Monday, April 23, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Wednesday's letters: Florida Poly will open opportunities

Florida Polytechnic

School will open opportunities

Florida Polytechnic University has officially arrived. With the Board of Trustees' orientation meeting scheduled for today, we will begin to see the first of many critical decisions that will push Florida Polytechnic forward. As we welcome Florida's 12th university to Polk County, we are also opening the doors to employment opportunities that will grow our local and statewide economy and produce highly prepared and competitive graduates to help meet the critical need for a skilled STEM workforce.

From the beginning, our mission was to create a resounding voice of hometown support for Florida Polytechnic University while we awaited the appointment of its trustees and the start of official university business. Now, with the majority of trustees in place, we can look forward to pooling our resources and support behind them as they spearhead the administration to bring Florida Polytechnic closer to opening its doors to its students.

We originally came together to ensure Florida Polytechnic's future administration would have the local support they deserved to take our hometown university forward. Now, as they come together for the first time on official Florida Polytechnic business, it's time we all remind them that local support is here and that our communities stand behind Florida Polytechnic and its mission to advance STEM-related higher education for Polk County and all of Florida.

Victor B. Story, co-chair, Florida Poly Vision Inc., Lake Wales

A signature moment for St. Petersburg July 29

High maintenance

For the practical-minded among us, big shiny things on land are high-maintenance items, but shiny things in and over saltwater pose unique maintenance issues. The Lens is the subject of a lot of opinion, but what is the true cost maintaining it?

Anyone who has spent time around the harsh marine environment knows that structures in and around it are very costly to keep shiny and new-looking. The corrosive effects of saltwater, barnacles, wind-driven sea air, birds and the sun eat up the freshest paint, the shiniest metal, wood and plastics.

The renderings of the Lens show the shiny new contrast of many white supports driven into the bay bottom, and sloping structures of white against blue sky. Will the city have workers in boats regularly painting the white supports? Is there a custom scaffold to keep up with the challenges of elevated maintenance over water? How much will maintenance cost, and who will pay?

Frank Parker, Tierra Verde

Power of the pyramid

Why is there no acceptable design depicting an improved version of our already established landmark, the inverted pyramid? Wouldn't that be a win/win? The Pier in its present state is outdated and cheesy, but it's a cherished landmark just the same. So why not build a new, updated and improved version of the inverted pyramid?

A. O'Brien, Pinellas Park

VA hospital tarnished | July 27, editorial

Most get superior care

In response to this editorial, I feel it's only fair to hear another viewpoint from someone who is a patient and has been employed at James A. Haley VA hospital for the last three years.

On my daily work tour and during my personal medical visits, I have witnessed far more positive experiences with our vets in need of health care than the reported negative issues that have occurred recently in the press.

Although I'm not in a position to speak on behalf of the Haley officials in question, I can tell your readers that I represent the majority of veterans who receive nothing short of superior health care at this facility. This includes: ease of making appointments; minimal to nonexistent wait time; readily available prescriptions; and, most importantly, excellent nursing and top-notch physician care that exceeds any I have experienced in the private medical sector.

Running an operation as large as James Haley is a daunting daily challenge, and I am sure those in charge are doing their absolute best to remedy any problems. Please don't let the unfortunate problems of a few individuals disrupt the positive daily experiences of the multitude of veterans who utilize this hospital every day.

Mike Merino, Tampa

Medical research

Windfall for drugmakers

The U.S. House Appropriations Committee has voted to remove funding for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and for economic research conducted by the National Institutes of Health. These cuts will effectively end research in the United States that compares different treatments and tells health care providers what is most effective. It was research funded by these agencies that revealed that older, less expensive blood pressure medications were better than newer, more expensive medications, and that we were ruining many men's lives by too aggressively treating prostate cancer.

This proposed cut in funding is a windfall for the pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers who lobbied to stop the government from engaging in this type of research. The end of such research will result in providers prescribing expensive medications and treatments that may not work.

Edward Briggs, DNP, St. Petersburg


A fitting tribute

To some, the opening ceremonies of the Olympics seemed to include a dig at the United States with the prominent tribute to Britain's National Health Service. According to Danny Boyle, who devised the ceremony, the NHS was included because "it is so important to everyone in this country. One of the core values of our society is that it doesn't matter who you are, you will get treated the same in terms of health care." What a wonderful vision.

My child recently did a sports camp at the University of Central Florida. What was the one requirement? Health insurance. My guess is that to be on the U.S. Olympic team you are also required to have health insurance. So perhaps the NHS dig at the U.S. system is appropriate. Health care should be a core value of our society as well.

Cheryl Colvin, Odessa

Disorganized debacle

How boring! The opening ceremonies looked like a disorganized "Occupy" event. Perhaps Mitt Romney was correct in his initial overview of this debacle.

Bill Thompson, Clearwater


Monday’s letters: Term limits don’t work

U.S. Senate campaignTerm limitsdon’t workGov. Rick Scott has begun his run for the U.S. Senate with TV ads promoting term limits for representatives and senators. Aside from the probability that this would require a constitutional amendment, I think ...
Published: 04/22/18

Sunday’s letters: Problems with high-speed rail

Thanks, Gov. Scott, for ghastly I-4 drives | April 18, Sue Carlton columnProblems with high-speed railIn her Wednesday column, the writer bemoaned the traffic on I-4 and blasted Gov. Rick Scott for turning down free government money for a high-sp...
Published: 04/21/18

Saturday’s letters: Don’t weaken rules on fisheries

Florida fisheriesDon’t weaken rules on fish stocksMembers of Congress are proposing changes to an important ocean law, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, that would adversely affect coastal states including Florida.Since it...
Published: 04/19/18
Updated: 04/20/18

Friday’s letters: We owe it to our children to teach them history

If we don’t understand past, future looks grim | April 19, Daniel Ruth columnThe history we owe our childrenIt’s not often I agree with Daniel Ruth, but this article was spot-on. I’m not sure when the schools started ignoring Germany’s World War ...
Published: 04/19/18

Thursday’s letters: Gun research can save lives

Gun ownershipCommon ground: Find the factsThere are many areas in the current debate about guns and gun ownership where both sides must agree to disagree. But there is one area where common ground ought to exist. That concerns the need for continuing...
Published: 04/18/18

Wednesday’s letters:

Poverty and plenty in bay area | April 7, editorialStruggling poor are not a priorityI commend your newspaper for continuing to produce real and relevant news, particularly the recent editorial pointing out that a prospering Tampa Bay should not ...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18

Hernando Letters to the Editor for April 20

Bar Association celebrates Law WeekPresident Dwight D. Eisenhower proclaimed May 1, 1958, as the first Law Day to mark the nation’s commitment to the rule of law. Every year on this day, we reflect on the significance of the rule of law and rededicat...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18

Tuesday’s letters: Stop cooperating with ICE

Sheriff’s ICE policy blasted | April 10Pinellas should end partnership with ICEPinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri recently participated in a community conversation on his controversial agreement with ICE to voluntarily detain immigrants in the...
Published: 04/16/18

Sunday’s letters: The future of oyster production

Shell game | April 15Future of oyster productionThanks to Laura Reiley for an excellent synopsis of the current state of oyster production in Florida. The collapse of the Apalachicola oyster fishery is merely the latest example of the demise of a...
Published: 04/14/18

Monday’s letters: Public education is foundation of the nation

Voters beware of ballot deceptionApril 13, commentarySchools’ role underminedIt was with great pain that I read (not for the first time) that we must be aware of "ballot deception." Public schools were founded to make sure that future generations of ...
Published: 04/13/18