Wednesday, January 17, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Wednesday's letters: Hagel ideally suited for Pentagon

Defense secretary nominee

Hagel ideally suited for Pentagon

Chuck Hagel is ideally qualified to run the Pentagon. He exemplifies the realist ideology of Gen. Colin Powell — that U.S. military force should be judiciously employed with a sound exit strategy and only when it is in the interest of the American people.

However, Senate Republicans are largely of the neoconservative ideology which, by their actions, reflects the agenda of using U.S. military force not for the interest of America but simply for the interests of wealthy, powerful, selfish special interests (military industrial complex, for example).

All of the opposition to Hagel is coming from these same neoconservative "chicken hawks" who got the United States into the Iraq war, which cost several thousand American lives and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilian lives, drained trillions of dollars from the U.S. economy and created another front for al-Qaida to operate.

It would be a disgrace if these same Senate Republicans prevent the United States from having this perfectly qualified person to run the Pentagon.

John I. Campo, Tampa

Supervisor of elections ad | Feb. 8

Not too helpful

The Pinellas supervisor of elections' "one-time" ad listing names of voters whose eligibility is in question is a mishmash of un-alphabetized names in small type. Few will read through the whole list to find out if their name is on it.

Why not alphabetize these names? It would be much easier for people to make a quick check for their name that way. I thought making voting easier was a goal of the elections office.

Malcolm Johnson, Seminole

Mailboxes to have that empty feeling Feb. 7, editorial

Protect the post office

I am puzzled by the Republican drive to kill the U.S. Postal Service. Our post office is wonderfully efficient and trustworthy. Forcing it to prefund 75 years' worth of pension benefits has only one purpose: to bankrupt the service.

Some services are best done by the government. The Postal Service is one of them. We in Florida have seen the results of privatization: shoddy service provided by political cronies. I hope Congress will save the Postal Service, including Saturday delivery.

Jeffrey Harper, St. Petersburg

Insulting and arrogant | Feb. 9, letter

No insult intended

The letter writer, president of the Florida Nurses Association, shouldn't take the Florida Medical Association's legislative attempt to clarify the position of graduate nurses personally. Nor should anyone else. The purpose is to make sure that if a patient wishes to see a medical doctor, then there's no confusion over what degree the provider who sees the patient has.

Many physicians use nurse practitioners or physician's assistants in their practices to provide ancillary care and the care is often excellent. Senate Bill 612 is an attempt to make sure that when a patient enters a walk-in or drugstore clinic, or even a medical doctor's office, that he or she is not told, "The doctor will see you shortly," when, in fact, an M.D. or D.O. will not be seeing them.

David Lubin, M.D., Tampa

Quality of care

State Sen. Bill Galvano claims to be a fighter against government "overregulation," yet he has introduced a bill that is a solution in search of a problem. SB 612 would threaten nurses who have earned Ph.D. degrees with felony charges if there is confusion about what kind of "doctor" they are.

I value physicians highly, but the truth is that I often get better medical attention and learn more about my medical needs from the nurse practitioners because they have more time to spend with me than the doctor does. A nurse practitioner with a Ph.D. is still a "nurse" even though he or she can prescribe some medications and has just about as much education and experience as a medical doctor.

There are already laws on the books barring the practice of medicine without a license. Medical professionals have enough to worry about without new "gotcha" regulations. A previous letter points out that SB 612 is the Florida Medical Association's top priority this legislative session. Galvano would seem to be the proxy warrior for more regulation if it suits the FMA's 20-year turf war against nurse practitioners. It is beneath the FMA to make the intimidation of nurses their top priority.

Arlin Briley, St. Petersburg

Tarpon to try pilot public housing plan Feb. 9

Givers and takers

On Saturday we were treated to a story about a single mother of four with another baby on the way who was complaining about the state of her Tarpon Springs public housing. The Sunday Times followed up with a story about babies born to drug-addicted mothers, one of whom had already had three children removed from her custody yet was pregnant with another. The costs of both these situations is incalculable given the myriad of public programs it takes to support and care for these individuals. To make matters worse, we see that the program for tutoring the "poor" is riddled with fraud and waste yet nothing is done about it.

