1. Opinion

Protect Florida’s coasts from oil spills | Wednesday’s letters

Here are the letters to the editor readers wrote Wednesday.
In June 2010, crews worked to clean up oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill that washed ashore at Pensacola Beach, a reminder of the dangers of offshore drilling.
Published Sep. 10

Protecting our waters from spills

A Brown Pelican tries to raise its wings as it sits on the beach at East Grand Terre Island along the Louisiana coast after being drenched in oil from the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in June 2010.

As small business owners along the beautiful Gulf of Mexico, we understand the importance of protecting Florida’s coastline and economy from the dangers of offshore drilling. While not a drop of oil washed up on our beaches in St. Petersburg, we were still impacted economically from the horrific BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

We are appalled that the Trump administration is trying to auction off our coastal waters and public lands to oil and gas developers. But we’re hopeful that the U.S. House of Representatives can stave that off. Two bills are up before the House this week. One, sponsored by Rep. Francis Rooney, R-Naples, would permanently extend the moratorium on leasing in the Eastern Gulf, and a second, sponsored by Rep. Joe Cunningham, D-S.C., would prevent the Department of the Interior from including drilling off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts in its five-year federal leasing plan.

These two critical bills will protect our tourism, recreation, construction and fishing sectors and the $31 billion state economy and nearly half a million jobs they support. And they’ll support local, family-owned businesses like ours.

Mary Ann and Gary Renfrow, St. Pete Beach

The writers co-own Alden Suites in St. Pete Beach.

Neighbors help neighbors

Homes lay in ruins one week after Hurricane Dorian hit The Mudd neighborhood, in the Marsh Harbor area of Abaco, Bahamas, Monday, Sept. 9, 2019. [FERNANDO LLANO | AP]

DeSantis: Bahamas aid is a job for feds | Sept. 10

Our neighbor is in trouble. Our neighbor just got hit with the deadliest event to ever hit our neighborhood. Our neighbor has no roof over her head. Our neighbor has little to no fresh water or food. Our neighbor was beaten up and injured and left on our doorstep. Our neighbor has the strong smell of death in his yard and more to come.

Do you ask our neighbor for his ID before you give him a sip of water or a morsel of food or a dry roof over his head? Do you stand back and say, It’s not my job, it’s the government’s job to help my neighbor?

What do you think our neighbor would do for us in a similar situation? What would any true neighbor do for you? Our neighbor is the Bahamas.

Peter Barton, St. Petersburg

They’ll never give up

President Donald Trump. [CAROLYN KASTER | AP]

Trump calls off secret meeting with Taliban, Afghan leaders | Sept. 8

Regarding President Donald Trump’s canceled meeting with the Taliban, and his question about “How many more decades are they willing to fight?” They are willing to fight forever, or as long as a foreign power tries to occupy their country. The Soviets didn’t learn this lesson in the 1980s — and went home to defeat.

We are still there after almost 20 years, with no clear strategy for victory or definition of what victory would even look like. In the meantime, the body count continues to pile up.

Gregory Kuebler, Dunedin

The government and you

Handguns are displayed at the Smith & Wesson booth at the Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show in Las Vegas in this 2016 photo. [JOHN LOCHER | AP]

Gutless politicians won’t speak truth about guns | Column, Sept. 7

So the journal Preventive Medicine may say that “most mental health issues bear little association with gun violence.” It doesn’t matter. The government would do background checks for sleep apnea as long as they could get the names and addresses of where the guns are.

John Dorgan, Spring Hill


  1. David Straz Jr. passed away this week. JAMES BORCHUCK  |  Tampa Bay Times
    The retired banker will be remembered for the range of his philanthropy.
  2. Lucia Hermo, with megaphone, leads chants during a rally against HB 314, the near-total ban on abortion bill, outside of the Alabama State House on Tuesday. [Photo by Mickey Welsh of the Montgomery Advertiser via AP]
    Here’s what readers had to say in Wednesday’s letters to the editor
  3.  Bill Day --
  4. 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
    Even Oklahoma, a state not famous for progressive reform, has done more than Florida to fix sentencing inequities, Carl Hiaasen writes.
  5. In this photo from June 28, 2019, a Coalition for Life St. Louis member waves to a Planned Parenthood staff member. ROBERT COHEN  |  AP
    Florida law already requires that parents be notified prior to an abortion, writes senior policy counsel at the ACLU of Florida.
  6. Students say the Pledge of Allegiance as thousands gather at a candlelight vigil for several students killed in the Saugus High School shooting in Central Park, Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019, in Santa Clarita, Calif. CAROLYN COLE  |  AP
    We doctors treat diseases, but what of the epidemic of gun violence, writes a St. Petersburg doctor.
  7. Hillsborough Classroom Teachers Association members protest outside of the school board building in Tampa in December 2017. MONICA HERNDON  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Here’s what readers had to say in Tuesday’s letters to the editor.
  8. Muhammad Abdur-Rahim points out the location of what is believed to be a former African-American cemetery next to the parking lot of Frank Crum Staffing located at 100 S. Missouri Ave. in Clearwater.  The empty lot is part of the former Clearwater Heights neighborhood which featured Bethany CME church and Williams Elementary School.   Photo taken Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019.  JAMES BORCHUCK  |  Times
    Tampa Bay’s lost cemeteries are part of our collective history.
  9. A business man and woman holding a sign depicting their political party preference. SHARON DOMINICK  |
    Here’s what readers had to say in Monday’s letters to the editor.