Sunday, January 21, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Friday's letters: Scott should tend to his own job

Fla. to sue over VA 'stonewalling' | May 29

Scott should tend to his own job

Gov. Rick Scott having the state of Florida sue the VA so he can send in state inspectors is ludicrous in the extreme. For the past 10 years I have received almost all of my health care at the VA, and I consider it world-class care. I would much rather deal with the VA than with a bunch of bean counters at a private health insurance company. I am facing two surgeries and I have no anxiety about the care I will receive.

Scott is in charge of Florida's Department of Children and Families, and according to the Miami Herald and this paper, 478 children have died in the past five years, all of whom had some relationship to the DCF. I retired from the Hills­borough County Department of Children's Services and I have some idea of how overworked, underpaid and demoralized DCF employees are. So my advice to Scott is to repair his own department and quit wasting taxpayers' money on frivolous lawsuits.

The best thing that could happen to the VA is for this country to stop fighting unending and unwinnable wars.

John Burrell, Tampa

EPA targets utilities in rule | June 3

Climate change already taking a toll on our health

I am encouraged to see the Environmental Protection Agency's proposed carbon rules to address climate change, which I view as the greatest challenge of our lifetime. Climate change is not some distant problem. It is affecting us right now.

I know I'm not the only one who suffered with chronic allergies this season. Research shows a link between warming temperatures and a longer ragweed pollen season. Allergies and allergy-driven asthma cost the United States an estimated $32 billion every year. The cost of climate change is real.

My utility company, TECO, generates 60 percent of its electricity from dirty coal. I was disappointed but not surprised to see TECO complaining about the new rule. Instead of bad-mouthing a rule intended to protect public health, the company should innovate. I am a subscriber to TECO's "Renewable Energy" block program. I'd like to see that program expanded. Also, more can be done on efficiency.

Utilities in 20 states capture at least five times as much energy efficiency as TECO. I know Tampa Electric can do better.

Melissa Baldwin, Riverview

Sharpen scrutiny on General Motors June 9, editorial

Time for this CEO to go

Mary Barra was selected chief executive of GM because of her deep knowledge of the organization. One must question this in light of her saying she was completely out of the loop concerning the company's ongoing quality problems. Even now, she clearly doesn't recognize the scope of what has happened.

Commenting on GM's internal report, she is quoted as saying, "We failed these customers. We must face up to it and learn from it." In the real world, "failing" a customer is what happens when the clerk at Burger King mixes up an order. GM's mistakes resulted in people's deaths.

Surely it's time for Barra to move on and, like Eric Shinseki, spend more time with the family.

Frank McKinney, St. Petersburg

High standards agenda | June 8, letter

Learning starts in the home

This letter doesn't say which adults are to be held accountable. However, usually this means the classroom teacher (even if the child isn't in the class), the school principal, the superintendent of schools, sometimes even the school board.

Where and when are the parents held accountable?

Young children imitate their parents. If children see their parents reading, children will want to read. If a child's parents show interest in the child's schoolwork and praise good work, the child will want to do good work.

The parent needs to be accountable for the child's readiness to arrive at school prepared to study and prepared to learn.

Barbara M. Rowell, St. Petersburg

Legal medicines also carry risks June 11, letter

Medical relief within reach

I am a Crohn's disease sufferer. Although I have a mild case, the inflammation is a grave concern for me. I am looking forward to Amendment 2 passing in November so I can take edible, low-THC strains of marijuana to ease this condition.

The prescription drugs that are effective against the inflammation caused by this disease carry risks too grave for me to even consider them. Because the drugs are immune blockers, patients are at risk from infections such as tuberculosis, possibly fatal cancers such as lymphoma, and other conditions resulting from a reduced immune system.

I do not believe medical marijuana carries any of these risks. And I do not understand why there is so much negativity toward this amendment. The rewards are there, with low risk.

