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On COVID-19, all the Florida Legislature will do is review? | Letters
Here’s what readers are saying in Thursday’s letters to the editor.
 Florida Senator Wilton Simpson, R- Trilby, watches the action on the first day of the session, 2020 in Tallahassee, 1/14/2020.
Florida Senator Wilton Simpson, R- Trilby, watches the action on the first day of the session, 2020 in Tallahassee, 1/14/2020. [ SCOTT KEELER | Times ]
Published Nov. 19, 2020

Leaders: Virus? It’s not our job | Nov. 18

All you can do is review?

It’s unbelievable that the new Florida Senate president feels the only thing the Legislature can do about COVID-19 is “review what has happened in the last eight months.” The state is looking at cutting budget items due to a $5.4 billion shortage over the next two years. People are out of work and businesses have closed — and all they can do is “review?”

The state counts on tourism for jobs and taxes. So my question to Gov. Ron DeSantis and state legislators is: Would you bring your family here to vacation? Or would you look at an all-inclusive resort on a small island where you’d have little, if any, interaction with the residents?

Don’t continue burying your heads in the sand. If nothing else, at least speak to ways to mitigate the spread.

Robert Spencer, Dunedin

Leaders: Virus? It’s not our job | Nov. 18

Lead or get out of the way

I just read where leaders of the Florida Legislature implied that dealing with COVID-19 wasn’t their job. Wow, what courage. I thought all of them preferred state control. I, for one, am teary-eyed. Do something to assist with this national emergency or get out of the way. Let President-elect Joe Biden and his team run with it, since you all are uninterested in this national issue.

Ross P. Alander, Tampa

Reports weigh toll road plans | Nov. 16

Toll roads to ruin

Thank you for shedding light on how the proposed toll roads — also known as the “Roads to Ruin” — can be stopped. Over the last 15 months, Floridians raised significant environmental concerns and repeatedly pointed to the lack of financial feasibility. However, the Florida Department of Transportation and its well-funded consultants have ignored the voices of taxpayers and continued to push forward their own agenda.

In the final reports, Florida Department of Transportation acknowledged having limited information on such basic things as the need for the projects. The report also indicates that the FDOT has to follow all the report recommendations only to the “maximum extent feasible.”

This is a bait-and-switch. Florida’s Legislature should eliminate the funding this session before we spend hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to tell us what we already know — that this special interest-fueled boondoggle will be a costly environmental disaster. We simply cannot risk jeopardizing Florida’s wildlife and waterways for a sprawling cluster of toll roads that we don’t need and cannot afford.

Sarah Gledhill, St. Petersburg

The writer is the Florida campaigner for the Center for Biological Diversity.

To be a guest at holiday fest, we test | Nov. 18

Thanksgiving Day side swap

Many of us will be cooking for a much smaller crowd than normal this Thanksgiving, making it a challenge to offer the rich variety of foods we are accustomed to having on this festive holiday. Here’s an idea to connect with neighbors while adding variety to your Thanksgiving meal: have a Thanksgiving side swap with your neighbors.

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Each family makes a large batch of their best side dish or dessert in advance and divides it up into multiple disposable aluminum pans. At a designated time on Thanksgiving, all neighbors meet briefly for a socially distanced exchange of side dishes. You could also have a short toast, prayer or other mutual expression of Thanksgiving gratitude and blessings. Then everyone returns home to enjoy the rich variety of sides and desserts provided by their neighbors. Later, you can all communicate by phone or social media to let each other know how much you enjoyed their food and swap recipes if desired.

Kristine Johnson, Dade City