Can we at least agree to save lives? | Nov. 28, Sue Carlton column
Doctors back texting-driving ban
The Hillsborough County Medical Association cares about the lives of our patients and supports passage of Senate Bill 52, the texting and driving bill submitted by state Sen. Nancy Detert, R-Venice.
The association proposed a resolution three years ago to the Florida Medical Association House of Delegates to ban the use of all electronic devices while operating a motor vehicle but ultimately settled on a resolution to ban texting while driving.
While driving "under the influence" makes a driver hazardous to all of us, it should seem reasonable that someone taking his eyes off the road, for even seconds, is possibly more dangerous, and liable to cause a fatal accident. The legislation should be stronger, with law enforcement being able to make texting while driving a primary offense, not just a secondary one. But this is a start.
Dr. William Davison, president, Hillsborough County Medical Association
CFO asks Supreme Court for help in 'Taj' art case | Dec. 2
Portrait of waste
It seems I have been in the wrong business the past 35 years. I should be in the picture framing business, but I didn't know it was so lucrative until now: $375,000 to frame 369 photos works out to $1,016.26 each. Not bad if you can get it. I guess you can get it if you own an art gallery, your husband is a lawyer who works with the judges who are building this monstrosity and you live in Florida, where this is business as usual.
Was this put out to bid? Are the frames gold plated and encrusted with jewels, or was the price not a problem because taxpayers are picking up the tab?
The state has refused to pay, not because of the ridiculous amount but because the money was never appropriated. If the whole affair wasn't a microcosm of our elected officials running amok, it would be funny. It isn't funny, but it certainly should be criminal.
Robert Forton, Spring Hill
Atwater upset with PIP rates | Nov. 30
'Reform,' reality collide
After all the promises made by the insurance lobby to Florida legislators during the last session that personal injury protection "reform" would result in lower premiums and reduced "fraud," Florida CFO Jeff Atwater's remarks at last week's insurance summit underscore the sad reality that neither objective is even close to being reached. Even more depressing is the realization that the real fraud was committed by the insurers in selling their proposed PIP revisions to Gov. Rick Scott and the Legislature in the first place.
Critics warned that while reducing premiums and eliminating fraud are laudable goals, the proposed changes in the law would accomplish neither while denying benefits and necessary treatment to the truly injured.
Robert E. Heyman, St. Petersburg
Sheriff makes a splash with manatee case | Nov. 30 Daniel Ruth column
A simple indiscretion
As usual the defenders of the law overreach and stretch their bounds to prosecute and thereby cost an otherwise innocent person her dignity and a boatload of money to free herself from the court's jurisdiction for a simple indiscretion. How much easier it would be to say, "Ma'am, you are breaking the law so please stop." Wonder why taxes are so much? You are paying deputies, court officials and judges to prosecute a simple, meaningless crime! Somewhere along the line common sense should enter the equation.
Don Mott, Largo
Who asked the manatee?
I see Daniel Ruth got real pleasure out of writing an article making fun of Deputy Wally Ballew of the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office for his arrest of the woman who rode on the back of a manatee. He must be unaware that over the years many manatees have been harassed and tormented by humans. In one case teens were riding on their backs and carving their initials on them with pocketknives.
He said in his article there was no sign of ill effects by the manatee. How does he know? Did he don a rubber suit, swim fins and mask and check the manatee out? If this arrest helps other people think twice about playing rodeo king or queen on a manatee, it was worth it.
Gene Huber, Spring Hill
EPA targets Fla. water pollution | Dec. 1
Lawsuit was good move
Usually conservative, pro-business and opposed to federal government intervention, I applaud the Environmental Protection Agency for sticking it to Florida Gov. Rick Scott and all the special interests who don't care about our state's waterways. The state-run environmental watchdogs like the Department of Environmental Protection are toothless and follow Scott's direction, which has no regard for the future of our state's environment — just develop now and maybe the grandkids can fix it in the future.
Thanks to the Sierra Club and the others who sued to force the issue.
David Meyer, Bushnell
A history of crime at 16 | Nov. 30
Just follow existing laws
It is just inexcusable that with a rap sheet that reads as long as War and Peace Larry Brown had not been incarcerated for an appreciable amount of time before the murder of a security guard!
This is a perfect example of how the antigunners think: They want more restrictive laws and confiscation. None of that would be necessary if the judicial system would just enforce the laws/punishment on hand.
If current laws and recommended time in jail were followed, we would not need new laws or more restrictive laws. Just follow the ones on the books now!
Dennis Condon, Tarpon Springs
Everyone can cut back
It is obvious to me, a senior on Medicare Advantage costing the taxpayers $1,200 per month, that our system of unnecessary doctors' visits, tests, etc., is breaking the health care bank. If Medicare recipients would do a few things to cut costs, we could save the system millions daily.
Last summer, after the removal of some skin cancer tissue, I was asked to "make a followup appointment." I told them to just call me and tell me if I need further treatment. They did, and I had further treatment. But I saved an unnecessary visit. That has to be at least $50, right? Multiply that times a half-million seniors, and that's a colossal savings to the government. Argue about "coming in" for a referral, too.
Remember the 1960s when a lot was done over the phone? Let's bring some of that common sense back into the system. Something's gotta give.
Elinor Wencka, Tampa