Largo woman has housing voucher, but no place to call home | March 27 $500 million vision of Midtown Tampa | March 29
Shortage of affordable housing
Two front-page articles this week starkly contrast the availability of housing in Tampa Bay. The first detailed the inability of a disabled Section 8 voucher recipient to find housing and the lack of affordable housing in Pinellas County. The second reported on $500 million in new development in Tampa, to include luxury housing. Of that, none is earmarked for mixed-rate or affordable housing. So my question to the developers is: What is enough profit? Is wringing every penny from areas ó with infrastructure that taxpayers build and maintain ó so necessary that not even 1 percent of the housing units will be affordable?
There is a divide in this country between the well-off and middle-income or poor people. These exclusionary developments allow the occupants of the luxury units to ignore those in different circumstances. Beware. This is not good for the long-term anywhere, including Tampa Bay.
Cathy Haggerty, Largo
Put focus on driving safety
The many accolades raining down on the student protesters obscure a deadly statistical truth. Far more young people die as a result of accidents caused by cellphone activity while driving and from bullying-related suicide than shootings.
Students do not have to wait for a lengthy political process to put down their cellphones while driving and stand up to the social media bullying that is traumatizing their generation. Of course this will be much more of an inconvenience to their daily life than a trip to Washington.
The willingness to sacrifice is a great indicator of oneís real commitment to an issue or cause. How about a massive student-led protest for new cellphone laws and penalties while driving?
Gary Whitehurst, Riverview
Smart ideas for reducing car thefts | March 28, editorial
Not much of a deterrent
A meeting between the car owner and the thief will reduce thefts?
I canít imagine any car owner who would want to do this. It is conceivable that this may reduce the tendency to recommit, however it offers zero deterrent to others. In fact, it is the lack of meaningful consequences that encourages others.
Richard Lewis, Madeira Beach
Be vigilant, car owners
To keep your car a low-probability target for car theft, lock it up. Donít leave the engine running and walk away. Donít leave a window cracked open when parked. Donít leave a spare key hidden in your glove box. Be sure to remove the valet key from the pages of your operatorís manual.
When using your wireless remote lock, be sure it really locks your car. A nearby thief can block your wireless lock command using a hacking device. Make it difficult for a thief to steal your vehicle and theyíll most likely choose a softer target.
Bob Scher, Wimauma
Could a straw ban be near | March 28
Take action on plastic waste
While it may seem to some that banning plastic straws in St. Petersburg is an overreach by government, it is anything but. The statistic that 500 million straws are used daily in the United States underscores the need to take action to prevent many of these plastic products from going into the ocean and other waters.
Free market zealots will complain and continue to deny that government action is necessary when our livelihood is in peril. Plastic particles can wind up in the food chain and, along the way, hurt marine life. Restaurants and other purveyors have worked things out by asking customers if they need a straw. A decreased demand results, which then allows businesses to provide the more expensive biodegradable straws without increasing costs.
Rand Moorhead, St. Petersburg
The case for repealing the 2nd AmendmentMarch 29, commentary
It wonít be easy
John Paul Stevens might think that repealing the Second Amendment is a grand idea, but it wonít be easy.
There are two ways to do it. The first is by a constitutional amendment. That takes two-thirds of each chamber (290 in the House, 67 in the Senate), followed by ratification by three-fourths (38) of the states.
The second is by a convention of states, which is, essentially, a rewrite of the Constitution. The downside, at least to the politicians, is that such a convention would not be limited to repealing the Second Amendment. It could also impose term limits and require that politicians live under the same laws they make for the rest of us.
Good luck on both counts.
Kenneth Gilder, St. Petersburg
No taxpayer dollars
No taxpayer dollars should be used for any studies, stadium or efforts to bring baseball to Tampa. This is just another corporate entitlement whereby the government privatizes profit and nationalizes losses. Hillsborough County cannot fulfill its contractual obligations to our teachers, but the county commissioners can waste time and money on a game owned and operated by the rich.
Craig Lewis, Tampa
Judge: Mend felon voting | March 28
10 years vs. three days
Adam Putnam considers it fine that former felons can wait as long as 10 years to get back their voting rights. He also wants to allow people to buy guns even if their background checks are not complete. He thinks three days is long enough to wait to buy a gun, so the background check should be skipped. Ten years to vote and three days to buy a gun?
Georgie Bowser, New Port Richey