Sunday, May 20, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Thursday's letters: Health reform was sorely needed

Affordable Care Act

Health reform was sorely needed

For decades we have been forced to navigate impenetrable health care websites. We've seen our health care insurance canceled for the most specious — or even fraudulent — reasons when we got really sick. Thousands, if not millions, of us were sentenced to death, driven into bankruptcy or forced to suffer with treatable chronic conditions because it was just too expensive to provide us with proper medical care. We've paid billions to cover the costs for the uninsured, who showed up by the thousands at emergency rooms and received care because the law — and common decency — required it.

When asked before Congress if they would consider changing the practice of "recission" — canceling, for the most phony of reasons, the policies of people who suddenly needed expensive health care — the heads of the big insurance companies replied with a unanimous "no." And no Republican made a sound.

Now, a few weeks into the shakedown cruise for a plan that addresses all of these problems — using many ideas first proposed by Republicans — we are supposed to buy the idea that this is a "crushing burden" on taxpayers, an already failed program and proof positive that creeping socialism is taking over the country.

Buck Beasom, Tampa

Sink to seek Young's seat | Oct. 30

Instant negativity

After reading the piece about Alex Sink, I went online to find her website. When I typed her name into a Google search, what topped the results list was a paid negative ad about her.

It is disheartening to see the big money come out so quickly to fight a candidate for Congress. There isn't even an identifiable opposition party candidate, and yet there they are posting paid online ads. No wonder we have such a problem with our Congress — negative ads begin even before there is a candidate.

Lynn Bosco, Clearwater

The last voyage of the Bounty | Nov. 3

Beyond the headlines

The loss of the HMS Bounty, which I had visited several times over the years in St. Petersburg, was tragic. And the loss of three lives in its stormy sinking was an even worse tragedy.

Michael Kruse's three-part series in the Times helps put it all in perspective. The Bounty and its captain and crew all lived for "sailing on the blue." Kruse's well-researched, spellbindingly written story of their last voyage was a fitting seafarer's tale that unfortunately had a sad as well as a happy ending. The Coast Guard's role in those last hours of the Bounty's voyage was nothing less than truly heroic.

As a former Coast Guard auxiliaryman who has seen their work up close so many times, Kruse's descriptions of their efforts was perfectly on target. Thank you, Tampa Bay Times, Michael Kruse and all the other contributors to this series. Well done. It is an excellent example of a good newspaper's role in reporting the story of life, particularly the "whole story" beyond the news headline.

Roy Bertke, Clearwater

Great storytelling

I am a snowbird from New York and know of the devastation of Sandy, which is still evident today. I did not realize the situation of the Bounty that happened at the same time.

I found this story riveting and wanted to thank Michael Kruse and the Times for telling us this great story.

Jean Kauffman, Zephyrhills

Lessons from the sea

Michael Kruse did a fabulous job of depicting the ship's end. And of course our hearts are with the survivors as well as the families of those who didn't make it. Among other things, two come to mind foremost: the heroics of our Coast Guard when others' lives are in peril; and never try to outguess the weather.

Bob Lartz, St. Petersburg

Fairness and federal flood policy Nov. 5, editorial

Laws and consequences

Just the thought of what is going on with this new flood insurance legislation gives me anxiety, which I'm sure is the case for homeowners in the Shore Acres neighborhood of St. Petersburg.

We're being represented by out-of-touch politicians who write bills and do favors for each other while not really understanding the ramifications of their actions and how honest, hard-working people's lives are turned upside down.

A letter writer tells of how the Dutch fixed their flooding, even as their land is below sea level. I remember when America was a great nation like that, taking actions that improved the people's lives.

It's evident we are being played by power-hungry politicians and corporate leaders who are making policy decisions without fully understanding how it all plays out.

Daniel Orsello, Tampa

NFL confronts Dolphins hazing case Nov. 5

Culture breeds bullying

A Miami Dolphins player has been accused of bullying a teammate. The underlying sentiment is that this is being blown out of proportion because the hazing that goes on against rookie players is a time-honored tradition, or that the bullied player should have dealt with the issue other than by leaving camp.

Football players from an early age are more glorified than those from any other sport. Yes, not all football players grow into bullies. But the glory and the money that football generates — from high school level to college through the pros — breeds a culture that rewards bullies.

Lynda Caster, 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