Sunday, June 24, 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Last June, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services rescinded another Obama administration action that banned nursing homes from pre-emptively requiring residents to submit to arbitration to settle disputes rather than go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


Monday’s letters: College instructors need classes in active shooter training

Active shooter perceptions disproven | June 21We need active shooter trainingThe only guns that I had seen before coming to the United States of America were in glass cases in museums. When I came to America to get a Ph.D. in English at the Unive...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/22/18

Friday’s letters: What a new Rays ballpark would mean

Rays exec hints at stadium timeline | June 15What a new ballpark would doThe Tampa Bay Rays 2020 organization is working diligently with local business leaders and civic organizations to rally support for the Rays’ new ballpark in Ybor City. The ...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/22/18

Thursday’s letters: On immigration there has to be a better way

‘Zero tolerance’ ignites outrage | June 20Find better way on immigrationOver the years I’ve voted for candidates from both parties. My observation of the Trump administration’s policy on immigration is not about politics. It has to do with having...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/21/18

Wednesday’s letters: Charters and traditional public schools each have their place

Public school as public good | Letter, June 17Both kinds of schools can workAs a mother and grandmother of children raised in both traditional public and charter schools in Pinellas County (and a 25-year supporting-services employee for public sc...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/20/18

Tuesday’s letters: Keep programs that fight AIDS

For author Biden, it’s a father’s gift | June 6Keep programs that fight AIDSAfter former Vice President Joe Biden’s recent visit to St. Petersburg, I noticed an article that he co-wrote with former Sen. Bill Frist. It reminded everyone about the ...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/19/18

Is anyone watching the money?Hernando County’s budget shortfall is ever changing going from $6 million to $11.5 million to $14 million to what is assumed a final number of $12.6 million. Who knows the budget shortfall could change again.Who’s watchi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Re: County OKs solar zones | June 8Plea ignored at solar plant hearingThe Pasco County Commission on June 5 voted to identify a utility-sized solar electric plant as a "special exception" use on agricultural-zoned land in Pasco County. What thi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Monday’s letters: Skip those plastic bags and save the environment

To save our seas, overcome congressional apathy | Column, June 16Do your part and skip plastic bagsEvery day we read about the shame of our landfills and oceans filling up with plastic bags, yet most people don’t care. My wife and I always carry ...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

White House defends splitting up families as ‘biblical’ | June 15The suffering of the childrenI am a mother and attorney with more than 20 years of practice living in Tampa. For the past three years, I worked as a magistrate in a Unified Family C...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Saturday’s letters: Community-based care requires community involvement

Fix foster care, and do it quickly | Editorial, June 15Involve the community itselfWhile the detailed article about the scathing state review of Hillsborough County’s foster care problems touched on leadership, a critical point was not addressed....
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18