Bro Bowl accord would be historic | Nov. 1
Save our history, don't destroy it
Sue Carlton addressed the conflict between those who wish to preserve the so-called Bro Bowl and those who would demolish it in favor of renovating Perry Harvey Sr. park. She takes great pains to highlight the history walk and statues that pay homage to the area's once-thriving black commerce and entertainment areas. Carlton espouses demolishing the Bro Bowl for the greater good of memorializing this part of Tampa's history.
Here is where I have a problem with her position. Those memorials will be to a historic area long ago demolished and redeveloped. The Bro Bowl is an extant piece of history. Advocating the destruction of an existing historical place to pay tribute to one that doesn't exist doesn't make much sense to me. Should the city of Tampa demolish structures on the site of what was Fort Brooke to build a park to memorialize it?
The notion that a bigger and better skate facility could be incorporated in the new design is irrelevant. It does not replace the history of the Bro Bowl. Citing the dignitaries that visited the area, such as Ella Fitzgerald, Cab Calloway and James Brown adds no relevance to the argument. I am certain that in her storied career, Fitzgerald visited many places; are all of them worthy of historic designation? If these entertainers were born in Tampa, or lived for an extended period of their lives in Tampa, the argument might gain relevance.
I am not a skater, have never skateboarded in my life, and have no desire to do so. However, the logic of destroying someone's idea of history to pay tribute to someone else's escapes me.
George Reymann, Tampa
Big step for rail across the bay Nov. 1, editorial
We'll need more than trains
As a former resident both of the Oakland/San Francisco Bay area and New York City, I am puzzled by the seeming rush to light rail in the Tampa Bay area. Light rail is no better than the connecting transportation at either end — expansive commuter parking lots, frequent buses or streetcars — which get people to and from the light rail, and I see little or none of that here.
Buses are infrequent, routes scattered and sparse. Can a commuter get to the rail, and then from the rail to his or her job? The "hub and spokes" at either end of the light rail are more important than the rail itself, else we build a rail system to and from nowhere.
Stephen Phillips, St. Petersburg
Penny or percentage
I am curious why the Times always refers to the proposed mass transit tax increase as a penny tax increase. Is it not your duty to let the public know what it really is, a 16 percent tax increase?
Jim Lombardi, Clearwater
Florida can do better
Today is Florida Recycles Day. As chairman of the trade association representing Florida's waste and recycling companies, I would like to urge readers to be particularly mindful of their waste habits on this day — and every day.
Nationally, recycling is a great American success story. The average person generates about four pounds of trash per day and recycles about a third of it. That is three times the amount of garbage recycled in 1980. Recycling is critical for the conservation of precious natural resources, and saves tremendous amounts of energy.
But we can still do better, and that is why Florida legislators passed a bill in 2010 that would increase our state's recycling rates to 75 percent within a decade. This is an ambitious goal, but we can get there if every Floridian does his or her part.
On our end, our industry is working hard to bring Floridians the services and conveniences that make recycling easier than ever, including "single stream" recycling — in which all recyclable products are thrown into the same bin — and pickup of your recyclables at the curbside, right alongside nonrecyclable household waste.
Chuck Dees, chairman, National Solid Wastes Management Association, Florida chapter, Tampa
Insurers squeeze Medicare | Nov. 3
Insurers call the shots
Stephen Nohlgren's article should be a wakeup call to all of us. We need health insurance reform, not necessarily health care reform.
And the letter writer who proposed Medicare for all was correct. It'll never happen because the insurance lobby is too strong; CEOs of insurance companies are paid millions and stockholders have to make money on their investments.
And along with the Affordable Care Act's mandates about preventive care and pre-existing conditions, the insurance companies have to make cuts somewhere.
So we get higher premiums in some circumstances and the dropping of quality, more highly reimbursed physicians. Insurance companies already determine which medications you can get and if you can have a test done that your doctor feels is necessary. They are in control.
David Lubin, M.D., Tampa
Staffer at USF draws reprimand | Oct. 31
Perhaps the professor who was reprimanded for the toilet comparison could have used a different example, but the response shows what is wrong with our schools, and society in general, by censoring anything objectionable to a party or group. Such actions squelch criticism and critical thinking.
The comparison did accomplish one good goal he had not intended: It got media attention about censorship in our school system.
Frank Prahl, St. Petersburg