Friday, March 23, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Monday's letters: To save lives, become organ donor

TGH kidney team hits 40 | June 22

To save lives, become organ donor

Tampa General Hospital's celebration of 40 years providing the gift of life through organ transplantation in our community highlights the amazing stories, such as that of longtime kidney recipient Cindy Ellis, that exemplify the many lives saved annually because of organ and tissue donation. Ellis was the recipient of a kidney from a living donor, her sister, nearly four decades ago.

Unfortunately, with nearly 80 percent of the transplant waiting list for organ transplants made up of those who need a kidney, not every patient will find a living donor. For those patients who don't, including all those in need of heart, pancreas and intestine transplants and most needing liver and lung transplants, their gift of life will come from someone who made the decision to donate their organs after death.

The most important link in providing new life a chance to blossom through transplantation, however, was barely mentioned in the story — a donor and their family.

Most lifesaving transplants are due to the generosity of a family who lost a loved one, and in the midst of their grief they helped carry out their loved one's wish to save lives as an organ donor.

The generosity of such anonymous individuals sets an example for the rest of us. Decide to become an organ donor: Sign up on Florida's Donor Registry by visiting or when renewing your driver license or ID card.

Jennifer Krouse, Tampa

Medical moneymakers | June 25, commentary

Doctors earn their pay

In this article, the author has a chart of the 15 best-paid jobs, 13 of which are related to health care professions. He concludes that "American doctors are way overpaid." I was surprised and puzzled that he could have reached such a conclusion.

In a society where many "professionals" are paid millions of dollars entertaining in sports and show business with no one questioning the legitimacy of such remuneration, it seems cynical and frankly ignorant that anyone would question the income of individuals who literally dedicate their lives to keeping us all healthy.

Physicians typically work 60 hours a week (not counting weekend calls) seeing patients and documenting medical records, sacrificing sleep and time with family in the pursuit of trying to keep their fellow man well. Even if we do not consider the fact that becoming a physician is an extremely expensive endeavor and that most doctors I know are paying student loans well into their 40s, the degree of physical and intellectual effort put by doctors into their daily routines is by itself well worth their compensation.

The author states that health professionals' pay is "one of the many reasons U.S. medicine is so expensive." The health care crisis is much more related to the outrageous fees hospitals charge, as well as the cost of pharmaceuticals. The profit margins of these industries says it all.

Jesus L. Penabad, M.D., Tarpon Springs

Pasco school removes book | June 25

Lifelong reading lessons

I was saddened to see Pasco County remove the book Paper Towns from its eighth-grade reading list, not only because I abhor censorship of young adult fiction in general, but because the themes it discusses are relevant and critical to Pasco County. Urban sprawl, water rights, land use decisions and theme park culture are explored in a way that provokes critical thinking and problem-solving without talking down to younger readers — something rare in fiction aimed at any age. To be yanked from the list after a single question from one parent is inexcusable — particularly given the laughable "grandmother" test to which the book was subjected.

The books you read growing up, including in your teens, affect and shape you in a way that later reading can never duplicate. It's a shame the parents and decisionmakers were so pruriently consumed with the number of F-bombs that they missed the themes of friendship, academic excellence and loyalty also contained in Paper Towns.

Frankly, if your child reaches eighth grade and has to ask you what masturbation means, then shame on you — you are failing your child. Get over yourself and go talk to them about healthy sexuality before it's too late.

Denise Goodner-Robbins, Seminole

Opponents are persecuted | June 25, letter

Message of tolerance

When I read this letter about opponents to same-sex marriage, my immediate reaction was, "Yes, bigots should be silenced, persecuted and punished." Then I thought maybe I was being too harsh. I then ruminated over the three hours of television I saw about the civil rights movement of the 1960s and decided, "Yes, bigots should be silenced, persecuted, and punished."

I hope the documentaries 50 years from now reveal us to be a more enlightened and tolerant people than we were in the era of Jim Crow.

