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Friday's letters: Humane treatment of livestock worth paying for

No bacon at all? Hogwash! | Oct. 2

Humane treatment worth the cost

In this article reference was made to the phasing out of gestation crates for pigs as one of the causes of increasing pork prices and possible pork shortages. I would like to elaborate on what these crates are. Factory pigs spend nearly their entire lives in isolated crates that are only 2 feet wide. The animals are unable to turn around and at most can take one step forward or backward.

I understand we enjoy eating our pork, but I am more than willing to pay a few extra cents knowing I am eating an animal that has been humanely raised. If people educated themselves on the practices of factory-raised animals, I believe most would feel as I do.

Melanie Powell, St. Petersburg

Few price breaks for drivers | Oct. 2

Consumers fleeced again

Remember when Gov. Rick Scott promised that by overhauling the automobile PIP statute you were going to see a reduction in your premiums?

The insurance companies are sure to experience huge savings in benefits paid due to the stringent requirements for the insured to qualify. These include initial treatment within 14 days or you get no benefits. So if you were inclined to wait and see if the pain subsides without spending their money, I wouldn't suggest it.

If you don't get a medical doctor to say that you have an "emergency medical condition" (according to the insurer's definition) then you are only entitled to up to $2,500 of the $10,000 of coverage your are forced to carry.

Insurance companies in Florida had a deadline of Oct. 1 to reduce premiums by 10 percent or explain why they could not. Guess what happened? The majority of them advised the state that they not only won't reduce rates but are asking to yet again increase premiums.

So once again the politicians used the same old ruse on you and the majority of you fell for it. Our governor is hell bent on further tort reform to chip away at your rights one session at a time. So when the next hit comes and they tell you it will save you money, just do what most of you always do: Line up and get sheared.

Tom Parnell, Tampa

Rates going up

I recently received my auto insurance renewal and was shocked to see it had gone up 20.6 percent overall. There was no reduction in PIP. I had no tickets, claims or accidents. I can only imagine what it would have gone up if I had one.

Thank you, Republican Legislature and Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty for letting me know that HB 119 is working. I am sure you anxiously await the next campaign contribution from the insurance lobby.

Rich Gurczinski, St. Petersburg

At 79, fight is on to keep license | Oct. 2

Course isn't a license

One line in your article about Marjorie Buda, age 79, having to take a driver's test was revealing. The article says it didn't matter that she took the AARP safe driver course.

I have no knowledge of her driving ability, but the implication that taking the AARP safe driver course means that a person is a safe driver is exactly why I quit teaching that course. There are no tests that are reported to anyone. There is no passing or failing. If you are still alive at the end of the last lesson, you have completed the course. But, as the instructor, I was not saying it was safe for you to drive.

Of the 20 to 30 people who normally attended my courses, there was usually at least one, sometimes more, who I believed should not be driving. However, we were not supposed to address those people directly for fear of lawsuits. I suggested to my immediate supervisor that we be allowed, somehow, to discretely identify people we believed should be retested so that AARP could suggest that to the participant's insurance company. My supervisor did not think AARP would do that.

I quit, explaining that I could not, in good conscience, allow some people to think I was saying it was all right for them to drive.

The course itself is a good one containing valuable information about how to recognize and compensate for physical limitations that usually accrue with age. But it is not a license to drive.

Alfred J. D'Amario, Hudson

Transit options lacking

Since I also live in Pinellas Park and gave up driving 13 years ago, I know how difficult it can be without a car. Buses do not run often and can require several changes. I rode a three-wheeled bicycle for many years to buy my groceries, but since a nearby Publix moved, I now have to use a taxi, which adds to my expense.

My doctor's office is near Tyrone Shopping Center, and a trip there and back costs me $40. We need more transportation available to those who no longer drive. I use a handicap scooter, but except for a wonderful local (Pinellas Park) taxi, no other drivers are willing to carry it, except for special vans at about $20 a ride or more.

Evelyn Jeanne Cromwell, Pinellas Park

The psych approach | Sept. 30, commentary

Key to a better future

Thanks to David Brooks for shining a bright light on the ACE study. It is possibly the most significant research of our time and yet is relatively unknown.

It is what made the nickel drop for me when, as an elected official, I tried to make sense of why our city was continually faced with a growing number of challenges despite the dedicated efforts of so many agencies, systems and individuals.

As a result, two years ago, Peace4Tarpon Trauma Informed Community Initiative was formed to understand how trauma and unaddressed ACE scores play out throughout our city.

We determined that if the many partners we have in Tarpon Springs began working together using trauma as a common lens, the result would be a healthier, more thriving community. Understanding the ACE study and its implications was the key that would open the door to a different future.

I imagine someday folks will look back and shake their heads as to why it took so long to connect these dots, just as today we look back at Dr. Joseph Lister, who understood the implications of surgeons washing their hands and sterilizing equipment.

Robin Saenger, Tarpon Springs

Friday's letters: Humane treatment of livestock worth paying for 10/04/12 [Last modified: Thursday, October 4, 2012 5:06pm]
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