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Here’s why Florida is a Red State | Letters
Here’s what readers are saying in Sunday’s letters to the editor.
Supporters of then-President Donald Trump, from left, Barb Wiley, of Brooksville, Cindy Rhude, of Crossville, Tenn., Jean Jackson, of Stuart, and Shari Raymond, of Williston, settle into outdoor seating at The Villages Polo Club, a master-planned age-restricted community in Sumter County, Florida, before the arrival of President Donald Trump who was visiting for a Make America Great Again rally on Friday, Oct. 23, 2020. The visit by the president kicks off one more sweep through the Sunshine State ahead of the election.
Supporters of then-President Donald Trump, from left, Barb Wiley, of Brooksville, Cindy Rhude, of Crossville, Tenn., Jean Jackson, of Stuart, and Shari Raymond, of Williston, settle into outdoor seating at The Villages Polo Club, a master-planned age-restricted community in Sumter County, Florida, before the arrival of President Donald Trump who was visiting for a Make America Great Again rally on Friday, Oct. 23, 2020. The visit by the president kicks off one more sweep through the Sunshine State ahead of the election. [ DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times ]
Published Jun. 20

How snowbirds vote

Why Florida is a Red State | Perspective, June 13

I enjoyed David Byler’s Perspective article on the Red State trending of Florida. But nowhere does he delve into the make-up of the Republicans moving into Florida’s smaller cities. It seems safe to assume that most new residents from the north are here to escape the state income tax in their home state. The demographic of a person who can keep a home in the northlands and buy or long-term lease a residence in Florida likely heavily tilts to a Republican demographic. They establish an address in Florida, get in line and exchange their driver’s licenses (no test required, thank you) and register to vote. Florida has no follow-up on how long they are actually here, but these snowbirds are usually here in November to vote.

Gene Armentrout, St. Petersburg

How to keep the Rays

On keeping the Rays in Tampa Bay, I am not the roadblock to progress | Rick Kriseman column, June 17

The city of St. Petersburg, Pinellas County and the Florida Legislature all committed millions of dollars to build a baseball stadium in St. Petersburg in order to acquire a Major League Baseball team. Now our region is the home of one of the best teams in baseball, so why can’t all of our elected city leaders work together along with the Rays organization to agree upon a plan to build and mutually fund a new contemporary stadium somewhere on the existing city-owned 86 acre Tropicana Field site? The Trop site is already part of the city’s Intown Redevelopment Plan and the plan’s related tax-increment financing district that uses a portion of taxes paid by the private sector to enhance the city’s Intown Redevelopment Plan area. Such a plan should be mutually agreed upon by the mayor and the City Council, the Pinellas County Commissioners and the Tampa Bay Rays. All three parties should contribute to financing for a new Rays stadium, and there could still be an adequate amount of additional land on the 86-acre site to incorporate private sector development projects that would help to offset city expenses associated with such a project. Let’s set politics aside and protect this valuable economic development asset that tax payers have previously paid for to acquire and retain our MLB team that the city, county and the private sector have previously worked so hard to acquire.

Rick Mussett, St. Petersburg

The writer is a former St. Petersburg employee who was significantly involved with the city’s effort to acquire a Major League Baseball team.

News isn’t free

We need the Times | Letter, June 15

I have noticed a trend in that my anti-establishment friends and family are also those who no longer subscribe to a newspaper, and apparently rely on free media sites. Understandably, subscriptions to a daily newspaper have unfortunately become a financial burden to many people. Many of such who have dropped the daily paper claim that a newspaper is all propaganda. But in reality, many of these professional news organizations investigate all sides of the story and present credible commentary (albeit not 100% of the time due to mistakes and their own misinformation, and there are many news services, newsprint and television, that outright admit to having an political agenda). Meantime, many free on-line sites can spread misinformation that is causing separation of family members, close friends, workmates and more, including the Capitol Hill incident. I have been labeled as an “F-wording Fact Checker,” and that saddens me, since what is wrong in researching the real facts and presenting the entire and factual story? That’s what my newspaper, the Tampa Bay Times, appears to strive for.

Kurt Klotz, Largo

Backed by facts

We Catholics want to protect women’s health and unborn children | Column, June 11

The column by Sabrina Burton Schultz claims it “isn’t a fact” that “contraception cuts down on abortion. … It’s a talking point.” Ms. Schultz asks us to accept either of two improbable assertions: that contraception does not reduce unplanned pregnancies, or that abortions are not influenced by the rate of unplanned pregnancies. However, the published scientific literature provides ample evidence supporting contraception use as an effective way to reduce unplanned pregnancies and abortion, especially long-acting reversible contraception (LARC), the funding for which Gov. Ron DeSantis recently vetoed. For example, a study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology concluded that the “use of contraception, particularly long-acting reversible contraceptives, considerably reduced repeated teenage pregnancy risk.” Findings from the Contraceptive CHOICE Project, which sought to remove barriers to contraception in more than 9,000 women, published in the Journal of Women’s Health, reported “substantial reductions in teen pregnancy, birth, and abortion.” The abortion rate among teens in their program was one-fourth the national rate (9.7 versus 41.5 per 1,000). The assertion that contraception reduces abortion is indeed a talking point, but with scientific evidence to back it up.

William Sacco, St. Petersburg

Show that we’re pro-life

We Catholics want to protect women’s health and unborn children | Column, June 11

Thank you for printing Sabrina Burton Schultz’s guest column telling the other side of the pro-life solution regarding the Catholic Church’s and Gov. Ron DeSantis’ advocacy about protecting the health of all women, particularly those who are already disadvantaged — and their unborn children. Facts are facts, and talking points are only talking points. One truth I try to share and to live by is: Please don’t tell others that you love them. Show them!

Dale Kimball, Wesley Chapel