Castor orders mask use outdoors | Jan. 29
Tom Brady, mask up for us
When Tom Brady stepped on the snowy New England Patriots’ football field 20 years ago, I paid attention to the game for the first time after decades of ignorance. I watched every Patriots game that year and every one after. And so when he signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last March, I did two things: signed up for a Tampa Bay Times subscription and bought three Bucs masks.
I have been well served by these actions, but I am asking for more. I am asking for the Buccaneers — and especially Tom Brady — to honor those Bucs masks. Wear them when you post photos on Instagram or Twitter or perhaps in a dedicated public service announcement. Have your family post photos, too, because we are all watching now.
Wearing a mask is not always easy, though certainly not as hard as winning football games. The Bucs can do both in service to their fans. Nearly 11,000 new cases and 229 deaths were reported in Florida just on Friday. As much as I appreciate the winning Brady grin, I would prefer to see it protected by a mask, for the team’s sake and for all of ours.
Jane Bradley, Naples
How Tampa Bay can protect against sea level rise | Column, Jan. 25
How to stave off the rising sea
Sean Sullivan’s outline of the Tampa Bay Resiliency Council resiliency plan is commendable. The council should now take action to solve the problem, not just treat the effects of climate change. He encourages us to contact our local elected officials to let them know resiliency issues matter. I will do that. The council should now use its considerable influence and demand that Florida’s congressional delegation support federal policies to stop carbon dioxide emissions. They cause climate change. I favor a carbon tax on fossil fuels with all the collected money returned to citizens to offset higher energy costs while the U.S. economy transitions to clean energy. It is a quickly implemented and effective policy. It should get bipartisan support because it is a market-based solution and good for people.
Caitlin Crowley, St. Petersburg
Broadcast giant developed the art of the interview | Obituary, Jan. 24
Flying with Larry King
On Inauguration Day four years ago, my wife and I enjoyed the parade in a slight drizzle, with some disruptions before and after the event. We flew from Reagan National to Tampa International Airport that historical evening, departing Washington at 6 p.m.
In the boarding process, I was already seated when Larry King sat next to me with a quick hello. I helped him adjust his seat, and he was travelling lightly with just a carry-on and a thick book. Mr. King had worked the inauguration for two hours on the radio. He was ready to get out of town and see his boys.
We never stopped sharing stories all the way to Tampa. He was a gracious and great storyteller, and a superb listener, just like he was on television for so many years. He was genuinely interested in my Navy flying career, and asked detailed questions about landing planes on ships.
He spoke matter-of-factly of interviewing Jackie (Kennedy and Robinson) like it was yesterday. And Gen. Omar Bradley at the Hialeah Dog Track in Miami — and mostly about baseball and his enduring love for the Dodgers (Los Angeles was his favorite place to live because the games ended early). He never cracked his book open; said he always carried it in case of annoying seat mates.
When we deplaned, Mr. King insisted we meet his son, Larry Jr., whom he bragged about so much on the flight. After pleasantries, we all said good night. Fittingly, in that year’s World Series, I watched Mr. King in his suspenders behind home plate with a big smile. May he rest in peace.
Jeff Cathey, Tampa
A plan to turn Florida a new blue | Perspective, Jan. 24
I read with great interest this essay by Matt Barreto and Kevin Muñoz about the Florida Hispanic vote, and I largely agree with their diagnosis of the failures of the Democratic Party leading to the poor performance in the November election, and, above all, with their conclusions that “we must reimagine what it’s going to take to win Florida” and that “there is no time to waste for 2022.”
As a Cuban American, however, I think there is one key factor that is missing from their otherwise excellent analysis, and to which these two conclusions also apply: how to work with our community so we don’t again play the spoiler role in 2022 and beyond.
The issue of Cuba will inevitably come up, so Democrats can’t ignore it. While the authors are right that Democrats must lead with a clear economic message — also resonant with my community, who are heavily working class people as in Hialeah — we must also be forthright about the need for a policy toward Cuba that truly serves the interests of our community: a policy that permits family reunification — including a fully-functioning and staffed American embassy for immigration and visits — easy travel back and forth between the two countries, convenient and restriction-free ability to send remittances to our families on the island. There would also be significant gains for our adoptive country, and for 11 million Cubans on the island, from such a policy, which unfortunately are too numerous for me to try to address in this short space.
Manuel Gomez, Miami Beach
When actions belie the talk | Jan. 17
Not available for comment
Attorney General Ashley Moody’s office declined a request for her to be interviewed. Thus, she joins an undistinguished group, including (but not limited to) Sens. Rick Scott and Marco Rubio, Gov. Ron DeSantis and Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco. This represents a gross failure to stand before their constituents and be held accountable or at least explain their actions.
At least Nocco sent along a message telling everyone how the Tampa Bay Times is dead wrong and he knows best how to deal with the would-be criminals in his midst. The others mentioned above, it appears, have in their own minds achieved a similar infallibility previously accorded the Pope, and God.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt said the only thing we have to fear is fear itself, but who would have thought so many elected officials in Florida would be frightened to death of defending their (supposed) bedrock principles to those who pay their salaries?
Michael Henry, Bradenton