Thursday, February 22, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Sunday's letters: Money more important than care

United customers facing key choices | Nov. 27

Money more important than care

Your articles about BayCare hospitals can be combined into an impression that money is more important to them than health care availability.

BayCare hospitals demand $11 million from UnitedHealthcare insurance. Instead of litigating the contract dispute, BayCare throws thousands of UnitedHealthcare subscribers under the health care hospital bus. BayCare's letters blatantly point insurance company subscribers to rival companies, while denying those subscribers access to their hospitals.

At the same time, BayCare hospitals are found to owe, and agree to pay, more than $10 million for overbilling Medicare patients for cardiac procedures.

In the background, the BayCare hospital chain expands through a series of costly mergers. These actions give them more power. However, those of us who are or might be a patient in a BayCare facility will end up paying more for what they deliver — much more.

John P. Fernsler, Oldsmar

Science over scare tactics | Nov. 28, editorial

Leadership on fluoride

You are to be commended for an outstanding job of informing your readers concerning the benefits of water fluoridation. Your articles helped not only in promoting fluoridation's safety, economy and effectiveness in preventing tooth decay, but also in assisting Pinellas County citizens in deciding who should represent their interests as county commissioners.

Your leadership on this vital issue showed that when a responsible newspaper and other health professionals work together to keep citizens informed on a technical matter, people reject the scare tactics and political threats used by those who would rather wallow in their scientific ignorance.

The only correction I might offer is that fluoride is an element, not a "mineral" as stated in some of your articles, but this is a very minor technicality.

Stephen Feldman DDS, MSEd., Valrico

Texting suspected in fatal crash | Nov. 28

It doesn't make sense

I can't believe we have to actually make it against the law to text while driving. What has happened to common sense? Are parents and teachers not teaching this any more?

I am shocked that someone would even talk on the phone while driving. What has happened to us that we need to make it against the law?

Stephen Gregory, Tampa

Dangerous drivers

The fact that texting and talking on a cellphone while driving is still legal in Florida is hard to believe. The National Safety Council and the American Automobile Association have repeatedly reported that texting and cellphone use substantially increase a driver's risk of getting into an accident. It's called "distracted driving," and it injures and kills innocent drivers who are victims when distracted drivers of other cars use their gadgets.

A Tallahassee legislator recently said he didn't favor such safety laws since they violate individual liberty. I'm one American and Floridian who didn't know that our liberty includes the right to kill innocent motorists in other cars while we text and talk on our cellphones.

Frank Lupo, St. Petersburg

Views mixed on Lens tweaks | Nov. 28

Keep it simple

The ideas for the Pier are way out there. They really are not what that beautiful piece of land deserves.

When you see what happened to the present Pier, why would you put that much money into another flop? We don't need these fancy ideas; we just need a straightforward Pier — to walk on, with benches to sit on, and a few vendors.

Just rework the old Pier idea, make it shorter and build a new police station instead. That's something St. Petersburg really needs.

Donna Beach, Pinellas Park

Before search, a tourism favorite Nov. 28

Padding their pockets

As this article points out, the main purpose of Tampa Bay & Co., a nonprofit $10 million operation funded by the county's tourist tax dollars, is to book the publicly funded convention center.

I wonder: What does the city's Tampa Convention Center's director, or the sales and marketing staff with four national sales managers, do for their tax-supported salaries?

The kicker to the story is that Tampa Bay & Co. pays its CEO significantly more than the Pinellas County tourism director. This is another example of tax-supported back-slapping and pocket-padding we the tax-paying citizens get to pay for.

S.D. Leichner, Tampa

Kelleys' lawyer fires back | Nov. 28

Social climbing isn't a crime

Jill Kelley has been made to appear silly, or worse. But how can any of us know the truth amid a media circus like this? America creates big expectations, and Kelley seems to be a person who desperately wanted to be somebody. She violated South Tampa social conventions and ruffled some feathers there. Last time I checked, that is not a crime.

