We’re not back to normal
The race to vaccinate in Florida | Editorial, April 27
I wish people would pay attention to your editorial, but I fear they will not. As a recent recipient of two shots, I feel more comfortable with minor risks, but I am still not going to crowded venues of any kind. No ball games, no concerts, no airline travel, no dining out in restaurants where mask-less morons are spewing who knows what variant of the virus. I will return when I feel safe, and that is not now. I don’t care what kind of “back to normal” order the governor issues.
I also wish people would quit thinking they have the right to be Typhoid Mary and freely contaminate innocent people. I have noticed more and more people not wearing masks as well as quite a few who are not wearing them properly. Those claiming we shouldn’t worry because the death rate is low, have a different definition than I do, but death is not the only issue. There are people who continue to suffer long after they are “over” the disease.
A recent study showed that 30 percent of those who had “recovered,” had heart issues they hadn’t previously had. Some have brain damage. Some have liver damage. Some have other damage. There is also the issue of the enormous, unnecessary waste of medical resources due to the lack of reasonable behavior. We will reach herd immunity at some point. If we let up it will take much longer and more people will have to die unnecessarily and suffer unnecessarily.
Joe Crites, Clearwater
An injection of capitalism
The race to vaccinate in Florida | Editorial, April 27
Do liberals really believe that we would have had two highly effective pandemic stopping vaccines developed in less than a year with efficacy rates of 95 percent without the highly competitive nature of private industry? Moderna and Pfizer are not federal agencies or public universities — they’re places where capitalism is at its best and where they have a great sense of urgency especially during times of crisis. Are liberals still scratching their heads wondering why the best vaccines didn’t come from socialist countries? This may come as a surprise to them, but capitalism will always outperform socialism and communism. When the best and fastest vaccines came from the private industry last December, it should have put an end to efforts by liberals to get Americans hooked on socialism or at least slowed it down. Everyone should be thanking God every day for living in a country where the engine of innovation is still fueled by capitalism.
Ben Furleigh, Port Charlotte
The easy way or the hard way
If I were a smart Republican, I would stop what are obvious racist tactics to protect white Christian voter choices and stop the obvious dog whistles. By 2047, it is predicted that minority populations will top white Anglo-Christian voters. That’s a fact. Whatever isolationist efforts are pushed by conservatives — Republican or Democrat (yes, Democrats too) — that train is on the track. Frantic efforts to hold back a growing minority population of voters may well destroy the Republican Party. Minority populations have a long memory for haters. The white population is at 60 percent and waning. Hispanic, Asian-American and African-American populations are on the rise. Rather than use a club against minorities, Republicans should shift the rhetoric to friendly invitations. They have very successfully, to date, sold their isolationist message but will that work in the long run? The long run is right around the corner. The way I see it racism will die, the easy way or the hard way.
Marc Yacht, Hudson
Time for priorities
Apparently, the Florida Legislature was so caught up with the important work of the state its members had time to pass a bill requiring school principals to institute a one- to two-minute moment of silence at the beginning of each day. Detailed rules are included. I don’t know if this is a good idea or not. That’s not the point. My outrage is that the members of the state Legislature are again poking their noses into areas that do not concern them, areas that are better handled by local school boards. This bill is the Legislature micromanaging at an alarmingly detailed level.
Jon Crawfurd, Gulfport
Let’s the city do the job
Don’t rush St. Petersburg marina plan | Editorial, April 28
If I understand, a developer will spend $30 million to repair and maintain our downtown St. Petersburg marina. In exchange, we will give them a 5-year lease, which we know will be extended again and again. If we don’t extend it, we have to pay the money back, effectively with interest. Why not just borrow the money from a proven source (for example, a bank or bond underwriter)? Our cherished waterfront is too important to St. Petersburg’s ethos to put control of a very visible portion of it into a developer’s hands. The city should borrow the money and do the work internally.
Hal Freedman, St. Petersburg
A vacuum of power
Afghan interpreters deserve our help | Letter, April 28
Removing the thousands of NATO troops in Afghanistan will surely put the people in that country in serious danger.
Tom Miller, Clearwater
A taxing wait
Two months have now passed since the Florida Supreme Court issued its long-awaited ruling on Hillsborough County’s 1 percent transportation sales tax that it found to be illegal because proceeds from the tax (totaling some $503 million) had to be allocated by the Hillsborough County Board of Commissioners and not via a citizens’ initiative. Instead of taking charge of the money’s allocation, the commissioners unwisely chose to refund the money to taxpayers, which prompted more legal action. Recently, the jurist presiding over the matter has declared that he would decide how the moneys will be refunded. And so Hillsborough residents as well as those from near and far who paid the tax expectantly await the product of the judge’s King Solomon-like wisdom in this case.
Fred Kalhammer, Sun City Center