1. Opinion

Put up barriers to protect cyclists like my daughter’s fiance

Here’s what readers had to say in Friday’s letters to the editor.
Jacob "Jake" Weinert, 28, was killed on Nov. 12 when a pickup truck struck him from him behind while he was bicycling to work on U.S. 301 near Sligh Avenue in Tampa. [Courtesy Izabel Sgie]
Jacob "Jake" Weinert, 28, was killed on Nov. 12 when a pickup truck struck him from him behind while he was bicycling to work on U.S. 301 near Sligh Avenue in Tampa. [Courtesy Izabel Sgie]
Published Nov. 21

My daughter is devastated

Bicyclist killed in Tampa hit-run | Nov. 13

Last week, a young father lost his life on his early morning commute to work. Jacob “Jake” Weinert followed all the rules, riding in the bike lane. He biked one hour each way to provide a life for his young family — my daughter and my grandkids. Izzy, my 20-year-old daughter, is devastated. Her pain is the most awful thing a mother can see. The man who hit him ran and went about his day apparently only thinking he needed to paint his damaged hood. My daughter will be forever changed by this man’s choices. Florida, if you care, put barriers between the road and bike lanes. A lot of cyclists have died. How many lives could barriers save? I plead with officials to think on this. The sheer heartache my daughter is going through is devastating, and now she will struggle to support her babies. Hopefully, justice will be served for Izzy and her beautiful babies.

Teri Rizzo, Romeoville, Ill.

The heart of diplomacy

Sondland implicates White House | Nov. 21

U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland [JULIO CORTEZ | AP]

I served for more than 20 years as an intelligence officer and another 20 years supporting the Department of Defense. I read diplomatic messages regarding foreign governments. The heart of diplomacy is the so-called “quid pro quo.” The United States is willing to engage in certain concessions and support (spare parts, military aid, humanitarian aid, law enforcement support, etc.) in exchange for certain actions on behalf of another state. These could be human rights issues, military support issues, basing, status of forces agreements, corruption issues, sexual abuse or other issues of interest to U.S. policy. Policy is determined by the president. Policy is supported and implemented by inter-agency staffing and not made by the subjective interests of the inter-agency actors. This is a key point in determining whether the president’s actions with respect to Ukraine rise to the level of “high crimes and misdemeanors.” Investigating corruption is in the interests of U.S. national security. Proving that President Donald Trump was specifically targeting a rival is another point.

Greg Lauren, Tampa

The tyranny of California

Base election on popular vote | Letter, Nov. 20

Hillary Clinton [JACQUELYN MARTIN | AP]

I do not want the “left coast” to elect our president. Hillary Clinton had 2,868,691 more votes than President Donald Trump and won California by 4,269,978. The Electoral College prevents one state from having too much power. Trump won the electoral votes, 304 to 227. This shows that the voters in more states believed that Trump was the better candidate.

Daniel Ledet, Sun City Center

The naked truth isn’t pretty

The naked ‘genius’ | Column, Nov. 20

So the “naked” truths have been revealed. Our current president does not really care about Ukraine. And from past actions and comments, he does not care about desperate asylum seekers at our southern border nor our Kurdish allies who sacrificed their lives to defeat ISIS nor many of our nation’s minorities trying to improve their lot. And if those supporters who hoped he would bring them a new prosperity really looked hard at his actions, they too would realize that he really does not care about them. He is just playing on their hopes as a way to justify his own selfish ends as a would-be new emperor. No, his ugly nakedness is becoming obvious.

Donald R. Ruths, Brooksville


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