Friday, July 20, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Friday’s letters: To solve problems, get off the sidelines

National anthem protests

Get off sidelines, work for justice

My father used an old phrase a lot: "If you are not part of the solution, then you are part of the problem." Yes, athletes have the right to speak their minds and show their views. But like the vast majority of us who are not self-employed, we have to abide by the rules set forth by our employers. Not only can I not express views during my work hours that may have a negative impact on my employer, I am also restricted from doing so on social media. How many people have been reprimanded or even fired for writing something on Twitter or Facebook or saying something on TV?

Yes, racism does exist (in all races in my opinion). I urge those who want to show their support for social justice to do so outside of the playing field. Take the advice of Tampa Bay Rays’ pitcher Chris Archer and do some real good. Meet with kids in poverty-stricken areas; find out what can help them the most. Coordinate meetings with kids, their parents and leaders of those communities with the most issues with our first responders (and I include medics and firefighters).

The key is to make these meetings result in actions and make sure they are held more than once a year.

We can do this. It just takes some work from all involved.

Tom Craig, Riverview

Trump jolts health law | Oct. 14

Both sides must agree

The president does not have the authority to alter one letter of the Affordable Care Act. His only power is to cancel extralegal measures to prop up Obamacare ordered by the previous president.

The president does not have the authority to cancel any subsidies guaranteed to needy citizens as outlined in the law. He is only able to curtail the bailouts to the insurance companies that enable everyone to pretend that the law is viable. The smoke and mirrors hiding the ACA’s implosion are being removed, nothing more.

The solution is to undo the malpractice in its creation by following the original promise made by President Barack Obama: open negotiations to arrive at something both sides agree on enough to pass it in bipartisan fashion, which is how any gargantuan piece of legislation with profound societal impacts should be undertaken.

Dwayne Keith, Valrico

Promising attention to opioid crisis | Oct. 1, editorial

Remember those in pain

The opioid crisis is real. Nobody can deny that people are dying from drug overdoses. But there are a great many elderly and infirm who depend on strong pain control medication to relieve severe pain.

Not long ago, rating pain on the 1-10 scale became popular. It was a huge help in determining and treating relentless pain for patients in general and in our aging population. We appear to be trashing that in an effort to control drug-seeking behavior and illegal use of opioids.

As a registered nurse with decades of experience and a special interest in hospice care and pain relief in general, I think this new approach is shortsighted. Not all severe, debilitating pain arises from cancer or proximity to death. I hope that before mandating unrealistic rules related to post-op patients and those with chronic disabling pain, someone will act to study this carefully before mandating regulations that will halt relief for those in need.

Alice Pandolfi, Tampa

Monitor deeds, not tweets

President Donald Trump’s base often shouts "drain the swamp" at his political rallies. They are right. There is a "swamp" in Washington, and here is one example.

As reported by the Washington Post, the pharmaceutical companies that produce the opioid pain medications that kill thousands every year influenced Congress to pass a cleverly worded 2016 law that made it harder for the Drug Enforcement Administration to halt suspicious drug shipments that posed a an "imminent danger" to the community. How did they do it? The companies donated $1.5 million in political contributions to the 23 lawmakers who sponsored the bill, and a total of $106 million lobbying Congress between 2014 and 2016.

The DEA voiced little objection. Why? Because many of its top enforcement officials had been hired by the drug companies for compensation many times their government salaries. They knew the DEA strategy and wrote much of the bill that Congress adopted. Voters need to pay attention to what their representatives and the president are actually doing, not just their slogans and tweets.

Robert H. More, Riverview

Understanding his support | Oct. 15, letter

Promises not fulfilled

The letter writer explains why supporters of President Donald Trump haven’t abandoned him as he "speaks" to their anger. His behavior, while concerning, is not the mystery. It’s the wealth of evidence that he in turn abandoned his supporters. While he "speaks" to them, he supports legislation in direct opposition to what he’s been offering.

