Who speaks for the voiceless? | March 20, commentary
A cheap shot at abortion foes
How sad that Leonard Pitts uses his very valid comments in defense of abused children to take a cheap shot at prolifers, the very people who are trying to sensitize their fellow citizens about the tragedy of abusing and killing children whether born or unborn. To single out prolifers for special " indictment" is the height of irony.
In fact, a case might be made that it is the abortion tragedy in this country that has nurtured the climate of insensitivity to and cheapening of human life evidenced by the inhumane actions of the abusers. If it is acceptable to abuse and kill children in the womb, why not after birth?
It would be interesting to know whether Pitts would support the currently proposed Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would prohibit abortions beyond 20 weeks of gestation, when the unborn child can feel pain.
Norman Dusseault, St. Petersburg
Who speaks for the voiceless? March 20, commentary
Step up and be a guardian
To Leonard Pitts: I speak for the voiceless. I speak for the child. I am a Guardian ad Litem as are many of my fellow citizens. However, there are not enough of us to keep up with the number of children coming into the system. What happened to these 477 children is a tragedy.
I challenge our lawmakers to find the funds to help save these children. I am not defending DCF, however in my county I see the tremendous caseloads these workers handle. We need more guardians to take up the challenge. Let's stop waiting for someone else to speak for the voiceless and get involved.
Peg Donovan, Spring Hill
Home care funding cut
Seniors across Florida rely on the Medicare home health benefit to receive clinically advanced, cost-effective and patient-preferred care at home.
Despite the many benefits of home health, the Obama administration imposed deep cuts of 14 percent on the Medicare home health benefit on Jan. 1, which data show will have devastating consequences on our state's Medicare beneficiaries, small businesses and jobs.
Recent analyses demonstrate that every state — including Florida — will experience job loss and business closures due to the Medicare home health cut. As a result, the Medicare program's most vulnerable patients could lose access to quality, skilled home health care.
Nationally, the home health community lost 3,800 jobs just last month, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the largest cut seen in home health in more than a decade. I fear that unless this cut is corrected, thousands of additional jobs will be lost.
I urge our lawmakers in Congress to recognize the devastating effect this cut is having on seniors and jobs across our country, and work together to advance much-needed relief to the Medicare program's frailest patients and home health care professionals. We need their help to save home health.
Rebecca Donovan, Tampa
The audacity of courage | March 20, Weekend
This interview gives the impression that Stefan Sanderling left the Florida Orchestra because it failed to be "relevant" in trying to be "popular." A survey of the orchestra's programming during his tenure will, however, reveal a marked dearth of contemporary, especially American, music. While not xenophobic, I urge the orchestra to replace him with a younger (and, yes, American) conductor, e.g., Joshua Weilerstein or Tito Munoz, who have led inspired performances, as did Sanderling, a very fine conductor and mediocre programmer.
Edward Strickland, Palm Harbor
Pomp and circumstance
This maestro's baton signals a beat of pedantry, pomposity and pretension. If the Florida Orchestra had followed his "avant-garde" course, the Mahaffey Theater would be empty.
Mike Walker, St. Petersburg
Bad science at voucher schools March 20, commentary
Torch of reason
As a retired science teacher I am very pleased that Brandon Haught is keeping the torch of reason alive to shed light on what creationists have cobbled together as a "science curriculum" in some voucher schools. For religious conservatives to disregard the evidence produced by scholars and researchers in the form of fossil collections, results of carbon dating, millions of pages of data and man-hours of study — all of which is subject to review and verification — strikes me as 16th century thinking. If we have separation of church and state, why are we paying them public money for this "non"science?
Tom Reid, Seminole
General spared prison | March 21
Verdict's terrible message
The verdict in the case of Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair gives a green light for people with money, power and rank to enjoy "unrequested sexual relationships." Once again the U.S. system shows that it isn't the crime committed, but rather who commits the crime that determines the punishment.
Caroline York Mortell, St. Petersburg
Capital remembrance | March 20
Visionary work undone
With the death of former Gov. Reubin Askew, Florida lost another leader in the state's growth management history.
Askew was a visionary who marshaled community leaders and growth management experts to address what he considered a major, emerging problem for Florida. He foresaw Florida's population growth placing extreme pressure on the environment, especially water resources. He knew that growth must be planned and managed in harmony with Florida's sensitive environment.
It is unfortunate that all the work that was done to protect Florida's environment over the last 40 years is being systematically dismantled by Gov. Rick Scott.
Bill Sullivan, Seffner