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Is Florida’s Marco Rubio practicing for a 2024 presidential run? | Letters
Here’s what readers are saying in Wednesday’s letters to the editor.
Sen. Marco Rubio speaks during a 2018 rally for Ron DeSantis, who was running for governor.
Sen. Marco Rubio speaks during a 2018 rally for Ron DeSantis, who was running for governor. [ "TAILYR IRVINE | TIMES" ]
Published Dec. 30, 2020

Rubio practicing for 2024 run

FALSE: Rubio says Fauci lied about masks. Fauci didn’t | PolitiFact, Dec. 29

At one time I viewed Sen. Marco Rubio as a conscientious politician, someone willing to take the high ground even if it did not sit well with other powerful people. That’s long gone. PolitiFact points out the obvious, that he’s picking on specific words from Dr. Anthony Fauci’s statements, leaving the context and timing aside to craft a false narrative. The senator looks as if he’s trying out a new set of clothes for the 2024 presidential dance. They don’t fit well, and make him look amateurish, naïve and mean. I’m extremely disappointed.

Jon Crawfurd, Gulfport

Apprenticeships work

Tampa seeks to require apprenticeships on large city projects | Dec. 4

Tampa City Council’s proposed apprenticeship ordinance is a good investment in the local workforce. We have a major shortage of skilled workers entering construction, and we need to provide pathways to careers for those in our community. As a journeyman crane operator who graduated from a state-registered apprenticeship program for operating engineers in Florida, I know firsthand the value and importance of the training and education I received through my four-year apprenticeship. To perform my craft safely, this work requires experience and extensive knowledge. There are no short cuts, and my skill cannot be learned overnight.

As I progressed through apprenticeship, I worked at least 2,000 on-the-job hours under the supervision of journeyman-level operators in the field while also completing 144 classroom hours per year. This is what is required by law under Florida’s standards for apprenticeship, and these strict requirements are in place for a reason. My job, like all jobs in construction, can be dangerous. I can only feel safe knowing that everyone else on my jobsite has received the same training and education I have. Now that I am a certified operator earning a great living, I know that requiring state-registered apprentices on city projects is the safe and responsible way to train the next generation of Tampa residents who are looking to learn a lifelong skill. City council should feel proud knowing they are doing the right thing for the future of those in our community.

Chuck Floyd, Plant City

Where’s Gus?

House votes to override Trump’s veto of defense bill | Dec. 28

How does U.S. Rep Gus Bilirakis stand before the people he claims to champion and not vote on the override of the defense bill? How does he turn his back on the very people who stand to defend our nation? His actions seem to belie his claims of support for the military. We need to move to unity and cast aside the politics of division. Bilirakis claims he openly moves across party lines for the greater good. Given his lack of action, whose good did he serve when he did not vote to support the very people who defend us?

Torrey Craig, Tarpon Springs

Baseball at Derby Lane?

DiMaggio. The Babe. Brad Pitt. Derby Lane greyhound track hosted them all. | Dec. 24

Congratulations to the Winning family for 95 years of racing at the 130+ acre Derby Lane. It was a great run. Rather than convert the track to an Amazon warehouse which will clog the roads of an expanding community, what would happen if put a mixed-use ballpark community at Derby Lane? It’s a win-win.

The park will draw 20,000 people nightly with a great central location, particularly after the I-4/Selmon Expressway Connector in Tampa is complete. The project, with an air-flow fixed roof, can be done for $575 million — $275 million from the Rays, $150 million from the community, $125 million in naming rights, and $25 million from the state. Add a hotel and an entertainment district – bingo!

The time is now, the fans are ready. Let’s do it.

Rick Henry, St. Petersburg