I challenge the Times to add up the dollar value of all these programs provided for these individuals. Let us see how much a working person would have to earn to maintain the lifestyle of the takers. Please include Medicaid, cash welfare benefits, food stamps, SSI, free school lunches, tutoring, free child care, Section 8 housing, etc. Then tell us if the growing number of these takers or babymakers is 47 percent or more. We all know why they voted the way they did.

Helen Richard, Clearwater

Tutoring a mandated moneymaker | Feb. 10

More wasteful spending

After reading the Times investigation about the tutoring program I felt sick. Here is another government program rife with fraud, cheating, wasting of taxpayer money and lack of oversight.

Why do we seem to find this same old story whenever we examine a government-run program? How about some responsible management and auditing of the way these funds are being spent?

John Freeman, Seminole


Wednesday’s letters: St. Petersburg’s culture, vibrancy impresses

St. PetersburgImpressive culture and vibrancyI recently visited Tampa Bay and celebrated New Year’s weekend in downtown St. Petersburg. I was awestruck by what I encountered and experienced. It has been several years since I last visited, and the tra...
Published: 01/16/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for Jan. 19

Re: Walking leads to shocking catalogue of trash | Jan. 12 column Bring back anti-littering campaignJust came back from the beautiful, clean city of Singapore, where there is a $1,000 fine, plus community service for littering. I think a presiden...
Published: 01/16/18
Tuesday’s letters: Trump’s accomplishments unheralded

Tuesday’s letters: Trump’s accomplishments unheralded

President Donald TrumpAchievements go unrecognizedAre Americans even aware that our economy is healthier and growing much faster, that ISIS has been defeated and lost their territory, that China and other countries are buying more American goods and ...
Published: 01/16/18

Monday’s letters: Don’t be fooled by drilling turnaround

Deal blocks drilling off Fla. | Jan. 10Don’t be fooled by turnaroundWhile I am very grateful that Florida has been taken off the table regarding offshore oil drilling, it is clear this is a political move to champion Gov. Rick Scott as he conside...
Published: 01/14/18

Sunday’s letters: Left wing late to the #MeToo cause

#MeTooDemocrats come late to the causeThe Times devoted an entire page to the #MeToo issues on Sunday. The ironies here for longtime observers are nearly boundless. Twenty years ago, folks like myself were called "prudes" and worse because we found P...
Published: 01/13/18

Saturday’s letters: A wall of towers isn’t progress

Skyline takes shape | Jan. 7A wall of towers isn’t progressFirst of all, once the 17 projects currently under way are completed, there will be no "skyline." There will be a wall of buildings blotting out the sun and sky. St. Petersburg has become...
Published: 01/12/18

Friday’s letters:

Gang raped at 17. Getting help at 65 | Jan. 7Help available for assault victimsEach sexual assault survivor has a unique story to tell, and Evelyn Robinson’s experience illustrates many of the emotions, and society stigmas, faced by survivors.Sex...
Published: 01/09/18
Updated: 01/11/18

Thursday’s letters: Opioid bill could do more harm than good

Opioid bill opponents line up | Jan. 6Bill’s potential to harm patientsLegislators are proposing putting more restrictions on physicians’ ability to prescribe pain medications. Yes, the addiction problem is a serious one, and the law seems well-i...
Published: 01/08/18
Updated: 01/10/18

Wednesday’s letters: Beware candidates backed by billionaires

DeSantis declares governor run | Jan. 6Beware the billionaire backingThis line says it all: "The congressman already has the support of the president and several billionaires." If you continue to vote for billionaire-backed candidates, you will g...
Published: 01/08/18
Updated: 01/09/18

Tuesday’s letters: Drilling not worth the risk to Florida

Trump’s plan: to drill | Jan. 5Drilling not worth risk to FloridaAs a Republican and a supporter of President Donald Trump supporter, I am appalled by the proposal to drill for oil off Florida’s Atlantic and Gulf coasts, whose beaches and economi...
Published: 01/08/18