Local Warrior Foundation fills shutdown void with donations Oct. 14, Ernest Hooper column
District needs a genuine resident
Ernest Hooper wrote that Alex Sink "risks being seen as an outsider and opportunist" if she decides to run for the late U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young's seat. That is the understatement of the year.
Look at the facts. Several weeks ago, Sink said she would not run for governor because it would require a long and difficult campaign. She went on to say that she would like to dedicate more time to her organization to help new businesses. Then when the seat became open she suddenly felt a need not to help her organization but to possibly seek election. However, that would require moving to Pinellas County, and she would be willing to do so only "after the election." That sounds opportunistic to me.
I am sure there are many qualified individuals who live in Pinellas County who would serve their neighbors and citizens as well as a nonresident — especially a candidate who would only be willing to move "after the election."
Earl Stine, Tampa
Benefactor | Oct. 19
Contribution to Scouts
Thank you for your coverage on the passing of Congressman C.W. Bill Young. He was a great man who used his power not for self-aggrandizement, but to improve his community, state and nation.
Congressman Young was a great supporter of the Boy Scouts. For my son's troop, he helped us get tours of MacDill Air Force Base; the NOAA Hurricane Center in Tampa; a U.S. Army Reserve center; and the Florida Army National Guard training center. He coordinated tours and camp-outs on these bases so our Scouts could interact with U.S. service members and get hands-on briefings on their weapons and equipment. After these encounters, our Scouts came back with knowledge of the price of freedom and the devotion of our U.S. service members.
My son's troop is just one of many he helped in a similar manner. His efforts will not be forgotten.
David Prior, St. Petersburg
Marrow donor registry
As we join our community, state and nation in mourning the loss of Congressman Bill Young, we at All Children's Hospital are especially mindful of his support for children's health care and his legacy as a guiding force in the creation of the National Marrow Donor Program.
In the 1980s, a friendship with a young All Children's cancer patient who was unable to receive a potentially lifesaving bone marrow transplant for lack of a matched donor led Young to support the creation of the National Marrow Donor Program registry in 1986. As the registry grew, children and adults with cancers of the blood system had the promise of a cure through a bone marrow transplant from a donor located through this registry.
More than 55,000 marrow and cord blood transplants have been performed through the NMDP and its registry in the ensuing years. Moreover, thanks to research funded by the NMDP, survival rates for these transplants have steadily improved.
Young made many contributions to the health of our active military and veterans. Through his role in creating the NMDP and supporting its lifesaving work for nearly three decades, he provided help and hope for children and adults waging a fierce battle with cancer. We are deeply thankful for those efforts and all of his work as a great statesman.
Jonathan M. Ellen, M.D., president, All Children's Hospital, St. Petersburg
Common Core sets a higher, clearer bar Oct. 17, commentary
Welcome to Obama's world
It is poetic justice to see Jeb Bush and other conservatives have to deal with the lunatic fringe that is the tea party when it comes to simple discussions regarding the Common Core State Standards for public education. Now these pragmatic thinkers get to see what it is like trying to discuss logical solutions with people who believe anything federal equals Barack Obama and in turn means indoctrination into communism. Welcome to the president's world.
James Harvey, New Port Richey
Where poor is new normal Oct. 20, commentary
Definitions of poor
I had a hard time believing that so much of the country was "poor," so I did about two minutes of research to disprove this article by Googling "federal poverty guidelines." While the free meals program may be based by the Agriculture Department on "poverty" of $40,793 per year for a family of four, the Department of Health and Human Services currently defines poverty as $23,550 for a family of four — a "slight" difference of $17,243, or 73 percent. I'm not surprised in the least that the Agriculture Department and HHS are so far apart, given how the federal government mismanages and overspends on just about everything.
Peter Ford, St. Petersburg
UF online college an ivory tower delusion Oct. 20, commentary
Online courses have value
Donald Eastman writes as a worried man; he should be. It is delusional to believe that online learning cannot be an integral part of a college education.
Anyone who has taken a massive open online course knows that one can also encounter much of what Eastman calls "the experience" of college through active online forums and personal contacts with other students and faculty. I hope Eastman actually takes a good MOOC course before his next dive into the subject.
Merle F. Allshouse, St. Petersburg
Obamacare website may take weeks to fix Oct. 21
Poor Floridians left out
Those eligible to participate in the marketplace exchanges having to wait a few weeks to sign up is a minor inconvenience compared to the 1.2 million Floridians who aren't eligible for the exchanges, with their substantial subsidies, because they earn below 138 percent of the federal poverty level.
These low-income workers and families are out in the cold with no insurance. The state Senate voted almost unanimously to give these individuals and families private insurance by accepting $51 billion from the feds. But the House refused, depriving over 1 million Floridians health insurance.
Frank Lupo, St. Petersburg