Insult to injury | March 9
Nearby trauma center a lifesaver
After learning of the Tampa Bay Times' recent series on Florida's trauma care system, it disappointed me to find that the newspaper's editors failed to tell the full story of what our trauma centers have done and continue to do for our communities.
The Times' shortsighted conclusions are disheartening not only because they neglect to account for the wide-ranging benefits that trauma centers bring to our state, but also because such mischaracterizations are largely contrary to my own experience as a critically injured patient.
On Thanksgiving Day 2011, I was in a serious car accident that required extensive care from experienced trauma professionals. I had a separated clavicle, two fractured hips, a concussion, lost my ability to swallow, a damaged kidney, fractured ribs and internal bleeding — injuries I thought would take my life. Fortunately, at the time I was close enough to the trauma center at Bayonet Point that I was able to immediately receive highly effective care that saved my life.
Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities, specialized staff including trauma surgeons, and has provided life-saving care to thousands of citizens, including me.
My life is only just one example of why local access to trauma centers is so important to our communities. For this reason, I believe it is important to share this perspective on the growing need for accessible, quality trauma care that the Times unfortunately left out.
Paul Judson, Spring Hill
Genetically modified organisms
Keep consumers informed
It seems that every week there's a story about a Republican legislator doing the bidding of his corporate bosses. This time it's a state senator trying to block a bill that would mandate labeling of food containing genetically modified organisms, or GMOs. It's worth noting that this representative has received donations from a company that makes GMOs.
Several states, as well as most European countries, have such labeling requirements. I'm not saying that GMOs are unsafe, but we have the right to know what's in the food we eat.
Chuck Bayer, Redington Shores
He ruled as king of the congas | March 20
Musician will be missed
Last week the Tampa Bay area lost musician Joe Lala, who succumbed to cancer. Lala was a phenomenal percussionist who played with the likes of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, the Allman Brothers, the Eagles and Eric Clapton, and helped form the '70s band Blues Image, which had a hit song with Ride Captain Ride.
This musical genius, brought up in the Latin streets of West Tampa, was a humble, down-to-earth person who will be missed by many.
Mike Merino, Tampa
Bank modifies loan on Kelley Bayshore home | March 18
Where do I sign up?
How is it possible to live in a dream house such as the one Dr. Scott Kelley and his wife, Jill, have without making a house payment for three years? If I tried this, I'd be tossed out on my keister after three months.
What kind of a sweetheart deal did the Kelleys have that gave them such royal treatment, and where do I sign up for the same?
Don Wozniak, Tampa
Shine light on CIA misdeeds March 13, editorial
Restore respect for liberty
Revelations that the CIA spied on the Senate Intelligence Committee, one of its overseers, proves again that national policies properly balancing security and liberty remain a theoretical dream with no effective foundation.
The Times editorial was right on target. This problem is rooted in the lack of reasoned restraint and a deadened respect for our traditional liberties by authorities such as the National Security Agency, the CIA and their supposed handlers — all in the name, of course, of national security. We need to not only shine a light on these rogue agencies, but reform them. Now.
The federal judge who last year said James Madison would be "aghast" at this overweening surveillance was right. But Madison and the founding fathers would not just sit by, paralyzed by the challenge, or write a new set of Federalist Papers. They would act — forcefully.
Laurence J. Paul, Nobleton
DCF on watch as 477 kids die | March 16
Look to staffing
Perhaps we should be looking at the quality of the agency — its policies and staff — and not putting a PR spin on the tragic stories to say more money is the fix.
The examples in recent Times articles about children left with parents who "promised" to stop their addictive behaviors, leave abusive mates and change their ways are outrageous. Abused at-risk children, as well as taxpayers, deserve better.
It seems as if no one is responsible to answer for the sad and final outcome for too many innocent victims.
Robyn Dalton, Largo
2 sisters hit by car on walk to school March 19
Dark morning perils
I read with dismay about yet two more schoolchildren being injured because the practice of moving the clock forward one hour for daylight saving time forces them to walk to school in the dark. Among other problems, daylight saving time wreaks havoc with our internal clocks.
Anastasia Sultan, Tampa
Tampa Bay Times
Coverage in depth
I read articles from the Tampa Bay Times that are picked up online by Longreads or Longform and just finished the series on trauma care costs.
Once again, I was impressed with the depth of your coverage, your reporters' writing, the depth of your research, and the charts, graphs and videos. The Times is a wonderful read.
Martha McLendon, Silver Spring, Md.