1. Opinion

Ban offshore drilling from Florida’s coast

Here’s what readers had to say in Friday’s letters to the editor.
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.
Published Oct. 17
Updated Oct. 17

No offshore drilling in Florida

Save our shores from drilling | Letter, Oct. 12

Floridians know that our coastal communities are crucial for our state’s economy and recreational activities. For Latinos in Florida, the coasts are especially important as they provide a break from everyday life and are a vital part of our community’s well-being. But this livelihood is threatened by a changing climate and the possibility that the Trump administration will move forward with green-lighting drilling off Florida’s coasts.

I recently visited Washington, D.C., to tell my representatives that offshore drilling is a non-starter for Florida’s Latino communities. I discussed the glaring risks of this dangerous industry and how devastating an oil spill would be for the businesses along our coasts. Latino communities are often on the frontline of environmental degradation, but we are becoming more and more active in protecting our treasured environment, and our voices will not be ignored. We need action now to protect Florida’s environment from offshore drilling before it is too late.

If our elected leaders are listening to the interests of the communities they represent, they will hear our voice and unite behind blocking the expansion of offshore drilling and take the threat of climate change seriously.

Gonzalo Valdes, Tampa

Maybe this will work out

Trump’s Syria mess | Another voice, Oct. 16

We really need a scorecard to keep up with the Middle East these days. The enemy of my enemy is not necessarily my friend or ally in this case. While the Syrian forces may be protecting their northern border, I think to say they are fighting for the Kurds is a bit of a stretch. Are the Russians fighting for the Kurds? No, not really, and I really doubt they would attack Turkish forces. The hope is that it will result in a stalemate, cease-fire and maybe even a diplomatic solution. I wouldn’t say it’s a “brilliant” strategy, but it might just work.

The United States doesn’t belong in the Syrian civil wars or its ongoing border wars either. Keep in mind that these scrabbles have been going on for thousands of years. Had Hillary Clinton become president we would have been in a prolonged war with Syria and ISIS. We would be fighting there basically forever. President Donald Trump is right to get out and hope for the best. We’ve lost enough of our people fighting for someone else’s sand.

Hal Batey, St. Petersburg

If it were your daughter?

Trump’s Syria mess | Another voice, Oct. 16

I wonder if all those people who are bashing the president for pulling our tiny garrison away from the border in northern Syria before being overrun by several thousand Turkish troops would feel the same way if their son or daughter were stationed there. I think not.

John Waitman, Tarpon Springs

Too hasty to be brilliant

Trump’s Syria mess | Another voice, Oct. 16

If President Donald Trump’s evaluation of the problems in Syria is so ”strategically brilliant,” then why did the American troops have to destroy a huge portion of their equipment and weapons and are still having problems finding a safe route out of the area? Each day he spends in the White House decreases other nations’ respect for our opinions and decisions and reduces the future existence of the Republican Party.

John Hlivyak, Spring Hill


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