Thursday, November 23, 2017
Letters To The Editor

Wednesday's letters: Tea party factions on collision course


GOP should walk away from destructive fringe | Oct. 25, commentary

Tea party factions due to collide

This was an excellent commentary by John G. Taft. However, I find it puzzling that the tea party can accommodate two such disparate and intransigent factions as religious conservatives and libertarians. The Ayn Rand-influenced libertarian faction scorns compassion, charity, altruism, a belief in God and other so-called irrational concepts they think hold back society. They go to tortuous lengths defending their core principles of individual liberty and freedom.

Libertarians and religious conservatives seem to share similar survival-of-the-fittest principles, agree that Obamacare is destroying America, oppose gun control, and not only endeavor to shrink the federal government but, according to Sen. Ted Cruz, will try to "blow it up if we can't get what we want."

However, it seems inevitable that there will be a day of reckoning when the tea party religious wing figures out that the libertarian wing is full of followers of a Russian atheist, who supports gay rights and is prochoice. It could become a war on civility with circular firing squads.

George Howlett, Tampa

Public Service Commission

Toothless regulators

I don't know a lot about the power generation business, but I spent most of my working life around telephone companies. In the 1970s, just mentioning the Public Service Commission put fear into the eyes of any telephone company manager. Mentioning the name of Commissioner Paula Hawkins changed that fear to near terror.

Regulatory agencies should be in an adversarial relationship with the regulated; that is their job.

Leonard C. Silva, St. Petersburg

Fair to explore uses for property | Oct. 27

Work on the traffic

So the Florida State Fair Authority board wants to invite developers to create new and exciting opportunities on their land? I suggest they start by improving the traffic flow.

We passed Orient Road on Interstate 4 just after 6 p.m. Friday en route to the Luke Bryan concert, leaving nearly an hour to travel the final 1.5 miles into the parking lot. Plenty of time, or so we thought. It took nearly 90 minutes from that spot, causing us to arrive after the lights went down and the music began.

That's inexcusable. A venue should be equipped to handle traffic flow, and no further development should occur on that land until changes are made to improve traffic efficiency.

Perhaps this is also a good time to improve mass transit in a community whose leaders have long rejected it.

Joe Humphrey, Tampa

Florida's scores: not bad | Oct. 27

Aim for the top

I would like to challenge the assertion that a little above average in math and science is good enough for Florida's students.

When I was in high school in the 1970s, a college degree provided a near guarantee of a middle class lifestyle. Even those without college degrees could do well in manufacturing and clerical jobs.

Those jobs are almost all gone now. Even the recent manufacturing renaissance is bringing back only one-tenth the jobs that previous manufacturing operations provided, and those jobs are going to those who have the math and science skills to understand and operate the high tech equipment involved.

Furthermore, the highest salaried jobs available to new college graduates are almost all in engineering and science. Leadership roles in the new economy will be, to a large extent, reserved for individuals with this kind of training.

In math and science, Florida must aim for the level that Massachusetts presently occupies if it is to have a healthy middle class in the future. Anything less will represent economic surrender and a bleak future for the state's children.

Paul Cottle, Tallahassee

Red-light cameras opposed | Oct. 28

Safety first

Red-light cameras are about safety. If 54 percent of St. Petersburg citizens and six of eight candidates for City Council are against red-light cameras, I can only conclude that they are willing to run red lights themselves and are willing to risk having their cars totaled and their lives endangered by those who do.

It is neither a pleasant nor an inexpensive experience to have. Generally the costs far exceed $158. If the only way to retrain this criminal behavior is to hit the old pocketbook, then so be it.

And to the sheriff who is 100 percent against the cameras, I say post a deputy at every one of the intersections where the cameras are located during morning and evening rush hours.

I do agree that caution (amber) lights should be longer and uniform throughout the state.

Sally Martin, Tampa

Try warning lights

While driving in Minnesota several months ago, I was reminded what is wrong with red-light cameras in the bay area. In Minnesota, they have a flashing sign indicating the light is about to change, therefore you are watching for the yellow light and can stop safely.

