‘Toll roads to nowhere’ are not the way to pave Florida’s future | Thursday’s letters
Thursday’s letters to the editor

New toll road plans extolled | Aug. 28

Don’t pave the way quite so quickly

Florida Transportation Secretary Kevin Thibault seems totally enthralled with the “toll roads to nowhere” concept even though three task forces have many meetings to come over the next year to explore pros and cons. During public comments at the first meeting in Tampa, the one Thibault kicked off with his declaration of total support, many speakers from environmental groups and just ordinary citizens made impassioned speeches with excellent points about the predictable negative impacts of these roads on Florida’s future. But it looks like the secretary has already decided his agency’s position and, just like Senate President Bill Galvano, is ready to railroad them through. When the boss of the agency that has the authority to say yea or nay kicks off the “careful consideration process” by announcing his unmitigated support, it’s not looking careful or objective but more like Florida political cronyism as usual.

Jane Sellick, Palmetto

Food insecurity

Publix donates $5 million

You can’t see hunger, but it is all around us. Forty million Americans — that’s 1 in 8 — are not getting enough to eat. And while hunger may not be easy to see, it does not discriminate.

Hunger is the third-grader with a growling stomach eyeing his classmate’s sandwich, the elderly woman rationing out a chicken into “just enough” portions and the single mom eating leftovers off her kids’ plates for dinner. Right here in Florida, 13.4 percent of the population, approximately 2.8 million people, are food insecure. They are your neighbors and coworkers.

According to Feeding America, 95 percent of the people served by food banks and pantries are not homeless; they are people struggling to keep up with their bills each month. Publix takes its responsibility to feed people — all people — seriously. On Wednesday, Publix Super Markets Charities committed another $5 million to food banks and other programs across the Southeast. That’s more than $22 million donated by Publix Charities over the last five years and in addition to the more than $86 million in goods donated through Publix’s Food for Sharing program since 2009. Publix is grateful to Feeding America member food banks, schools and other nonprofit organizations for their backpack programs, senior meal boxes, pantry staples and other programs. Hunger is real and it’s right here in our neighborhoods. Let’s educate ourselves about the needs and available resources in our communities.

Todd Jones, Lakeland

The writer is is CEO of Publix Super Markets, Inc.

The Second Amendment

Rights are inalienable

The government has no right to tell me where my inalienable rights start and end. My rights are mine and are not bestowed to me by any individual or governmental entity. They shall not be infringed. The government does not “allow” me to own a gun any more than they “allow” me to eat.

Eric Von Kaenel, St. Petersburg

Just apologize for slavery | Column, Aug. 16

Who really deserves reparations?

If reparations are going to be paid out, they should be paid to the American Indians living in deplorable conditions on reservations.

Lewis Stapp Jr., Spring Hill