Tuesday, February 20, 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:

House Bill 21Opioid proposal merits supportIn 2016, Florida recorded 952 heroin-related and 1,390 fentanyl-related deaths. Four in five new heroin users began by misusing prescription pain medications, also known as opioids. Despite the widespread op...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Hernando Letter to the Editor for Feb. 23

Re: Hernando business leaders push to loosen development rules | Feb. 9; Re: Deny Brooksville mine expansion, planning commissioners say | Feb. 16Wish to register my opposition to both the draft of the new Hernando County Comprehensive Plan that elim...
Published: 02/20/18

Tuesday’s letters: Making politics personal is one way toward reasonable gun control

The Parkland shootingMake gun politics personalAs an educator of 32 years, it encourages me to see our young people engaged after the horror at Stoneman Douglas High School. The tragedy at Parkland has awakened the sleeping giant that is the millenni...
Published: 02/19/18

Sunday’s letters: Congress must act on firearms

Deadly toll: 17 | Feb. 15Congress must act on firearmsIt’s time for Congress to be counted.The failure of Congress to act to: (1) limit access to assault rifles and (2) require meaningful background checks for all gun purchases is appalling.Surel...
Published: 02/17/18

Monday’s letters: Call it by its name: terrorism

Deadly toll: 17 | Feb. 15Call it whatit is: terrorismLet’s just call it what it is. It’s terrorism. No school in the country is immune. They all have procedures for sheltering in place or emergency evacuation from a shooter. It’s prudent to be pr...
Published: 02/16/18

Saturday’s letters: Payoff to porn star not front-page news?

Lawyer: I personally paid porn star | Feb. 14Where we’re at: This is 4A newsOnly under the Trump presidency does a story about the president’s lawyer paying off a porn star to cover up an affair with the president show up on page 4A. Never mind t...
Published: 02/16/18

Friday’s letters: Water quality too important to gamble on

State to update water rules | Feb. 10Don’t gamble with water safetyI wondered whether this front-page article was an early April Fool’s joke. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection "updated" its pollution regulations in 2016, with str...
Published: 02/15/18

Thursday’s letters: Bill protects pharmacy customers

House Bill 351Bill protects pharmacy customersWe all need the protections provided in Florida House Bill 351 to ensure pharmacy benefit managers, or PBMs, are transparently operating with patients. Currently, PBMs are not regulated by the state and o...
Published: 02/14/18

Wednesday’s letters: The ocean is no place for amateurs

Youthful dream sinks in two days | Feb. 12Ocean is no place for amateursFirst of all, let me say I am sorry this couple lost their boat and I do applaud their adventurous spirit. However, I have spent over 20 years at sea and would like to commen...
Published: 02/13/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for Feb. 16

A vote against Pasco’s jail bond issueThere are two stories on the front page of the Feb. 9 Pasco Times that drew my attention.The top headline reports that the Pasco County commissioners are discussing submitting a $185 million bond issue to the vot...
Published: 02/13/18