Monday, June 25, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Wednesday's letters: Pier concept needs more than a tweak

Pier designers listen, tweak plans | July 19

Design needs more than a tweak

It will take more than tweaking St. Petersburg's proposed pier plans to sell it to the 20,597 of us who see this as Foster's folly.

The "giant canopy," where it is said everything from a beer garden to special events and dancing could take place, needs to be given second thought. A canopy with no sides to fend off rainy thunderstorms, our fate during the five long, hot summer months in Tampa Bay, seems ridiculous.

And then there's the occasional Debby that blows through. What a disaster that would be to the artistic but very impractical Lens.

Gemma O'Donnell, St. Petersburg

On Pier, council flunks leadership test July 21, editorial

Officials are out of touch

The purpose of the Fourth Estate is to give voice to the voiceless, power to the powerless and to protect the defenseless from the oppression of a government that would run roughshod over the wishes of the citizens. At these tasks the Tampa Bay Times has failed miserably.

Rather than stand with a lawfully presented petition, this newspaper has chosen to side with a minority in the St. Petersburg City Council to deny this petition a legitimate place on a ballot.

The question is asked: Where were the citizens when the plans for the pier were in their infancy? We were right here hoping for a place on the citizens committee, but we were denied a voice as the committee was made up of hand-picked people. We then hoped the concept for the new pier would be an intelligent, useful structure that would be emblematic of the city, combining free enterprise and logical design to make it a destination for both locals and tourists alike. Instead, we got a lump of water pollution that is nothing and does nothing. It was at this point that citizens took to the petition.

A city administration that chooses to build a structure that few want, with money we don't have, yet fails to meet the vital needs of our community — i.e., a new police station — is a city administration out of touch.

Gary West, St. Petersburg

Colorado killings

Stickers won't stop a killer

Of all the articles in Saturday's newspaper on the senseless tragedy that took place at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., one caught my attention.

I read that Tampa's AMC Veterans 24 movie theater posted stickers on the doors declaring "No weapons allowed" with the image of a gun with a slash symbol through it.

If the theater in Aurora had had those stickers, would the gunman have changed his mind? I think we all know the answer to that. On the other hand, if there were one or more people in that audience with a licensed concealed weapon then, just maybe, the gunman could have been taken out early.

Tim Harman, Tampa

Florida education

Public must get involved

On July 19 I attended the "conversation with the (education) commissioner" in downtown St. Petersburg. Based on articles I read of similar events in other cities, I assumed, even hoped, this would be a well-attended event.

To my dismay, I counted six people in attendance who were not with the Department of Education or the press.

There are issues with our education system. We have many community members who are concerned and even angry with the changes taking place. However, we can't be both frustrated with our education system and not take advantage of the opportunity to voice those frustrations with the education commissioner.

I hope the next time high-ranking officials take the time to talk to the local community, we take the time to ask questions and talk back.

Brian Kerekes, St. Petersburg

Stop the steep rise in health costs | July 19, letter

A lack of competition

It is encouraging that the writer has realized that "something has to be done about medicine in America." At the same time, he refuses to appreciate that the new health care law is trying to do just that.

The standard answer from Republicans has been: Let competition and the market bring down costs. Where is the competition when there is only one hospital in a community?

The only Republican proposal I have seen was the sarcastic bumper sticker that read: "The Republican health plan: Don't get sick!" I know that the Republicans can do better than that, but only after they venture into the real world of suffering people.

Alfred J. Lilienthal, Brandon

Campaign 2010

Choose words carefully

As to President Barack Obama's recent comments relative to how there are many people and events that help us to be successful or possibly help us build successful businesses, he needed only two words to avoid the distortion by the Republicans — "alone" and "helped."

He then would have said, "You did not build that alone. Somebody else helped make that happen," and it would have been much more difficult for the Republicans to distort his statement.

Donald W. Chandler, Clearwater

Few open tables during the RNC | July 20

Out of touch

We so often hear candidates for political office, of both parties, claim their opponents are "out of touch" with ordinary Americans and "can't relate" to the common man. Well, these claims are often correct.

Is there anything that could possibly illustrate better the insularity and "out-of-touchness" of the whole American political class than this article?

All sorts of restaurants and public attractions will be closed to the general public and made the exclusive private domain of the conventioneers — in some cases for days in advance of the convention.

Can it really be true that the Tampa Bay History Center is closed to the public from Aug. 21 to Sept. 1? That's 11 days. Guess they had to do that. Otherwise conventioneers might be brushing elbows with the ordinary rabble of America.

And the most infuriating aspect is that these conventions are subsidized by the American taxpayer.

Paul and Barri Boudreaux, St. Petersburg


Tuesday’s letters: Here’s what a legal immigrant went through to become a U.S. citizen

Trump says those who ‘invade’ shouldbe sent back | June 25How I becamea U.S. citizenI am a legal immigrant. I don’t know where this country went awry, but let me remind you of how legal immigration worked. In 1964 I applied for a visa at the U.S....
Updated: 2 hours ago

Monday’s letters: College instructors need classes in active shooter training

Active shooter perceptions disproven | June 21We need active shooter trainingThe only guns that I had seen before coming to the United States of America were in glass cases in museums. When I came to America to get a Ph.D. in English at the Unive...
Updated: 10 hours ago

Friday’s letters: What a new Rays ballpark would mean

Rays exec hints at stadium timeline | June 15What a new ballpark would doThe Tampa Bay Rays 2020 organization is working diligently with local business leaders and civic organizations to rally support for the Rays’ new ballpark in Ybor City. The ...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/22/18

Thursday’s letters: On immigration there has to be a better way

‘Zero tolerance’ ignites outrage | June 20Find better way on immigrationOver the years I’ve voted for candidates from both parties. My observation of the Trump administration’s policy on immigration is not about politics. It has to do with having...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/21/18

Wednesday’s letters: Charters and traditional public schools each have their place

Public school as public good | Letter, June 17Both kinds of schools can workAs a mother and grandmother of children raised in both traditional public and charter schools in Pinellas County (and a 25-year supporting-services employee for public sc...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/20/18

Tuesday’s letters: Keep programs that fight AIDS

For author Biden, it’s a father’s gift | June 6Keep programs that fight AIDSAfter former Vice President Joe Biden’s recent visit to St. Petersburg, I noticed an article that he co-wrote with former Sen. Bill Frist. It reminded everyone about the ...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/19/18

Is anyone watching the money?Hernando County’s budget shortfall is ever changing going from $6 million to $11.5 million to $14 million to what is assumed a final number of $12.6 million. Who knows the budget shortfall could change again.Who’s watchi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Re: County OKs solar zones | June 8Plea ignored at solar plant hearingThe Pasco County Commission on June 5 voted to identify a utility-sized solar electric plant as a "special exception" use on agricultural-zoned land in Pasco County. What thi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Monday’s letters: Skip those plastic bags and save the environment

To save our seas, overcome congressional apathy | Column, June 16Do your part and skip plastic bagsEvery day we read about the shame of our landfills and oceans filling up with plastic bags, yet most people don’t care. My wife and I always carry ...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

White House defends splitting up families as ‘biblical’ | June 15The suffering of the childrenI am a mother and attorney with more than 20 years of practice living in Tampa. For the past three years, I worked as a magistrate in a Unified Family C...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18