Wednesday, March 21, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Friday's letters: Neither markets nor government is always right

A scandal that matters | Column, Aug. 8

Markets, government both err

Kimberly Strassel ends her column about the alleged massive bank fraud perpetuated by government employee Imran Awan and his family by equating the failure and incompetence of the government to catch him with the classic line of "that's the same government that wants to run your health care, reform your children's schools and protect the environment."

Strassel seems to conveniently forget that in 2008, the markets committed a massive debacle of banking incompetence that almost destroyed the entire country. The government's incompetence to catch Awan pales in comparison to the "too big to fail" banks' incompetence to see their own failures. And today, those same businesses are flagrantly repeating those same behaviors.

The constant bickering that markets are capable of running everything well and governments are inept at running anything is simply not true. Instead, let's focus on the real issue: humans. Within markets and government we have many good and capable humans and we also have incredibly greedy and incompetent humans. Both have created wonderful things — the internet (government), Google (markets). And both have created horrible things — Awan's alleged bank fraud costing taxpayers millions (government), 2008 Great Recession via bankers' incompetence (markets). The truth is, we need both markets and governments. If we want both to work well, let's put our energy in strengthening the humans within them. The result? Stronger markets and government working effectively together.

Ann Kramer, Brandon

North Korea dismisses threat from Trump | Aug. 10

Watchful waiting

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson recently said that "Americans can sleep well tonight" regarding the North Korean threats of taking out Guam. Let's face it, North Korea is a bully much in the same way our president is a bully.

North Korea knows that the United States possesses far more nuclear capability than it could ever hope to have. Kim Jong Un isn't a dunce. He is a master politician at his young age, and he knows that any nuclear attack on the United States or its allies would mean certain destruction for his country and, more important, him.

So what should the response be? Christopher Hill, past ambassador to South Korea, thinks we should continue sanctions and wait them out. He knows they're posturing, as is President Donald Trump, so "watchful waiting" may be the first order of defense.

George Chase, St. Pete Beach

Families of immigrants | Letter, Aug. 10

With hope, they'll come

The letter writer self-righteously proclaims that his ancestors came to this country legally in 1891. Many others say the same. A quick review of American history reveals that the Immigration Act of 1921 established quotas of 3 percent of the existing population of that nationality group at that time. So all those whose ancestors arrived prior to 1921, of course, they were legal. Contagious disease was about the only thing that kept them out.

The Immigration Act was designed to maintain the northern European dominance in this country and limit the influx of southern and eastern Europeans and others. Current immigrants, legal and illegal, are looking for the same things his ancestors sought: work and a better life. As long as American business hires them, they will probably come.

Alice P. Williams, Sun City Center

Mother shares story of Jimmie | Aug. 10

They were children

Our hearts and prayers go out to the family and friends of the children who perished in the car crash. And make no mistake, they were children, but older beyond their years from years on the streets.

We cannot imagine the horror and grief of all involved, including the police and the first responders who showed up at the scene of this terrible outcome.

The innocent person who happened to be in their path survived the impact of 112 mph. His injuries will no doubt affect him forever. And this man forgave the lost ones.

As the Times reported in its "Hot Wheels" series, these kids and their families, and many others just like them, are caught in the throes of nothingness for their future. "How do we stop this from happening?" I wish we knew, but apparently no one does when desperation and despair are involved. Bless the souls of the dead teens.

James Major, Palm Harbor

Hopeless start can bring on tragic end | Column, Aug. 8

Spend on this, not that

A stark contrast came to mind while reading John Romano's column on hopelessness that is brought on by poverty. What if the millions of dollars spent on political campaigns were used to improve the lives of children living in poverty?

Anne Snyder, Belleair Beach

HART slashes bus routes | Aug. 8

A need to move people

I have never been to a world-class city that did not provide every transit option. If Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik wants to build a world-class city right here, then our political leaders may find it prudent to start acting instead of talking about mass transit. A recent Washington Post article referenced Los Angeles and its adoption of light rail, and along with it, its success. The $2.43 billion project (funded by a tax) has received incredible reviews. The article also references that 70 percent of the population were not users of transit before (does that ring a bell here?).

With new technology like hyper loop, trains can be a step to the future of building smarter, sustainable communities rather than a slower form of an airplane. There is no excuse for our local government officials anymore.

Thomas Vacca, Tampa


Thursday’s letters: School safety requires funding

Constitution Revision CommissionSchool safety requires fundingThe Constitution Revision Commission should consider amending a proposal (45, 93 or 72) to allocate the necessary recurring funding for the new school safety mandates, separate from the ba...
Published: 03/21/18

Wednesday’s letters: Let the teachers decide on guns

Trump touts arming staff as key in plan for school security | March 12It’s the teacher’s call on weaponsPlease, let’s try an alternate view about guns in the classroom. First, it hasn’t gone unnoticed that the preponderance of letters about guns ...
Published: 03/20/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for March 23

Re: Residents object to solar farm | March 16, storyLakeland Electric has shown that residential customers can be incentivized to allow placement of utility-owned solar panels on their roofs. Likewise, business owners can be incentivized to allow...
Published: 03/19/18

Tuesday’s letters: It shouldn’t be this hard to fly

Tampa International AirportIt shouldn’t be this hard to flyI’ve given the train two tries now from economy parking at Tampa airport. It’s a lot of work. How silly to go down one bank of elevators, then take a good walk to the next set of elevators to...
Published: 03/19/18

Monday’s letters: Protect Floridians’ right to privacy

People push for changes at Constitution hearing | March 14Protect Florida’s right to privacyI attended the Constitution Revision Commission’s public hearing at USF St. Petersburg last week. I was there because I thought it was important to have m...
Published: 03/18/18

Sunday’s letters: Effort to stem pet cruelty pays off

Puppy millsEffort to stem cruelty pays offThank you to everyone who contacted their legislators, and a huge shout-out to the Tampa Bay Times for letting us know that state legislators were considering a bill to eliminate the hard-achieved gains on lo...
Published: 03/17/18

Saturday’s letters: Insurer focused on repairs, not fees

Citizens hit with $12.7M verdict | March 15Insurer’s focus: repairs, not feesCitizens Property Insurance Corp. has spent the past several years making sure that insurance proceeds for sinkhole repairs are used to restore a home and make it whole....
Published: 03/16/18

Friday’s letters: Put young people to work rebuilding infrastructure

Smart way to pay for infrastructure | March 13, commentaryMake rebuilding a youth project Raising gas taxes to pay for infrastructure may not be the best way to go. I suggest we re-invent the old WPA (Works Progress Administration) and draft high...
Published: 03/13/18
Updated: 03/15/18

Thursday’s letters: An alternative for giving: Breadcoin

Panhandling paradox | March 11Innovation in giving: BreadcoinPanhandling is destructive to the donor, panhandler and our community — a guilt trip that erodes personal dignity, respect and self-worth, making the recipient more beholden and entitle...
Published: 03/13/18
Updated: 03/14/18
Wednesday’s letters: Daylight bill is bad for business

Wednesday’s letters: Daylight bill is bad for business

Daylight saving timeDaylight bill is bad for businessI encourage Gov. Rick Scott to veto the daylight saving time extension bill. It makes no sense. It puts Florida out of sync with the rest of the country. Commerce will be affected. The entire Easte...
Published: 03/13/18