Sunday, May 20, 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


Monday’s letters: Focusing on the mental state of shooters misses the point

Texas high school shooting | May 18Criminals, angry people kill peopleSchool shootings are a distinctly American phenomenon. But shootings by people with serious mental illness represent less than 1 percent of all yearly gun-related homicides in ...
Published: 05/19/18

Friday’s letters: Putnam and Publix, two P’s lose my nod

Publix pours cash to Putnam | May 17A pleasure to shop elsewhereMy family and I moved to Tampa in 1974, and have made Publix our favorite grocery store ever since. Forty-four years! That is why it makes me a little sad to have to say goodbye.Firs...
Published: 05/18/18

Saturday’s letters: For Florida to move forward, focus on a healthy and sustainable environment

Tampa’s future is bright | May 12Protect Florida, boost economyThis past year, Florida set another record-breaking year for tourism, welcoming more than 116 million visitors. While Florida boasts a unique quality of life and more than 1,300 miles...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/18/18

Sunday’s letters: What conservatives stand for

How can conservatism survive after Trump | May 13, Nickens columnhed#6324 I think it obvious that traditional conservatism was squeezed out of the 2016 campaign narrative and has become a niche thesis owned by a small group of intellectuals. A gr...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/18/18

Friday's letters: Putnam and Publix, two P's lose my nod

Publix pours cash to Putnam | May 17 A pleasure to shop elsewhere My family and I moved to Tampa in 1974, and have made Publix our favorite grocery store ever since. Forty-four years! That is why it makes me a little sad to have to say goodbye. F...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/18/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for May 18

Re: Pasco panel okays Tampa Electric solar farm after five-hour meeting | April 9 storySolar farm offers many positivesThere has been much publicity regarding the proposed TECO Mountain View solar project slated for 350 acres in East Pasco that was r...
Published: 05/14/18

Thursday’s letters: Florida has arguably become the autonomous vehicle capital of North America

Autonomous vehicles in FloridaThe state for self-driving carsAlmost overnight, Florida has arguably become the autonomous vehicle capital of North America. In the last three months, Voyage, a self-driving taxi service, has begun service in the Villag...
Published: 05/12/18
Updated: 05/17/18

Wednesday’s letters: Florida’s Community Health Centers save $1.78 for every dollar spent

Florida’s Community Health CentersHealth centers are a great dealIf you gave someone a dollar and they gave you back $1.78, wouldn’t you consider that a fantastic deal? That’s the deal Florida’s Community Health Centers provide for the state’s citize...
Published: 05/12/18
Updated: 05/16/18

Monday’s letters: Good ideas to fix schools still require enough money

Another plan for faltering schools | May 9The right ideas, cash still neededThe administration of the Hillsborough County School District should be applauded for persistent efforts to find the right formula to improve educational results of stude...
Published: 05/09/18
Updated: 05/14/18

Saturday’s letters: Short-sighted prison cuts hurt society

Call to rethink prison cuts | May 10Short-sighted prison cuts hurt societyThe Florida Department of Corrections is dismantling successful substance abuse and re-entry treatment programs to fix a $28 million shortfall. The short-sighted action wi...
Published: 05/09/18
Updated: 05/11/18