The will of the people
The April letter of the month
Editor’s note: The April letter of the month responded to a story headlined “Disney war hints at DeSantis as punisher.”
Reading about Gov. Ron DeSantis’ “war on Disney,” I see that one of his representatives said, “That’s an attempt to subvert the will of the people of Florida, and Gov. DeSantis will not stand for that.” I don’t believe that “the will of the people” has anything to do with this. He’s upset that he was outwitted. His petty foot-stomping temper tantrum and obsession over culture war issues while ignoring the pressing economic needs of Floridians shows how poorly suited he is for executive office. If he were truly so concerned about “the will of the people,” he wouldn’t have signed a six-week abortion ban that polls show the citizens of this state overwhelmingly oppose. If he cared about “the will of the people” he would be working on common sense gun reform supported, again, by a majority of citizens. He wouldn’t be destroying our state’s educational system or focusing on some nebulous “woke” threat. Nobody really cares about Disney or drag queens when they can’t insure their homes or afford a place to live.
Irene Ferris, Clearwater
Safer to travel
Guns do kill people | Letter, April 30
My husband and I enjoy world traveling. This summer we are going to Turkey. The first response most people have when they hear this is, “Is it safe there?’” Going to let you in on a secret, if you have not noticed, you can’t go to a movie, church, concert, grocery store, hospital, parade or anywhere really without having to realistically fear being shot by a maniac with an assault rifle. Now, Florida has passed permitless concealed carry. Great. Now many people who barely have the mentation to be able to dress themselves can carry concealed weapons without so much as one single class in firearm safety. Maybe a trip to Baghdad for peace and safety might be on the cards.
Helen Kirton, Lakeland
Fund this heart health program
Heart health program
As the board chair of our local American Heart Association, I applaud the association for efforts in pushing for $500,000 to fund the Florida Department of Health’s Heart Health Plus program, which provides blood pressure checks, self-monitoring, nutritional information, tobacco cessation resources and referrals to other chronic disease treatments. This critical program is administered through the Florida Department of Health and implemented through local health departments.
Currently, the Heart Health Plus program is available in only 15 county health departments — Calhoun, Citrus, Dixie, Gadsden, Gulf, Hendry, Jackson, Jefferson, Leon, Levy, Liberty, Madison, Putnam, Taylor and Union. Additional funding can help expand it to more counties, including Hillsborough and Pinellas. It can also establish a virtual platform to reach more Floridians.
It’s essential to invest state funding to grow and sustain it, and ultimately improve the health and well-being of Floridians. We urge Florida leadership, including Senate President Kathleen Passidomo, House Speaker Paul Renner and Gov. Ron DeSantis, to ensure this funding remains in the budget and receives the governor’s signature. Let’s work together to support the Heart Health Plus program and improve the health outcomes of Floridians.
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Kye Mitchell, St. Petersburg
Make Drew Street safer
Florida lawmakers seek to delay Clearwater’s Drew Street overhaul | April 30
State Sen. Ed Hooper says he is afraid of Drew Street becoming a parking lot with the proposed lane reduction, but is that the concern that should outweigh all others? The thousands of Clearwater residents who live just off Drew or traverse the street to go to work or school each day have to hope that they, their loved one or their child can safely get home by the end of the day. Shouldn’t those concerns carry more weight?
Traffic will certainly surpass levels we saw in 2019, and more residents and more tourists will visit the city and county in future years. But those realistic facts aren’t an argument to postpone or cancel fixing Drew Street. Rather, they should be arguments to advance the improvement project. The increase in traffic will only make Drew more dangerous for residents living nearby. Pedestrians and bicyclists trying to navigate across or along the stretch will have a higher risk of collision with a motor vehicle.
I encourage the senator to meet with residents, listen to their daily concerns and hopefully consider working to get the needed funding and support from the state. Residents shouldn’t have to add years of more fear in living near a deadly roadway due to inaction.
Michael Kramer, St. Petersburg
Stairway to memories
50 years ago in Tampa, a sold-out Led Zeppelin show beat the Beatles | May 4
Thanks for helping me to recall a great memory. I pulled out the scrapbook with my ticket stub from Saturday, May 5, 1973, along with the original clipping from the St. Petersburg Times. Thank you for the smile on my face.
Sonja Mitchell, San Antonio