Atwater targets referral services | Nov. 16
Clinics provide economical care
I am offended by the comments made by Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater. For a politician who has accepted campaign contributions from the insurance industry to cite "incestuous relationships" and "quid pro quos" is comical.
As an attorney who has had clients treated within the 411-Pain Network and outside, I can tell you that the 411-Pain clinics go above and beyond in attempting to ensure compliance with all applicable regulations, both with the Bar and with the applicable state health licensing boards.
The clinics are clean, orderly and well-run. The overwhelming majority of clients have found the care to be helpful and necessary in their postaccident recovery.
The clinics' billings are also well below those of other, smaller chiropractic, rehab and hospital-run facilities. In fact, contrary to the assertions made, I have had many clients who have been treated at the clinics and still have PIP remaining following treatment.
Atwater's comments are nothing more than a continued attempt by the insurance industry to gain complete control over the health care providers who service and aid accident victims.
Prohibiting legitimate and regulated referral services will only proliferate the exact bad activities that Atwater and his office seek to prohibit, and thus, insurance premiums will only rise.
Michael T. Gibson, Orlando
Eckerd may dock new dorms | Nov. 16
We don't need more blight
It was with dismay I read of Eckerd College's plan to convert two 295-foot-long junk barges into dorms. There is ample blight already on the intracoastal waterways of St. Petersburg and Pinellas County. What's next — opening it up to "junk boat residences" similar to Hong Kong?
Anyone knowledgeable about the specific tiny lagoon referenced understands in reality these massive "junkers" would be crammed in, not "fit nicely" as described by Eckerd's Bill McKenna. While it is nice that the "reactions from the students have been quite popular," what about the immediately surrounding residential area?
Is there consideration of the impact on long-term residents and home values, already decimated of late, by further congesting this area with two massive 200-student party boats in the midst of a residential area?
City, county and environmental leaders need to step up now and put an end to this environmentally insensitive trashing of St. Petersburg's waterways. It establishes a precedent for houseboat-style residences that will see no boundaries.
Eric Hamblen, St. Petersburg
Tensions simmer in USF Poly debate Nov. 18
Vote spoke volumes
After reading this article about state Sen. J.D. Alexander attacking University of South Florida president Judy Genshaft over the independence of USF Polytechnic, I found the real headline buried at the end. The faculty gave USF Poly chancellor Marshall Goodman a vote of "no confidence."
That one sentence was the biggest revelation of the whole article.
Gail Parsons, Odessa
Retailers' early start unpopular with some Nov. 13
They won't get my business
What a shame, the greed in opening big stores at midnight. They have even managed to ruin Thanksgiving for many families. I will personally boycott these stores and hope others will as well. Since money is the bottom line for these large corporations, perhaps this will send a message.
Elizabeth Reid, Seminole
Exceptionalism as the rule | Nov. 20
Realities on the ground
To the five myths recited by Stephen Walt, there should be a sixth: that all Harvard professors know what they are talking about.
In addition to the typical liberal bias against the unique American experiment of individual rights and human dignity, I take strong exception to Walt's statement that America's "one-sided policies have also prolonged Palestinian statelessness and sustained Israel's brutal occupation."
Having just returned from a 12-day tour of Israel, I respectfully suggest based upon my personal observations that the entire concept of "Israeli occupation" is a myth and the word "brutal" is better applied to define Walt's prejudicial sentiments. The so-called "Palestinian territories" are in fact cities with many beautiful single-family homes, mosques, stores, government buildings and the like.
Although off-limits to Israelis, Palestinian-occupied cities such as Bethlehem receive vital services such as electricity and other utilities, as well as major hospital care, from the Israeli government. Those few areas in the Palestinian territories that do contain poor living conditions are purposefully so maintained by the Palestinians as propaganda villages and are not representative of the overwhelming number of cities and towns in these territories.
The fact is that the only thing prolonging Palestinian statelessness is the Palestinians themselves who prefer to act the role as "political victims" rather than peacefully share any of this land with Israelis, notwithstanding the Jewish people's biblical and historical ties to the land.
Richard Haber, Tampa
Delay is merely political | Nov. 21, letter
A letter writer states that President Barack Obama put a stop to the Keystone XL pipeline to appease his environmentalist base. If he wanted to appease them, he would have given a flat no and that would have been that.
The writer also states that a way around the Sand Hills has already been found; not true, that is the reason for the year delay — to find a new path.
The owner of the pipeline said there would be at most 6,500 jobs. There is no pipeline in this country that generates hundreds of thousands of jobs. When a pipeline is finished, it's controlled by computers.
Also, there would most assuredly not be an immediate impact on the oil consumed in this country. First, it will take two years at least to lay it; and second, all oil is sold on the global market.
The refineries in Texas (my home state) are located at ports where supertankers pick up the refined oil and take it around the world. Texas alone is the fifth-largest oil producing area in the world; so there goes the argument for an immediate impact.
Kay Kelly, Clearwater