Monday, November 20, 2017
Letters To The Editor

Wednesday's letters: Hold Tampa's next mayor to high standard


Chief leaves big impact on Tampa | July 7, editorial

Hold next mayor to high standard

This editorial compliments Tampa's police Chief Eric Ward for his efforts in addressing the perceptions of "racial profiling and harassment" that existed under his predecessor. The irony is that his predecessor was Jane Castor, who is now reported to be a leading contender for Tampa's next mayor. The negative perceptions occurred due to the police practice of ticketing black bicyclists, which is evidence Castor is ill-equipped to become mayor.

In addition to advocating for a progressive and community-focused police chief, the Times should do likewise for Tampa's next mayor.

Barbara Orban, Tampa

Pruitt quickly changing how EPA operates July 2

Pollution hurts everyone

This headline should have read, "Pruitt quickly dismantling the EPA."

What is happening is so outrageous, yet not surprising, as Donald Trump has put foxes in all the henhouses. What is mind-boggling is that Scott Pruitt and those who support what he is doing have children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, wives and husbands. Don't they also need clean air and clean water? Allowing pesticides that cause neurological damage in children should alarm everyone.

Do they think they can contain these things so they only affect the poor? Pesticides run off into the aquifers that supply everyone water. Rivers and air flow toward the rich and poor alike. Is their greed so blinding that they just don't care?

Yvonne M. Osmond, Clearwater

Health care

Protect coverage for women

In the Senate's latest health care bill, one feature remains unchanged: Private insurance plans are prohibited from offering abortion coverage. This will not only make it more difficult for many to access an abortion, it will also reinforce the idea that abortion is not simply a safe and legal medical procedure, part of a full spectrum of reproductive health care, but instead a shameful and immoral act.

What is truly shameful and immoral is denying this access to women who need it. Congressional leaders should focus on improving affordability and quality of care instead of denying women the ability to make determinations for themselves and their futures.

Laurence W. Key, Stuart

All are created equally | July 8, letter

A matter of conscience

The letter writer makes this recommendation for florists, bakers, etc., with deep religious beliefs: "Post a sign on your business, and your ads and business cards, that you are opposed to gay marriage." When I read that, a picture popped into my mind of another group of religious people — Jews required to wear a Star of David under the Nazis.

For some people, their religious beliefs are deeply personal and not something they wear on their sleeves. Why should they have to publicly proclaim it? Why is it not sufficient to explain to a potential client that they while they don't mind providing services to any individual, they can't in good conscience contribute to a ceremony that goes against their religion?

Nancy Foster, Clearwater

Blanket restoration is a bad idea | July 7, letter

Works fine in other states

Blanket voter restoration is not a bad idea. It is a step in the right direction. We would join 14 states and the District of Colombia in which voter rights are lost only while incarcerated and automatically restored after release. The sky has not fallen in these states. Our present system serves only one purpose: to disenfranchise the poor and powerless. The right to vote has nothing whatsoever to do with public safety or the criminal justice system.

The best and simplest solution would be to join Maine and Vermont, where no one loses the right to vote. Even prisoners can vote and maybe even acquire a little sense of community. Then we could scrap Florida's tawdry system of poor ex-felons groveling and begging a panel of much richer legislators for restoration of their voter rights.

Pete Wilford, Holiday

Taking sides on statue | July 7

Celebrity gossip

I'm curious what prompted the question. Does your readership gain anything by finding out what a sports franchise "thinks"? I suspect you'd have gotten a more provocative headline if you'd inquired of NASCAR. I don't subscribe to the Times for celebrity gossip, which this clearly is.

T.J. Gill, St. Petersburg

Rising costs hit breaking point | July 5, letter

Care for those in need

This letter writer said Medicaid expansion added more "free riders to the unaffordable (Medicaid) plan." Note that Florida did not expand Medicaid eligibility. The writer appears to think that anyone receiving Medicaid is an able-bodied person who should be paying for his or her coverage.

Data from the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration presents a different picture. In 2016, Medicaid covered about 53 percent of aged people receiving long-term care in nursing homes, which Medicare does not cover and which costs about $7,500 per month. Twenty-one percent of the Medicaid budget went for aged residents who have used up their private resources. Disabled people are 14 percent of Medicaid enrollees but account for 40 percent of the budget. These recipients have severe conditions, many from birth, and would die without Medicaid services. A recent study showed that if AHCA paid commercial insurance rates for this care, the total cost would be 25 percent higher. Children in very low-income families represent 43 percent of enrollees but use only 19 percent of the budget.

Medicaid costs more than necessary because health care provider services, drug manufacturer products and insurance company administration and profits are too costly. Neither Obamacare nor Republican-proposed legislation addresses this. An army of lobbyists have made sure of that.

Robert H. More, Riverview


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