Floridians are ‘free’ to lose their homes | Letters
Here’s what readers are saying in Thursday’s letters to the editor.
The partial collapse of the Champlain Towers South condominium in Surfside killed 98 people.
The partial collapse of the Champlain Towers South condominium in Surfside killed 98 people. [ MIAMI HERALD | Miami Herald ]
Published Nov. 30, 2023

Help out Floridians

Seniors counter eviction threat with lawsuit | Nov. 27

The citizens of this state strike me as kind, responsible and careful not to live beyond their means. Since the Surfside condominium collapse (admittedly, a disaster waiting to happen), monthly condo homeowners association fees have risen dramatically. Special assessments in the thousands of dollars per year have also become more commonplace. Now this trend is spilling over into mobile home parks.

All the while, property and auto insurance rates are skyrocketing (even without any accidents or tickets, the insured are told that they must all pay for Florida’s “bad drivers” and for natural disasters on the horizon as well as those occurring in the past).

Our Republican elected officials offer our hardworking citizens little relief whatsoever in the wake of this economic shakedown. Instead, they shield big business insurance companies from liability, curtailing our ability to rightfully litigate, if justified.

During the pandemic, stimulus checks were issued by the federal government. For many, those were a lifeline to stay afloat. A similar program initiated by the governor’s office would make sense now, rather than preaching about “freedom,” which translates in this case to an invitation to leave the home that you can clearly no longer afford. I wish he would get a grip, and do the right thing, for once.

Georgie Ann Weatherby, St. Petersburg

Smartphones for safety

Schools should ban smartphones. Parents should help. | Washington Post editorial, Nov. 28

If we had the gun laws that Spain, Belgium and Norway have, I would say “no” to smartphones in schools. Until that happens, and unfortunately it will never happen in this country, I say yes to smartphones and school-age kids.

Vilma Douglass, Lutz

Quite a catch

He likes to teach, but there’s a catch | Nov. 26

Thank you for Tampa Bay Times education reporter Marlene Sokol’s lovely piece on Gunnar Greenwald, a USF football player who wants to be a teacher. Too often we read sad stories featuring athletes who get into trouble. And everyone knows that there is a huge teacher shortage. It seems that few young people want to join the ranks of this challenging and underappreciated, yet crucial, profession. This story addresses two concerning situations in a beautiful, positive way.

Kathy Betancourt, Tampa