1. Opinion

I’m sorry we’re leaving the world in such sad shape

Here’s what readers had to say in Saturday’s letters to the editor.
This photo provided by Time magazine shows Greta Thunberg, who has been named Time’s youngest “person of the year” on Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019.   The media franchise said Wednesday on its website that Thunberg is being honored for work that transcends backgrounds and borders.  (Time via AP) [AP]
This photo provided by Time magazine shows Greta Thunberg, who has been named Time’s youngest “person of the year” on Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019. The media franchise said Wednesday on its website that Thunberg is being honored for work that transcends backgrounds and borders. (Time via AP) [AP]
Published Dec. 13, 2019

Next generation: Please do better

Climate crusader is Person of the Year | Dec. 12

When I was a young man, I was taught that we should strive to leave things better than we found them. Now, sufficiently into AARP years that the ephemeral nature of life has become personal, I have come to the realization that, as a generation, we have substantially failed. There have been positives and progress in some areas, to be sure. However, despite mounting evidence that our increasing impact on the natural world was not sustainable, we have continued under the illusion that somehow what is unsustainable could be maintained. We are now faced with global challenges, which unless aggressively addressed in the immediate future, will alter the path of humanity and the natural world. We have demanded the right to continue to maintain our lifestyles, knowing that the inevitable cost will be shouldered by future generations. The future we leave to those who follow will surely not be better, and in fact much more dire, than that which was left to us. “Success” has become equated with acquisition, consumption and GDP, no matter the cost to others or the world, so long as our comfort is ensured, and egos bolstered. So often the true costs of our actions are obscured or distant, allowing us to dismiss, rationalize, or ignore the terrible impacts to our fellow men and women and to living systems. Truly repulsive are those who knowingly disseminate misinformation so that they can increase their transitory wealth and power, with the understanding that the devastating and lasting costs will fall on those who follow. As the challenges we now face are global, isolationism only exacerbates the problems and lessens the potential that we might somehow meet those challenges. To the generations that follow, I can only offer a heartfelt apology, with the hope that your wisdom and humanity will mitigate the damages that have been wrought, so that you might succeed where we have failed.

Stephen Schultz, Safety Harbor

The writer is a professor at St. Petersburg College.

Welcome to a new citizen

Take a bow, maestro | Dec. 13

Florida Orchestra music director and conductor Michael Francis walks his five-year-old daughter Annabelle after receiving his certificate in becoming a U.S. citizen at the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services Office in Tampa. [OCTAVIO JONES | Times]

With all the negative news these days, it is refreshing to see a positive and wonderful story! Congratulations to Michael Francis, conductor of the Florida Orchestra, on becoming a U.S. citizen. I have seen Mr. Francis conduct many times. He is quite talented, bright and charming. He has a terrific sense of humor. It is with joy that he is welcomed into the clan we call Americans. To him and all the other people who became citizens recently, I welcome you. This country is home to many immigrants who have made this country great.

Marilyn Satinoff, Palm Harbor

Not feeling economic boost

The economy

President Donald Trump [EVAN VUCCI | AP]

I’ve been a licensed tile installer for the last 34 years in St. Petersburg. After the tax change, my accountant told me to have my payroll company take $215 more in withholding than I was previously. That means I have $215 less in take-home pay each paycheck. My refund this year was around $250, so I’m glad I did as she instructed. Most of my supplies and materials for work come from places like Italy and China and cost a lot more as a result of the tariff war. That means my business expenses are way up, yet my deductions are down. So I ask, how has the current administration under President Donald Trump made life better for self-employed working people like me? The president talks a good game, but I’m sure not feeling the love, and neither is my wallet.

Brian Walkowiak, St. Petersburg


  1. House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington. [AP]
    The core of Trump’s argument is a novel interpretation of the law: Whatever the president did, it’s not impeachable, writes Doyle McManus.
  2. A patient receives a flu shot.
    Here’s what readers are saying in Thursday’s letters to the editor
  3. Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg and President Donald Trump [Associated Press]
    Only a white man would think that someone in his mid-30s, with no experience running anything of any great consequence, would be qualified to be president, writes the columnist.
  4. Leonard Pitts [undefined]
    The most important verdict will be rendered by jurors not in the Senate, but in the court of public opinion, writes Leonard Pitts.
  5. Addison Davis, Clay County Superintendent, was chosen Tuesday as Hillsborough County's new schools superintendent [HCPS]
    Addison Davis will have an impact on the entire region.
  6. About 100 people gathered on Bayshore Boulevard in remembrance of George Gage, who was killed at Bayshore Boulevard and West Julia Street. [LUIS SANTANA  |  Times]
    Here’s what readers are saying in Wednesday’s letters to the editor
  7. The Trump National Doral clubhouse in Doral. [WILFREDO LEE  |  AP]
    National Republican leaders should make it known that they understand that Florida — with its 1,200-plus miles of valuable coastline — is ground zero for the growing and costly threat of sea-level...
  8. Justices of the Florida Supreme Court attend the opening session of the Florida Legislature in January. Left to Right: Chief Justice Charles T. Canady, Justice Ricky Polston, Justice Jorge Labarga, Justice Alan Lawson, and Justice Carlos G. Muniz.  (Two vacant justice positions need to be appointed by Gov. Ron DeSantis.) [SCOTT KEELER  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    It’s bad enough the court ignored voter intent on restoring felons’ voting rights. It also embraced the rigid approach of the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
  9. Health experts say that the people who benefit most from fluoridation are the poor, who often don't have access to the foods and dental health products they need to keep their teeth in good shape.
    A retired dentist reminds us of the value of having fluoridated the water systems.