Thursday's letters: Don't ignore promising candidate

Published May 27, 2015

Sanders vows to fix what ails America | May 27

Don't ignore promising candidate

Finally, there is a candidate for president with a platform of ideas that are truly in the best interest of the majority of Americans. We can only hope the Tampa Bay Times and its editorial board, mainstream media and the Democratic Party will not disregard Bernie Sanders the way they did Nan Rich in her run for governor.

Rich offered the most promise for the people of Florida. But the Times, other in-state media and the DNC all but ignored her candidacy under the assumption that she could not win due to a lack of funding and name recognition. Instead, they got behind a mediocre alternative who failed to excite voters and lost to a highly unpopular incumbent.

Sanders is light-years behind Hillary Clinton in funding and name recognition. But his ideas and priorities are just what this country needs. And we know he, unlike Clinton (as well as all of the Republican candidates), is not under the thumb of big money.

It is easy to conclude a little-known candidate with low poll numbers and a small campaign chest "cannot win," especially in a national election. But the power of social media has never been greater and can go a long way in neutralizing gaps in funding and name recognition. Plus, the electorate has never been more turned off by the corporate-run, big-money politics that have taken over this country.

The media and DNC alone cannot put Sanders in the White House, but by ignoring his candidacy, they can prevent any chance of him getting there.

Chip Thomas, Tampa

Sanders vows to fix what ails America May 27

More coverage on policy

I was disappointed that your article about Bernie Sanders announcing his candidacy was not on the front page.

I am an avid hockey fan, but the outcome of the Lightning game has far less impact on us than Sanders' candidacy. The next president will have a lasting effect on the nation and the world. The Republican hopefuls have all had space on the front page at one time or another.

Please increase your coverage of the policy positions, agreements and disagreements among the candidates. We need more substantive discussion and less reporting of the candidate's daily micro gains and losses in the polls.

Guy Hancock, Largo

Rising sea levels require unified effort May 26, editorial

Florida's future at stake

In many ways, the chaos of rapid climate change mirrors the nuclear threat of the 1960s. But we've kept our heads down and trusted leadership long enough. As our state "leaders" deny, the threat grows, and it will impact all of us.

Florida leads the nation with the most shoreline at risk. Studies have documented risks to shorelines, coastal mangrove migration, loss of tidal freshwater forests, decline in economic driver species like oysters and fish, and flood insurance rate hikes. Florida's future portends loss of property rights as the mean high tide line rises.

Perhaps the least understood and most menacing is the threat from below. Florida's porous limestone karst base is honeycombed with openings through which water flows. It gives us our iconic springs and rivers, but also provides sinkholes and the opportunity for saltwater intrusion from the coastal zone. Beneath our feet, saltwater moves in when freshwater levels drop or disappear. Sea walls provide little protection as water surges through coastal sand and man-made stormwater systems.

Some cities and counties have responded with a citizen-based task force approach, like Miami-Dade's Climate Advisory Task Force. In 2010, the Florida Oceans and Coastal Council completed a comprehensive study called "Climate Change and Sea-Level Rise in Florida — An Update of the Effects of Climate Change on Florida's Ocean & Coastal Resources." It's worth a read for all city, county and state planners, and for all of us who care about the future of Florida.

Cathy Harrelson, St. Petersburg

Ireland points the way forward May 26, editorial

Robinson set the tone

Early pioneers are soon forgotten: Mary Robinson, for example, the first female president of Ireland. Her two terms in office in the '90s helped usher that highly conservative and Catholic-dominated country into the 21st century.

Her campaign slogan was "Everyone Matters," and last week's vote by the Irish majority underscores the progressive direction she introduced to that county and to the world.

Ronn Ginn, St. Petersburg

Health act's subsidies hang on four words May 26

Electoral consequences

With the Supreme Court decision on allowing federal subsidies for health care just weeks away, it is understandable that Republicans are starting to feel uneasy about their effort to strip 8 million people of their health coverage, especially so close to the 2016 elections.

If the court decision does repeal subsidies, I hope it creates such a huge backlash that those responsible are swept out of office.

Deborah Green, Sun City Center