A year in The Villages
This article had me laughing. My best friend moved to The Villages, and he lasted just a year. Walk around to their village squares and it feels to me as if you’re in “The Stepford Wives.” I went to dinner in a restaurant there during the pandemic and I asked a sweet lady why no one was wearing masks. Her answer told the whole story: Because our president says we don’t have to. After a year, my friend moved back to Tampa, away from the world of make believe.
Pat Obrien, Land O’ Lakes
Keeping rats at bay
In the owl tree, collateral victims | Nov. 27
What struck my heart while reading the front-page story on the deaths of the owls that ate the rats poisoned by people, was how blithely folks torturously kill creatures (using poison that causes them to slowly bleed to death over the course of days or, worse yet, glue traps), justifying it by calling them pests.
Beyond the too numerous to count references in both the Old and New Testaments, as well as the Quran, to God’s expectation that we will properly care for all his creatures (for those who are religious), no religious text is required to know in one’s heart that doing such a cruel thing to another being is simply wrong, particularly when other options can be found.
First, experts in the field of rat-centric pest control agree: a rat problem is often the result of a lack of cleanliness in the immediate environment. That means rubbish piled close to buildings, food not stored correctly (in rat-proof containers, such as galvanized cans with tight-fitting lids, including birdseed and grass seed), and garbage not disposed of properly, thus inviting rats to a dinner table. Stop inviting them to your home. Second, repellants are quite effective. Being safe is necessary; being cruel is not.
Terri Benincasa, Palm Harbor
Forging a new path
Former surgeon general faces his wife’s cancer and the ‘Trump Effect’ | Nov. 26
This was an excellent article for so many reasons. For one, it provided humane and personal insight into melanoma, a skin cancer that should be of significant concern to all Floridians due to our increased exposure to our brilliant sunshine. I join others in wishing Lacey Adams a full recovery from her latest bout of cancer. The article also talked about the drama of the “Trump Effect,” the lingering stigma of being associated with the former president. I recall well when Dr. Jerome Adams was designated to be surgeon general of the United States. I thought it was wonderful that someone actually qualified to do their job was joining the administration. But as with many others in the Trump Administration, his voice of intelligence, reason and honesty was overwhelmed by the con artist carnival atmosphere in the White House at that time. I respect Dr. Adams and wish him renewed respect and success. I believe he and other former Trumpers seeking rehabilitation can do themselves and the country a world of healing by acknowledging how they were duped, admit they were wrong and stand up to the lies and the “big lie” that continue to undermine our democracy.
Spend your days with Hayes
Subscribe to our free Stephinitely newsletter
You’re all signed up!
Want more of our free, weekly newsletters in your inbox? Let’s get started.Explore all your options
David L. Frishkorn, Tampa
A lot like Russia
Russia criminalizes ‘promoting’ LGBTQ relationships in new bill | Nov. 25
While reading the article on new LGBTQ laws in Russia, I was struck by how similar it sounded to our new Florida law, passed by Gov. Ron DeSantis and our Republican-majority Legislature. I couldn’t help replacing the word “Russia” with “Florida” in my mind. The governor, with his landslide victory, shows whom we in Florida want to rule. Is this what we have become?
Rosanne Manning, Hudson
One person, one vote
The National Popular Vote compact makes every ballot count | Column, Feb. 6
Our Constitution is outdated — the Electoral College part, that is. Whatever happened to “one person, one vote”? The presidential election should be decided by the popular vote.
Carl Bernard Dahl, Sun City Center