Air pollution linked to lower IQ scores in kids | July 20, story
Clean energy can mean better health
Two major pieces of legislation, health care and clean energy, are moving through Congress. They seem unrelated. Not so, according to the Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health. Kids exposed to the most air pollution before birth average four to five points lower in IQ scores than children with less exposure.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists "pollution caused by industrial emissions and automobile exhaust" as one of several important asthma attack triggers. In the United States, 9 percent of children have asthma.
The Clean Air Act passed by Congress several years ago authorizes the Environmental Protection Agency to require existing coal-fired power plants to reduce carbon emissions. But the House of Representatives created a huge loophole in current clean energy legislation, letting old power plants off the hook. We urge Sens. Bill Nelson and Mel Martinez and their colleagues to restore the EPA's authority, or to write standards for these older plants that will require them to reduce carbon dioxide pollution.
The cost of our electricity is much more than just the price of the coal. How do you value the potential of a child's mind? What price do we as a society put on a child's breathing?
As people of faith we believe we place a high value on our children's health by declaring a loophole-free zone on carbon dioxide emissions. This will also help pass forward a world in which all God's creatures, including human beings, can thrive.
The Rev. Warren Clark, Temple Terrace
Doctor gives up post over e-mail on Obama July 25, story
Dr. McKalip was needlessly maligned
Gosh darn it! The St. Petersburg Times, along with some other very liberal media, should be ashamed of yourselves for trying to smear Dr. David McKalip's good name and excellent reputation.
If you had taken just a little bit of time and effort to learn more about Dr. McKalip, this research would show what a true humanitarian he is.
But no, you, along with state Rep. Darryl Rouson and some from the medical profession, take one e-mail that Dr. McKalip sent and imply that he is a racist.
Since when can we not laugh about our leaders' ideas or thoughts for our country? Is it because our president is part black? What if Barack Obama was all white? I know the answer: No one would say a single word.
In my opinion, there was no need for Dr. McKalip to apologize.
Lighten up, folks! Call it as it is: It was a joke, satire or cartoon, but sending this particular image via e-mail was certainly not racist.
Dr. McKalip, never lose your sense of humor and keep up the good work you do. It is appreciated by many people.
Lynne Shelby, St. Petersburg
"If it hadn't been a cop" | July 24, story
The story asks, "Are there two legal systems at work …?" Surely you're not serious.
Of course there are and it doesn't take a wizard to figure that out. If you're wealthy, famous, pretty or politically connected, it's a different process.
We all know that. Just do a little research and it's easily seen. I would like to see a story on how those folks are treated compared to us blokes for a similar incident.
My defense if I, hopefully never, make a mistake with legal implications is going to be: Okay, just treat me like the "wealthy, famous, pretty or politically connected" person that was arrested for a similar incident. I'll be good with that.
Doug Bauer, Clearwater
At Guantanamo, a struggle with trust July 26, story
True role models
The pro bono work defense lawyers Mari Newman and Darold Killmer have undertaken on behalf of their Yemeni client elevates the practice of law to its highest degree.
Lawyers are so often maligned by people who don't understand the role they play in society, or by lawyers who use their knowledge and training to get around the law such as in the Wall Street and banking industry debacle.
These defense lawyers are exceptional role models, as is their law firm which gave them the ability to go the extra mile. I salute and thank them. This article made my day.
Marilyn Weaver, Tarpon Springs
State Farm wants more | July 25, story
We need State Farm
I for one — and I'm sure there are many more like me — want State Farm to stay here almost at any cost.
How dare the state interfere. State Farm, like all businesses, is run by people who have demonstrated that they are a whole lot smarter than anyone in the state Legislature.
I don't want a low-priced alternative that is underfunded and only exists because the state decided to go into private commerce against State Farm.
I do want a big, well-funded and well-run insurance company that does have money to pay me when and if I file a claim.
For all the hot air and cow exhaust coming out of the Legislature, no one up there has ever mentioned what will happen if the state does experience a huge storm. Citizens will immediately be insolvent as will be every other little startup as will be the state. Nice going, Tallahassee. If you want to cut costs and get this state on the right path, resign.
Jay Daleney, Oldsmar
U.S. transfers $200 million in aid | July 25
Keep the money here
I've read it four times and still can't believe it. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced sending $200 million to the Palestinians because they are having a budget crunch.
Hello, Hillary! We are having a budget crunch. We have a money problem. Let's keep the money here to do some good instead of giving it away — especially to Palestinians.
America supports the Israelis. The Palestinians want to wipe Israel off the map. Why on earth are we sending money to our friend's enemies?
G. Ferguson, Dunedin
Building toward 82 new homes | July 27
Help at home
With our economy so bad, people in foreclosure everywhere, the job situation terrible, and the numbers of homeless increasing daily, why is Habitat for Humanity building homes in Thailand?
It seems as though our own country needs all the help it can get right now.
Barbara Johnson, Hudson