Monday, November 20, 2017
Letters To The Editor

Thursday's letters: Risks of unbridled building


Letter of the Month

August's winning letter addressed freedom of speech.

Unpopular, offensive, protected

Defending free speech is hard. It means that speech and actions that are offensive and hateful are protected. From the speech of Richard Spencer to the multimillion-dollar athletes sitting out the national anthem to the offensive racist and misogynistic rap lyrics and the burning of the United States flag, as abhorrent and hateful as these words and actions are, they are all protected under the First Amendment.

It is easy to defend words and actions that are popular, but a truly free democracy requires the protection of all speech or our country becomes nothing more than an authoritarian state. As one has seen over the past week, once-acceptable statues, markers, street and school names are no longer acceptable. Next time it will be different statues, markers, street and school names. So for those who think this purging is a good thing, then when it happens again to historical figures that are venerated today but not in the future, remember that you thought it was a great idea when it affected others.

One can protest, ignore and or boycott the speech and actions that are hateful and offensive. Violent protest, however, is not acceptable regardless of the views of the protagonist.

Anne Kraus-Keenan, Spring Hill

Harvey's lessons | Sept. 1, commentary

Unbridled building

When I read that "Houston provides a case study in sprawl, and quite frankly, dumb growth," I was immediately reminded of the County Commission's decision in Pasco County to allow development of housing on the Quail Hollow Golf Course. The editorial continues, "Houston is famous for giving a free hand to developers, and that has severely constricted flood controls, both natural and man-made."

Just over a year ago, FEMA mitigated the purchase of our home on Quail Hollow Boulevard following flooding from Hurricane Frances and, specifically, Tropical Storm Debby. Since our home's construction in the late '60s, massive amounts of fill dirt were brought in to build newer, neighboring homes, a small townhome complex and a large golf course community — effectively creating a basin around our home.

Residents of the golf course community currently face the same kind of resignation we had to face because the Quail Hollow Neighborhood Citizens Group Inc. was unsuccessful, mid August, in its attempt to solicit legal fees and appeal the commission's decision. They are acutely aware of what more roofs and concrete will mean to the floodplain they call home. I shared photos with the group of the devastation to our property from 2004 through 2014 — hoping they'd make an impact on county officials.

Virginia Lieberman, San Antonio


Help our own first

The United States has a foreign aid budget totaling $50.1 billion. The leaders are Afghanistan at $4.7 billion, Israel at $7.5 billion and Jordan at $1 billion. The people in Texas, victims of Hurricane Harvey, are suffering. It is time to cut back on these exorbitant outlier charities and help the people of Texas. Charity begins at home.

John J. Tischner, Dunedin

Electrical hazards

The tragic electrocutions of flood help volunteers in Houston leads to a question for our Florida electric utilities: Do you have the means to turn power off in areas subject to flooding? Do you have a system in place to remotely detect downed power lines and to kill the current feeding them? If not, why not?

And for people evacuating — turn the power off at main breaker box in your house on the way out. Yes, the food in your refrigerator will perish. That's far cheaper than your lives, the lives of emergency responders, or even your house if the combination of electricity and water causes a fire.

Rolf H. Parta, Bradenton

DACA's end confirmed | Sept. 6

Return on investment

One thing I hear rarely mentioned about the Dreamers is the public money that has been spent to educate 800,000 students. It must be in the billions of dollars. By all accounts, the Dreamers have grown up (or are growing up) to be fine and productive members of our society.

Aside from humanitarian concerns about sending these people back to places unknown to them, give them a chance to return our investment.

Charles M. Phillips, Tarpon Springs

N. Korea claims hydrogen bomb | Sept. 3

Safety depends on respect

North Korean leaders have access to our media outlets and read and hear daily attacks by many in the media and some in Congress describing President Donald Trump as unstable and unfit to be president. Character attacks by the media on the leader of the free world give rogue countries like North Korea the impression that we are led by a weak, unfit president. Our nation's safety depends on the media and Congress having respect for our country's president.

How can we expect rogue nations with nuclear weapons to have respect for our president when the media calls him unfit? The media plays a major role in how we are perceived by other countries. It is time for the media to return to "fair and constructive criticism."

Patricia Jenkins, St. Petersburg

Kenyan court orders new vote | Sept. 2

Do it right — or do it over

In the last 20 years, the United States has had two presidential elections with irregularities yet no "rerun."

I commend Kenya's Supreme Court for invalidating the result of last month's presidential election and standing up for democracy rather than saying, "Let's get over it for the sake of democracy."

Larri Gerson, Dunedin


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: 11/18/17

Wednesday’s letters: Generosity makes all the difference

National Adoption MonthThe difference generosity makesAs 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 stat...
Published: 11/13/17
Updated: 11/14/17

Monday’s letters: Moore is not fit for public office

Woman: Candidate pursued her as a teen | Nov. 10Moore is not fit for public officeIt is sad that Roy Moore, a self-professed religious man, is running for a Senate seat when he is clearly unfit for any job involving the public for so many reasons...
Published: 11/10/17
Updated: 11/13/17

Monday’s letters: Don’t fall for the tax cut ruse

Tax billDon’t take your eye off the ballThe rush is on. The Republican Congress is rushing to pass a modest tax cut for the middle class while giving corporations a massive tax cut. While taking away some of the tax deductions from ordinary taxpayers...
Published: 11/10/17

Sunday’s letters: End greyhound racing in Florida

Tom Lee wants to phase out greyhound racing | Nov. 8Put a stop to this cruel industryKudos to Sen. Tom Lee for shepherding a constitutional amendment to end greyhound racing in Florida. Greyhounds forced to race live in misery and frequently die ...
Published: 11/09/17
Updated: 11/10/17