Politics mars school plans | March 31, editorial
Don't impede USF pharmacy school
A University of South Florida pharmacy program is good for the entire Tampa Bay region, and certainly for the state. This critical profession is badly needed as medications become more complex, and as health teams seek to understand the revolutions in genetics that will yield personalized therapies. While I understand your sentiments in opposing the USF pharmacy program in Polk County, there is an alternative view.
USF is proud of our national recognition in integrating health professions in a manner that improves the health of the community. We've called this USF Health. One notable deficiency in our ability to create an integrated model has been the lack of a school of pharmacy.
At the same time, it became clear that we could fill the true shortage of pharmacists trained in a 21st century environment. The Florida Board of Governors asked us, and we performed a very exhaustive analysis of need and we were rewarded with approval of our PharmD program by the governors in 2009.
A national search for a dean ensued, our accreditation process moved forward, and it has always been a given that this will be governed and administered under USF Health and that we will utilize the clinical expertise of all of our partners from Polk to Hillsborough to Pasco to Pinellas and other counties. But it became clear that the space and resources to actually build a school of pharmacy would most easily happen on the new USF Polytechnic site located on I-4. At the same time we began meeting with executives from local companies, WellDyne and Publix, who actively supported that strategy.
The funding is for a USF Health building at USF Polytechnic, and we are prepared and excited to make this an innovative pharmacy school integrated with USF Health. Suggesting that we refuse the school would only be harmful to USF Health, to USF, to this region, and to the economic development of the state.
Stephen K. Klasko, M.D., CEO, USF Health; dean, College of Medicine, University of South Florida, Tampa
MacKay, McBride, Davis, … Sink? | April 1, Howard Troxler column
Alex Sink needs to act like a candidate
Howard Troxler's column said what Democrats have been saying for weeks now. Where is Alex Sink? Is she really running for governor on the Democratic ticket? If she is running, someone better tell her she needs to get out there.
Whoever is running her campaign should be fired, and she needs to get someone who knows how to fight for the office!
Attorney General Bill McCollum and the Republican Legislature are giving Sink ample ammunition to give news conferences, make speeches, get some political ads on TV and radio. She should be taking on McCollum over this lawsuit about health care reform. She should be vocal in her support of the teachers and their fight against the "teacher tenure bill" the Legislature is trying to pass. She should be talking about the corruption in Tallahassee, the misuse of GOP credit cards by Marco Rubio and others. She should be talking about how the budget cuts are affecting families. How can she look at the campaign ad McCollum is running every day on TV against her and not want to jump into the fray?
Hey, Alex, get off your chair, quit hiding in your office and act like a candidate! Why did you agree to run if you don't have the stomach for it? Democrats are calling for a leader and, so far, it seems the call is falling on deaf ears. Get a backbone, Alex!
Larry Jay, New Port Richey
MacKay, McBride, Davis, … Sink? | April 1, Howard Troxler column
She should show herself
Howard Troxler made an excellent point about Alex Sink, who is running as a Democrat for governor of Florida.
Democrats around the state are very disappointed that she fails to inform the electorate of her qualifications for that office. She is virtually unknown, hasn't offered any printed campaign information or been out among the people. Yet she is very intelligent, highly qualified and capable of doing an excellent job, unlike her Republican opponent Bill McCollum who runs for many offices.
There is still time for Alex Sink to be governor, and if some of our fellow Floridians encourage her to get out there, maybe she will. Come on, Alex, step up and be counted.
June Einboden, St. Petersburg
54% of Florida voters oppose new health law March 28
Give us a complete picture
While no poll-taker asked me where I stand on this issue, I have been following your coverage of the health care reform polls with interest. I am concerned that we are getting a very incomplete picture of support or opposition to this issue. I suspect that this is the fault of poorly created polls. Either that, or reporters are not digging deep enough to answer the pertinent questions.
I want to know where people stand on individual aspects of the new law, not just whether or not they approve or oppose it. How many people like the idea of insuring adult children to age 26? How many dislike the idea of forbidding insurers from using pre-existing conditions to deny coverage? How many approve of requiring that insurers continue to offer coverage even when people develop chronic conditions? How many disapprove of requiring everyone to have insurance?
In addition, how many of the people who are unhappy with the new law are unhappy because it did not go far enough for them? How many think it went too far?
I don't doubt that the new law needs tweaking and that Congress will begin tweaking almost immediately. But I do doubt that the majority of the population wants the entire law scrapped so that we are back at square one. How about someone giving us a more complete picture?
Willi Rudowsky, St. Petersburg
I find it very interesting that many of the very people protesting the government health care reform as "too much big government" also feel it's their right to collect Social Security.
What? Once you get yours, you feel anything else is "too much"? And don't tell me you "earned" your Social Security — that's not the point, right? You're protesting "big government," but willingly participate in this same "big government" when it benefits you.
And don't get me started on Medicare.
The point is: You're either against big government, and need to protest all these entitlement programs, or you're only protesting entitlement programs that benefit others as being "too much."
And that's just hypocritical.
Warren Klein, Oldsmar
Officials fret over hurricane apathy | April 1
Yes, we need to mitigate (not a dirty word) against potential wind damage from a storm. This includes installing hurricane shutters and stronger roof-to-wall connections.
However, when you speak of damage from a storm surge, no amount of mitigation helps. A storm surge from a Category 3 hurricane would be from 9 to 12 feet; a Category 5 hurricane would produce a surge greater than 18 feet. This would likely put most of Pinellas County and many areas in Hillsborough under water.
P.J. Jaccoi, Tampa
Red light cameras okayed | April 2
It's a moneymaker
Perhaps the city fathers in St. Petersburg could post signs with the following message:
Warning! You Are Entering a Red Light District.
This would be altogether appropriate. The policy does prostitute public safety to the interests of the city's revenue department.
C.D. Chamberlain, Spring Hill