With our area's very short yellow light timing, it is often difficult to stop quickly. If there was a prewarning white flashing light on the signal, or in the yellow light, five to 10 seconds before the light was about to change, the motorist would have a better chance of obeying the signal.

I suggest shutting down all red-light cameras until some version of this "about to change prewarning" is implemented. I believe red-light cameras are a benefit to traffic safety, but as implemented the focus is on revenue, not safety.

Richard O. Mayer, Palm Harbor

Officials: Monkeys off-limits to trapper Oct. 26

Stop the cruelty

I applaud the Department of Environmental Protection for its decision to no longer allow the trapping of monkeys — some of which were being sold to research labs — in Silver River State Park. No matter the species, animals confined in research facilities suffer unimaginable cruelties and often lose their minds and lives in conditions no human would consider acceptable or "humane" were he or she in the animal's place.

My hope is that Florida officials will research and implement humane, nonlethal methods of managing the monkey population, leaving the monkeys' families intact and allowing them to enjoy lives free from captivity, cruelty and exploitation.

Keith Berger, Boca Raton


Friday’s letters: Find private investors for a new stadium

Opening offer from Rays on stadium sounds too low | Nov. 17, editorialFind private investors for stadiumThe Rays "offered" to pay 18.75 percent of the costs? How outrageously presumptuous to say that they offered! Put another way, they demanded t...
Published: 11/21/17
Updated: 11/22/17

Thursday’s letters: Tax plan won’t help wages

Tax billThis won’t help stagnant wagesThe unfair tax proposal that cuts taxes for the rich and most powerful and cuts the ability of working people to claim any comparable deductions is no more than another greedy power grab by the rich and powerful....
Published: 11/20/17
Updated: 11/22/17

Wednesday’s letters: Breaking down health data

Don’t let news on blood pressure raise yours | Nov. 17, commentaryBreaking down health numbersThank you for publishing the timely commentary by Dr. H. Gilbert Welch on blood pressure. The point he makes about relative risks versus absolute risks ...
Published: 11/20/17
Updated: 11/21/17

Tuesday’s letters: Disgraceful tax proposals

Tax billDisgraceful, harmful proposalsThe very fact that the Congress of the people of the United States would propose, not to mention pass, the current tax bill is nothing short of disgraceful. What sort of representatives of the people support cutt...
Published: 11/20/17

Monday’s letters: Doctors should speak up on harassment

Sexual harassmentDoctors need to speak upThe recent widespread recognition, followed by disapproval, of sexual harassment across many workplaces signals a paradigm shift in social attitudes toward abuse of power that is long overdue.The male-dominate...
Published: 11/17/17

Saturday’s letters: Reservoir project off to a good start

Lake OkeechobeeReservoir project off to good startThis year, more than 70,000 Floridians contacted their legislators to support expediting a reservoir project south of Lake Okeechobee. Another 150 business people, anglers, health care professionals a...
Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/17/17

Sunday’s letters: Roundabout way to help the rich

Senate GOP’s tax plan to kill ACA mandate | Nov. 15Devious way to hurt middle classSo, let’s see if we have this straight. The proposed amendment to the Senate tax plan, to kill the individual mandate, will cause young people to not buy health in...
Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/17/17

Friday’s letters: Stop laying blame on teachers

Hillsborough teachers are set to protest | Nov. 14Stop laying blame on teachersI am a veteran teacher, coming up on 30 years of service to public education. My mother was also an educator, clocking over 40 years of service in public education. Sh...
Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/16/17

Pasco Letters to the Editor for Nov. 17

Questioning fees draws snarky responseYou are probably aware of the new Pasco utility fees that became effective last month.Under the dubious title of "convenience fee" for making utility payments by credit card or e-check, Pasco Utilities adds $2.75...
Published: 11/15/17

Dollars need to stay at home if south Brooksville is to survive

As a member of the Moton High School Class of 1967, I grew up a poor but very happy child because of the love given to me by all. So all I had to do was be a child and not rush to be an adult.There were many black businesses along a four-block area o...
Published: 11/14/17
Updated: 11/22/17