Saturday, February 24, 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: Slogans won’t ensure safety

LegislatureSafety requires more than slogansOn Wednesday, our Florida House passed House Bill 839 requiring all public schools to post the state motto, "In God We Trust," in a "conspicuous place." The day before, the same Florida House declined to ev...
Published: 02/24/18

Saturday’s letters: Preserve home rule in Florida

LegislaturePreserve home rule in FloridaOn behalf of the members of Business Watch, a trade association for government contractors, I would like to voice our dismay over the Legislature’s wholesale attack on home rule. As local government contractors...
Published: 02/23/18

Thursday’s letters: Second Amendment is outdated

Second AmendmentCongress can act on firearmsThe Second Amendment is outdated, since it is predicated on the need for a "well regulated militia." Militias are defined as civilian soldiers trained under the command of competent military leadership. The...
Published: 02/20/18
Updated: 02/22/18

Wednesday’s letters:

House Bill 21Opioid proposal merits supportIn 2016, Florida recorded 952 heroin-related and 1,390 fentanyl-related deaths. Four in five new heroin users began by misusing prescription pain medications, also known as opioids. Despite the widespread op...
Published: 02/20/18

Hernando Letter to the Editor for Feb. 23

Re: Hernando business leaders push to loosen development rules | Feb. 9; Re: Deny Brooksville mine expansion, planning commissioners say | Feb. 16Wish to register my opposition to both the draft of the new Hernando County Comprehensive Plan that elim...
Published: 02/20/18

Tuesday’s letters: Making politics personal is one way toward reasonable gun control

The Parkland shootingMake gun politics personalAs an educator of 32 years, it encourages me to see our young people engaged after the horror at Stoneman Douglas High School. The tragedy at Parkland has awakened the sleeping giant that is the millenni...
Published: 02/19/18

Sunday’s letters: Congress must act on firearms

Deadly toll: 17 | Feb. 15Congress must act on firearmsIt’s time for Congress to be counted.The failure of Congress to act to: (1) limit access to assault rifles and (2) require meaningful background checks for all gun purchases is appalling.Surel...
Published: 02/17/18

Monday’s letters: Call it by its name: terrorism

Deadly toll: 17 | Feb. 15Call it whatit is: terrorismLet’s just call it what it is. It’s terrorism. No school in the country is immune. They all have procedures for sheltering in place or emergency evacuation from a shooter. It’s prudent to be pr...
Published: 02/16/18

Saturday’s letters: Payoff to porn star not front-page news?

Lawyer: I personally paid porn star | Feb. 14Where we’re at: This is 4A newsOnly under the Trump presidency does a story about the president’s lawyer paying off a porn star to cover up an affair with the president show up on page 4A. Never mind t...
Published: 02/16/18

Friday’s letters: Water quality too important to gamble on

State to update water rules | Feb. 10Don’t gamble with water safetyI wondered whether this front-page article was an early April Fool’s joke. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection "updated" its pollution regulations in 2016, with str...
Published: 02/15/18