Larry Molter, Tampa

A soldier's story still in search of an ending June 11, commentary

Bringing them back

A credo of the U.S. military is, "We leave no one behind." What this says to our current and future men and women in uniform (and their families) is: "If you are captured, we will do whatever we can to get you back, period." Logic would say that critics of the Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl deal cannot have it both ways. To wit, they essentially have two choices:

First, change and communicate to our current and future servicemen and women a revised military credo that would include their stated caveats. For example: If you are captured, we will do whatever we can to get you back, unless: (a) we think you were a deserter; (b) a swap is offered by terrorists; (c) we think we aren't being offered a good deal, and/or (d) American soldiers already lost their lives looking for you.

Alternatively, the critics can respect the fact that President Barack Obama did what he could to get Bergdahl back and let it go.

If the president had not accepted this exchange deal from the Taliban, would the anti-Obama pundits and members of Congress bash him for not bringing home an American soldier when he could have?

William G. Emener, St. Pete Beach


Monday’s letters: Tampa Bay deserves rail as an option

New transit option: BRT | Jan. 12Tampa deserves rail as an optionI was disheartened by Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn’s statement about his exhaustion with public transit discussions. It sounds like the government of Tampa has given up on ever realizin...
Published: 01/21/18

Sunday’s letters: Bay area shortchanged on foster care funds

Opioid crisis herds kids to foster care | Jan. 9Bay area foster care shortchangedAs mentioned in this article, the growing opioid epidemic is unfortunately bringing more children into the Florida foster care system. While substance abuse has hist...
Published: 01/20/18

Saturday’s letters: It’s not the word, it’s the racism

Presidential precedent | Jan. 14It’s not the word; it’s the racismThe Times went in the wrong direction and printed information that is rather useless. And that is strange. You usually get it right.I am talking about President Donald Trump’s prof...
Published: 01/19/18

Friday’s letters: Help for boaters against modern-day ‘pirates’

Marine towing and salvageHelp against modern-day piracyAs an avid recreational boat owner and sixth-generation Floridian, I know there’s no better way to enjoy our state’s spectacular waters than taking your boat out. Unfortunately, the fun of boatin...
Published: 01/17/18
Updated: 01/18/18

Thursday’s letters: All Americans need health care

Doctor: Trump got perfect score on cognitive test | Jan. 17All Americans need health carePresident Donald Trump’s extensive health exam has apparently declared him physically fit for office. As I was reading about the battery of tests he received...
Published: 01/17/18

Wednesday’s letters: St. Petersburg’s culture, vibrancy impresses

St. PetersburgImpressive culture and vibrancyI recently visited Tampa Bay and celebrated New Year’s weekend in downtown St. Petersburg. I was awestruck by what I encountered and experienced. It has been several years since I last visited, and the tra...
Published: 01/16/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for Jan. 19

Re: Walking leads to shocking catalogue of trash | Jan. 12 column Bring back anti-littering campaignJust came back from the beautiful, clean city of Singapore, where there is a $1,000 fine, plus community service for littering. I think a presiden...
Published: 01/16/18
Tuesday’s letters: Trump’s accomplishments unheralded

Tuesday’s letters: Trump’s accomplishments unheralded

President Donald TrumpAchievements go unrecognizedAre Americans even aware that our economy is healthier and growing much faster, that ISIS has been defeated and lost their territory, that China and other countries are buying more American goods and ...
Published: 01/16/18

Monday’s letters: Don’t be fooled by drilling turnaround

Deal blocks drilling off Fla. | Jan. 10Don’t be fooled by turnaroundWhile I am very grateful that Florida has been taken off the table regarding offshore oil drilling, it is clear this is a political move to champion Gov. Rick Scott as he conside...
Published: 01/14/18

Sunday’s letters: Left wing late to the #MeToo cause

#MeTooDemocrats come late to the causeThe Times devoted an entire page to the #MeToo issues on Sunday. The ironies here for longtime observers are nearly boundless. Twenty years ago, folks like myself were called "prudes" and worse because we found P...
Published: 01/13/18