The Times editorial "Vote for scare over science" and other articles are remarkable for what they don't contain.
Several enlightened, socialist-leaning countries with the highest living standards in the world don't add fluoride to drinking water. They include: Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Austria, France and the Netherlands.
These nations were not swayed by conservative tea party-style politics. And according to World Health Organization data, their teeth are just as good as, if not better than, Americans'.
Jim Herren, Treasure Island
Bonus plan for dentists
The dental practitioners in Pinellas County should send letters of thanks to the Pinellas County Commission members who voted to eliminate fluoride from the county water supply. This action should stimulate income and job growth in their professional field for years to come.
M. Diane Hodson, St. Petersburg
Negative side effects
Any discussion of fluoride in our water supply is incomplete without a review of the groundbreaking work of Phyllis Mullenix, M.D., which showed significant negative side effects. Dr. Mullenix, working at Harvard University at the time of this research, encountered tremendous resistance to the publication of her work from the federal government and, of course, the powerful companies selling toothpaste and other products that included fluoride. Her work was eventually published and is easily available for review on the Internet.
John W. Kauzlarich, Largo
Topical, not internal, use
Even promoters of fluoridation concede that the major benefits are topical. Fluoride works from the outside of the tooth, not from inside of your body, so why swallow it?
Just read the warning label on your toothpaste or mouthwash about ingestion of fluoride to see that putting it in drinking water is absurd.
Let's continue to support proper topical usage and refrain from unregulated ingestion of unnatural fluoride through our water supplies. It's the safest way and the right thing to do.
Mike Garcia, Tampa
Should we permit four of our seven county commissioners to push their personal political agendas on issues that affect our health?
Properly fluoridated water is approved and endorsed by leading scientists worldwide. As citizens, we should expect to receive the highest quality water possible.
The absence of optimum fluoride levels in our drinking water will negatively affect the oral health of a large segment of our county's population.
Steven Boldt, St. Petersburg
This must be a joke
The fluoride story was so hard to believe I actually had to read the quotes twice. I thought I was reading a bad joke. You know, the one that begins, "Two men walk into a bar … " The difference being that in this joke the men actually walked into the Pinellas County Commission to testify on health issues.
The first man, a dentist with the Pinellas County Health Department, tells our duly elected commissioners, "Fluoride is safe, efficient and cost-effective."
The second man, described as a tea party activist named Tony Caso, tells the commissioners that fluoride is put into our water "to keep people stupid so they don't realize what's going on."
Four commissioners then voted to end the practice that was deemed safe, efficient and cost-effective. Who needs science when we have the tea party to guide us?
Martin Daugherty, St. Petersburg
Consult the evidence
I have been a pediatrician in Pinellas County for 36 years. I testified along with many other dentists, pediatricians and scientists at the County Commission meeting. The opposition was predominantly lay people with fractured reasoning, bizarre anecdotes and a clear political agenda.
That four commissioners would make their decision against fluoridation even with the evidence they received is quite disturbing. Among other sites, readers can go to the CDC (cdc.gov) or American Academy of Pediatrics (aap.org) websites to get a clearer perspective on the issue.
Dean H. Fauber, M.D., Dunedin
Ending fluoridation will save the county $205,000. As a 75-year-old man who grew up in a rural area without fluoridation, and who has spent many thousands over the years to maintain dentition, I find this decision extremely shortsighted, even shameful.
Fred Ames, Largo
A new scapegoat
Is the debate over fluoridating our water really still alive? Over half a century of fighting, and the only thing that's changed is the antifluoride scapegoat.
Back in the '50s the fluoride truthers were afraid of communists. Unfortunately, the fall of the Red Menace forced them to return to their secure bunkers, put on their tin-foil hats and create new fears.
One local conspiracy theorist blames it on the desire of government globalists to keep our people stupid. He's alleged to have said that with a straight face.
It's been argued that fluoride has no place in public water since it benefits only children. But isn't that really the best argument for fluoride? Fluoride helps the children of our lowest-income citizens the most.
Norma Fraser, Clearwater
I beg the commission to reconsider this decision until it has more science-based input. Perhaps the percentage added to the water needs to be adjusted, but to stop this because it represents some kind of socialist plot makes Pinellas County look backward.
Carol S. Ballew, St. Pete Beach
A flawed future | Oct. 5
Poor climate for extras
I can understand Rays owner Stuart Sternberg's disappointment about attendance. But he sounds angry at locals who in his eyes aren't spending enough to support the team. And in a recent article about attendance, an official of the local Chamber of Commerce expresses puzzlement at the lack of attendance. You have to wonder on what planet these guys are living.
Sternberg hails from Wall Street, where irresponsible and fraudulent trading nearly destroyed the U.S. economy and has dramatically depleted the retirement funds of millions of Americans. We are facing Depression-like unemployment while millions are losing their homes.
Meanwhile, the Chamber of Commerce is using its vast resources nationally to attack teachers, public employees, union workers and virtually anyone outside management who earns above minimum wage.
In such a climate, anyone who has a dollar should be forgiven if they think twice before spending it on something as frivolous as a baseball ticket.
The Rays have put together an exciting team with inspiring young players and some impressive veterans. They are fun to watch. I'm sure people here would love to spend their spare money on the exciting Rays games — if they only had some.
Richard DelGreco, Gulfport
Rays deserve applause
I found this article to be so negative. Our Rays deserve applause. They had to work hard to even get to the playoffs and yet they are being treated like the Rodney Dangerfield of the sports world. Eight out 30 teams went to the playoffs and the Rays were one of the eight.
As for the attendance, our Tampa Bay area is still in quite a recession with high unemployment. And don't forget that Tuesday's game was at 2 p.m., when kids were in school and their parents at work. So please, give us fans a break. As soon as our household salaries go up, the seats will fill up.
Jennifer Little, Largo
Doing all we can
Congratulations to the Rays and of course to Joe Madden, who did a great job with rookies and an underpaid lineup. The sad thing is the poor attendance.
For me, the recession hit in October 2006. My business had no more work and I was forced into an early, unwanted and unplanned retirement. My house is worth half of what it was, homeowners insurance has canceled me for no reason, and let's not even talk about the cost of gas and groceries.
I watched every Rays game on TV and loved them. If that isn't enough, I'm sorry. But to hear millionaires cry poor mouth is absurd.
Daniel Orsello, Tampa