Thursday, February 22, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Friday's letters: Man's rare bravery and selflessness

Selfless act is 'how he lived his life' | April 10

Rare bravery and self-sacrifice

With the endless stream of reports depicting all that's wrong with the world, the story of Alan Hall reminds us that we never know the depths of bravery and selflessness in the strangers around us.

Hall had just begun enjoying the ease of retirement when he saw three young children in danger of drowning. When only two could be immediately rescued by parents, he surrendered his own safety to the uncertainty of a rip current as he swam to rescue the third young victim. Not until devoting his final living breath to making certain the child was safe did Hall quietly succumb to the danger, exchanging his own life for the future of a life too young to quite comprehend the sacrifice.

Every day people nowhere near each other experience the best and worst that life has to offer. Rarely do the two intersect with such grief, joy and heroism.

May God bless the soul of Hall and be with his family.

David Fraser, Clearwater

Pre-K program report pans quality | April 10

Student success tells tale

What is there to be "panned" in a pre-K program that enrolls more students than any other state, has the students do almost 50 percent better than students who do not participate in the program and does it for almost half of the funding?

I would say this is a success. This is what is so wrong about our public education system. Spending more per student does not always produce better results. The National Institute for Early Education Research set one of the benchmarks as how much is spent per student. I would think that student success would trump spending.

Nancy Dalley, Clearwater

Majoring in football | April 11, commentary

Bring pay out into the open

Joe Nocera's article is a must-read for anyone interested in college sports. It's a known fact that college athletes, for the most part, are enrolled in crib courses, often live in the athletes' dorm, eat special foods and get special stipends.

But these stipends are not from the university; that would be downright illegal and certainly draw the ire of the NCAA. I am aware of one athlete who used to receive $1,500 monthly to spend 15 minutes a week cutting a booster's lawn. Scores of athletes have been "compensated" for performance on the field and lack of performance in the classroom.

What's so wrong with majoring in football or "sports" and receiving remuneration from an institution that is reaping millions from one's talents?

Nocera ably points out that universities need to come clean and make college sports a paid major. For those who qualify, throw in an accounting course, science or psychology. When colleges stop sugarcoating their programs, just maybe some athletes will graduate with academic skills.

John Osterweil, Tampa

Guillen suspended, damage done | April 11

They're just words

The Marlins suspended manager Ozzie Guillen for five games for remarks in which he praised former Cuban President Fidel Castro. Guillen was just expressing an opinion; no one has to agree with it. Where are we, Cuba?

Wayne Rutledge, Brandon

Override Scott veto of key prison reform April 11, editorial

Nonsensical veto

I was stunned when I learned that Gov. Rick Scott vetoed the bill providing intense drug treatment to nonviolent state prisoners, particularly after the near-unanimous support for the bill by his party. There was no logic in it, though that does not seem to be a requirement in any of his decisions.

What think tank could he be listening to now? Maybe there was a monied interest behind it?

Arthur Eggers, Tampa

Doctors under increased scrutiny over painkillers | April 9

Regulate pill distribution

Why don't officials make pain medications only available from one place, like with methadone? At least methadone clinics have success with keeping people well and able to work, function normally, and keeping them off the streets. I've never read about "big underground methadone sales."

Amber Black, Tampa

Learn the benefits of health care reform April 11, commentary

A history of overspending

Americans who enthusiastically support the health care law would be wise to exercise care in what they wish for. They should review the last few decades of other expensive government programs. Both Medicaid and Medicare have become more massive and expensive than anyone predicted. Social Security still seems headed over a cliff unless drastic changes are made.

In addition, the IRS finds itself fighting massive fraud involving taxpayer refunds. And a new financial storm seems to be forming involving the college student loan program. Need I even mention the latest expensive parties held in Las Vegas by the General Services Administration?

It is clear that President Barack Obama's administration lacks the ability to solve these problems. He is too busy working on getting re-elected.

It seems to me a voter would have to be ignorant or naive to think our current president is capable of establishing and operating an efficient and effective national health care plan.

