New transit option: BRT | Jan. 12
Tampa deserves rail as an option
I was disheartened by Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn’s statement about his exhaustion with public transit discussions. It sounds like the government of Tampa has given up on ever realizing its transportation dreams, taking bus rapid transit as a defeated last resort.
The citizens of Tampa want rail-based transportation. The long-standing issue is how to fund it, and while daunting, it is not an insurmountable problem. Right now, Tampanians have little incentive to abandon their automobiles as the city and its surrounding areas are so imbued with automobile-based infrastructure. Light rail is an intangible unknown, and it’s difficult to invest in an unknown mode of transit, especially after we’ve seen recent cuts to Tampa’s current bus system.
The city of Tampa needs concrete reasons for it to become fully committed to making light rail happen. The citizens need to go on a "blind date" with light rail, that is, to sit down with concept and ask questions, to feel what trains are like, sit in them, and see how they could tangibly change Tampa Bay for the better. Local businesses need real-world evidence that light rail will positively impact their patronage. For example, Tampa International Airport’s SkyConnect train could serve as a life-size model of what a light rail system would be like.
Most importantly, we can’t and shouldn’t stop talking about it. We need hope from our government for public transit to truly move forward.
Althea Mazanowski, Temple Terrace
Nursing home deals imperil patient care Jan. 18, commentary
System enriches the few
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch editorial on nursing homes highlights the pervasive problem of our economic system. Periodically we hear of doctors abusing the system to enrich themselves by owning laboratories or overprescribing certain drugs. Or there are accounts of other professionals or political leaders with business ownerships connected to their profession. The system is geared to encourage such unethical enrichment.
Free markets are supposedly designed to provide the competition to benefit all of us. But unless it is strongly regulated, the market provides benefits for the manipulators. Many people object to regulations because they discourage innovation or inventiveness. But too often, the inventiveness is directed toward maximizing profits for the manipulator.
Paul Mathieu, Sun City Center
Sheriffs find way to hold ICE detainees Jan. 18
Keep up the cooperation
As someone who spent 30 years trying to keep illegal drugs and illegal aliens out of the United States, I salute the 17 Florida sheriffs who are also trying to keep anything illegal out of America and co-operate with federal authorities.
Over the past 25 years, relationships between federal agencies and state and local authorities have gone from competition and suspicion to co-operation and consistency. It would be a national disgrace to reverse this trend.
Ironically and unfortunately, both illegal aliens and drugs are now on their way to becoming legal.
Donald Turnbaugh, Palm Harbor