Tuesday, January 16, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Wednesday's letters: Protection from sprawl essential

Pave first, think later mentality | Feb. 21, editorial

Protection from sprawl essential

Take a good look at Miami-Dade, Hillsborough and Pinellas counties' record of controlling urban sprawl without Development of Regional Impact reviews of large-scale developments. How's that working for them?

Sponsored by Sen. Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, SB 372 is no more than smoke and mirrors. It's campaign time, and money gets votes. With Gov. Rick Scott gutting the Department of Environmental Protection, and the possibility of SB 372 passing, citizens will again have to be the enforcers on land use.

And while it may be legal for Carlos Beruff, chairman of the Southwest Florida Water Management District, to donate $3,000 to Galvano's re-election, it doesn't pass the smell test.

Karen Esty, Inverness

Recycling plan finally takes off Feb. 22, editorial

Incentives for recycling

I applaud efforts to enhance recycling in St. Petersburg, but the program may want to take another look at the incentives. In the city where I lived in Indiana, the program worked by having residents pay an additional fee each time their garbage container was emptied, but recyclables in a separate container were free. Grass clippings, leaves, etc., in proper bags would also be picked up for free or a much smaller fee.

It was thus to the residents' advantage to minimize their trash, and the city kept recyclables and compost items out of the landfill. Every city is different, and what worked for a smaller city elsewhere might not work here, but the basic idea of managing incentives is a key.

Donald Cunningham, St. Petersburg

Calls to veto Ariz. antigay bill | Feb. 25

A new level of intolerance

If Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signs legislation to allow exclusion of gays from being served for religious beliefs, what comes next? Will Arizona allow companies to refuse to serve atheists? It is hard to believe that they dislike gays more than atheists. If these companies are so sincere in their religious beliefs, why are they open on Sundays? Arizona has taken homophobia to a new level.

Neil T. Feldman, Seminole

Deadly results of 'stand ground' Feb. 23, editorial

Dangers of turning away

Every soldier and law enforcement officer knows you never take your eyes away from your attacker. Critics of "stand your ground" fail to take this into consideration.

They expect everyone, even the weak, disabled and elderly, to turn their backs from armed or stronger attackers and risk being seriously injured or killed. Citizens in Florida need to be able to defend their lives and the lives of their families without risking them first.

Richard Golden, San Antonio

Big trouble bubbles as state income gap widens | Feb. 23

'The excluded still waiting'

I read with sadness and anger the report on income disparity. It indicated that Florida has had "lopsided income growth" in the years 2009-11. The top 1 percent of our population has had 9.2 percent growth, while the 99 percent have had a drop in income of 2.9 percent.

We should be concerned for the well-being of all our citizens. Yet there is no leadership in Tallahassee responding to the needs of our struggling citizens.

As a Catholic priest, I am privileged to have access to the lives of many families. Over and over, I see people struggling with inadequate income and a lack of meaningful benefits in their jobs. For so many people, after trimming their budget to the barest minimum, every bill that comes in the mail is a new crisis.

And Tallahassee continues to ignore the federal-led opportunity to help a million more of our citizens have access to Medicaid. That issue is a prolife issue, whether it is three people or six people who die every day because of this inaction.

This income disparity report gives credibility to the wisdom expressed by Pope Francis in his exhortation "The Joy of the Gospel" this past November. In it he says: "Some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world. This opinion which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naive trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the workings of the prevailing economic system. Meanwhile, the excluded are still waiting."

Father Thomas E. Tobin, St. Petersburg

Bilirakis' mistake: caring about you | Feb. 23, John Romano column

Models of public service

Thanks to John Romano for this column about how our government is run. It was absolutely spot on. And kudos to Rep. Gus Bilirakis and Pasco County Tax Collector Mike Fasano — men who have taken their responsibilities in government to heart. They are among the very few elected officials who seem to remember and heed Lincoln's words in the Gettysburg Address: "government of the people, by the people, for the people."

