Monday, May 21, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Wednesday's letters: TBX 'reset' is probably code for DOA

No time for transit stall | April 15, editorial

Translate a TBX 'reset' as 'dead'

No one seems to realize that the state's "reset" of the Tampa Bay Express plan until the end of 2019 is Tallahassee-speak for saying that Tampa Bay probably just threw away $6 billion. I guess we should give the Florida Department of Transportation the benefit of the doubt when it says it really, truly, honestly does intend to return with a new project 30 months from now after rehabilitating its original plans to add express toll lanes to nearly 100 miles of bay-area interstates. But in all likelihood, TBX is probably heading down the exit ramp to the junk yard. For one thing, there will be a new governor and new priorities. More important, any project will need another okay from the federal government, which usually pays for the majority of any highway project.

Does anyone really think Tampa has a legitimate shot to regain $6 billion by somehow leapfrogging to the head of a federal line crowded with the highway needs of 49 other states — not to mention other Florida metropolitan areas?

If leaders really do care about improving mass transit in the bay area, they could have found a way to work together and save what was truly a gift from government heaven: $6 billion in federal and state money for a critical transportation project without raising local taxes. Surely there was enough money somewhere to guarantee that anyone who lost their homes or businesses to highway construction in Tampa Heights and Seminole Heights could have been compensated at a significantly higher rate.

Instead, you probably just threw away $6 billion that could have been a key first step toward transforming transit needs into a truly regional, cooperative effort stretching from Pinellas to Hillsborough to Pasco counties.

Mike Kersmarki, Tampa

Scott mostly right on taxes | April 17

Low taxes have a price

Rather than brag about Florida's low tax burden, Gov. Rick Scott should be ashamed. Lack of tax revenue flowing from Tallahassee to the counties means local governments have to raise local taxes, or borrow for necessities incurring interest charges and mortgaging the future. Don't fool yourself. Every tax cut touted by your Tallahassee legislator directly affects you. It affects your frustrating commute, sitting in snarled traffic, in your neighborhood flooding and daily enjoyment of life. Smart legislators use taxes paid by all, for major improvements, to better the lives of all. High-speed rail between Tampa and Orlando would have been one example. As long as we elect the same legislators with a failed tax cut mindset, we will constantly reap the daily life-stealing stress and frustration.

James Gregor, Tampa

"Schools of Hope" | April 17, Gradebook blog

Schools of discouragement

I am deeply worried about the Florida House of Representatives plan to pay private charter schools to attract them to Florida. This is not hopeful; it is discouraging.

My son attended a failing Pinellas elementary school last year, and I volunteered every week. It was clear that this and other struggling schools need more staff and more services to help the small number of troubled children who disrupted the learning environment for all students.

Florida's public education system needs the support of our elected officials to educate all our children. This charter school idea will create another "separate but unequal" education system for Florida students.

Lisa Signorelli, Gulfport

When vacations cost millions April 18, column

Trump family travel's cost

This article referenced the estimated travel cost of President Barack Obama and his family. However, your article left out the additional travel expenses of President Donald Trump's family (wife and children) in which the taxpayers are footing their "big bills in security and travel costs," too. The public would like to know the whole cost of the Trump family's travels after 88 days.

Robert Gaylord Yizar, Temple Terrace

North Korea surrenders after angry squint from Pence | April 18, satire

Trump is dead serious

I am responding to Andy Borowitz's attempt at humor in his satire column. The current administration actually does things to our enemies. We just suffered through eight years of a presidency that accomplished nothing. Imagine what North Korea, Syria and Iran would get away with, if Barack Obama were still in office. The answer would be anything they tried. We now have an administration that actually tries to keep America safe.

Bruce Danzis, Wesley Chapel

With a great reversal, U.S. is back | April 14, Krauthammer column

My vote: winning

What did I get for my vote for President Trump?

1. No Hillary Clinton.

2. Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court.

