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Sunday, May 27, 2018
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Letters to the editor: Recreational burning

Recreational burning

I don’t think the general population of Hillsborough County is aware that the county fire department has a law that takes precedence over state and county law.

I have been trying to find out what laws to follow since Jan. 3. Two of the four county commissioners I contacted never bothered to respond.

The county fire department says absolutely no burning unless you first submit an application for a permit, with a site plan. Then, they will inspect your property and decide, in three working days, whether or not they will allow you to have a fire.

I’m not talking about a big fire — I’m talking about a small fire in a pit that you can sit around talking with friends and neighbors, kids and grandkids, in cool weather, and maybe roast hot dogs or marshmallows.

Florida Statutes, Chapter 62-256.700, allows “recreational burning.”

Hillsborough County Environmental Act Section 13 allows it, as long as “a nuisance is not created.”

My neighbors and I would like to know why this confusion is allowed.

Ron Lisk


Religion of hypocrites

On Jan. 27 JoAnn Lee Frank wrote a letter to your newspaper on the subject of same-sex marriage (“Accept same-sex marriage,” Your Views. She states that Gov. Rick Scott and the Republican Party are standing in the way of same-sex couples being able to marry in Florida. She implies it will be the norm one day, and states that we “may as well give in and accept it for the sake of getting along.”

She wants us all to be tolerant of others’ feelings. Really? Although I don’t believe in same-sex marriage, I’ll be willing “to give in and accept it” to the same degree that liberals are tolerant enough of, and accept, my children being able to say the Pledge of Allegiance in school, or to have a nativity or cross displayed, or be able to say “Merry Christmas” instead of “Happy Holidays.”

Why must us Christians have to be tolerant of other beliefs, but no one is tolerant of ours? I know why: Because liberals belong to their own religious order, the Ancient Religion of the Hypocrites.

Russ Colombo

Spring Hill

Prove voting eligibility

I sympathize with Julius W. Hays as he wrote about obtaining a driver’s license (“Proving your identity,” Your Views, Jan. 26):

Having driven with a valid license for more than 70 years without incident, I, too, went through the process having a “certified copy of the original” birth certificate and being told it was not an original.

I then had to write to my home state and furnish them with several documents to prove who I was before they sent an “original” birth certificate.

The process took four months, to say nothing of cost. I see no reason one should not have to prove they are eligible to vote when it affects the lives of those who are legal to vote.

L.F. Johnson

Plant City

Apolitical effort needed

It is very clear to me what we should do to prevent unnecessary gun deaths.

When it was determined that sex among kids is inevitable, the National Education Association (NEA) introduced sex education into the public schools.

When it was determined that Americans do not fully understand terrorism, Islamic education was introduced into the public schools.

When it was determined that global warming is man-made, environmental education was introduced into the public schools.

Heck, we even have driver’s education to help kids become responsible behind the wheel of a car.

Applying the same logic, perhaps it is time for the NEA to introduce gun education in the public schools.

There are more guns than people or cars in the United States. The right to bear arms is embedded in the founding spirit of this country and in the Second Amendment to the Constitution.

It is just as inevitable that everyone will eventually find themselves around a gun.

Can the NEA become apolitical and work with the NRA? I think they should.

Thomas West


Beware popcorn

I just had to respond to the letter from Sandra Lowe of Binbridge, Ga. (“Movie missiles and rudeness,” Your Views, Jan. 27). I found it cruel, heartless, rather stupid and even unbelievable. She said in so many words that the victim of the recent theater shooting was responsible for his own death.

He “threw a missile” — popcorn? — at the shooter, and thus the shooter was only “protecting himself,” according to Lowe.

We all have probably been disturbed at some time or another by someone using their cellphone or otherwise bothering us in a movie theater. I, for one, have never even considered shooting them to death.

Also, consider that this “elderly man” Lowe refers to is not your typical 70-year-old.

He is a man who spent more than 20 years on the police force and reached the rank of captain — hardly a man, regardless of his age, who should panic and freak out over being the target of some popcorn!

Although I realize that this victim was rude, rudeness should not cause anyone to react by shooting a person to death in front of his wife.

Steve Webb


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