Thursday, November 23, 2017
Letters To The Editor

Thursday's letters: Sick children deserve better than this


Standoff on health care gets critical | May 31

Sick children deserve better

Our daughter, McKinley, has been undergoing treatment for leukemia for two years at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital. Recently, United-Healthcare failed to reach an agreement for a new contract for services provided there. Since we are currently undergoing treatment, we will be covered as in-network for the next six months. However, there are thousands of other families in the area who will need treatment at this hospital soon, so this dispute needs to be addressed immediately.

Since the expiration of the contract, we have already encountered issues with our daughter's scheduled treatments. One treatment she missed likely contributed to her having to be admitted to the hospital for two nights and her being put on a chemo hold for a week for her immune system to recover. This is unacceptable, and the families and children of southwest Florida deserve better. Being told that certain services may not be covered or that we need to seek treatment elsewhere is not an option.

We have no intention of taking our daughter anywhere else for her care but to Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital. Taking her away from highly specialized physicians who know her two years' of medical history so well is simply not an option. They are family to her.

Increasing the financial, mental and emotional burden on these families is not an option. We need your help in making our voices heard. Our primary focus is the treatment of our children. We should not have to be concerned with insurance contract negotiations that I can only assume have failed because a private company is more concerned with the value of its stock than the quality of treatment and services available for children and their families.

Casey and Karen Moore, Bradenton

Horrors of WWII still vivid as veteran turns 100 years old | May 30

A history of bravery

In these days of assumed outrage, where most of the news and public interest is critically focused on daily politics, this story about Harvey Lentz stood out due to its wonderful subject and his positive message.

Mr. Lentz reminds us that we Americans have a history of bravery, of achievement. His story was captivating and encouraging. The events described in the story are a great description of his time in Europe: I felt I was there with him. I thank him for his service.

Andrew DeWeerd, Clearwater

Trump's faithful: Give him a chance | May 28

No simple solutions

Four out of the eight Trump supporters interviewed for this story were first-time voters, all in their 50s or 60s. What does this say about them and their unwavering support for the president? First of all, it boggles the mind that these highly opinionated people reached middle age and never bothered to vote.

Were they too busy? Were there no candidates put forth in the three decades or more of their voting eligibility that these people felt deserved their vote?

Or is the answer that these are intellectually incurious people who never bother to read a newspaper or history book, never take time to learn about the issues facing their local, state and national governments. Hence, they also were too indisposed, uninterested or just plain lazy to vote.

Apparently these non-voters aren't cognizant of the hundreds of thousands of their fellow Americans who died in defense of this democracy whose greatest gift is the right to vote. They also seem to be ignorant of Russia's long history of brutal expansionism at the expense of its neighbors.

Why did they turn out to vote this time? Probably because of the simplicity of Donald Trump's message. Our shuttered factories and sinking wages are someone else fault: immigrants, Muslims, blacks and Latinos. More complicated answers like automation, a global economy and a greedy, corrupt Wall Street aren't part of the Trumpian explanation for the country's woes. He is a man of simple solutions, a perfect candidate for the uninterested, apathetic American.

Mike Salinero, Tampa

Criticism is part of liberty | Letter, May 28

Go directly to the source

The letter writer says, in part, that the right of media to criticize and even mock the president is the foundation of our free society. I don't disagree, but just ask that the media report facts and not information from "sources." The writer says that Trump revealed classified information to the Russian ambassador. What classified information? He then fired FBI Director James Comey to end an investigation. How do we know that? The information came from "sources" of the New York Times and Washington Post. Remember that "sources" also have an agenda and I suggest we wait for the results of the Robert Mueller investigation before making assumptions based on information from "sources."

Bob Butler, Tampa

All grads raise your hand | May 27

Committed superintendent

After attending several graduations this year, I noticed something I'd never seen in the 30 years that I taught in Hillsborough County schools. Our superintendent, Jeff Eakins, the same man I've seen at multiple school and community events in the last few months, the same man who turned down a raise to exemplify his commitment to our schools, attended the graduations for all 27 high schools, along with the graduation for the adult high school programs and technical colleges. He shook the hand of every Hillsborough County public school graduate who crossed the platform and received a diploma.

Furthermore, when he arrived a few minutes early for the graduations, he mingled with faculty and students who were awaiting the ceremonies, congratulating them, thanking them, praising them and listening to them. The character traits that Eakins displays speak volumes to us about his pride in our schools, his desire to ensure our students' successes, and his commitment to show continual improvement within our schools.

Judi Briant, Thonotosassa


Friday’s letters: Find private investors for a new stadium

Opening offer from Rays on stadium sounds too low | Nov. 17, editorialFind private investors for stadiumThe Rays "offered" to pay 18.75 percent of the costs? How outrageously presumptuous to say that they offered! Put another way, they demanded t...
Published: 11/21/17
Updated: 11/22/17

Thursday’s letters: Tax plan won’t help wages

Tax billThis won’t help stagnant wagesThe unfair tax proposal that cuts taxes for the rich and most powerful and cuts the ability of working people to claim any comparable deductions is no more than another greedy power grab by the rich and powerful....
Published: 11/20/17
Updated: 11/22/17

Wednesday’s letters: Breaking down health data

Don’t let news on blood pressure raise yours | Nov. 17, commentaryBreaking down health numbersThank you for publishing the timely commentary by Dr. H. Gilbert Welch on blood pressure. The point he makes about relative risks versus absolute risks ...
Published: 11/20/17
Updated: 11/21/17

Tuesday’s letters: Disgraceful tax proposals

Tax billDisgraceful, harmful proposalsThe very fact that the Congress of the people of the United States would propose, not to mention pass, the current tax bill is nothing short of disgraceful. What sort of representatives of the people support cutt...
Published: 11/20/17

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...
Published: 11/14/17
Updated: 11/22/17