1. Opinion

Let Hillsborough voters decide to tax themselves | Friday’s letters

Friday’s letters to the editor
Letters to the Editor Graphic [TARA MCCARTY  |  Tampa Bay Times]
Letters to the Editor Graphic [TARA MCCARTY | Tampa Bay Times]
Published Sep. 5, 2019
Updated Sep. 5, 2019

House brief opposes transit tax | Sept. 5

Let local voters tax themselves

While the Florida Legislature is busy trying to figure out how, why and where to build unwanted toll roads into the middle of nowhere, they have now also decided to play the hypocrisy card and prevent Hillsborough County from improving its own transportation needs. The Florida House of Representatives has filed a brief in support of a lawsuit to try to overturn the transportation tax that 57 percent of Hillsborough residents approved in November. A common platform position for Republicans is that they want self-governance and smaller government, and they want individuals to govern themselves. Yet, when Hillsborough residents voted to improve our transportation system, which is sub-par compared to almost every other major city in the United States when it comes to public transit, Republicans have intervened. Republicans seem to think that local Floridians cannot govern themselves. I call that “big government” and “government overreach.” Who is turning Florida into a “nanny state” now?

Ryan Cragun, Tampa

The toll of new corridors | Columns, Aug. 25

Paving the path less traveled

We don’t need more “roads to nowhere.” We have enough already. It would be interesting to compare the rosy predictions of usage and revenue that were touted to build the Suncoast Parkway with the reality of its usage, especially the section north of Brooksville. You could take a nap counting the vehicles exiting to get to U.S. 19 and not miss many. Dad used to say, “No matter what anybody says, it’s all about the money.” The main proponents of these projects seem to be road builders, internet providers and political empire builders, not exactly an unbiased contingent.

Walter (Buck) Fuller, Bushnell

Weapon registry price tag: $4 million | Sept. 5

Do something about guns

The course is set to continue a do-nothing policy on gun violence and mass murder. Same words. Same direction. Why would we assume anything but the same do-nothing result? With some exceptions, the perpetrators have been young white males armed with assault rifles who kill and then are killed by law enforcement. Let’s all agree the perpetrators suffered from mental illnesses. Let’s further agree that we must take steps to keep deadly weapons out of the hands of dangerous people.

The starting point is universal background checks, followed by national standards for “red flag” laws. Second Amendment rights remain intact. This may or may not have kept this latest atrocity from happening, but we can say at least we tried. At this point, we’re not even trying.

Jon Crawfurd, Gulfport

Global changes may impact hurricanes | Sept. 5

Let’s shift to solar power now

Global warming is real and unprecedented. Regardless of anyone’s belief, fossil fuels do play a significant role in this warming, It is criminal to ignore this by not drastically and immediately reducing use of these fuels. Solar and wind power are available and, in places like Florida, abundant. Many of us may not live to experience the personal miseries of a perishable species on a rapidly heating planet, but some of us have younger loved ones who will. What if people are mistaken in their reluctance to act?

Rodger Lewis, Crawfordville


  1. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis waves to members of the Florida Legislature during a joint session of lawmakers this week. [SCOTT KEELER  |  TAMPA BAY TIMES]
    Here’s what readers are saying in Saturday’s letters to the editor.
  2. Presiding Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts swears in members of the Senate for the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump at the U.S. Capitol in Washington. [AP]
    Here’s what readers are saying in Monday’s letters to the editor.
  3. Jomari DeLeon, is pictured at at Gadsden Correctional Facility in Quincy, Florida August 7, 2019. Jomari is three years into a 15-year sentence for drug trafficking. She sold 48 tablets of prescription tablets over two days to an undercover officer. [JOHN PENDYGRAFT   |  Times]
    Women, Hispanics and residents from smaller counties are disproportionately serving long drug sentences that are no longer in place.
  4. Thousands of trees line the Hillsborough River near Wilderness park in Hillsborough County in Tampa. [LUIS SANTANA  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    Many of Florida’s problems originate with that ‘motto,’ writes historian Gary Mormino.
  5. First meeting of U.S. Vice President Richard Nixon and Martin Luther King Jr. and their two wives — Patricia Nixon and Coretta Scott King — during Independence Day celebrations in Accra, Ghana, on March 6, 1957, on the tails of the end of the Montgomery, Ala., bus boycott. It was the first trip to Africa of all of them. [Photo by Griff Davis on assignment as U.S. Foreign Service Officer by U.S. Information Service (USIS). Copyright and courtesy of Griffith J. Davis Photographs & Archives.]
    Griff Davis’ daughter recounts how the photographer and Foreign Service officer captured a famous photo of King and Richard Nixon.
  6. Tampa Mayor Jane Castor and St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman speak at a summit held by the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council's Resiliency Coalition this month in St. Petersburg. [LANGSTON TAYLOR  |  Times staff]
    Tampa Mayor Jane Castor and St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman should lead an effort for robust regional transit.
  7. Vehicle traffic is seen along Bayshore Boulevard at a crosswalk at South Dakota Avenue in Tampa. Several intersections have pedestrian-activated beacons.
    A bill would end the confusion and save lives by making crosswalk signals red.
  8. A scientist studies DNA. [] [File photo]
    A bill before the Legislature would properly ban life insurers and others from profiting off your genetic information.
  9. Paula Dockery of Lakeland served in the Florida Legislature for 16 years. [Paula Dockery]
    Providing affordable health care, fixing state prisons and spending more on the environment should be priorities, the columnist writes.
  10.  [LISA BENSON  |  Lisa Benson -- Washington Post Writers Group]