Phil Sachs, St. Petersburg

Did tides and mirages sink ship? | April 10

More deadly disaster

One hundred years later, the Titanic sinking is usually referred to as among the worst maritime disasters in history.

In this context it is worth remembering the sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff on Jan. 30, 1945, off the coast of Poland in the Baltic Sea. It is estimated that over 10,000 souls were aboard the ship, which was attempting to escape the advancing Soviet army.

The passengers were old men, women, infants, children and some wounded German soldiers. A Soviet submarine put three torpedoes into the ship and it quickly began to list and sank, taking with it more than 9,000 lives.

Terry Hobt, Tarpon Springs

Super PACs

Supreme corruption

Republicans love to call the Affordable Care Act "Obamacare," so I think we should call the super PACs "Supreme PACs" so people will be reminded who caused the corruption of our elections.

Walter M. Keehn, Tampa

Comments

Thursday’s letters: Second Amendment is outdated

Second AmendmentCongress can act on firearmsThe Second Amendment is outdated, since it is predicated on the need for a "well regulated militia." Militias are defined as civilian soldiers trained under the command of competent military leadership. The...
Published: 02/20/18
Updated: 02/22/18

Wednesday’s letters:

House Bill 21Opioid proposal merits supportIn 2016, Florida recorded 952 heroin-related and 1,390 fentanyl-related deaths. Four in five new heroin users began by misusing prescription pain medications, also known as opioids. Despite the widespread op...
Published: 02/20/18

Hernando Letter to the Editor for Feb. 23

Re: Hernando business leaders push to loosen development rules | Feb. 9; Re: Deny Brooksville mine expansion, planning commissioners say | Feb. 16Wish to register my opposition to both the draft of the new Hernando County Comprehensive Plan that elim...
Published: 02/20/18

Tuesday’s letters: Making politics personal is one way toward reasonable gun control

The Parkland shootingMake gun politics personalAs an educator of 32 years, it encourages me to see our young people engaged after the horror at Stoneman Douglas High School. The tragedy at Parkland has awakened the sleeping giant that is the millenni...
Published: 02/19/18

Sunday’s letters: Congress must act on firearms

Deadly toll: 17 | Feb. 15Congress must act on firearmsIt’s time for Congress to be counted.The failure of Congress to act to: (1) limit access to assault rifles and (2) require meaningful background checks for all gun purchases is appalling.Surel...
Published: 02/17/18

Monday’s letters: Call it by its name: terrorism

Deadly toll: 17 | Feb. 15Call it whatit is: terrorismLet’s just call it what it is. It’s terrorism. No school in the country is immune. They all have procedures for sheltering in place or emergency evacuation from a shooter. It’s prudent to be pr...
Published: 02/16/18

Saturday’s letters: Payoff to porn star not front-page news?

Lawyer: I personally paid porn star | Feb. 14Where we’re at: This is 4A newsOnly under the Trump presidency does a story about the president’s lawyer paying off a porn star to cover up an affair with the president show up on page 4A. Never mind t...
Published: 02/16/18

Friday’s letters: Water quality too important to gamble on

State to update water rules | Feb. 10Don’t gamble with water safetyI wondered whether this front-page article was an early April Fool’s joke. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection "updated" its pollution regulations in 2016, with str...
Published: 02/15/18

Thursday’s letters: Bill protects pharmacy customers

House Bill 351Bill protects pharmacy customersWe all need the protections provided in Florida House Bill 351 to ensure pharmacy benefit managers, or PBMs, are transparently operating with patients. Currently, PBMs are not regulated by the state and o...
Published: 02/14/18

Wednesday’s letters: The ocean is no place for amateurs

Youthful dream sinks in two days | Feb. 12Ocean is no place for amateursFirst of all, let me say I am sorry this couple lost their boat and I do applaud their adventurous spirit. However, I have spent over 20 years at sea and would like to commen...
Published: 02/13/18