Tampa Bay lights the way
The Lightning have won the Stanley Cup, along with all our hearts | Column, July 8
To the residents of Tampa Bay and especially Tampa Bay Lightning hockey fans: As lifetime hockey fans, we watch virtually every National Hockey League playoff game. While we have no team of our own, we find a favorite. In your arena, when the singer of our national anthem stops singing and turns it over to you fans — wow! What an emotional statement to our country. For all the negative “stuff” we read and see every day, what a wonderful reminder that a vast majority of folk love and honor this wonderful country. Thank you, Tampa Bay fans. You are a beacon of light and hope!
Lee Johnson, Omaha, Neb.
Siphoning off money
Stop forcing Hillsborough kids to attend failing schools | Column, July 8
Chris Latvala’s column failed to mention that charter schools are siphoning money from our traditional public schools. This may be part of the problem with Hillsborough schools. Charter schools were sold to us by saying they would be independent of the public school system. That meant no funding other than the per student allotment. But as soon as they started, money was shifted from the traditional public schools to charter schools, for building and maintenance, among other things. Many of Florida’s schools are run by relatives of our legislators, which is a conflict of interest. Since charter schools are not subject to a school district’s policies, it is possible that students are not getting a comparable education. This is what I have heard from friends who have moved their children from charter to traditional public schools. Some parents may not be aware of this discrepancy.
Ann Jamieson, St. Petersburg
Save lives; get the jab
Delta variant rises in Florida | July 8
Americans who love our Constitution value individual rights and the protection the Constitution offers to limit the power of the state to usurp those rights. However, in times of national or regional emergencies, the government has a right and obligation to protect its citizens from harm. In times of war, that burden for government becomes painfully heavy. In weather emergencies we all hunker down or evacuate. In March 2020, President Donald Trump declared a national health care emergency and said that we are at a state of war against COVID-19. That war is not over yet! In fact, Florida is rising in new infections and deaths. Too many of my friends don’t want to be vaccinated. They believe that they have a constitutional right not be vaccinated, which is absolutely false. Thanks to medical science, in the 1950s and ’60s smallpox, polio and numerous childhood diseases were cured because nearly everyone got vaccinated. If you are a true patriot, you have an obligation and duty to be vaccinated. Let’s win the war against COVID-19. Please stop making vaccinations a political decision and join the war effort to save lives. More than 600,000 of our citizens have already died.
Harvey Budd, Gainesville
Stay with the stalwarts
Joe Biden needs a do over | Column, July 4
Columnist Jonah Goldberg argues for President Joe Biden to abandon the mandate of a 7 million vote winning margin to “form a more perfect union” via bold action once elected, and instead sit quietly in the corner until Donald Trump insurgents regain their popular vote-less “mandate” to take us back to 1870. He says of polling, “Moreover, (Nate) Cohn notes, ‘Biden lost ground among nearly every Democratic base constituency. Only his gains among moderate to conservative voting groups allowed him to prevail.’ ” In other words, “Ignore the multicultural sea of voters sick of Trumpy GOP racist incompetence and division who voted for Biden, and only give credit to that thin, white rind of disgusted GOP for Biden’s win.” Because, you see, if you do that, you have to move Biden’s focus to that small faction of white voters and their wants — very conservative, and too small for the moment. Such a subtle operator, that Goldberg. Ignore the 77 million stalwarts, and kowtow to the 7 million converts. Sure.
Steve Douglas, St. Petersburg