Friday, April 27, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Wednesday's letters: Services for children underfunded

Just take kids from abusive situations | Oct. 2, editorial

Foster care system under strain

Who could not be in agreement with the views of this editorial? Who could deny that saving the lives of children under supervision by state child welfare caseworkers is primary?

But the article needs a P.S. What was omitted is this: Where do we put the children after they are removed that is an improvement to their current situation? Where is the funding for advertising, training and support for a sufficient foster care system that can provide care and safety for infants and children?

As a retired protective services supervisor who worked for the Department of Children and Families for almost 13 years, I can attest that this problem has never been fully addressed, neither by the state of Florida when there was control and continuity before the decentralization of child welfare services, nor after its fragmentation. Years ago there was another arm of services for families called Voluntary Protective Services. Of course, this was one of the first services eliminated for financial reasons.

Not until our state leaders recognize that pre-crisis and diversionary programs are necessary components of the continuum of services at the outset, and that adequate temporary foster care is essential at the follow-up end of the spectrum, can the outcome for children be improved.

Janice Perelman, Brandon

Two Christians on their knees | Oct. 1, Perspective

Valuable context on protest

Thank you for at last getting Colin Kaepernick's backstory into the mix. Also, thank you for the clear comparison of Tim Tebow's and Kaepernick's religious heritage and practices. It makes clear that the problem is indeed race-related. Anyone who calls himself a Christian cannot, in clear conscience, side with one against the other as we are all created in God's image and likeness.

The most glaring factor the press has left out is that President Donald Trump and some of his rich friends tried to start a professional football league to compete with the NFL. The USFL failed miserably and went bankrupt. Trump sued the NFL and lost. He apparently will do anything in his power to damage the NFL.

Thus, he has stirred up an unfounded controversy using false equivalencies and flat-out lies, and again divided our country and failed at his job as president, which is to unite us.

Mark Schumerth, St. Pete Beach

When is the right time?

The anthem protests have seen many chiding players for "protesting at work," smugly noting that they are being paid to play football, so they should play football. Yet not long ago, some of these same people were praising Kim Davis, a county clerk in Kentucky, for protesting at work by flat-out refusing to do her job. Did she, an elected public servant, not disrespect our country by refusing to do her job? The bigotry and hypocrisy of those who are protesting players is stunning.

Many also seem to have missed the fact that there have been many protests against police brutality. And many people have been quick to condemn those protests, telling African-Americans that they are mistaken in protesting police behavior. The ultimate question is: When is it appropriate for African-Americans to protest? So far it seems the answer to that is "never."

Cyrus Newcomb, Treasure Island

Report: Tax plan rewards top 1% | Sept. 30

Roads, incomes crumble

This report is no surprise. What's astonishing is that so many who won't benefit still cling to Republican "trickle-down" fantasies in spite of four decades of contrary evidence. How will tax cuts for the rich provide for the huge investment in infrastructure we sorely need? Anyone traveling abroad in recent years knows that our public transportation, bridges, dams, airports, electric grid, etc., lag behind most developed countries.

Working class incomes advanced most during the 1950s through early '70s when the top marginal tax rate on the very rich was between 70 and 90 percent. Yet the United States managed to pay down its World War II debt while going to the moon, building record numbers of schools and creating the interstate highway system.

Those "conservatives" who claim the administration's tax plan favors middle class families are not only factually wrong, but they ignore the increased national debt and the outdated infrastructure that will be left for future generations.

Tony Branch, Madeira Beach

Trump launches Twitter attack on San Juan mayor | Oct. 1

Poor leadership skills

Anyone familiar with President Donald Trump's personal history knows that he has never experienced, fear, hunger or thirst as a result of a natural disaster or for any other reason. In response to outcries for help and some well-deserved criticism by Puerto Rican officials and residents that the relief effort, for the most part, has been poorly executed and is insufficient, the president said Puerto Ricans want everything "done for them."

This lack of empathy once again demonstrates that Trump may never be an effective leader because of a flawed temperament. True leaders inspire, give hope, and provide comfort in dire times by creating pathways to ease the pain and suffering. They do not disparage and place personal image above the victimized.

Jim Paladino, Tampa


Friday’s letters: Why just single-member districts are a bad idea for Hillsborough

Murman’s bad idea on districts | April 20, editorialSingle-member districts’ flawYour editorial opposing single-member districts in Hillsborough County is totally correct. I have served as Miami-Dade county manager twice. The first time (1976-198...
Updated: 11 hours ago

Thursday’s letters: A surgeon responds to story about a needle being left in a baby’s heart

All Children’s surgeon left a needle in a baby’s heart | April 22My view as one of the surgeonsI am one of the physicians discussed (but not interviewed) in this article. Whatever the motive for such an article, I disagree with many of the claims...
Published: 04/23/18
Updated: 04/26/18

Wednesday’s letters: How we plan to improve foster care in Hillsborough

Improving foster care inHillsborough | April 19, editorialOur plans for helping kidsThis editorial poses many good questions. The Department of Children and Families’ peer review report is expected to be released soon. And while we welcome the an...
Published: 04/23/18
Updated: 04/25/18

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...
Published: 04/23/18

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 ...
Published: 04/22/18
Updated: 04/23/18

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

Tuesday’s letters: Student journalists push to save their newsrooms and independence

Save student newsroomsAs professional newsrooms shrink, student newsrooms have become an increasingly important source of local coverage, holding not only our universities accountable but also local government. We write these articles, attending meet...
Published: 04/20/18
Updated: 04/24/18

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