Friday, March 23, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Wednesday’s letters: Nursing home actions put seniors at risk

December Letter of the Month

The winning letter addressed sexual harassment.

It’s time to clean up bad behavior

Why are so many women coming forward against sexual predators now? Because at last they can.

Now 83, I all too well remember when sexual harassment at the workplace was something a woman had to tolerate. In a law firm where I worked days while putting myself through college at night, it was normal practice for female employees to avoid getting on the elevator with the most senior partner as well as avoiding passing him in the hall. He was known to for his "low wave" as young women passed by. None of the younger partners told him not to do it, but we women were told it was our job to avoid such encounters. The implication was that women who were harassed were looking for it, perhaps by dressing provocatively or flirting with the abuser.

Things are a lot different now, although not completely right yet. Women have a lot more power and can speak out; but they still do not have equal power or equal salaries or management status in major corporations. Finally, people are listening and believing those who do come forward.

To make America great again and keep it that way, we must clean up the behavior of all those in the public eye so they actually deserve the respect that goes with the role they seek.

Adele Ida Walter, Tampa

Clean up nursing homes | Dec. 30, editorial

Standards under attack

Your asking for a cleanup of nursing homes by the federal government is shutting the barn door after the horses are gone.

On Christmas Eve, the Trump administration eased fines against nursing homes that harm residents or place them at grave risk of injuries. The regulation for fines was put in place under the Obama administration.

Federal records show that since 2013 nearly 6,500 nursing homes — four out of every 10 — have been cited at least once for a serious violation and Medicare has fined two-thirds of those homes.

In November, the Trump administration exempted nursing homes that violate eight new safety rules from penalties for 18 months.

Last June, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services rescinded another Obama administration action that banned nursing homes from pre-emptively requiring residents to submit to arbitration to settle disputes rather than go to court.

We were away during Hurricane Irma, but I do remember hearing that our Republican governor got rid of a lot of emails that showed details of a nursing home problem right after he got maximum publicity about how much he felt something needed to be done. Does anyone know what our Republican Legislature has done to alleviate nursing home problems so dear to the heart of our governor?

Richard E. Beebee, Wimauma

5 workers die; who pays? | Dec. 30

Public ends up paying

Tragedies like this are very sad and unnecessary. The power company will be advised to not apologize or take responsibility, but rather write a check, call the public relations department and make it all go away.

The reality is that sometime in the future, the power company will submit a rate increase request to the Public Service Commission to make up for all of the past bad management decisions. Undoubtedly the commission will shamelessly approve and move on to other "get out of jail free" requests.

In the end, the public will have long forgotten any tragedy, checks will have been deposited, public distaste for utility entitlements will ensue and a new, higher bill will show up in the mail for the pleasure of having power readily in your home.

Past performance proves future behavior, so until full accountability and loss is solely shouldered by the utility, there will not be reason to make responsible and progressive decisions.

Darryl David, St. Petersburg

Pulse responders still fighting PTSD
Dec. 30

Helping those in need

Contrary to common thought, not everyone gets PTSD, even from an horrific event. Most people just get shook up, recover and go on.

Most first responders are pretty tough, physically and psychologically. Horrific stuff is what they train for, but rarely (thank goodness) get to do. Most of the time all they need after is a debrief and to know that they did right. The debrief is done with the peers who were there and a few trained counselors to structure it and to identify those few who will need extra work.

Effective treatment is in fact hard to get. Lots of treatments are being tried. Few are helpful. One that is, when done right, is traumatic incident reduction. It was most recently used for first responders at the Grenfell Tower fire in London. People are being trained in the United States, but there are not enough of us yet. Give us time.

Rich Brown, Tampa

Utility rates may climb | Dec. 29

Commission in their pocket

What happened to the days when a company was responsible and had to take it on the chin to absorb costs relating to doing business?

The Public Service Commission has been socking it to the public every time a price increase is needed in order for the utilities to make a grand profit for their investors. Perhaps it is time to return to elected members for the PSC who, hopefully, will justify any changes and act in the public interest.

Bill Schellhaas, South Pasadena

Cold grips U.S. | Jan. 2

Running hot and cold

Every time there is a cold spell, the global warming deniers scoff at those who accept the research on climate change. However, when there is unusually hot weather, I never hear the same people say that global warming must be real.

When people belittle scientists from all over the world, it often demonstrates "igniosity," the dangerous combination of ignorance and grandiosity.

John Dalton, St. Petersburg


Friday’s letters: Think through assault weapons ban

Gun controlThink through assault rifle banI recently emailed a Florida state representative who had pledged, among other things, to ban assault rifles in the state. I asked him if he would ban the sale and transfer of these guns or ultimately make th...
Published: 03/22/18

Thursday’s letters: School safety requires funding

Constitution Revision CommissionSchool safety requires fundingThe Constitution Revision Commission should consider amending a proposal (45, 93 or 72) to allocate the necessary recurring funding for the new school safety mandates, separate from the ba...
Published: 03/21/18

Wednesday’s letters: Let the teachers decide on guns

Trump touts arming staff as key in plan for school security | March 12It’s the teacher’s call on weaponsPlease, let’s try an alternate view about guns in the classroom. First, it hasn’t gone unnoticed that the preponderance of letters about guns ...
Published: 03/20/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for March 23

Re: Residents object to solar farm | March 16, storyLakeland Electric has shown that residential customers can be incentivized to allow placement of utility-owned solar panels on their roofs. Likewise, business owners can be incentivized to allow...
Published: 03/19/18

Tuesday’s letters: It shouldn’t be this hard to fly

Tampa International AirportIt shouldn’t be this hard to flyI’ve given the train two tries now from economy parking at Tampa airport. It’s a lot of work. How silly to go down one bank of elevators, then take a good walk to the next set of elevators to...
Published: 03/19/18

Monday’s letters: Protect Floridians’ right to privacy

People push for changes at Constitution hearing | March 14Protect Florida’s right to privacyI attended the Constitution Revision Commission’s public hearing at USF St. Petersburg last week. I was there because I thought it was important to have m...
Published: 03/18/18

Sunday’s letters: Effort to stem pet cruelty pays off

Puppy millsEffort to stem cruelty pays offThank you to everyone who contacted their legislators, and a huge shout-out to the Tampa Bay Times for letting us know that state legislators were considering a bill to eliminate the hard-achieved gains on lo...
Published: 03/17/18

Saturday’s letters: Insurer focused on repairs, not fees

Citizens hit with $12.7M verdict | March 15Insurer’s focus: repairs, not feesCitizens Property Insurance Corp. has spent the past several years making sure that insurance proceeds for sinkhole repairs are used to restore a home and make it whole....
Published: 03/16/18

Friday’s letters: Put young people to work rebuilding infrastructure

Smart way to pay for infrastructure | March 13, commentaryMake rebuilding a youth project Raising gas taxes to pay for infrastructure may not be the best way to go. I suggest we re-invent the old WPA (Works Progress Administration) and draft high...
Published: 03/13/18
Updated: 03/15/18

Thursday’s letters: An alternative for giving: Breadcoin

Panhandling paradox | March 11Innovation in giving: BreadcoinPanhandling is destructive to the donor, panhandler and our community — a guilt trip that erodes personal dignity, respect and self-worth, making the recipient more beholden and entitle...
Published: 03/13/18
Updated: 03/14/18