Saturday, May 26, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Friday's letters: Take action on Florida's waters

Trouble bubbling | Nov. 25

Take action on Florida's waters

Craig Pittman did an excellent job investigating the heartbreaking pollution of Florida's amazing springs. This is the kind of journalism that benefits all of us in Florida, and it serves as a call to action. We don't have to sit back and watch this happen — we can act.

As Pittman noted, "The pollution fuels the growth of toxic algae blooms, which are taking over springs and the rivers they feed and putting human health at risk."

One of the chief culprits behind the gross algae outbreaks, he pointed out, is too much nitrogen. It comes from fertilizer, inadequately treated sewage, and manure.

Right now, the White House is deciding whether to impose effective standards to control this pollution in Florida. Gov. Rick Scott wants to substitute ineffective state rules which were basically written by Tallahassee corporate lobbyists. These are filled with loopholes and would not protect our springs, rivers, lakes and beaches from pollution.

We need the strong rules developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, because they set enforceable numeric limits on the amount of pollution allowed in our waters. The EPA's rules are easy-to-read speed limit signs. The rules Scott is proposing would only require pollution control after waters have been already slimed — that means the damage is done and taxpayers will be forced to pay for expensive cleanups.

Now it's up to President Barack Obama: Will he back Scott's proposal or support the EPA's?

So far, citizens have sent more than 40,000 letters to the White House, urging Obama to enforce the EPA's standards. We have to keep the pressure up.

David Guest, Earthjustice, Tallahassee

United customers facing key choices Nov. 27

Billing nightmares

I support the providers of health care, i.e., BayCare. As a medical biller and coder, on a daily basis I see how hard it is for a physician to get payment from the health insurance companies. In my opinion, UnitedHealthcare is one of the worst offenders. They consistently deny clean claims and force practices to use up time, money and resources to appeal for the money owed to them.

Sarah Spivey, St. Petersburg

Earlier birth control access urged | Nov. 27

Flawed recommendations

As a physician and a health educator, I find two major flaws in the recommendations of the Academy of Pediatrics.

First, they fail to warn young people that the major risk of recreational sex is sexually transmitted diseases rather than an unwanted pregnancy. In addition to incurable infectious diseases such as AIDS and herpes, recreational sex is responsible worldwide for as many cancers as tobacco smoking, including cancer of the uterine cervix, penis, anus and mouth.

Second, they endorse a nearsighted and demeaning view of sex. Those of us who embrace the Judeo-Christian faith have learned that sex is a unique form of communication through which two individuals make a unique gift of each other to each other. We also learned that the ability to generate and support new life is a unique privilege that makes us God's partners in an ongoing creation.

I deeply resent and deplore that the teachings of the Academy of Pediatrics disregard the sacredness of sex and make science an accomplice of an egregious lie, that sex may be used as a recreational drug or as a form of contact sport.

Lodovico Balducci, Tampa

Too soon to reinstate the 100 Nov. 25, Bill Maxwell column

Start with new faces

When fraternities are suspended by a university for a serious infraction, it is often for at least four years or until the last student has graduated or left the school. I suggest that the FAMU marching band be disbanded until the last member has graduated or left the university. If FAMU still wants a marching band, it can start anew with new members under a no-hazing, no-bullying philosophy.

There needs to be a change of culture at FAMU. Time and new faces can help that happen.

James W. Shiffer, Clearwater

Support, not stunts, for colleges Nov. 27, editorial

Distance learning a bargain

It sounds like a novel thing for Gov. Rick Scott to call for $10,000 bachelor's degrees, but for decades students have actually been able to earn a bachelor's for approximately half that through accelerated distance learning.

Top students can and do self-study and test their way to large portions of a degree, filling out the rest with inexpensive online and community college classes. Accelerated distance learning is absurdly cheap. In a culture where the resume stamp "BA" means little, why not?

I have read of and spoken with young people who have or are doing this very thing, and are extremely satisfied. Scott and Florida colleges and universities should take a look.