It is a sad commentary that elected officials are considered pariahs by their fellow lawmakers when they put the people and their needs ahead of self-serving and party-serving agendas. Every voter needs to carefully examine their representatives' voting records and hold them responsible for their actions (or lack of actions).

I am proud to be an American, but I am ashamed of the attitude and actions of too many of our elected officials. Let's all work together to keep this country great.

Lucinda Ciurro, Seffner

Bilirakis takes stand for his constituents Feb. 22, editorial

Too little and too late

While it's nice to finally see Rep. Gus Bilirakis take a "stand" on flood insurance, it's more than a year and a half too late and only comes after the howling of his constituents and his yes vote on the original law in July 2012.

This is the same Bilirakis who voted no on prohibiting job discrimination based on sexual orientation, no on enforcing antigay laws, no on reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act, and no on regulating the subprime mortgage industry.

Frank Jelnicky, Palm Harbor


Pasco Letters to the Editor for Jan. 19

Re: Walking leads to shocking catalogue of trash | Jan. 12 column Bring back anti-littering campaignJust came back from the beautiful, clean city of Singapore, where there is a $1,000 fine, plus community service for littering. I think a presiden...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Tuesday’s letters: Trump’s accomplishments unheralded

Tuesday’s letters: Trump’s accomplishments unheralded

President Donald TrumpAchievements go unrecognizedAre Americans even aware that our economy is healthier and growing much faster, that ISIS has been defeated and lost their territory, that China and other countries are buying more American goods and ...
Published: 01/16/18

Monday’s letters: Don’t be fooled by drilling turnaround

Deal blocks drilling off Fla. | Jan. 10Don’t be fooled by turnaroundWhile I am very grateful that Florida has been taken off the table regarding offshore oil drilling, it is clear this is a political move to champion Gov. Rick Scott as he conside...
Published: 01/14/18

Sunday’s letters: Left wing late to the #MeToo cause

#MeTooDemocrats come late to the causeThe Times devoted an entire page to the #MeToo issues on Sunday. The ironies here for longtime observers are nearly boundless. Twenty years ago, folks like myself were called "prudes" and worse because we found P...
Published: 01/13/18

Saturday’s letters: A wall of towers isn’t progress

Skyline takes shape | Jan. 7A wall of towers isn’t progressFirst of all, once the 17 projects currently under way are completed, there will be no "skyline." There will be a wall of buildings blotting out the sun and sky. St. Petersburg has become...
Published: 01/12/18

Friday’s letters:

Gang raped at 17. Getting help at 65 | Jan. 7Help available for assault victimsEach sexual assault survivor has a unique story to tell, and Evelyn Robinson’s experience illustrates many of the emotions, and society stigmas, faced by survivors.Sex...
Published: 01/09/18
Updated: 01/11/18

Thursday’s letters: Opioid bill could do more harm than good

Opioid bill opponents line up | Jan. 6Bill’s potential to harm patientsLegislators are proposing putting more restrictions on physicians’ ability to prescribe pain medications. Yes, the addiction problem is a serious one, and the law seems well-i...
Published: 01/08/18
Updated: 01/10/18

Wednesday’s letters: Beware candidates backed by billionaires

DeSantis declares governor run | Jan. 6Beware the billionaire backingThis line says it all: "The congressman already has the support of the president and several billionaires." If you continue to vote for billionaire-backed candidates, you will g...
Published: 01/08/18
Updated: 01/09/18

Tuesday’s letters: Drilling not worth the risk to Florida

Trump’s plan: to drill | Jan. 5Drilling not worth risk to FloridaAs a Republican and a supporter of President Donald Trump supporter, I am appalled by the proposal to drill for oil off Florida’s Atlantic and Gulf coasts, whose beaches and economi...
Published: 01/08/18

Sunday’s letters: Social media’s risk to children

Vlogger apologizes for sharing suicide video | Jan. 3Social media’s risk to childrenThe recent story about vlogger Logan Paul apologizing for his video on YouTube of a body hanging in a suicide forest in Japan has me deeply concerned. As a fifth-...
Published: 01/06/18