Anything else is icing on the cake.

Eric Howe, Largo

Outcry over school on holy day | April 11

Civility for Christians

A major reason for the decline of civility in our world today is clearly evident in the response to the decision made by the Pasco County school system about Good Friday.

I and many others are appalled at the level of self entitlement that prevails today. For those asking how dare superintendent Kurt Browning make that decision, I have a "how dare you" for them. How dare we speak to someone who simply does not act in agreement with our accord in that manner?

This was not a decision made solely by Browning. He obviously has enough education to have served as secretary of state of Florida, and none of the adjectives thrown at him even remotely apply to him.

Browning, by the way is a Christian, and I'm sure fully aware of the symbolism of the day. Let's all just lighten up.

Pat German, Dade City


Monday’s letters: Focusing on the mental state of shooters misses the point

Texas high school shooting | May 18Criminals, angry people kill peopleSchool shootings are a distinctly American phenomenon. But shootings by people with serious mental illness represent less than 1 percent of all yearly gun-related homicides in ...
Updated: 8 hours ago

Friday’s letters: Putnam and Publix, two P’s lose my nod

Publix pours cash to Putnam | May 17A pleasure to shop elsewhereMy family and I moved to Tampa in 1974, and have made Publix our favorite grocery store ever since. Forty-four years! That is why it makes me a little sad to have to say goodbye.Firs...
Published: 05/18/18

Saturday’s letters: For Florida to move forward, focus on a healthy and sustainable environment

Tampa’s future is bright | May 12Protect Florida, boost economyThis past year, Florida set another record-breaking year for tourism, welcoming more than 116 million visitors. While Florida boasts a unique quality of life and more than 1,300 miles...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/18/18

Sunday’s letters: What conservatives stand for

How can conservatism survive after Trump | May 13, Nickens columnhed#6324 I think it obvious that traditional conservatism was squeezed out of the 2016 campaign narrative and has become a niche thesis owned by a small group of intellectuals. A gr...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/18/18

Friday's letters: Putnam and Publix, two P's lose my nod

Publix pours cash to Putnam | May 17 A pleasure to shop elsewhere My family and I moved to Tampa in 1974, and have made Publix our favorite grocery store ever since. Forty-four years! That is why it makes me a little sad to have to say goodbye. F...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/18/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for May 18

Re: Pasco panel okays Tampa Electric solar farm after five-hour meeting | April 9 storySolar farm offers many positivesThere has been much publicity regarding the proposed TECO Mountain View solar project slated for 350 acres in East Pasco that was r...
Published: 05/14/18

Thursday’s letters: Florida has arguably become the autonomous vehicle capital of North America

Autonomous vehicles in FloridaThe state for self-driving carsAlmost overnight, Florida has arguably become the autonomous vehicle capital of North America. In the last three months, Voyage, a self-driving taxi service, has begun service in the Villag...
Published: 05/12/18
Updated: 05/17/18

Wednesday’s letters: Florida’s Community Health Centers save $1.78 for every dollar spent

Florida’s Community Health CentersHealth centers are a great dealIf you gave someone a dollar and they gave you back $1.78, wouldn’t you consider that a fantastic deal? That’s the deal Florida’s Community Health Centers provide for the state’s citize...
Published: 05/12/18
Updated: 05/16/18

Monday’s letters: Good ideas to fix schools still require enough money

Another plan for faltering schools | May 9The right ideas, cash still neededThe administration of the Hillsborough County School District should be applauded for persistent efforts to find the right formula to improve educational results of stude...
Published: 05/09/18
Updated: 05/14/18

Saturday’s letters: Short-sighted prison cuts hurt society

Call to rethink prison cuts | May 10Short-sighted prison cuts hurt societyThe Florida Department of Corrections is dismantling successful substance abuse and re-entry treatment programs to fix a $28 million shortfall. The short-sighted action wi...
Published: 05/09/18
Updated: 05/11/18