Thursday, April 19, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Wednesday's letters: Train will boost development, jobs

Train plan about developers | June 21, letter

Train will boost development, jobs

All Aboard Florida is a subsidiary of Florida East Coast Industries, a highly successful freight line that owns much of the track right-of-way that will be used for this project. It is building a passenger rail line between Miami and Orlando with its own funds. There is absolutely no cost to the taxpayers.

The plan is to run hourly trains between the two terminal cities with intermediate stops in Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. While not meeting the standards for high-speed rail, the trains will run at 100 mph, fast enough to complete the 230-mile journey in under three hours.

The economic development and job creation brought about by this project is a gift to our state. The letter writer complains that the company cannot fill 16 trains in each direction each day and will soon be out of business. I'm certain that the backers of this project have done the market research to justify their investment.

My hope is that someday, All Aboard Florida or a similar enterprise will build a new rail line connecting the Tampa Bay region with South Florida.

Jim Jacobs, Tampa

Emmert defends NCAA at trial | June 20

College or training camp?

I always assumed colleges were for education, but now they seem to be training camps for athletes. Most athletes are in class only because the NCAA forces them to attend. Now they want to be paid to play.

Every year thousands of real students are turned away because of a lack of classroom space. One solution is to pay these athletes but treat them for what they really are — paid athletes — and keep them out of the classroom and on the ball field where they belong. Open all those classrooms to real students who want one thing: an education.

Larry Tokar, Clearwater

300 U.S. troops to aid Iraq | June 20

Echoes of Vietnam

For those of you too young to be alive in the early '60s, the announcement by President Barack Obama to send military advisers to Iraq for the express purpose of training Iraqis is chillingly reminiscent of how we started in Vietnam. Obama was elected on the platform of change. Have we forgotten, or has he?

Mick Puleo, Zephyrhills

Religion at root of strife

Much has been written about the horrors in the Middle East. All kinds of theories have been forwarded. However, the fundamental basis for this mess is religion.

I wish people would recognize that religion has been, and always will be, a leading cause for mass atrocities. Sunnis vs. Shiites, Jews vs. Muslims, Catholics vs. Protestants and a hundred other denominations all think they are the chosen ones.

Gary Silvers, Largo

Lack of choices hurts democracy June 24, editorial

Birth of an aristocracy

What terrible news for our democracy, especially in Florida. Forty-six lawmakers will automatically be re-elected because no one signed up to run against them, and in three political battles in Pinellas County, the children of former elected officials are running and may well win due to name recognition.

We are quickly becoming a society run by an aristocracy. At the presidential level, we have the wife of a former president probably running against the brother and son of former presidents.

Our forefathers thought that elective office would be a part-time job and that the legislators would then go back to their real jobs. In our country, being a legislator is for life and then passed on to an heir.

Roger Gambert, Palm Harbor

Same-sex marriage

Opponents are persecuted

Nineteen states and the District of Columbia have legalized same-sex marriage. While some Americans have argued that redefining marriage doesn't affect them, many are finding out that same-sex marriage is about more than they thought.

People are being persecuted and losing their jobs because of their belief that marriage should only be between a man and a woman. Craig James was fired at Fox Sports, a CEO of Mozilla was forced to resign over a donation to California's Proposition 8, and a reality show of twin Christian brothers was canceled due to their beliefs on marriage.

Bakers, florists and photographers are being persecuted, bullied, fined and forced to go to discrimination training.

If the federal government can force wedding vendors to go against their religious beliefs, what else might be forced upon Americans? Apparently there's an agenda to silence, persecute and punish anyone who disagrees with same-sex marriage or homosexuality.

Is this what Americans want for our nation? Is this part of President Barack Obama's "transformation" of America?

Diana Gilbert, Niceville

Sheriff fires major over affair | June 20

Punish both offenders

The Pinellas County sheriff indicated to the Times that "I have not and will not tolerate such reprehensible conduct by any agency members."

The report indicates that the female involved in the affair with the major is a member of the Sheriff's Office. There is no indication that she was fired. She is equally culpable and should receive equal punishment.

Arnulfo Silva, Palm Harbor

Florida ranks low in long-term care | June 19

Caring for an elderly parent

My wife and I are caring for an elderly parent. We would like to remind those who have become caretakers for their family members to stay positive and seek help from many of the elderly care organizations available in Florida.

First I would recommend that any long-term caregiver consult with an elder law attorney.

For working caretakers who might have to take off time at their jobs, check to see if your employer falls under the Family Medical Leave Act. I did this while caring for my mother. Fortunately, I work for a great employer. I was able to take some time under the leave act because my wife and I are caring for a parent.

Joseph Rowe, Tarpon Springs


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

Wednesday’s letters:

Poverty and plenty in bay area | April 7, editorialStruggling poor are not a priorityI commend your newspaper for continuing to produce real and relevant news, particularly the recent editorial pointing out that a prospering Tampa Bay should not ...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18

Hernando Letters to the Editor for April 20

Bar Association celebrates Law WeekPresident Dwight D. Eisenhower proclaimed May 1, 1958, as the first Law Day to mark the nation’s commitment to the rule of law. Every year on this day, we reflect on the significance of the rule of law and rededicat...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18

Tuesday’s letters: Stop cooperating with ICE

Sheriff’s ICE policy blasted | April 10Pinellas should end partnership with ICEPinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri recently participated in a community conversation on his controversial agreement with ICE to voluntarily detain immigrants in the...
Published: 04/16/18

Sunday’s letters: The future of oyster production

Shell game | April 15Future of oyster productionThanks to Laura Reiley for an excellent synopsis of the current state of oyster production in Florida. The collapse of the Apalachicola oyster fishery is merely the latest example of the demise of a...
Published: 04/14/18

Monday’s letters: Public education is foundation of the nation

Voters beware of ballot deceptionApril 13, commentarySchools’ role underminedIt was with great pain that I read (not for the first time) that we must be aware of "ballot deception." Public schools were founded to make sure that future generations of ...
Published: 04/13/18

Saturday’s letters: Health Department should butt out

Judge: Grow pot, Mr. Redner | April 12Health officials should butt outThe Times reports that the Florida Department of Health filed an appeal to the decision allowing a man who is a Stage 4 lung cancer survivor to grow pot in his backyard for his ...
Published: 04/11/18
Updated: 04/13/18

Friday’s letters: Open and shut: Enforce the law

Sheriff’s ICE aid policy blasted | April 10Open and shut: Enforce the lawPeople and institutions that insist on the using the euphemism "undocumented immigrant" do nothing but affirm their lack of objectivity by using such a phrase to support an ...
Published: 04/11/18
Updated: 04/12/18

Thursday’s letters: Focus on offender, not weapon

Use data to curb gun deaths | April 8, commentaryFocus on offenders, not weaponsThis article tiptoes around the issue: human violence. The authors point out that automobile manufactures were pressured by regulation and law to make automobile coll...
Published: 04/11/18

Wednesday’s letters: One county’s water affects us all

Sprawl seems a concern until Tampa land use lawyer appears | April 9Water impactsspan county linesThough I live in Pinellas County, I have followed the discussion on land use decisions made by Hillsborough County. Hillsborough’s decisions, perhap...
Published: 04/10/18