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 www.DonateLifeFlorida.org 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
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