem and that the answer is more rules, laws and regulations to control society's behavior.

As several letter writers have pointed out, guns are not the problem, our culture is. It could be that most people are too young to recognize how American culture has degenerated over the past 50 years.

There are probably many causes, too many to enumerate here, but television ranks at the top. For young people its influence is great. So much of the programming is rude, crude and obnoxious, promoting lifestyles once foreign to American life.

Right and wrong is relative. Beliefs, values and behaviors once thought fundamental and important are trivialized. Individual rights trump everything.

An FBI report for 2011 lists 1,694 murders committed with knives or cutting instruments, 496 murders with hammers and clubs, and 726 murders with hands, fists and feet. Are not these numbers great enough to warrant some new laws and reduce our freedoms even further?

Finally, although the murder of innocent children in Connecticut was a tragedy, I cannot help but think about the tens of thousands of children who have died as a result of U.S. interventions in the Middle East and elsewhere. Certainly we don't do it on purpose, but we know it is going to happen.

Gerald T. Stack II, Lithia

Just one less gun

Thank you, Sue Carlton, for your thoughts on gun control. Particularly moving is the difference one less gun could make. It repeating: one less child finds a gun at home and pulls the trigger, one less gun is in the hands of a mentally disturbed person, and one less stupid argument ends in death because a gun happened to be handy.

If it were my child who was dead, then one less gun could mean everything. It could mean that my child was still alive.

Eileen Flaxman, Wimauma


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

Monday’s letters: Public education is foundation of the nation

Voters beware of ballot deceptionApril 13, commentarySchools’ role underminedIt was with great pain that I read (not for the first time) that we must be aware of "ballot deception." Public schools were founded to make sure that future generations of ...
Published: 04/13/18

Saturday’s letters: Health Department should butt out

Judge: Grow pot, Mr. Redner | April 12Health officials should butt outThe Times reports that the Florida Department of Health filed an appeal to the decision allowing a man who is a Stage 4 lung cancer survivor to grow pot in his backyard for his ...
Published: 04/11/18
Updated: 04/13/18

Friday’s letters: Open and shut: Enforce the law

Sheriff’s ICE aid policy blasted | April 10Open and shut: Enforce the lawPeople and institutions that insist on the using the euphemism "undocumented immigrant" do nothing but affirm their lack of objectivity by using such a phrase to support an ...
Published: 04/11/18
Updated: 04/12/18

Thursday’s letters: Focus on offender, not weapon

Use data to curb gun deaths | April 8, commentaryFocus on offenders, not weaponsThis article tiptoes around the issue: human violence. The authors point out that automobile manufactures were pressured by regulation and law to make automobile coll...
Published: 04/11/18

Wednesday’s letters: One county’s water affects us all

Sprawl seems a concern until Tampa land use lawyer appears | April 9Water impactsspan county linesThough I live in Pinellas County, I have followed the discussion on land use decisions made by Hillsborough County. Hillsborough’s decisions, perhap...
Published: 04/10/18