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
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
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
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