Thursday, November 23, 2017
Letters To The Editor

Wednesday’s letters: Generosity makes all the difference


National Adoption Month

The difference generosity makes

As a football coach, I always had to be ready to overcome unexpected challenges. With injuries, crowd noise and especially weather, the game plan is always adjusting to overcome adversity.

Our state had to do the same thing in September when Hurricane Irma made landfall. Despite unprecedented damage across the state, Florida families rallied together. A natural disaster can easily bring out the worst in humanity. I am proud that our community chose generosity rather than selfishness. Potentially dark days were illuminated by the many incredible Floridians who opened their homes and provided safe havens for those who needed it most.

November is National Adoption Month, and I hope this spirit remains strong in our hearts. Just as many families leaned on neighbors’ hospitality for shelter in the wake of the hurricane, many children across Florida are waiting for someone to become their hero through foster care or adoption.

We know that children do better when they feel safe and loved. As adoptive and foster parents, my wife Lauren and I have witnessed the transformative effect of welcoming children into our own home.

I am always humbled when former players thank me years after I coached them. Usually they mention how grateful they were for an opportunity. Though the joy I gained from mentoring young people far outweighs what I can give.

The same is true in fostering and adoption. Being a dad is my best job and my family is the greatest team. If you believe every child deserves a safe, loving home, visit: http// or call 1-844-4FL-KIDS (1-844-435-5437) to learn how you can be a hero to a child.

Tony Dungy, Tampa

Phony service dogs pose real problems
Nov. 11

Licensing and etiquette

To avoid the "fake service dog" scam, all trainers/animal behaviorists should be licensed by the county. Congratulations to Hillsborough County for taking the lead. Upon the dog’s graduation, the dog owner should be given a certificate to obtain a license for official service dog registration. Licenses will be proof the dog is officially trained and not a scam.

Secondly, when a dog is in training, proper etiquette is mandatory. Dog lovers and children should refrain from running up to the dog or offering treats. If one would like to pet the dog, stand at a distance and ask the owner if it would be okay. Chances are yes, depending on the level of training the dog has achieved. It is a matter of respect for both the dog and the owner of the dog who are working diligently and paying a premium for the training.

Claudia McCorkle, Redington Beach

St. Petersburg mayor’s race

Partisanship has no place

I accept the fact that more Democrats than Republicans voted in the recent St. Petersburg mayoral election, but what truly depresses me is the divisive, partisan campaign run by our mayor.

I don’t know what anyone in D.C. knows or cares about our sewer system or Pier. The "them vs. us" rhetoric aimed at dividing us for purely political purposes is wrong.

The outside money (was it really $3 million?) will make it difficult for local future candidates to participate. I don’t know how we can tell our young people to be inclusive and to listen thoughtfully to varied opinions when we set such a terrible example.

The mayor and the council work for every citizen in this city. I hear the mayor now calling for unity, and I hope he is sincere, but it’s hard to believe anything will change after the example he has set.

Connie Kone, St. Petersburg

Tax plan

Teachers among the losers

The tax plan proposed by the House strips teachers of the educator expense deduction. Educators are eligible to deduct up to $250 per year to reimburse the cost of classroom supplies.

If Congress does not maintain this deduction, teachers will be compelled to furnish their own classrooms even more so than they already do.

Research indicates that teachers spend an average of $600 of their own money per school year on basic school supplies and classroom essentials. Is it not morally reprehensible for teachers, who are already underpaid and undervalued, to be expected to create a proper learning environment with their own money?

The attempt by the Republican Party to simplify the tax code for everyone will benefit the wealthy and hurt the working class.

Corporations will still be allowed to deduct business expenses, but we cannot afford to shell out a mere $250 to benefit students?

Gina Spano, Seminole

Corporations and tax

People who complain that the corporate tax rate is being lowered at the expense of the "little guy" or the middle class are not seeing the forest for the trees. Corporations don’t pay taxes; you the consumer do. The price of the product produced by the corporation already has the tax that will be owed worked into the price. This is a fairly basic economic tenet. So, go ahead and lower those corporate rates and get the billions of dollars these companies have parked overseas into our country.

Dave Mullan, Tampa

Houston built to invite a flood | Nov. 12

It will happen again

This article is right. Houston was designed to flood. All you have to do to verify this is go to Google Earth or Google Maps and scan over Houston. There are endless square miles of residential development without a retention pond, creek, gully or canal. It is as flat as a table. There is no place for water to go except down the streets and into homes. The good residents of Houston are paying the price of unregulated development and will pay again.

Pete Wilford, Holiday


Friday’s letters: Find private investors for a new stadium

Opening offer from Rays on stadium sounds too low | Nov. 17, editorialFind private investors for stadiumThe Rays "offered" to pay 18.75 percent of the costs? How outrageously presumptuous to say that they offered! Put another way, they demanded t...
Published: 11/21/17
Updated: 11/22/17

Thursday’s letters: Tax plan won’t help wages

Tax billThis won’t help stagnant wagesThe unfair tax proposal that cuts taxes for the rich and most powerful and cuts the ability of working people to claim any comparable deductions is no more than another greedy power grab by the rich and powerful....
Published: 11/20/17
Updated: 11/22/17

Wednesday’s letters: Breaking down health data

Don’t let news on blood pressure raise yours | Nov. 17, commentaryBreaking down health numbersThank you for publishing the timely commentary by Dr. H. Gilbert Welch on blood pressure. The point he makes about relative risks versus absolute risks ...
Published: 11/20/17
Updated: 11/21/17

Tuesday’s letters: Disgraceful tax proposals

Tax billDisgraceful, harmful proposalsThe very fact that the Congress of the people of the United States would propose, not to mention pass, the current tax bill is nothing short of disgraceful. What sort of representatives of the people support cutt...
Published: 11/20/17

Monday’s letters: Doctors should speak up on harassment

Sexual harassmentDoctors need to speak upThe recent widespread recognition, followed by disapproval, of sexual harassment across many workplaces signals a paradigm shift in social attitudes toward abuse of power that is long overdue.The male-dominate...
Published: 11/17/17

Saturday’s letters: Reservoir project off to a good start

Lake OkeechobeeReservoir project off to good startThis year, more than 70,000 Floridians contacted their legislators to support expediting a reservoir project south of Lake Okeechobee. Another 150 business people, anglers, health care professionals a...
Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/17/17

Sunday’s letters: Roundabout way to help the rich

Senate GOP’s tax plan to kill ACA mandate | Nov. 15Devious way to hurt middle classSo, let’s see if we have this straight. The proposed amendment to the Senate tax plan, to kill the individual mandate, will cause young people to not buy health in...
Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/17/17

Friday’s letters: Stop laying blame on teachers

Hillsborough teachers are set to protest | Nov. 14Stop laying blame on teachersI am a veteran teacher, coming up on 30 years of service to public education. My mother was also an educator, clocking over 40 years of service in public education. Sh...
Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/16/17

Pasco Letters to the Editor for Nov. 17

Questioning fees draws snarky responseYou are probably aware of the new Pasco utility fees that became effective last month.Under the dubious title of "convenience fee" for making utility payments by credit card or e-check, Pasco Utilities adds $2.75...
Published: 11/15/17

Dollars need to stay at home if south Brooksville is to survive

As a member of the Moton High School Class of 1967, I grew up a poor but very happy child because of the love given to me by all. So all I had to do was be a child and not rush to be an adult.There were many black businesses along a four-block area o...
Published: 11/14/17
Updated: 11/22/17