In any event her lawyer, Abbe Lowell, correctly points out that her sudden notoriety is not only extremely bothersome, but uninvited — it was thrust upon her as a consequence of reporting something she felt she had an obligation to report.

Brett Geer, Tampa

Alas, no 200 mph Gandy sprint | Nov. 28

Road worrier

Let me get this straight: The Florida Department of Transportation agrees to close a major Tampa/St. Petersburg thoroughfare on a business day, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., so that an exotic sports car can be driven over the bridge at 200 mph?

What makes this even more ludicrous is that the show's producers, not FDOT, canceled the run "due to concerns about safety."

Your tax dollars at work.

Michael Finch, Pinellas Park

Talk, no action as 'cliff' looms | Nov. 29

It's simple math

The inherited spending portion of our budget deficit — two wars and an unpaid-for prescription drug plan — plus the lost revenue due to the Bush tax cuts, all add up to the spending problem that the Republicans keep expounding on of late. What's so hard to figure out?

Lyle Hirschinger, Zephyrhills


Wednesday’s letters:

House Bill 21Opioid proposal merits supportIn 2016, Florida recorded 952 heroin-related and 1,390 fentanyl-related deaths. Four in five new heroin users began by misusing prescription pain medications, also known as opioids. Despite the widespread op...
Published: 02/20/18

Hernando Letter to the Editor for Feb. 23

Re: Hernando business leaders push to loosen development rules | Feb. 9; Re: Deny Brooksville mine expansion, planning commissioners say | Feb. 16Wish to register my opposition to both the draft of the new Hernando County Comprehensive Plan that elim...
Published: 02/20/18

Tuesday’s letters: Making politics personal is one way toward reasonable gun control

The Parkland shootingMake gun politics personalAs an educator of 32 years, it encourages me to see our young people engaged after the horror at Stoneman Douglas High School. The tragedy at Parkland has awakened the sleeping giant that is the millenni...
Published: 02/19/18

Sunday’s letters: Congress must act on firearms

Deadly toll: 17 | Feb. 15Congress must act on firearmsIt’s time for Congress to be counted.The failure of Congress to act to: (1) limit access to assault rifles and (2) require meaningful background checks for all gun purchases is appalling.Surel...
Published: 02/17/18

Monday’s letters: Call it by its name: terrorism

Deadly toll: 17 | Feb. 15Call it whatit is: terrorismLet’s just call it what it is. It’s terrorism. No school in the country is immune. They all have procedures for sheltering in place or emergency evacuation from a shooter. It’s prudent to be pr...
Published: 02/16/18

Saturday’s letters: Payoff to porn star not front-page news?

Lawyer: I personally paid porn star | Feb. 14Where we’re at: This is 4A newsOnly under the Trump presidency does a story about the president’s lawyer paying off a porn star to cover up an affair with the president show up on page 4A. Never mind t...
Published: 02/16/18

Friday’s letters: Water quality too important to gamble on

State to update water rules | Feb. 10Don’t gamble with water safetyI wondered whether this front-page article was an early April Fool’s joke. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection "updated" its pollution regulations in 2016, with str...
Published: 02/15/18

Thursday’s letters: Bill protects pharmacy customers

House Bill 351Bill protects pharmacy customersWe all need the protections provided in Florida House Bill 351 to ensure pharmacy benefit managers, or PBMs, are transparently operating with patients. Currently, PBMs are not regulated by the state and o...
Published: 02/14/18

Wednesday’s letters: The ocean is no place for amateurs

Youthful dream sinks in two days | Feb. 12Ocean is no place for amateursFirst of all, let me say I am sorry this couple lost their boat and I do applaud their adventurous spirit. However, I have spent over 20 years at sea and would like to commen...
Published: 02/13/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for Feb. 16

A vote against Pasco’s jail bond issueThere are two stories on the front page of the Feb. 9 Pasco Times that drew my attention.The top headline reports that the Pasco County commissioners are discussing submitting a $185 million bond issue to the vot...
Published: 02/13/18