Thursday, May 24, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Wednesday's letters: Voting in Florida isn't difficult

Senators blast voting law | Jan. 28

Voting in Florida isn't difficult

What's the big deal on Florida's new voting law? When I first starting voting, there was no absentee voting or early voting, and everyone voted on the same day. We have come a long way since then. Why complain when there are still six to eight days of early voting, plus absentee voting, in addition to the actual voting day? That seems to be more than enough time to cast your ballot.

Also, why complain about people having to prove that they are qualified to vote? Provisional ballots are still an available means of voting where there are any questions on eligibility. Complaints about the voting law are just political hogwash.

Dayle Stevens, Largo

Senators blast voting law | Jan. 28

A silly Syria comparison

Sens. Bill Nelson and Dick Durbin found that the new voter rules in Florida mean the state is guilty of restricting voter access. Durbin went on to say that "there are people literally fighting and dying for the right to vote." In Florida, the law limits early voting to eight days, requires third-party groups to follow specific rules to register voters, and says voters must update their legal residence. How Durbin can compare that to Syria is beyond me.

William Cooper, Dunedin

Officials seek new abortion hurdles | Jan. 28

Don't limit women's rights

Our state politicians spend too much time shoving their beliefs and family values on the citizens of Florida. Reps. Mike Horner, Rachel Burgin and Daniel Davis would be better served spending their time and efforts on improving the state foster care system.

As for the doctors, another bill apparently expects them to become mind-readers as to why an abortion is wanted or needed. We already have a shortage of OB-GYNs, and this will make it worse.

The bill infringes on women's rights and family planning. That's not the legislators' job and not their business.

Annette Dearing, Clearwater

Government in bedroom

So Reps. Rachel Burgin, Scott Plakton and Daniel Davis are working hard to put more government restrictions on women's lives. And I will bet that in their campaigns they say they want to make government smaller — so it fits in our bedrooms.

I suspect that they all claim to be "pro-life," but are they working equally hard to make sure that all pregnant women have access to health care, good nutrition and environmental protections to help ensure that those fetuses they claim to want to "protect" have a decent chance of being born healthy? And are those representatives working equally hard to ensure that once every child is born, it has access to good health care, good nutrition, a good education, and a clean and healthy environment?

Pamela Muller, St. Petersburg

Drug treatment saves lives, money Jan. 27, letter

Incarceration has a role

I'm all for the treatment of addiction as opposed to lengthy incarceration terms. But the reality of addiction is that it causes destruction that reaches far beyond the individual health of the addict. Addicts rarely have a place to live of their own, jobs, and most importantly are incapable of caring for anyone or anything other than their addiction.

They wreak the most havoc, emotionally and financially, on the lives of anyone close to them: family, friends and especially their own children. For many addicts, incarceration is a necessary intervention; it's the only way they will stop using, and should not be eliminated.

Treatment and recovery programs in our local jails must be intensified instead of reduced. Addicts should be diverted from long-term prison sentences. But local incarceration is a crucial element for the safety of our communities.

M.A. Russell, St. Petersburg

Vacant homes

Squatters on the loose

An article in my recent homeowner's association newsletter was entitled, "The Stranger Next Door." My neighborhood, along with many others, is subject to staggering foreclosures/vacant properties. One day a truck pulled up to a vacant house, unloaded its cargo, and an unwanted guest moved in. When the owner discovered the intruder, he called police only to be told he had to go through an expensive, legal eviction process.

Now the homeowner's association is asking residents to report any house they think might be unoccupied so that arrangements can be made to have it monitored.

What has this got to do with eviction? This is unlawful trespass. Depending upon where property is located, laws prohibit entering without permission. Unlawful trespass can result in criminal charges or civil lawsuit for damages or injunction.

As long as epidemic homelessness abounds in Florida, abandoned, unoccupied and/or foreclosed homes will continue to be a threat in decent, law-abiding communities.

Sandy Jarrell, Tampa

Texting-driving ban has strong support Jan. 28

Ban phone use altogether

A ban on texting while driving is a move in the right direction, but it does not do enough. Cellphone use should be prohibited entirely while driving.

As a retired police officer, I have seen my share of dead and maimed bodies caused by cellphone usage while driving. In 2009 there were 5,500 people killed and 450,000 more injured by distracted drivers. Using a cellphone, even with a hands-free device, makes you twice as likely to have an accident than drunken driving.

I personally have been driven into twice by people using cellphones and as a pedestrian have actually been hit by a person pulling out of a parking lot while talking on a cellphone. Please write, call or email your legislators to insist this bill be passed.

Mark F. Vinette, Gulfport

Shifting liberties

Our Republican leaders say the no texting while driving bill is doomed because it is an infringement on personal liberty. It matters not how many people are injured or killed because of this practice.

How strange it is that these same Republican leaders think that making it more difficult to vote or to take away a woman's right to choose is not an infringement on these same liberties.

Richard Gurczinski, St. Petersburg


Wednesday’s letters: Thanks to jurors for fulfilling civic duty

May is Juror Appreciation MonthThanks, jurors, for your serviceTrial 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 litigants would ...
Updated: 5 hours ago

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

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