Wednesday, March 21, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Monday's letters: How to protect your eyes from the solar eclipse

Total eclipse | Aug. 10

Save your eyes

For the upcoming Aug. 21 solar eclipse, especially in Florida where the sun is blocked only partially (81.4 percent), it is important to wear ISO 12312-2 "solar eclipse glasses" if you look directly at the sun. This is because the pain nerve receptors in your eye have a higher pain threshold for light intensity than that for damage to your retina. Normally, if you look directly at the sun, it is too bright and hurts, and you look away quickly, This happens usually before the light can be focused onto the eye's retina long enough to do permanent damage. But if the sun's intensity is reduced to a lower level, say near 20 percent, there is not enough light intensity to trigger your pain threshold but there is still plenty of light intensity to cause permanent damage to the retina. Special ISA-12312-2 solar eclipse glasses reduce the light by 99.999 percent, and also reduce it in the UV and the infrared (which sunglasses usually do not). Also, do not use solar eclipse glasses in combination with a telescope or binoculars, because the large lens may collect say 10,000 times more light than your small pupil of your eye normally does, thus cancelling out the 99.999 percent reduction of the solar glasses.

The takeaway: Just because the reduced intensity of a partial solar eclipse does not cause you pain to look at the sun does not mean that you are not damaging your retina.

Finally, you can also view the image of the partial eclipse by using a pinhole projection box, or just by standing with your back to the sun, outstretching your two hands crossed, and using your slightly spaced fingers to form a waffle pattern. The shadow of your fingers on the ground will show the "pin hole" image of the sun caused by the small spaces between your fingers.

Dennis Killinger, Temple Terrace

The writer is Distinguished University Professor Emeritus in the Department of Physics at the University of South Florida.

Ticket request called a quota | Aug. 11

Officers can't do that

As a retired police officer with 30 years of service I speak from experience. The very thought of having to write two tickets per hour is ludicrous. The officer would have to be on the lookout for any minor infraction there is such as a broken taillight, no turn signal, etc. Instead of giving the motorist a warning officers would have write a ticket for any slight violations they observed. I couldn't bring myself to do that.

John Waitman, Palm Harbor

Trump escalates threats | Aug. 11

Seek a new deal

Kim Jong Un is not the only personification of the North Korean regime. The generals who advise him remember the ravages of a war 65 years ago for which no peace treaty was signed. Could it be that a comprehensive treaty, offered by President Donald Trump, would assuage North Korea's imagined threat from the United States and set the stage for new diplomatic negotiations? With a new relationship, both nations would be freed from the potential for an avoidable conflict.

Mike Rosenthal, Clearwater


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