Sunday, May 27, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Wednesday's letters: Teaching students practical skills

But poetry won't pay the bills | Nov. 19

Teaching students practical skills

Martin Steele's problem is not unique to the current economic downturn. Few poets have ever made a living from their art. T.S. Eliot was a banker; Wallace Stevens was an insurance executive.

At the University of South Florida, we've found a way for students to excel in literature while building practical skills that beef up resumes and keep graduates out of the unemployment lines. The English department offers a major in writing and technology that allows students to study Shakespeare and Keats but also develop practical skills writing content for websites and social media, creating marketing material, and developing software documentation.

Students also complete a one-semester internship with a company in the Tampa Bay area. During the two years that I've coordinated the program, we've placed over 50 interns with two dozen companies. It's a good way for our university to understand the needs of the local business community. And it's one way that students like Steele, excited by writing, can get the tools necessary to find a job in the present tough marketplace.

Michael L. Shuman, Tampa

Romney slammed for remarks | Nov. 16

We worked for principles

I listened to Mitt Romney giving the excuse for losing the election that President Barack Obama handed out gifts for support. Well, Romney still has it wrong.

I worked in the Obama campaign for many months in my little area in Florida with hundreds of others. We were 99 percent volunteer. We gave our time making thousands of phone calls, walking hundreds of streets and ringing doorbells to promote the president. We donated our money — in small amounts — used our cellphones to make calls, used our gas to drive around neighborhoods to canvass and to take people to the polls, and we sat out in the sun for hours registering voters.

We did it all for free because we felt Obama was the person who had our back; we took responsibility and we had his back.

Everett Houghtalen, New Port Richey

Socialite not a fit for Tampa society | Nov. 18

Broadwell should be focus

I am continually amazed each day I open your paper that Jill Kelley and her sister are page one news. The first day or so was interesting, but come on. Shouldn't the story be about Paula Broadwell?

As far as we know, Jill Kelley did not have any affair with any general. That her sister is in debt and may or not be a nice person is not really relevant in my mind. Why are they the only focus of your paper?

Listen, I don't have a dog in this fight, but after continually reading the same things about the sisters in your paper, I am drawn to conclude that you just want to keep the issue "hot" until either something eventually does come out about them that is scandalous, or reporters can finally get some information on the real issue — the affair.

What involvement did Kelley have in the affair? None as far as you have reported, other than to have a "socialite" relationship with a lot of big names including David Petraeus and getting the "threatening" emails from Broadwell.

I'm confident that many civilians are involved in social events for our military all around the country. Is it really news that Jill Kelley name-drops, or embellishes her position? If you had cocktails with major players on the world scene, I suspect you would too. It's the moth to the flame theory — and not very worthy news.

Craig Kaelin, Tampa

Original reporting

Thank you to the journalists who have been exploring the Jill Kelley story. The professional way in which the reporters have collected and expressed their data is exceptional.

After listening to "talking heads" on television about the issue, it is refreshing to pick up a newspaper and read information directly from the reporters, not second-hand from CNN or Fox researchers who feed the "talking heads."

We search for the truth on the Internet but have difficulty finding it among the millions of opinions and half-truths that flood it. Long live the free press as expressed in the country's newspapers, our last bastion of intellectual freedom.

Gloria Beek, Largo

Medical insurer dispute grows | Nov. 2

Money is the issue

No wonder your news reporting largely ignores the battle between BayCare hospitals and UnitedHealthcare's Medicare Advantage insurance program; they both pay you to splatter pages of your newspaper with unverifiable "facts."

BayCare claims "your health is important to us." This is about as believable as "your call is important to us." From the standpoint of a user of hospital services, it seems more like "your money is important to us." We are held hostage to an effort to extort more money from one side to another.

Contract law, courts, judges and lawyers operate a system to work out these disputes. Let that system work.

John P. Fernsler, Oldsmar

Secession petitions spreading | Nov. 17

Spoiled brats

Today's Republicans are such sore losers. In days gone by, members of the losing party said to themselves, "Well, the other party's candidate won fair and square, so now we all have to get behind the new president and help him succeed."

But within 24 hours after Barack Obama being elected in 2008, Mitch McConnell and other top Republicans announced that their No. 1 objective would not be to improve the economy or end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but to see that Obama was a one-term president. And when Obama was re-elected this month, many Republicans signed petitions seeking secession from the union.

These people remind me of spoiled brats on a playground. If things don't go their way, they want to pick up their marbles and go home.

James Nelson, Largo

Girl, 13, is killed racing to her bus | Nov. 17

Insensitive wording

As a longtime Times reader and local hospice physician, I am profoundly disappointed in the choice of an opening sentence in this article: "Andrea Bower had perfect attendance, but on Friday she missed the bus."

This comment, leading a piece regarding the accidental death of a 13-year-old attempting to catch her school bus, demonstrates a startling lack of sensitivity.

Dorry Norris, St. Petersburg


Monday’s letters: NFL finally listens to its fans

NFL moves to endanthem protests | May 24NFL’s action comes too lateThe NFL owners are, after two years, finally growing some courage.Before these kneel-downs became the elephant in the room, team owners could have taken action to minimize the imp...
Published: 05/24/18
Updated: 05/25/18

Sunday’s letters: As Jews, we should not be afraid to criticize Israel

Published: 05/24/18
Updated: 05/25/18

Saturday’s letters: Bayshore fatalities didn’t have to happen

After two fatalities, speed limits cut | May 25Cameras needed on BayshoreOnce again, two pedestrians have died as the result of careless drivers who were speeding. Once again, the Times and other media outlets are filled with opinions about the c...
Published: 05/23/18
Updated: 05/25/18

Friday's letters: Thanks to jurors for fulfilling civic duty

May is Juror Appreciation Month Thanks, jurors, for your service Trial by a jury of one’s peers is among the bedrock guarantees that make our representative democracy exceptional. Without it, the courtroom fates of defendants and civil litiga...
Published: 05/23/18
Updated: 05/25/18

Thursday’s letters: Heated chemotherapy won’t treat most ovarian cancers

Heated chemotherapy has promising results | May 16Cancer treatment not a cure-all While we were pleased to see the story about ovarian cancer treatment, we are concerned that the article could mislead many patients. The treatment described has be...
Published: 05/22/18
Updated: 05/24/18

Wednesday’s letters: A princess gives us a lesson to live by

Royal treatment | May 21Princess offers advice for us allThe radiant and joyful Princess Anna Noela Lokolo of the Democratic Republic of Congo, recent Eckerd College graduate, has given us a huge gift in her parting words. "If people have a negat...
Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/23/18

Hernando Letters to the Editor for May 25

Re: Central High School bomb threat suspect to be tried as adult | May 4Angry mob rhetoric not helpfulWe have observed the public discourse surrounding the case of Mizella Robinson with increasing unease. A sampling of the more common sentiment...
Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/22/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for May 25

Re: Proposed TECO Solar Plant Opposed to the TECO solar plantAs a 21-year resident and property owner, I am writing in opposition to the proposed Tampa Electric Company solar plant in rural northeast Pasco County.The solar plant will be .2 miles from...
Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/22/18

Tuesday’s letters: If you don’t like the Electoral College, then amend the Constitution

The popular vote | May 20, letterIf you don’t like it, amend ConstitutionA recent letter supports the idea that a state should be able to change its Electoral College vote to match that of the national popular vote winner as opposed to the result...
Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/22/18

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 ...
Published: 05/19/18
Updated: 05/21/18