Scott jolts free health clinics | July 1
Florida's health needs go unmet
A number of years ago, I drove with a friend to New Orleans to volunteer with the National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics. For two days my friend and I joined more than 100 other nonprofessional volunteers as aides to the dozens of volunteer doctors and nurses and medical technicians serving more than 1,000 people who otherwise had no health care. Held in a huge convention center, the clinic was a gathering of generous people from several states reaching out to the most appreciative people I have ever met.
If you haven't done volunteer work of that kind, you do not know how truly magnificent medical professionals can be, how supportive medical technicians can be, and how sincerely you will be thanked by people who simply need basic health care.
Given the real and widespread need among uninsured people in Florida, I am unfortunately not surprised that Gov. Rick Scott has vetoed money desperately needed by free clinics all over the state. I am not surprised the Republicans in the House and Senate are not protesting his decision.
So my question is: Why aren't all Florida citizens outraged by the veto? Why are Floridians prepared to let people with health care needs suffer the consequences of an indifferent and self-serving state government?
Whatever happened to "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you"?
Ronald Vierling, Tampa
Project is a poor fit
The Altman Cos. of Boca Raton want to develop a 270-unit apartment complex in the heart of one of the most historic commercial districts in Tampa, Grand Central Avenue. This project would ruin all that has been done rehabilitating this neighborhood to date.
As a city, we should demand the type of character-enhancing and thoughtful development that will provide a shopping, office and entertainment experience that befit a great American city like Tampa and that is consistent with current zoning.
Jeff Vinik is clearly leading the way, as are others who see the real potential of our city. Let's not settle for anything less. Tampa deserves better.
Blake Casper, Tampa
BP to pay Florida $3.25B in oil spill | July 3
Enhance marine habitats
Have our elected officials totally missed the point with all this BP money on the way? The oil spill did serious damage to the Gulf of Mexico and its marine communities, so why are they planning on spending the money on things like community centers and "legacy projects"?
We now have shortages of red snapper and gag grouper, so why not spend some of that BP money on habitat enhancement? A single grouper can produce a half-million eggs, but if only 10 find suitable habitat, the rest never grow up.
Scientific studies have proven artificial reefs greatly increase the food population of the water column, and marine fisheries are a vital part of our local economy. An artificial reef will continue to support large fish populations for several thousand years. That seems like a pretty good investment to me.
Heyward Mathews, Clearwater