1. Letters to the Editor

Saturday's letters: No alimony for the able-bodied

Alimony bill goes too far | April 25, editorial

No alimony for the able-bodied

I was shocked, to say the least, at the editorial I read regarding alimony reform. It stated that reform would somehow be detrimental to children. How can this be true?

Men and women have been subjugated to servitude under the current alimony laws, even though they pay what the courts deem in child support.

Child support takes care of the needs of the children. Alimony is an altogether different issue. I'm a woman, and I raised a daughter in the '70s and '80s with neither child support nor alimony. My daughter is in a well-paying job with the Pinellas County School Board and has two kids of her own.

Alimony should be granted to women or men who are incapable of supporting themselves, not to able-bodied people whose marriages fail. No one should get a free ride for the rest of their lives with permanent alimony!

Boniface Gaeta, St. Petersburg

House sends contentious alimony overhaul to governor | April 20

Men benefit for life

The antihousewife men and pseudofeminist women in the Legislature attempt to force their retroactive alimony overhaul on all Floridians under the cloak of equality. Democratic Rep. Katie Edwards claims the overhaul would put men and women on equal footing.

By and large, this overhaul bill allows men to stop paying alimony after they retire. I wonder if these politicians — who seem to be suffering from the illusion of being up to date — have experienced time in the real world where a man still doesn't make it to general or president without the "right kind" of wife.

Men who have been fortunate to have a wife devote her working years to helping with the advancement of his career benefit from the woman's sacrifices for life, and her past work continues to contribute to his support long after the divorce, even into his retirement.

If politicians succeed in taking alimony from the wives who devoted as much as 20 to 30 years in helping a man in his business or career and let him hand the money to a new wife — who had nothing to do with his success — it's not called equal footing; it's called stealing.

Beverley J. Combs, St. Petersburg

The Bar's real motivation

Here is why Gov. Rick Scott should ignore the Divorce Vultures of the Family Law Section of the Florida Bar and sign the Alimony Reform bill.

The Florida Bar is motivated only by greed — not the best interests of the child or even those of the divorcing parents. In crafting and opposing legislation, the Bar's goal is simple: write family law to maximize judicial discretion in order to maximize litigation. The Bar wants to maximize litigation so that divorce lawyers can charge vast sums to pick the last remaining dollars off the bones of the formerly intact family.

I urge Florida citizens to wake up to this hypocrisy and ask Scott to sign the alimony bill that passed both chambers by more than a 2-1 margin.

Gordon E. Finley, professor of psychology emeritus, Florida International University, Miami

No cash for vet, she gets jailed | April 25

Jail? Now that's inhumane

Have we gone mad? Rapists and sexual predators are let loose daily, but poor Tammy Brown has been in jail for a month already .

If you know the Moon Lake area, you are aware that animals are abandoned there. Cats and dogs appear in your yard like weeds. I don't know what her situation was when she first got the dog. I do know that a vet demands cash at time of service. And I have seen people crying in the office because they cannot afford it.

Whatever the reason, a month behind bars is stupid.

Barbara Tourtelotte, St. Petersburg

Religion rules under review | April 24

Keep the faith — elsewhere

Children are born without a specific religion. Parents, families and religious establishments teach children their religions.

So we come to the idea that children should be allowed to deliver religious information to their fellow students on public school campuses. The assumptions here are of free exchange of ideas and children exercising their right to free speech. In reality, the children are carrying out their parents' values in a setting paid for by taxes. Allowing any religious information on public school campuses is providing aid to religion, which is counter to the Florida Constitution.

More important, children use religion in schools to bully other students. My granddaughter's boyfriend was incessantly harangued and taunted for dating a Catholic. His family was evangelical Christian. Two of my other grandchildren report being ostracized until they agreed to attend church with their "friends." This is the dark side of religion.

The Hillsborough County School Board should examine the role of religion in school bullying. I sincerely hope the board looks more globally and recognizes the impact of more religion on campuses.

Wesley M. Johnson, Tampa

For fairness in Web sales | April 24, editorial

Yes, but keep door open

Equalizing sales taxes between brick-and-mortar and online stores is the right thing to do. I hope that we move forward on this promptly, but with sunset provisions that require reauthorization and therefore rethinking based on results. The Internet goose, really, has just started laying.

Pat Byrne, Largo

The dice are loaded for Florida gambling April 23, Daniel Ruth column

Not what the people want

I do not always agree with Daniel Ruth, but this time he is right on the money! Emphasis on "money."

Any news about gambling brings to mind that some years ago the majority of Florida voters voted against expanding it. Since then, our illustrious politicians have bribed and sneaked it into our culture. Is it any wonder that they are held in such low esteem? It is such an insult for the leaders of this great state to spend our money doing what they want to further gambling interests.

They are not governing for the people; they are making choices to suit themselves. Shame on all of you.

June Gootee, Seffner