Elizabeth Corwin, Tampa

Americans wary of U.S. role in Iraq | June 25, commentary

Mission failure

As the neoconservatives like Dick Cheney pile on the war wagon, I wonder why no one is questioning our previous efforts. That is, we spent billions of dollars and years training the Iraqi army. Now that they are obviously totally inept at defending themselves, why is no one questioning how effective our training forces really were?

The thought of providing more training needs to be challenged after we've thoroughly demonstrated we weren't able to do the job previously.

Doug Bauer, Clearwater

Religion at root of strife | June 25, letter

Money and power

The letter writer forgot the deadliest religion of all: secularism. In the name of no religion, Mao Tse-tung caused the murder of between 50 million to 70 million of his citizens, and the Chinese government persecutes people simply for believing.

Josef Stalin's actions killed about 30 million as a conservative guess, and the secular Soviet Union persecuted religious people until its demise. Pol Pot of Cambodia killed over 1 million of his own people in an effort to create a secular state of his design.

Conflicts are never simple. While religion can play a part, it is very seldom the only reason; money and power are far more often the culprits.

Anothony Campanaro, Clearwater


Monday’s letters: Driverless cars on perilous roads

Driverless cautions | March 23, commentaryDriverless carson perilous roadsHaving watched the video of the tragedy in Tempe, Ariz., I believe the police are correct. This accident could not have been avoided as the pedestrian stepped out of the sh...
Updated: 9 hours ago

Friday’s letters: Think through assault weapons ban

Gun controlThink through assault rifle banI recently emailed a Florida state representative who had pledged, among other things, to ban assault rifles in the state. I asked him if he would ban the sale and transfer of these guns or ultimately make th...
Published: 03/22/18

Saturday’s letters: Tax guns to pay for security

Million-dollar questions | March 21Tax firearms to pay for securitySo public officials are wondering where they’ll get the money for stationing an armed guard in every school. How about heavily taxing every gun? It’s the proliferation of the weap...
Updated: 10 hours ago

Thursday’s letters: School safety requires funding

Constitution Revision CommissionSchool safety requires fundingThe Constitution Revision Commission should consider amending a proposal (45, 93 or 72) to allocate the necessary recurring funding for the new school safety mandates, separate from the ba...
Published: 03/21/18

Wednesday’s letters: Let the teachers decide on guns

Trump touts arming staff as key in plan for school security | March 12It’s the teacher’s call on weaponsPlease, let’s try an alternate view about guns in the classroom. First, it hasn’t gone unnoticed that the preponderance of letters about guns ...
Published: 03/20/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for March 23

Re: Residents object to solar farm | March 16, storyLakeland Electric has shown that residential customers can be incentivized to allow placement of utility-owned solar panels on their roofs. Likewise, business owners can be incentivized to allow...
Published: 03/19/18

Tuesday’s letters: It shouldn’t be this hard to fly

Tampa International AirportIt shouldn’t be this hard to flyI’ve given the train two tries now from economy parking at Tampa airport. It’s a lot of work. How silly to go down one bank of elevators, then take a good walk to the next set of elevators to...
Published: 03/19/18

Monday’s letters: Protect Floridians’ right to privacy

People push for changes at Constitution hearing | March 14Protect Florida’s right to privacyI attended the Constitution Revision Commission’s public hearing at USF St. Petersburg last week. I was there because I thought it was important to have m...
Published: 03/18/18

Sunday’s letters: Effort to stem pet cruelty pays off

Puppy millsEffort to stem cruelty pays offThank you to everyone who contacted their legislators, and a huge shout-out to the Tampa Bay Times for letting us know that state legislators were considering a bill to eliminate the hard-achieved gains on lo...
Published: 03/17/18

Saturday’s letters: Insurer focused on repairs, not fees

Citizens hit with $12.7M verdict | March 15Insurer’s focus: repairs, not feesCitizens Property Insurance Corp. has spent the past several years making sure that insurance proceeds for sinkhole repairs are used to restore a home and make it whole....
Published: 03/16/18