Mexico is not paying for the wall; Obamacare was not repealed/replaced with universal coverage; there’s no discussion on infrastructure spending or modernizing the government; no change in course fighting ISIS; the move to bring back jobs from overseas appears abandoned; and the latest tax bill doesn’t simplify anything.

That’s what we would like an explanation for — or is it simply too challenging for us to look at ourselves in the mirror and admit we’ve been conned?

Barry Duran, Palm Harbor

Juvenile car theft crisis persists | Oct. 19, editorial

Try asking the parents

St. Petersburg police Chief Tony Holloway plans to visit the juvenile detention center to talk to kids in custody and ask: Why are you doing this? When he’s through, maybe he should visit their parents and ask them this: Why is your 14-year-old out stealing cars at 3 o’clock in the morning?

John Waitman, Palm Harbor


Sunday’s letters: What to do about the National Flood Insurance Program

Time’s running out on flood insurance | Column, July 18Kill the flood insurance programThe Republican ethos (Sen. Marco Rubio) is that government should not interfere in markets and that privatization should be implemented whenever possible. That...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Saturday’s letters:

Time for more civil debate"Politics" is an activity which involves power and control, arriving at decisions based on differing interests. Normally, leaders weigh the needs of the individual with the abilities of the country. Can America afford a soci...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Friday’s letters: Trump’s excuses about Helsinki

Trump got tripped up | July 18 A dangerous mix-up for a president President Donald Trump would have us believe that he misspoke when he stood on the world stage with Russian President Vladimir Putin and expressed belief in Putin rather than the un...
Updated: 12 hours ago

Thursday’s letters: Watch what Trump does ... and what he says

Trump sides with Putinover U.S.A. | Editorial, July 17 Watch what he does — and what he says, too Anyone who still takes issue with the allegation that Donald Trump is temperamentally unfit to be president need only look at his shameful and ...
Published: 07/16/18
Updated: 07/19/18

Tuesday’s letters: Leave fireworks to the professionals

Nobody is scaring birds with fireworks | Editorial, July 16Leave fireworksto the professionalsThe situation with fireworks has gotten completely out of control. I was at Curtis Hixon Park on the Fourth of July, and numerous people were exploding ...
Published: 07/16/18
Updated: 07/17/18

Monday’s letters: Make investment in the Rays an actual investment with an actual return

Paying for ballpark will take teamwork | Editorial, July 12An actual return on investmentMuch attention has been given to the cost of the proposed Rays stadium in Ybor City and who will foot the bill. The three-legged stool of the Rays, the busin...
Published: 07/12/18
Updated: 07/16/18

Sunday’s letters: Stop burning of sugar cane near the Everglades

Florida’s land of black snow | Bill Maxwell column, July 1Don’t burn sugar cane, periodIn this column, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Chris King got a lot of things right about how sugarcane burning negatively impacts the Glades communities w...
Published: 07/11/18
Updated: 07/13/18

Saturday’s letters: The dangerous days before Roe vs. Wade

The reality of back-alley abortions | Column, July 11The dangerous days before RoeI am a 71-year-old retired nurse. I still remember when abortion was illegal and birth control was restricted to married women in the United States. In 1983, I set ...
Published: 07/09/18
Updated: 07/14/18

Thursday’s letters: The Rays’ Ybor City stadium will be magnificent

Rays’ big dream is small ballpark | July 11The new stadium will be gorgeousI had the pleasure of attending the unveiling of the Tampa Bay Rays "next-generation, neighborhood ballpark." I was blown away. As an 18-year resident of Tampa Bay, and ma...
Published: 07/09/18
Updated: 07/12/18

Wednesday’s letters: Let’s prepare Florida’s next generation for the jobs that have been created yet

Make Florida’s workforce globally competitivePrepare for jobs not yet createdIf you aren’t amazed by the speed at which technology is changing our world, just think back 20 years. Would you have imagined cellphones with the capabilities of a laptop c...
Published: 07/09/18
Updated: 07/11/18