Wednesday, January 17, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Wednesday's letters: Text-driving should be primary offense

A happy ending | May 4

Texting should be primary offense

Once again, Florida legislators have not only made fools of themselves, but actually put the public on notice that they can continue to drive and text and not be concerned about being pulled over for violating a law.

What is with these people? Do they really believe innocent lives are not being threatened? The very idea of having to commit some other vehicular infraction before the texting comes into play is ludicrous: Do they not know how fast the driver can conceal the phone in the process of being pulled over?

I was involved in an accident caused by a woman who was texting and not concentrating on the road. Fortunately, the car protected against bodily injury, but damage to my vehicle was extensive. Many people are not so lucky.

To ban texting while driving is a win-win situation for those off and on the roads.

Elaine Jerrold, St. Petersburg

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A happy ending | May 4

Not a record to be proud of

Upbeat ending? Really?

The Republican-led Legislature has again figuratively (possibly literally) thumbed its nose at the people of Florida. A definition of insanity is to regularly repeat a course of action which has previously failed. Re-electing the Republicans in the House is therefore insanity.

Just where is the upbeat ending? In the failure of the House to take $51 billion in federal money to insure more than 1 million Florida residents, while ignoring the fact that the uninsured cost Floridians millions in emergency room care?

The ideologue who is speaker of the House has caused the future pain and even deaths of uninsured Floridians simply because of his disdain for our president and for Obamacare, which, by the way, is the law of the land. In order to make his case he lied about the federal government's nonexistent past failures to live up to its word. To put salt on a wound, he had to admit that his family received Medicaid for his ill brother. What is good for the speaker and his family is a weakness on the part of uninsured Florida families? As far as I can see, Will Weatherford's only claim on the speakership is a politically powerful father-in-law.

Or is the upbeat ending the corporate welfare it bestowed on Duke/Progress Energy for years? Do they really feel that the correct thing to do is to have Floridians underwrite the power company's incompetence in nuclear energy? We should remember the Legislature every time we pay Duke our nonrefundable and undocumented fee.

That is not all. The "ethics" renovation is a farce. More money will flow to already overfunded campaigns.

The correct answer to the voting rights bill would have been to completely delete the bill passed in 2011, not to pick and choose which rights the people will have returned to them.

I guess we can thank the Legislature for not passing the parent trigger bill (barely), and the governor for vetoing the one-size-fits-all alimony bill.

We should be grateful that the session lasts only two months. What damage this group could have done with more time.

I sincerely sympathize with and thank those legislators who tried to vote to support the people who elected them rather than supporting special interests. We appreciate your efforts.

Mary Louise Ambrose, Belleair Bluffs

Taxpayers are due a refund

Given Speaker Will Weatherford's position that the working poor of Florida do not deserve public assistance in attaining insurance/affordable health care, the only question remaining is when he plans to write a check to cover taxpayer-funded health care his own family accepted for the treatment of his sibling many years ago. News accounts put the level of assistance accepted many years ago as over $100,000, so once compound interest is included, Weatherford and his family owe the taxpayers something upwards of $500,000. When can we taxpayers expect repayment?

Dave O'Brien, Belleair Bluffs

Scott vetoes alimony bill | May 2

Marriage commitments

As bitter, divorced lawmakers vow to continue debating post-divorce spouse and child support, some of us would prefer they turn attention to finding ways to encourage people to stay married.

I am not advocating saving marriages marked by beating or cheating but rather the many marriages that end because one party does not want to deal with the pressures and routine of family life. Current no-fault divorce laws allow one spouse to end a marriage, even with children, at any time for no reason and regardless of the sacrifices made or agreements that the dumped spouse relied on in making life-altering decisions. These include the decision to have children, invest money, incur debt and make his or her home and career in a particular place rather than seek more attractive opportunities elsewhere.

To say that a dumped, disadvantaged spouse is entitled to no compensation for a shattered life is unfair. To expect a dumped spouse to continue supporting one who leaves the marriage for no reason other than "personal happiness" is equally unfair. This is especially true when one spouse wants to work to improve the marriage but the other refuses.

Relying on another party's promises is the essence of a contract. The courts should consider who wants out of the marriage and why. If people are determined to leave partners who honored the marriage contract, the court should not reward them for breaking their promises and shirking their obligations. Commitment to the original marriage and family should be looked on with favor when deciding where children will live and how to distribute assets and financial support. If you don't want to be held to marriage vows, don't get married.

Susan Green, Plant City

Serial sliming at school | May 3

Spectacle of disrespect

When did education turn respect into disrespect?

At Claywell Elementary School, one first-grade class "earned the right" to dump green slime on the principal and assistant principal because they won a contest for highest attendance at "family night." The other first-graders "got to watch" (a privilege?) and the winning teacher joined in, dumping a tub of slime on the principal (the kids only got to dump a cup).

As a retired public school teacher, I find it inconceivable that 1) such a travesty would even be suggested or considered as a "reward," 2) any teacher would participate in such activity, 3) any administrator, superintendent, or school board would permit such unprofessional conduct, or 4) any parent would allow a child to engage in such disrespect.

Judith Allen, Sun City Center


Thursday’s letters: All Americans need health care

Doctor: Trump got perfect score on cognitive test | Jan. 17All Americans need health carePresident Donald Trump’s extensive health exam has apparently declared him physically fit for office. As I was reading about the battery of tests he received...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Wednesday’s letters: St. Petersburg’s culture, vibrancy impresses

St. PetersburgImpressive culture and vibrancyI recently visited Tampa Bay and celebrated New Year’s weekend in downtown St. Petersburg. I was awestruck by what I encountered and experienced. It has been several years since I last visited, and the tra...
Published: 01/16/18

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...
Published: 01/16/18
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