With the effects of catastrophic climate change already being seen across Florida — building collapses, sinkholes, major flooding, toxic algae blooms, record heat, the list goes on and on — conserving and protecting our green spaces, coastlines and water is no longer optional. Destroying wildlife habitat, mature trees, native flora and fragile ecosystems in order to build apartment complexes in coastal high hazard areas subject to flooding is irresponsible and dangerous. I was happy to hear that the Planning and Zoning Board in Tarpon Springs recently recommended that Tarpon Springs deny the permits for the Morgan Group’s most recent application to build the Anclote Harbor apartment complex on a site that is well-known for its wetlands, threatened wildlife habitat and its vulnerability to storm surge and flooding. I hope the city commission in Tarpon Springs follows those recommendations and denies the permits during its October hearing.
Megan Colby, Dunedin
A fight against corruption
Dems appear inept as they debate spending | Editorial, Sept. 24
I felt compelled to write about the Tampa Bay Times Editorial Board’s buy-in of the corporate narrative of “the golden opportunity that liberal Democrats would waste.” The truth is that it is a battle against corruption. The corporate-owned members of Congress (from both parties) have been tasked to whittle down the most ambitious, and potentially consequential, legislation for the benefit of the American People since FDR. As long as Sen. Kyrsten Sinema lets Big Pharma shape her legislative stances, as long as Sen. Joe Manchin serves his fossil fuel overlords, we will never get anywhere “progressive.” May I remind everyone that the last time we had this opportunity to bolster democracy that works for every one, the Obama administration decided not to go big on behalf of the American people. Democrats lost and the American people got the authoritarian-based MAGA movement. How was that in any way progressive?
Elizabeth Gutierrez, Spring Hill
A vaccine card app
I wish the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would provide a “proof of vaccination” app for those interested in signing up. Having the so-called passport could allow responsible companies to require proof in an effort to protect employees and keep added expenses down. If individuals aren’t interested in signing up, fine — and if businesses don’t require proof, no problem. But, the process and choices make up the freedom of choice.
Darryl David, St. Petersburg
Kafka and unemployment
Florida unemployment site
Have you attempted to access the Florida unemployment online site of late? None of the telephone numbers answer, although you are told that “All agents are busy. Your call is very important to us. If you need assistance please go to MyFloridajobs.com.” Well, that is also useless as they direct you to call other numbers that are not answering. Up until a week ago, I have an account balance of $4,425 of unemployment insurance remaining from which I could get $275 a week. However, I logged in last week and my account was cancelled without explanation. Okay, so I will simply re-register. Impossible. To my knowledge, there is no way on God’s green Earth to reach anyone, get any help or file a claim. This appears to have our governor’s handwriting all over it. In all of my 55-plus years of working, I have never seen a more screwed up and mismanaged system. Am I frustrated? Take a guess.
Sheldon Rosenfeld, New Port Richey
What I’ve seen
Parents to ‘rule’ on masks | Sept. 23
Dr. Joseph Ladapo looks quite young, judging from his picture. Despite his medical education and training, I would bet that he has never seen a bad case of polio, measles or smallpox. I have. These awful diseases and many others have been essentially eradicated in this country through vaccination, quarantine and other measures, not through parental supervision.
Pete Wilford, Holiday
Bipartisan reluctance to rethink tax code endures | Dallas Morning News editorial, Sept.23
I read the guest editorial from the Dallas Morning News (which employed the late Molly Ivins, and was certainly not a friend to conservatives). Being a conservative, I was just flat out amazed to see that it was saying the same thing I’ve been saying for decades: That the reason the “rich” are able avoid taxes, is because it’s Congress that writes the tax laws.
Kenneth Gilder, St. Petersburg