The ferry isn’t transit
Cross Bay Ferry to run with discounted Pinellas subsidy | June 14
While the Tampa Bay Ferry is a pleasant ride for tourists or Tampa Bay Area residents, it does absolutely nothing to move us closer to a viable mass transit system in the region. Virtually nobody can rely on the ferry for transportation to work or to the airport. For an infrequent user, the ferry is a pleasant alternative to Interstate 275, just as the “Beach to ‘Burg” SunRunner bus will be merely a fancier version of the Central Avenue Trolley. When, if ever, will we develop a unified, practical mass transit system? The ferry is merely a diversion, one requiring endless public subsidies.
Stephen Phillips, St. Petersburg
Recall not end of story
The boiling over of America | Column, June 13
Columnist Peggy Noonan sees the recall of San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin as proof of a nationwide rebellion against progressive leadership in big cities due to rising crime and violence. With little evidence, Noonan suggests minority neighborhoods are fed up with progressives’ soft-on-crime policies. Yet most experts say increasing crime is more an outgrowth of the pandemic than lenient sentencing policies. Before 2020, crime had been decreasing for decades in most cities, including those under progressive leadership. While Boudin lost the recall by a 60-40 percent vote, another progressive prosecutor, Philadelphia’s Larry Krasner, won re-election last year with 65 percent of the vote in the Democratic primary, and over 70 percent in the general election. Krasner, the subject of the Peabody Award-winning documentary, “Philly D.A”, is one of a number of progressive district attorneys elected in recent years, including Hillsborough County’s Andrew Warren, who won re-election in 2020. Krasner ended cash bond for misdemeanor offenses and non-violent felonies, refused to pursue charges for marijuana possession and against sex workers. Those policies were not popular with police, but they were welcomed by a minority community devastated by hyper-aggressive policing and over-incarceration. It remains to be seen whether Boudin’s recall or Krasner and Warren’s re-elections most accurately forecast the future of progressive leadership in U.S. cities.
Mike Salinero, Lutz
Unerring Russian marketing
Russian McDonald’s open as Tasty-period | June 14
I love the new name for Russian McDonald’s stores, Tasty-period. I also read it translated as “Tasty — That’s It!”
It really sings. It’s so, so Russian, too. Basically, “Eat it, and keep your trap shut!”
Other finalists for the name included, “Food — Like it or lump it”; “Gruel — Eat it and be quiet!”; and “Vladdy’s — Clean your plate or else!” Near misses were “Cold Dumplings — What did you think they were, smart aleck?” and “Gulag Food — It’s not just for breakfast anymore!”
It’s marketing genius is what it is.
Steve Douglas, St. Petersburg
Show the photos
How the bipartisan gun deal in the Senate could affect Florida | June 15
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Politicians inflate, distort, or intentionally misuse words to con their voters. In Uvalde, Texas, 19 young children and two teachers were butchered with an assault rifle. The only answer to the problem of mass shootings is to keep assault rifles from the hands of the general public. They are designed to kill in wartime — period.
John Mellencamp was correct when he said on a recent MSNBC interview that the media needs to show graphic photos of the horrific damage assault rifles do to our children. Seeing those mangled little bodies just might energize voters to get rid of our political garbage.
James Stuart-Emery, Valrico
I agree ... for once
A veto adds pain to the abortion debate | June 12
As a registered Republican in Pinellas County, I rarely agree with most of your editorial content. However, your editorial on the governor’s vetoing of the $2 million allocation for reversible contraception was spot on. I believe that being proactive with potential pregnancy is by far the better choice. No matter which side of the abortion issue you stand on, I think most would agree that abortion is not the answer, if prevention is readily available. This especially applies to those who cannot readily access those services as easily as others. I’ve emailed our governor expressing my dismay over this veto. Thank you for bringing this issue to light.
Colleen E. Kantner, St. Petersburg
Homeowners’ insurance fix
Florida lawmakers pass insurance bills with $10,000 for home upgrades | May 25
In 1995, Florida created the Save Our Homes Assessment Cap for homesteaded properties. That amendment to the state constitution saved many Floridians from being taxed out of their homes. After receiving my new homeowners’ insurance policy with its 30% increase over last year, I believe it is time for a insurance fix much like the Save Our Homes tax cap. Many older homeowners are being force to either sell their homes and drastically downsize, which is a shame, or go without insurance, which is also bad. Our representatives in Tallahassee need to get their act together and fix this mess or reap the wrath of a lot of very upset homeowners this November.
Brian Walkowiak, St. Petersburg