Alcohol coverup | May 3
Laws perpetuate toll of addiction
This article should be a wakeup call to state legislatures about the harmfulness of alcohol-exclusion laws. The fact that a brief counseling session in the ER was shown to discourage problem drinking illustrates the importance of screenings and brief interventions. An alcohol-related hospital visit is not necessarily an indication of alcoholism, but it is an opportunity to talk to a patient about the risks of substance abuse. Intervening early, before a person develops a full-blown drinking problem, is the most effective means of preventing addiction. Thus, insurance laws that discourage emergency personnel from taking preventive action are both irresponsible and unethical. Legislation that hinders screening, intervention and referral to treatment will only perpetuate the tremendous toll addiction takes on individuals, families and communities — not to mention on our health care and criminal justice systems. It's bad business and bad medicine.
Patrick McEneaney, senior vice president and regional director, Phoenix Houses of Florida
Recycling will work if it's made mandatory May 7, editorial
Wake up, St. Petersburg
I guess we all have our priorities; education seems to be a popular one. But I wonder about educating children who will grow up not understanding that a garbage-filled planet will be a reality and that our resources are finite. There are huge fights over spending on education in this county, yet even our city councilmen can't fork over $33, the price of dinner, to make a real contribution to education. I can't name a single progressive, educated city in this nation that doesn't recycle. This issue should be a fait accompli, and is close to the dumbest quandary I have ever encountered. Wake up, St. Petersburg!
Robin Sterling, St. Petersburg
Grand Gesture | May 3
Salute to an awesome coach
Serving with the 6th Medical Group at MacDill allows us to provide health care to America's heroes and their families while providing my airmen and me with many opportunities to interact with leaders throughout the Tampa area who routinely provide my airmen with friendship and support no matter how challenging the mission.
This past week, my team and I were inspired by the "grand gesture" made by head coach Greg Schiano of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to former Rutgers football player Eric LeGrand. Military medics routinely pour our hearts and souls into healing our brothers and sisters. We understand that the healing process not only consists of physical but mental healing. My team and I were awed by Schiano's signing of LeGrand as a Bucs free agent. Well done, coach. We salute you and thank you for your service to our community!
Col. Robert Rocco, MacDill AFB, Tampa
Official: Trade Rays for cruise business May 4
Keep Rays where they are
Hillsborough County Commissioner Victor Crist proposes that St. Pete let the Rays relocate to Tampa in exchange for the cruise industry at the Port of Tampa. This is due to the fact that the larger cruise ships, which are anticipated to arrive in the area in five years, can't fit under the Sunshine Skyway bridge.
Is he delirious? The last time I checked, the west side of the Skyway is in Pinellas County. I say let the Rays stay in St. Pete and wait the five years for the cruise industry to relocate here. I believe the peak cruising period coincides with the baseball season. What a wonderful match. Tourists can enjoy a baseball game before or after their cruise.
I suggest that Crist visit the website keeptheraysinstpete.com.
Joseph J. TenBieg, Clearwater
A shallow proposal
Has Victor Crist lost his mind? Right, the Fort De Soto/Egmont environmentally challenged ecosystem needs huge polluting ships to steam in and dock. Why not also set up a sporting clays area so when the passengers disembark, they can be the first in their block to use pelicans for shot? The area has numerous shallows, flats, shoals and the like where it's hard to maneuver even a small Sea Ray at certain tides. What does he propose, digging a really deep channel up to Pass-a-Grille? Right, we'll do that just after we build the big fancy new Pier, and possibly address fixing the rotting walls of the St. Pete Police Department before it collapses on somebody.
Sammie Taylor Bond, New Port Richey
Scott signs toughened PIP fraud law | May 5
But will rates drop?
Sounds to me like Gov. Scott's new PIP law is a boon to the insurance companies and a bust for our citizens. Does anyone think this new law will cause our auto insurance rates to go down?
Judy Recio, Brandon
The Times and its ways
The usual targets
It's quite evident the stance the Times and its writers have with gun laws and Rick Scott. In a perfect world people would demonstrate peacefully and respectfully and a gun ban would never be discussed. But some people have an agenda. Why does this paper only pound gun laws and Scott? Oh, I forgot. The agenda.
Doug Birchard, St. Petersburg
Effort started years ago | May 5, letter
What Obama inherited
The writer states that Obama was able to get Osama bin Laden through intelligence information he inherited from the Bush administration. The writer seems to forget that Bush shut down the bin Laden desk at the CIA. He also seems to forget that when questioned on bin Laden later in his presidency, Bush's answer was "I just don't think about him anymore." It was Bush who removed the antiterrorism position from his Cabinet. Some inheritance. Though to give the writer his due, Obama did inherit two wars from Bush.
Jack Smith, Oldsmar
Task force to pitch college reforms | May 5
First, look at dumb decision
Well, bully for the task force. Perhaps it will take as Item 1 on its agenda an evaluation of the stupidity of authorizing a 12th Florida university when the state is unable to adequately fund the 11 we already have, arrogance by the Legislature, and a disastrous decision by the governor in failing to veto, as an overwhelming majority of Floridians wished. Item 2 could be to fund the new school, starting July 1, at zero.
Norm Lucas, Tampa