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  1. Opinion

The Democratic debate simply helped Trump

Here’s what readers are saying in Friday’s letters to the editor
From left, Democratic presidential candidates, former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., participate in a Democratic presidential primary debate Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020, in Las Vegas, hosted by NBC News and MSNBC. (AP Photo/John Locher) [JOHN LOCHER | AP]

Not members of organized party

Debate night brawl: Mike Bloomberg, Bernie Sanders attacked by rivals | Feb. 20

Wednesday’s Democratic presidential debate was more of a juvenile food fight. There was a concerted effort to smear Michael Bloomberg. Why? Because he is rich. Apparently, there is no room in the Democratic Party for the rich. President Donald Trump, who unbelievably was barely mentioned, is well on his way to amassing a billion-dollar war chest for his reelection campaign. Which of these chuckleheads can possibly compete with that? Only Bloomberg can and can even significantly outspend Trump. And yet the Democrats on stage engaged in an unseemly brawl that only helped Trump. As Will Rogers once famously said, “I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat.”

Robin George Yates, St. Petersburg

Put stadium in Hillsborough

More fans at games may keep Rays in Tampa Bay | Feb. 20

Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Blake Snell signs autographs for fans during spring baseball practice in Port Charlotte, Fla. (Octavio Jones/Tampa Bay Times via AP) [OCTAVIO JONES | AP]

We are Tampa Bay Rays fans but cannot attend the games because of where they are located. It is nearly impossible to drive over the bridge at rush hour. The attendance would be doubled if the stadium were on the Hillsborough County side. Why give up on the idea of an Ybor City site? That would be perfect for fans in central Florida.

Chris Seghi, Valrico

Public money, public schools

State of the Union

President Donald Trump delivers his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020, as Vice President Mike Pence ad House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., listen. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) [PATRICK SEMANSKY | AP]

In President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address last month, he said, “For too long, countless American children have been trapped in failing government schools.” He later added, “Now, I call on the Congress to give 1 million American children the same opportunity Janiyah has just received. Pass the Education Freedom Scholarships and Opportunity Act — because no parent should be forced to send their child to a failing government school.” The obvious question is this: Why are our public schools failing and what can we do to make them successful? Siphoning off funds from already financially strapped public schools is not the solution, it is the problem.

Frances White, Valrico

A big win for developers

Florida moving ahead to take over federal wetlands permitting | Feb. 20

A pair of wood storks, left, and a large group of white ibis rest and feed in a wetland area off Loop Road in the Big Cypress National Preserve. Sixteen different species of wading birds live in the Everglades.

The plot by the state to take over wetland permitting has long been in the works at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and little can be done to stop it. Should groups like Earth Justice sue and lose, then under state law they may have to pay the legal costs incurred by the state. This is a huge victory for developers.

John Ennis, Hudson

Management, not density

Sewage spills

Treasure Island is densely populated, yet because of fastidious wastewater management, we have not had one drop of sewage spill. How come? Proactive, diligent care of our pipes and constant monitoring. During peak tourist season, I see our Vactor vacuum trucks parked roadside by manholes, workers doing what they know to do in order to prevent accidents before they occur. I am proud of our city wastewater management. Residents in other cities should ask what proactive maintenance and upgrades are being taken to prevent disasters like the ones we witness elsewhere. Our sewage pollution crisis is our responsibility to fix. It’s not about population density as much as it is about management.

Ginger Goepper, Treasure Island