Joy Pullmann, Heartland Institute, Chicago

Payday | Nov. 27

Pay to play

If the Rays can pay one player (Evan Longoria) $100 million, then they can pay $500 million for their own stadium.

State, county and city taxpayers' dollars should not be subsidizing private sports corporations.

Walter Gay, Dunedin

Nuclear plans, fees get an okay | Nov. 27

Not serving the public

It is clear whom the Public Service Commission represents. It's certainly not John Q. Public. Again, they have approved millions of dollars the public has to pay toward a proposed nuclear facility that may or may not be built.

I'm tired of the PCS imposing taxes with little or no concern about the financial burden placed on the public. Whom are they working for — the public or big business?

Edward Russell, Clearwater

Go for solar

Rather than sticking us ratepayers with an additional $143 million to go toward an unlikely to ever be built nuclear plant, how about PSC directing Progress Energy to actually be progressive?

Let them throw their weight and money behind rooftop solar voltaic projects that will go online right now, creating local jobs and building an industry of the present and future that is sustainable.

Mike Judd, Dunedin


Monday’s letters: NFL finally listens to its fans

NFL moves to endanthem protests | May 24NFL’s action comes too lateThe NFL owners are, after two years, finally growing some courage.Before these kneel-downs became the elephant in the room, team owners could have taken action to minimize the imp...
Updated: 12 hours ago

Sunday’s letters: As Jews, we should not be afraid to criticize Israel

Published: 05/24/18
Updated: 05/25/18

Saturday’s letters: Bayshore fatalities didn’t have to happen

After two fatalities, speed limits cut | May 25Cameras needed on BayshoreOnce again, two pedestrians have died as the result of careless drivers who were speeding. Once again, the Times and other media outlets are filled with opinions about the c...
Updated: 11 hours ago

Friday's letters: Thanks to jurors for fulfilling civic duty

May is Juror Appreciation Month Thanks, jurors, for your service Trial by a jury of one’s peers is among the bedrock guarantees that make our representative democracy exceptional. Without it, the courtroom fates of defendants and civil litiga...
Published: 05/23/18
Updated: 05/25/18

Thursday’s letters: Heated chemotherapy won’t treat most ovarian cancers

Heated chemotherapy has promising results | May 16Cancer treatment not a cure-all While we were pleased to see the story about ovarian cancer treatment, we are concerned that the article could mislead many patients. The treatment described has be...
Published: 05/22/18
Updated: 05/24/18

Wednesday’s letters: A princess gives us a lesson to live by

Royal treatment | May 21Princess offers advice for us allThe radiant and joyful Princess Anna Noela Lokolo of the Democratic Republic of Congo, recent Eckerd College graduate, has given us a huge gift in her parting words. "If people have a negat...
Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/23/18

Hernando Letters to the Editor for May 25

Re: Central High School bomb threat suspect to be tried as adult | May 4Angry mob rhetoric not helpfulWe have observed the public discourse surrounding the case of Mizella Robinson with increasing unease. A sampling of the more common sentiment...
Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/22/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for May 25

Re: Proposed TECO Solar Plant Opposed to the TECO solar plantAs a 21-year resident and property owner, I am writing in opposition to the proposed Tampa Electric Company solar plant in rural northeast Pasco County.The solar plant will be .2 miles from...
Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/22/18

Tuesday’s letters: If you don’t like the Electoral College, then amend the Constitution

The popular vote | May 20, letterIf you don’t like it, amend ConstitutionA recent letter supports the idea that a state should be able to change its Electoral College vote to match that of the national popular vote winner as opposed to the result...
Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/22/18

Monday’s letters: Focusing on the mental state of shooters misses the point

Texas high school shooting | May 18Criminals, angry people kill peopleSchool shootings are a distinctly American phenomenon. But shootings by people with serious mental illness represent less than 1 percent of all yearly gun-related homicides in ...
Published: 05/19/18
Updated: 05/21/18