Trump fires Comey | May 10
Comey and the wheels of justice
The wheels of justice turn, albeit very slowly. For James Comey, the wheels of justice finally caught up with him. Had he taken the correct and justified action of recommending to the attorney general that the Justice Department pursue criminal charges against Hillary Clinton back in July 2016, then Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions would not have had any cause to recommend firing Comey now.
There are many reports that his firing was in response to the ongoing investigation into the Trump administration and its involvement with Russia and tampering allegations during the 2016 presidential election. The wheels of justice turn slowly, but they do turn as Comey just found out, and these allegations will be ferreted out in the months to come.
Finally, I did not agree with Comey's decision last July, but the way this president and his administration handled his dismissal was disgraceful and uncalled for given Comey's 30-plus years of service to our country.
Mark Khan, Tampa
Trump fires Comey | May 10
Get to the bottom of this
President Donald Trump's dismissal of FBI director James Comey may create more problems than it solves. But there is a potential silver lining.
There should be agreement across the spectrum that we need to get to the bottom of the Russian election influence effort and connections, if any, to Trump's campaign. This must be done in a thorough, fair and nonpartisan way that serves the country, not either of the political parties.
To stonewall will only keep the cloud of suspicion over the president and his administration. Neither Trump nor his supporters should shy away from exposing the truth if, indeed, there is no "there … there." What a victory lap he could take if that is the case.
The time is for "critical thinking," not "political thinking." Call or write your representative and senators and insist that this be fairly and legitimately investigated to its conclusion.
Joseph Bloom, Dunedin
Senate Bill 106
Bill hurts local businesses
Right now, out-of-state retailers are attempting to change Florida law to allow them to sell liquor. I have owned Tosti's Spirits and Fine Wine for 13 years in St. Petersburg. Not only would this bill hurt local businesses, it would hurt the seven people I employ.
Senate Bill 106 would give big-box stores the opportunity to push us out of strip malls and shopping centers, and ultimately out of business. Small, family-owned and operated businesses are the backbone of Florida's economy; they create jobs and keep business in the Sunshine State local. By passing SB 106, we are allowing out-of-state corporate giants to force our local businesses out.
Gov. Rick Scott has always been an advocate for small businesses and how they help our economy grow, and I ask that he continue that advocacy by vetoing this bad legislation.
Ellen Capitosti, St. Petersburg
Israel and human rights | May 11, letter
The facts on U.S. aid
The Israel-Palestinian conflict is both divisive and one of the most misunderstood in world history. As a member of AIPAC and someone who has been to Israel dozens of times, I need to correct some misstated "facts" about AIPAC. First, by mandate, more than 75 percent of all aid to Israel stays in the United States, to purchase U.S.-made military goods, providing more than 60,000 U.S. jobs a year.
Not one U.S. citizen lacks services because of aid to Israel — or any other country the United States helps every year. Foreign aid accounts for less than 1 percent of our overall budget. In 2016, more than $350 million in U.S. aid went to the Palestinian Authority. AIPAC is a lobbying group just like the Arab-American lobby.
The writer of the letter did not say he visited Israel, only "Palestine," so I am not sure he has a balanced view of a very complex problem. The writer also forgot to mention that bulldozing homes is done to the families of terrorists who kill innocent civilians.
The so-called refugee camps are a political football in Arab countries, deliberately maintained instead of absorbing those refugees who left in 1948. They are a magnet for international aid, of which very little goes to help the residents. The land that was "taken" was done during a war Israel did not start and 98 percent of which has been offered back in recent peace deals — all of which the PA has turned down. It's important to present both sides of such an issue.
Susan Segal, Palm Harbor
Beds empty, foster kids on floor | May 10
County must do better
It is disconcerting to me that the children under the care of Hillsborough County Children's Services are not receiving the care they need. Providing a bed to sleep in at a properly supervised facility should be no-brainer. It seems to me that JoAnn Rollins, the director of Hillsborough County Children's Services, needs to do more to provide for the needs of these children under her care.
It was shocking to me to learn from this article that "more children are taken into foster care in Hillsborough than any other Florida county. In 2016, child protection investigators at the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office received more than 16,700 reports of abuse or neglect."
If the Sheriff's Office were open every day of 2016, it would have received an average of more than 45 calls a day!
Gerard Vernot, Land O'Lakes
Don't bill customers for fracking | April 27, editorial
Bad bill is defeated
Thanks to the Times for this editorial. Your effort, together with others', helped make the difference in stopping Senate Bill 1238.
Florida, and the nation, needs to be fossil fuel-free. Florida needs to support and encourage solar and wind energy production.
Joseph Ganci, St.Petersburg