Use public works to get people jobs
Until the millions of our jobless population are returned to work, this country will be in a very serious economic state.
The administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt started on the road to recovery and out of the Great Depression with the help of sincerely concerned government officials, private industry, unions and educators from all segments of the population. Of course there were setbacks, corruption and greed. However, overall the effort and programs produced satisfactory results.
I further believe that this country's infrastructure — roads, bridges, tunnels, levees, dams, water and sewer systems, rail lines and ports — is in need of major repair or replacement. The infrastructure benefits all people regardless of economic status.
If the "powers that be" would stop finger-pointing, tens of thousands of workers from all social and economic levels would be required and could be employed for many years. How is the funding for these projects to be generated? The same way other projects have been funded for space, military conflicts and political agendas, to name a few.
I compare our current economic dilemma to a truck stuck in the mud. Let's all get out and help push and not get overly concerned about getting muddy, or we will just continue to spin our wheels well into the future.
Ronald A. De Anna, Sarasota
Hillsborough's proposed summer fertilizer ban
Save our local waters
from nutrient pollution
Everyone is so worried about the oil spill. I can't watch the news for five minutes without hearing about it. People should be concerned. This is the worst environmental disaster in American history.
While everyone is so upset about what's happening in the Gulf of Mexico to the north of us, they seem to not notice something that is blatantly obvious and has been for years.
Our own water is under threat, right now, and the oil hasn't even reached us. I'm talking about nutrient pollution. Nitrogen-based fertilizers run off by the tons into our water and are currently responsible for a large dead zone in the gulf (before the BP spill).
Red Tide has cost our own tourism industry millions of dollars in recent years. Pinellas County took action this year. Now it's time for Hillsborough to protect its side of Tampa Bay. What can you do about it? Call your Hillsborough County commissioners. Tell them you support a strong fertilizer ban. They will be voting on this issue July 15.
Sean Ehrlich, Tampa
Borders are hard to seal
Many Americans are demanding the administration secure our southern border. I don't believe they understand what they are asking.
Securing a border is a significant task. As a young Army officer in Germany in the 1980s, I served in a unit that patrolled the East German border. That unit numbered more than 1,000 soldiers and was only one of many permanently stationed in Germany for that mission. The East German border was, at that time, one of the most secure and heavily guarded borders in the world. Yet, every year, people would make their way to West Germany and freedom. They faced barbed-wire fences, mine fields, towers, dogs, aerial patrols and guards with shoot-to-kill orders. And yet they continued to try, and many succeeded, to cross the border.
The president recently authorized the deployment of 1,200 National Guard troops to assist the effort. This is a token response intended to show the public that he is doing something positive.
This issue cries out for serious and sober discussion. Securing our border against all illegal crossings would require more resources than the U.S. or Mexican governments are willing to commit. We need serious leadership that works toward a sensible and workable solution. That solution will include a rational effort to control the border and a realistic and understandable path toward legal residency for those now in our country illegally.
James Torgler, Valrico
We should sue Mexico
The government should be suing Mexico, not Arizona. Mexico is doing nothing to stop people from crossing illegally into the United States.
We should be sending the bills for health care, education, legal and other expenses to Mexico for payment.
Think about it: Mexico has no incentive to do anything about the immigration crisis. It is saving billions every year in services that the U.S. taxpayers are providing. Not only that, illegals are sending millions back to Mexico to their families there.
Mr. President, do the right thing. If you want to sue someone, sue the country that is responsible for this mess.
Jim Byers, St. Petersburg
Nurse assistant hit patient, police say July 8
Dealing with dementia
Violence in long-term care facilities is never acceptable. The Alzheimer's Association spearheaded a law in 2001 that mandates dementia training for all employees in nursing home facilities.
Unfortunately, staffs are typically provided only the minimum hours of training and little time is spent dealing with challenging behaviors. More staff training in dementia care is needed.
The Alzheimer's Association offers basic tips when responding to challenging behaviors:
• Don't argue or try to convince.
• Acknowledge requests and respond to them.
• Look for reasons behind the behavior (common causes of behavior changes can include pain, medication changes, or infections like a urinary tract infection).
• Don't take the behavior personally.
• Speak slowly, and use short, simple words and phrases.
• Ask one question at a time and wait for a response.
• When feeling frustrated, walk away and return later.
The Florida Gulf Coast Chapter provides training for long-term care staff. More information can be found on the Alzheimer's Association website at www.alz.org/flgulfcoast or at 1-800-272-3900.
Lisa G. Milne, Clearwater