Saturday, February 24, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Sunday's letters: The gift of organ donation

Healthy tot a gift for area family | Dec. 23

The gift of organ donation

The story of the life-saving, multi-organ transplant that gave Adonis Ortiz the opportunity to experience another Christmas with his family is a beautiful example of the many miracles created annually by the gift of organ and tissue donation. Adonis' chance at life is thanks to many: his loving family, skilled medical professionals and his own strength and perseverance. The most important link in providing this new life a chance to blossom, however, was not mentioned in the story: an organ donor. Somewhere in the United States a family lost a loved one, and in the midst of their grief they helped carry out their loved one's wish to save lives as an organ donor. One selfless decision spared Adonis' family the same tragedy of loss by choosing to give the gift of life.

Particularly in this season of giving, the generosity of such anonymous individuals sets an example for the rest of us. Decide to become an organ donor by signing up on Florida's donor registry at or when renewing your driver's license or ID card. One organ donor can save the lives of eight people and impact many more through tissue donation. There are more than 121,000 people like Adonis waiting nationally for a life-saving transplant — and each of us has an opportunity to become a hero every time we say "yes" to organ donation.

Jennifer Krouse, Tampa

Flood rates opposed even on high ground Dec. 25

Poll question missed point

Who in the world thought of such a ridiculous poll? You mean that when presented with the option of paying more or "coming up with another way," people would rather choose Plan B? Shocking. The poll should have presented actual, real alternatives, such as restoring (taxpayer-funded) subsidies or moving to private insurers.

Chris Johnson, Clearwater

Make coverage all-inclusive

Phasing in of unreasonable flood insurance rates does not address the real issue: Rates that are unreasonable and unaffordable will still be so, no matter how long it takes to bring them to full force. From a consumer standpoint, separating flood insurance from other homeowners insurance doesn't make sense. It would be like buying car insurance that covers collision damage to the fenders but not the doors, or health insurance that covers arms but not legs.

There is no justification for insurance costs that approach or exceed 20 percent of the value of entire properties. It costs more to insure a Ferrari than it does to insure a Honda, but the value of the road on which they each ride doesn't change as they drive over it. Just as you have to pay more to insure the Ferrari, no matter where it is driven, the only way to effectively mitigate the flood insurance fiasco is to make catastrophic damage coverage for all Florida homes in all geographic areas all-inclusive — wind, fire, flood, sinkhole — based solely on the value of the insured structures.

Larry Van Gelder, St. Petersburg

Digital billboards

Distracting and dangerous

In an age when just about everything is digital, there is one area that's dangerous: bright digital billboards in a retirement community.

First, they are annoying, extremely bright at night and promote a negative aesthetic impact in Sun City Center. Second, they are a distraction to drivers, especially at night, and impact the safety and welfare of senior citizens who reside here. Third, the intensity and brilliance of these digital signs cause glare and temporarily impair the vision of older drivers with glaucoma, cataracts and night blindness who dominate the traffic in Sun City Center.

And guess who the advertisers are? Ophthalmologists.

Bob Kelly, Sun City Center


Sunday’s letters: Slogans won’t ensure safety

LegislatureSafety requires more than slogansOn Wednesday, our Florida House passed House Bill 839 requiring all public schools to post the state motto, "In God We Trust," in a "conspicuous place." The day before, the same Florida House declined to ev...
Published: 02/24/18

Saturday’s letters: Preserve home rule in Florida

LegislaturePreserve home rule in FloridaOn behalf of the members of Business Watch, a trade association for government contractors, I would like to voice our dismay over the Legislature’s wholesale attack on home rule. As local government contractors...
Published: 02/23/18

Thursday’s letters: Second Amendment is outdated

Second AmendmentCongress can act on firearmsThe Second Amendment is outdated, since it is predicated on the need for a "well regulated militia." Militias are defined as civilian soldiers trained under the command of competent military leadership. The...
Published: 02/20/18
Updated: 02/22/18

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