Practical advice for hurricanes
I am a 70-year-old man who lost power for 73 hours in Hurricane Irma. I slept like a baby for three nights and lost no food. I took commonsense steps.
1. I froze tap water in plastic bottles.
2. I turned AC down from usual 76 to 71 so when power went off, my walls, ceilings and floors would be colder, keeping me cooler longer.
3. I opened no windows. Better to have 80-degree air in my condo without humidity, than 85-degree outside air with humidity.
4. I took two frozen bottles of water to bed with me, put each in a plastic to collect condensation and put each bottle in a sock. Then I placed a bottle on each side of me to help keep my body temp down. The ice melted by morning. Now I had more water to drink.
5. The last day I also placed bottles on each side of me while sitting in my chair. I was cool as a cucumber.
6. When power went out I took all my frozen food and bottles of water and packed it into two coolers (bought at Walmart) and put the coolers into the freezer. My food was still frozen when the power was restored 73 hours later.
Bruce Peters, Tampa
Our president is an Abbie Hoffman of the right | Sept. 27
Trump's no Abbie Hoffman
I am not in dispute with the content of David Brooks' article, but I very much disagree calling Donald Trump the Abbie Hoffman of the anything. As someone who volunteered with Abbie Hoffman as a teenager, I can tell you that Abbie Hoffman worked tirelessly to better the lives of the disenfranchised, the poor, the people in Worcester, Mass., who needed help. Donald Trump is no way Abbie Hoffman.
Tobey Burwick, Dunedin
What Irma taught us about caring for older Floridians | Sept 22, column
Take care of frail elders
Kudos and gratitude to Dr. Larry Polivka for his career-long advocacy for frail elders in long-term care. He points out again how the state has failed these important long-time citizens of Florida, who for years provided volunteer and financial resources to keep the quality of life for the rest of us. Then after depleting their health and resources paying for expensive long-term care, they must depend on Medicaid. We must have a change in Tallahassee from many legislators and the governor, who worry only about re-election. The 2018 elections cannot come to soon.
Gerald Buchert, St. Petersburg
Vietnam haunts us to this day | Sept. 29, column
A loss of faith in government
In recalling his Vietnam experiences evoked by the Ken Burns and Lynn Novick documentary of that ill-advised war, professor David Colburn laments a catastrophe that killed 58,000 Americans. But perhaps an even greater catastrophe was the damage caused to Americans' faith in their government. Presidents Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon's blatant lies about what was actually happening forever raised doubts in the minds of the public about the credibility of the nation's leaders. Similarly, the eventual lack of accountability for those involved in the horrific My Lai massacre of hundreds of innocent civilians significantly affected the nation's appreciation for the value of human life and the rules of engagement in war-fighting.
Fred Kalhammer, Sun City Center