Thursday, November 23, 2017
Letters To The Editor

Friday's letters: The costs of family breakdowns


Classrooms and Tallahassee ideology are worlds apart | July 9, editorial

The cost of family breakdowns

Your editorial correctly says that "educating these children (in the five struggling elementary schools) is hard." But I couldn't help but notice the link between this article and the one a few pages back (U.S. fertility rate reaches a record low) that stated that "69.7 percent of black babies and 52.5 percent of Hispanic (babies)" are born to single mothers.

The economic challenges of single moms, regardless of race, are well documented. On balance, these mothers earn significantly less, are less educated and are more challenged to provide appropriate and stable child care. I'm sure that many of the "overextended parents who work multiple jobs and unconventional hours to keep the electricity on and food on the table" are single mothers trying to beat very long odds. If we don't at least recognize the social cost of our changing family structure, it won't matter how much money we throw at the problem.

Scott Stolz, Tarpon Springs

Panther status in dispute | July 9

Put protection over profits

The genetics of the Florida panther is not the real issue. If the panthers have moved here, they are Florida residents like the rest of us. The deeper issue involves big money. Panther territory is prime potential fracking territory. Somewhere in the background, fracking money is very interested in lowering panther protection. Fracking permits will be easier to get if panther protection is lessened. The character of the animal or the quality of the environment are not the priorities of those who see Florida only as a place of potential profit.

Save the panther. They are real Floridians.

Bill Shaw, Brooksville

Health care

Simplify system and save

I'm a registered Republican, but I haven't lost my sanity. Anyone with the least amount of common sense knows that the only solution to rising health insurance costs is to extend Medicare to every American. We need to cut out every insurance company that we can and go to a single-payer system with negotiated drug prices. The richest country in the world cannot continue to allow health insurance moguls to pay themselves multimillions while fighting to deny the simplest health care to our people.

Carlton Bennett, St. Petersburg


Defense budget needs audit

I strongly urge U.S. Reps. Kathy Castor, Charlie Crist and Gus Bilarakis to support HR 3079, the Audit the Pentagon Act of 2017. Unlike every other Cabinet department, the Pentagon has never passed a basic audit of its finances. This bipartisan legislation, backed by over 30 co-sponsors on both sides of the aisle, promises to hold the Pentagon accountable for failing to track our taxpayer dollars and would cut the Pentagon's budget by 0.5 percent every year an audit is not completed. HR 3079 will ensure that we are able to efficiently and effectively support our military at home and abroad and eliminate waste of our taxpayer dollars.

Robin Kennedy, Tampa

District fights new law | July 6

Better message, plus results

It would not have been possible to enact HB 7069 without charter schools' positive narrative that champions their "superiority" over the supposedly "dysfunctional" public school system. Without a positive, proactive narrative of their own, public schools' only choice is to continue to react to legislative demands for money to support charters.

Are public schools at fault? Did they bring this on themselves? Possibly. Public education is lax in crafting a positive message or narrative that defines itself and, most critically, actually walking the walk that creates value for students, teachers, schools and society. Without a message backed up by results, public schools are in for more of the same. Proven school and district improvement initiatives are well known. Time to hit the books!

Joel W. Gingery, Holiday

President Trump

Six months later …

Well, Trump supporters, after six months of zero legislation, countless lies and his top people lawyering up because of those lies — how do you justify what he is doing to our nation? You still call this "great"?

Doug Hicks, Tampa

Combining facts, faith to oppose death penalty | July 11, commentary

Abolition is the answer

The Rev. Bob Schneider is correct in opposing the death penalty for many reasons. The process drags on and a life sentence would give family members more closure. Also, if I were a family member given the opportunity to speak during the penalty phase in court and stated that I want the death penalty invoked and then years later it happened, I would feel guilty that I had a small part in putting a human being to death.

To me one of the most important reasons to abolish the death penalty is that it is a proven fact that innocent people have been executed. For that reason alone, the death penalty should be abolished everywhere.

David Anderson, St. Petersburg


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