Medical racism alive and well | Dec. 9, Bill Maxwell column
Profession of caring, not judging
Thank you, Bill Maxwell. I had no idea that even one book had been written on this topic. What a shame. Our medical profession is in a worse mess than I thought.
How can anyone who calls himself or herself a doctor or physician think like this, let alone act like this?
I was taught in nursing school not to judge, belittle, bully, discriminate, or otherwise put down anyone in our care. We are held to a higher standard than most of society. I don't mean to toot my horn as a nurse, but aren't doctors held to higher standards also? What is going on in the world of medicine? It seems out of control.
I am not black, but if I ever catch wind of any doctor I am around acting like a bigot, giving lesser care to one of my patients, I intend to personally call him or her out on the carpet. There is no excuse for it.
Doctors and physicians, wake up, grow up, and start treating people like people, not separate races. A sick person is a sick person. Period.
Nickie McNichols, Clearwater
Cameras seeing wrecks | Dec. 13
Drivers are the problem
While detractors decry the need for and use of red-light cameras at intersections, and make a news story of the St. Petersburg report omitting the number of accidents, the major point of that story was overlooked. That is that we need more of these cameras at more intersections, not less or removal of them.
That key point is that the cameras at just those few intersections caught 36,185 lawbreaking drivers in less than one year. These types of drivers are the ones responsible for causing damage, injury and death. They are the problem, not the cameras.
Ernest Bach, Largo
Give them a chance to work
The red-light camera naysayers are the same in every area where they have been installed. It's a cash grab, they say; they cause accidents; and so on. It's only been a year. Give them a chance to prove themselves.
The only way to penalize these reckless speeders/red-light runners is in the wallet, as respect or common sense for others' safety on the road is lacking.
My home city of Winnipeg, Manitoba, recently extended its program for another seven years.
Ronald Campbell, Clearwater
Red means stop
More accidents are caused only because drivers have become used to running red lights. They are now stopping and getting rear-ended by other drivers who assume the car ahead of them will run the light.
This is no reason to stop the program. Only when everyone realizes they can't run red lights will the problem be solved, and the cameras are needed for this.
Our 29-year-old son was killed by a driver running a red light. Drivers need to get used to the fact that red means stop. If it takes cameras to convince them, then so be it. Getting rear-ended is still better than getting hit broadside.
Carlyn Laurent, Sun City Center
Tweaking teacher grades | Dec. 12
Different starting points
The root of the problem with the current teacher evaluation system is its assumption that somehow teachers are the only ones responsible for the progress of their students.
There has been oodles of research done on how what a child brings to the classroom affects the ability to learn. Learning readiness has been shown to include many things that teachers cannot and do not have the ability to change or control, like: whether the child ate breakfast or dinner, or slept enough; has learning disabilities, developmental delays, or mental illness; and whether the parents are supportive, literate or living in poverty.
To claim that teachers are solely responsible for whether, and how quickly, a child learns is foolish.
Brenda Wallis, Dunedin
Lie of the year | Dec. 12
Health care trumps Jeeps
Mitt Romney being untruthful about Jeeps going to China is considered the biggest lie of the year?
First of all, the election is over. Who cares about that now? I feel the biggest lie should be something that will affect Americans for years to come. I think it is President Barack Obama telling us over and over that if you like your insurance plan and your doctor, you can keep them when his health care plan goes into effect. However, many doctors are already refusing to accept Medicare and others will join them after Obamacare begins.
More proof is that if I'm a business owner and find the government plan is cheaper than I now pay for my employees, I will drop the present plan and go with the government plan. Thus, my workers no longer have the same plan or doctor.
I'm less worried about sending Jeeps to China than I am about sending them billions of American dollars just to keep up with the interest on our loans.
Gene Huber, Spring Hill
Michigan puts limits on union dues Dec. 12
Test unions' claims
In this democratic country, nobody should be forced to join an organization or have to involuntarily contribute to one. What unions should do is push for legislation that only union members can benefit from the collective bargaining contracts that are negotiated. Nonunion employees would have to deal with the company on an individual basis.
If the union can provide a better compensation package than what the worker can get on his or her own, then there will be an incentive for the employees to freely choose to join the union. If the union can't get better wages and compensation, then they deserve to lose members.
Eric Greenbaum, Tampa
Never let go | Dec. 12
Kelley Benham's series on the birth and care of her baby deserves extended applause. Her willingness to share this intimate experience, and her extraordinary ability to convey in writing her related emotions, pain and joy, combine to afford the reader a rare opportunity to understand premature birth from the viewpoint of the mother and her family.
I hope that her series attracts the acclaim it deserves. More importantly, it should be required reading for those involved in the prolife vs. choice controversy. Juniper sure looks like a baby to me, and I'll bet Kelley and Tom agree.
Wilson Stober, Clearwater