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It’s sunny side up for Tampa’s solar panels | Letters
Here’s what readers are saying in Tuesday’s letters to the editor.
Tampa Mayor Jane Castor speaks at the Resilient Tampa press event on May 27 at the Sulphur Springs Pool Complex in Tampa where Castor and the city’s sustainability and resilience officer unveiled a “road map” to the city's future. The 58-point plan seeks to address climate change, poverty, racism, affordable housing, transportation and employment opportunities for residents.
Tampa Mayor Jane Castor speaks at the Resilient Tampa press event on May 27 at the Sulphur Springs Pool Complex in Tampa where Castor and the city’s sustainability and resilience officer unveiled a “road map” to the city's future. The 58-point plan seeks to address climate change, poverty, racism, affordable housing, transportation and employment opportunities for residents. [ DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times ]
Published Jun. 1

Sunny side up

Plan is an outpour of goals for Tampa | May 28

The City of Tampa just released Resilient Tampa. It’s a bold roadmap promoting smart steps to help our neighborhoods thrive. Along with Mayor Jane Castor’s Climate Week proclamation and the launch of Florida’s Race to Zero, Tampa and Hillsborough County support Solar United Neighbors’ (SUN) Greater Tampa Solar Co-op. These projects are sunny news for Tampa Bay! As a graduate student studying sustainability and lifelong Tampa resident, I want to continue to preserve my hometown for generations to come. I believe nonprofits like SUN and campaigns like the Race to Zero and Resilient Roadmap are critical projects in getting Tampa running on renewable energy.

The Resilient Tampa Bay Roadmap seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by promoting the growth of renewable energy opportunities. This initiative has been announced in time to support SUN’s fifth co-op in Hillsborough County. SUN’s solar co-ops are grassroots campaigns that gather 50 to 100 neighbors who want to go solar and guide them through the process. They help homeowners save money by purchasing equipment in bulk and setting fair installer prices. By creating a network of non-profit experts and previous homeowners who have decided to go solar, the organization has demystified the process of going solar and shown that solar energy is for everyone.

So far, SUN has had four co-ops in Hillsborough and helped 104 homeowners go solar. Together these homeowners will offset 17.7 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions. As an individual, I felt like nothing I could do to help the environment was ever enough, but SUN’s co-op has shown me that there is an entire community of people who want to make a difference. Everyone can do their part to learn more about rooftop solar and see if it’s right for them. If you would like to learn more, visit solarunitedneighbors.org/tampa.

Bailey Brynjolfsson, Tampa

It’s her body

‘Pro-life’ should extend to the lives of pregnant women | Column, May 27

All these abortion laws appear to originate from men bent on preserving and passing on their genes. The idea that a woman, the one who actually carries the fetus, should have any input is ridiculous. Great. If the males are so insistent on preserving their rights, it is way past time that they are forced to take responsibility. If a woman wants an abortion, yet is denied one because of the law, the male involved in the pregnancy should become responsible for medical expenses and lost wages the woman incurs — and child support until the age of 18. Wonder how many men start to rethink their stand on forcing a woman to stay pregnant? It might even cause some men to start thinking about using birth control.

Elizabeth Belcher, Seffner

Always human

‘Pro-life’ should extend to the lives of pregnant women | Column, May 27

The author tries to make the point that a woman considering an abortion should weigh the value of her life versus that of the fetus. She gives an example of a woman and a fetus (or embryo or blastocyst) being dropped from a building. Which one would you save? My answer is “both.”

It is not an either/or choice. Both can be saved. A woman having an abortion is not losing her life. Later in the article she mentions that she is eight months’ pregnant and desires to be a mother. She knows that she has a developing human in her abdomen. So, let us ask columnist Monica Hesse this question: Was there any point in time from eight months, going back in time, that she was not carrying a human? Can she pick an exact day that an abortion would kill just a mass of tissue and not something that would develop into a human?

Suppose in her third month she was having a very bad emotional day and decided to abort. What would she actually be aborting? Obviously, a human. The terms blastocyst, embryo, fetus, baby, teenager, etc., are all stages of our development — all stages of our human life. There is not a point in time along that continuum in which we are not human. If she wishes to support abortion, then say what it is. It is the death of a human.

Yes, I am a male. I have never been pregnant. But I am a biologist who can identify life. If there is a point along the way from fertilization to death at 100 years old in which we are not human and can be killed, then please let me know.

Jon Ehringer, Seffner

Still hiding history

100 years after Tulsa Race Massacre, the damage remains | May 27

The Tulsa Race Massacre was covered up and suppressed until the 1990s. It was erased from the history books and newspapers for decades. Neither white nor Black residents talked about it. Whites didn’t talk because of guilt that relatives or friends had participated in the massacre. And Black residents were afraid for years, worried about reprisal. Supposedly the first-ever aerial attack on U.S. soil was in Tulsa with airplanes carrying turpentine-soaked balls that were dropped on the Black residents’ homes. Lost in the story was the fact the charges were dropped against Dick Rowland, the Black 19-year-old shoeshiner whose arrest led to the massacre. And today, in 2021, politicians right here in Florida are still trying to suppress some of this same history.

Neil Armstrong, Bradenton