Sunday, November 19, 2017
Letters To The Editor

Sunday's letters: Politicians dither on climate change


'Belief in climate change is optional, but participation is mandatory' | May 18

Citizens act as politicians dither

Gov. Rick Scott and Sen. Marco Rubio have recently refused to acknowledge that climate change is caused by greenhouse gas pollution. Fortunately, however, most Floridians get it.

Eleven Florida cities and counties have passed measures calling on the federal government to strengthen efforts to fight climate change by using the Clean Air Act to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Miami stands to lose more assets from coastal flooding than any other city in the world, while Tampa's sea level has been rising steadily for more than 50 years.

With more than 1,200 miles of coastline and 75 percent of our population in coastal counties, our state faces serious danger from climate change. If only our elected officials could get up to speed, we might see policies to protect us from that threat.

Jaclyn Lopez, St. Petersburg

Florida Orchestra

An inspiring performance

If a conductor can take an old war horse and breathe young life back into it, he is a conductor of great miracles. Further, if the old riders are excited about the horse and if the listeners are brought to their feet, something fresh is born.

If repainting Beethoven's Fifth Symphony wasn't enough, last week's talented guest conductor had the temerity and the talent to bring the difficult Sinfonia Sacra, by Andrzej Panufnik, to our little space in the universe. It was brilliantly conducted and very warmly received.

Something special happened Thursday at the Mahaffey Theater — Beethoven, Purcell and Panufnik — and hundreds of people were mesmerized by our orchestra and the gifted Michael Francis, who treated us to one of the most exciting performances our orchestra has given in recent memory.

If we could be so fortunate to bring this talent to Tampa Bay as our new resident conductor, we would see a new level of excellence in the arts community.

Thomas T. Luter, Tampa

President finally acts strongly on VA May 22, editorial

Care capacity strained

Whenever there is a shortage of medical treatment capacity, medical providers must resort to triage. The VA medical system has insufficient capacity to provide all needed treatment to our veterans. It has insufficient capacity because Congress does not have the political courage to raise the money needed to pay for the medical services it promised our veterans.

Now, rather than address the underlying cause of the problem — underfunding — Congress is investigating and criticizing the triage methods used by the VA. We should be outraged at the way our veterans are being treated. However, that outrage should be directed at Congress, whose cowardice created the need for triage, not the people who mismanaged it.

Ed Bradley, Valrico

Trouble at the top

It's unfortunate that the VA scandal seems to be progressing along the usual lines of application of an immediate fix and partisan blame for and defense of this administration.

Don't expect VA Secretary Eric Shinseki to accomplish anything. One highlight of his term as Army chief of staff was the ill-fated Future Combat Systems, a fatally flawed attempt at merging disparate combat and intelligence systems under one program, which cost nearly $20 billion before its cancellation. Another was the issuing of a standard black beret because Shinseki considered the practical patrol caps "unmilitary." The hated berets were finally phased out in 2011.

I'm not a veteran, but I worked in a Navy command and associated with many. Going back 40 years, I have heard a lot of complaints that while the VA hospitals were good at treating urgent cases, they neglected chronic conditions. This occurred under the past seven presidents, Democratic and Republican both.

The VA problem is caused by the toxic combination of an entrenched bureaucracy and politics that will defy any quick fixes.

James Klapper, Oldsmar

Look for deeds, not words

According to this editorial: "President Barack Obama finally displayed an appropriate sense of outrage."

If I recall, Obama displayed "an appropriate sense of outrage" over "Fast and Furious," Benghazi and the IRS scandal, but I have not seen anyone brought to account for any of them.

So forgive me if I show a bit of skepticism. When I see some high-level and very public firings, and the prosecutions of responsible individuals, then I might believe it.

Kenneth R. Gilder, St. Petersburg

Doctor salaries aren't the big cost | May 21, commentary

Ailing health care system

None of the largest cost factors in America's medical system contribute to actual patient care; all those costs are administrative.

