1. Archive


To our friends in the Tampa and St. Petersburg area:

When Holly and I moved to this wonderful community nearly two years ago, you welcomed us with open arms.

Every day since then, I've been reminded of why our men and women in uniform and their families ask to come to Tampa - and why so many choose to stay. Your support and care for our troopers, coalition partners and our families are second to none. On behalf of all of them, thank you!

As I deploy for the mission in Afghanistan, I want you to know that although Holly and I are leaving this area, the wonderful memories of our time here will never leave us. This is, indeed, a special part of our great country.

Holly and I thank you for your hospitality and friendship and for making our stay in the Tampa/St. Pete area a delightful and meaningful experience. And we thank you for making our troopers and their families feel such welcome members in the community.

David H. Petraeus, general, U.S. Army, U.S. Central Command, MacDillAir Force Base, Tampa

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Too many guns endanger officers

July 2, letter

The real problem is too many criminals

It seems to always be the same old argument: too many guns, too many guns. We have more than 90 million legal gun owners in the United States who do not commit crimes, do support our law enforcement officers, and who will protect you if need be.

We have too many criminals with guns and too many liberal judges more than willing to put the career lawbreaker back on the street because "he had a bad childhood, he was turning his life around, prisons are overcrowded."

Why do you think the applications for concealed weapons permits went through the roof in the last two years? We, the law-abiding, are concerned. I will not be a victim. The only person who will ever know that I am armed is the one who threatens me or my immediate companions and any law enforcement officer who asks me. Guns don't kill people, criminals do.

Sam Daniel, Yankeetown

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Too many guns endanger officers

July 2, letter

Laws don't stop criminals

This letter shows an enormous naivete. Making guns illegal will not stop officers from being shot by a criminal. The man accused of killing these two policeman was a felon, someone who is already banned from owning a handgun! A person intent on breaking the law will not be stopped by a law.

But if the letter writer had her way, law-abiding citizens would be prevented from protecting themselves from those who break the law.

Nancy Foster, Clearwater

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Too many guns endanger officers

July 2, letter

Don't blame the weapon

The letter writer wants to indict the legislators who oppose gun control. Their crime? The murder of two Tampa police officers.

What? Perhaps we should just indict suspect Dontae Morris. And as far as gun control goes, Morris was a felon illegally possessing a weapon. There is no gun control law that would have prevented this career criminal from getting a gun.

The letter writer's gun control rant is just another "blame the tool, not the person" complaint. By saying that, she gives the gunman a pass for making the horrible choice to shoot two law enforcement officers. I think that the "person" with the gun should bear the full weight of that choice and its consequences.

Stephen Fenske, Seffner

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Too many guns endanger officers

July 2, letter

For self-defense

The problem isn't the availability of guns, it's the lack of jail time for those who commit gun offenses.

Studies have shown states with concealed carry laws (gasp!) have a lower crime rate than those without. Read professor John Lott's book More Guns, Less Crime.

Let's face it: Bad people are going to be with us forever. They will harm you with a sharpened screwdriver or whatever else is available.

Enforcing the laws already on the books, and jailing repeat offenders will help keep us safe.

Our Constitution has provided a way for the citizen to protect himself or herself: the Second Amendment! What a glorious concept!

Randy Perry, Holiday

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Drop the small-town thinking - June 25, editorial

Rays play the money game

What has happened to contractual obligations? How was a stadium built, no doubt with league input, to standards now claimed to have been obsolete so soon after construction?

Cities all over the nation have been held hostage by professional sports organizations, paying high salaries to players and making plenty of money for owners. Many events are beyond family budgets after tickets, parking, programs and a light meal.

Good for St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster for holding his ground. It's about time a halt was called to abuse of cities and their taxpayers, in addition to pitting Tampa and St. Petersburg against one another. Municipalities are economically in dire shape without wasting money on another legal fiasco. The cities and taxpayers are being played big time.

Robyn Dalton, Largo

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Put the team in Tampa

I get a chuckle from the attempt at clever letter writing from readers trying to make a point mostly about the Rays recent message that they need a new stadium to remain in our area.

My family attends about 10-15 games a year, and I recently visited Atlanta for the series against the Braves. I must tell you there were thousands, yes thousands of people wearing Rays gear. Most must live in Tampa. There is great support for this team in our area.

St. Petersburg and Pinellas County have had their chance and blown it. How can you bemoan the team wanting to draw more than 15,000 on a Wednesday night against the first place team in the National League West? While I was in Atlanta, more than 33,000 attended the game each night. That's what the Rays need to remain competitive.

The ownership did their part, now we have to do ours. They would be crazy to build another stadium in Pinellas and would get the same results. Let's build this stadium in downtown Tampa where it belongs.

And rather than crying about the team begging for your support, go to a game!

Robert Bruns, Valrico