No time for transit stall | April 15, editorial
Translate a TBX 'reset' as 'dead'
No one seems to realize that the state's "reset" of the Tampa Bay Express plan until the end of 2019 is Tallahassee-speak for saying that Tampa Bay probably just threw away $6 billion. I guess we should give the Florida Department of Transportation the benefit of the doubt when it says it really, truly, honestly does intend to return with a new project 30 months from now after rehabilitating its original plans to add express toll lanes to nearly 100 miles of bay-area interstates. But in all likelihood, TBX is probably heading down the exit ramp to the junk yard. For one thing, there will be a new governor and new priorities. More important, any project will need another okay from the federal government, which usually pays for the majority of any highway project.
Does anyone really think Tampa has a legitimate shot to regain $6 billion by somehow leapfrogging to the head of a federal line crowded with the highway needs of 49 other states — not to mention other Florida metropolitan areas?
If leaders really do care about improving mass transit in the bay area, they could have found a way to work together and save what was truly a gift from government heaven: $6 billion in federal and state money for a critical transportation project without raising local taxes. Surely there was enough money somewhere to guarantee that anyone who lost their homes or businesses to highway construction in Tampa Heights and Seminole Heights could have been compensated at a significantly higher rate.
Instead, you probably just threw away $6 billion that could have been a key first step toward transforming transit needs into a truly regional, cooperative effort stretching from Pinellas to Hillsborough to Pasco counties.
Mike Kersmarki, Tampa
Scott mostly right on taxes | April 17
Low taxes have a price
Rather than brag about Florida's low tax burden, Gov. Rick Scott should be ashamed. Lack of tax revenue flowing from Tallahassee to the counties means local governments have to raise local taxes, or borrow for necessities incurring interest charges and mortgaging the future. Don't fool yourself. Every tax cut touted by your Tallahassee legislator directly affects you. It affects your frustrating commute, sitting in snarled traffic, in your neighborhood flooding and daily enjoyment of life. Smart legislators use taxes paid by all, for major improvements, to better the lives of all. High-speed rail between Tampa and Orlando would have been one example. As long as we elect the same legislators with a failed tax cut mindset, we will constantly reap the daily life-stealing stress and frustration.
James Gregor, Tampa
"Schools of Hope" | April 17, Gradebook blog
Schools of discouragement
I am deeply worried about the Florida House of Representatives plan to pay private charter schools to attract them to Florida. This is not hopeful; it is discouraging.
My son attended a failing Pinellas elementary school last year, and I volunteered every week. It was clear that this and other struggling schools need more staff and more services to help the small number of troubled children who disrupted the learning environment for all students.
Florida's public education system needs the support of our elected officials to educate all our children. This charter school idea will create another "separate but unequal" education system for Florida students.
Lisa Signorelli, Gulfport
When vacations cost millions April 18, column
Trump family travel's cost
This article referenced the estimated travel cost of President Barack Obama and his family. However, your article left out the additional travel expenses of President Donald Trump's family (wife and children) in which the taxpayers are footing their "big bills in security and travel costs," too. The public would like to know the whole cost of the Trump family's travels after 88 days.
Robert Gaylord Yizar, Temple Terrace
North Korea surrenders after angry squint from Pence | April 18, satire
Trump is dead serious
I am responding to Andy Borowitz's attempt at humor in his satire column. The current administration actually does things to our enemies. We just suffered through eight years of a presidency that accomplished nothing. Imagine what North Korea, Syria and Iran would get away with, if Barack Obama were still in office. The answer would be anything they tried. We now have an administration that actually tries to keep America safe.
Bruce Danzis, Wesley Chapel
With a great reversal, U.S. is back | April 14, Krauthammer column
My vote: winning
What did I get for my vote for President Trump?
1. No Hillary Clinton.
2. Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court.
Anything else is icing on the cake.
Eric Howe, Largo
Outcry over school on holy day | April 11
Civility for Christians
A major reason for the decline of civility in our world today is clearly evident in the response to the decision made by the Pasco County school system about Good Friday.
I and many others are appalled at the level of self entitlement that prevails today. For those asking how dare superintendent Kurt Browning make that decision, I have a "how dare you" for them. How dare we speak to someone who simply does not act in agreement with our accord in that manner?
This was not a decision made solely by Browning. He obviously has enough education to have served as secretary of state of Florida, and none of the adjectives thrown at him even remotely apply to him.
Browning, by the way is a Christian, and I'm sure fully aware of the symbolism of the day. Let's all just lighten up.
Pat German, Dade City