The United States has the highest medical care costs of any modern nation. Yet across 37 indicators of performance, it achieves a score of 65 out of 100 on international benchmarks for performance.

Until the United States makes significant changes in how we spend our health care dollars, our costs will continue to rise and our health care benefits to patients will continue to decline. Is this, as some will say, the best health care system in the world?

Jay Hall, Tampa

All the news fit for a partisan | May 22, commentary

Business opportunity

This opinion piece shows clearly that Republicans and Democrats want different news. The editorial department should show this article to senior management.

Since roughly half of the population are Democrats and half are Republicans, the Tampa Bay Times could potentially double its readership by simply including news that half of your potential market wants.

With the increased number of people reading the newspaper, you could then create more jobs and hire more people and thereby help out the Tampa Bay area.

Martin Kleiner, Tampa


Monday’s letters: Doctors should speak up on harassment

Sexual harassmentDoctors need to speak upThe recent widespread recognition, followed by disapproval, of sexual harassment across many workplaces signals a paradigm shift in social attitudes toward abuse of power that is long overdue.The male-dominate...
Published: 11/17/17

Saturday’s letters: Reservoir project off to a good start

Lake OkeechobeeReservoir project off to good startThis year, more than 70,000 Floridians contacted their legislators to support expediting a reservoir project south of Lake Okeechobee. Another 150 business people, anglers, health care professionals a...
Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/17/17

Sunday’s letters: Roundabout way to help the rich

Senate GOP’s tax plan to kill ACA mandate | Nov. 15Devious way to hurt middle classSo, let’s see if we have this straight. The proposed amendment to the Senate tax plan, to kill the individual mandate, will cause young people to not buy health in...
Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/17/17

Friday’s letters: Stop laying blame on teachers

Hillsborough teachers are set to protest | Nov. 14Stop laying blame on teachersI am a veteran teacher, coming up on 30 years of service to public education. My mother was also an educator, clocking over 40 years of service in public education. Sh...
Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/16/17

Pasco Letters to the Editor for Nov. 17

Questioning fees draws snarky responseYou are probably aware of the new Pasco utility fees that became effective last month.Under the dubious title of "convenience fee" for making utility payments by credit card or e-check, Pasco Utilities adds $2.75...
Published: 11/15/17

Dollars need to stay at home if south Brooksville is to survive

As a member of the Moton High School Class of 1967, I grew up a poor but very happy child because of the love given to me by all. So all I had to do was be a child and not rush to be an adult.There were many black businesses along a four-block area o...
Updated: 8 hours ago

Wednesday’s letters: Generosity makes all the difference

National Adoption MonthThe difference generosity makesAs a football coach, I always had to be ready to overcome unexpected challenges. With injuries, crowd noise and especially weather, the game plan is always adjusting to overcome adversity.Our stat...
Published: 11/13/17
Updated: 11/14/17

Monday’s letters: Moore is not fit for public office

Woman: Candidate pursued her as a teen | Nov. 10Moore is not fit for public officeIt is sad that Roy Moore, a self-professed religious man, is running for a Senate seat when he is clearly unfit for any job involving the public for so many reasons...
Published: 11/10/17
Updated: 11/13/17

Monday’s letters: Don’t fall for the tax cut ruse

Tax billDon’t take your eye off the ballThe rush is on. The Republican Congress is rushing to pass a modest tax cut for the middle class while giving corporations a massive tax cut. While taking away some of the tax deductions from ordinary taxpayers...
Published: 11/10/17

Sunday’s letters: End greyhound racing in Florida

Tom Lee wants to phase out greyhound racing | Nov. 8Put a stop to this cruel industryKudos to Sen. Tom Lee for shepherding a constitutional amendment to end greyhound racing in Florida. Greyhounds forced to race live in misery and frequently die ...
Published: 11/09/17
Updated: 11/10/17