USF, hospital team up | Sept. 20
Poor location for medical merger
While potentially advantageous for Lakeland, this merger is a sad reminder of the failure of USF's College of Medicine to be the leader of academic and clinical medicine in Tampa Bay. For years it has failed or been rebuffed in its efforts to build its own hospital in Tampa, and now it has resorted to creating a university hospital in a city outside of Tampa Bay.
It was bad enough that the medical school's scientists, located on the main USF campus in north Tampa, were separated by 15 miles from the majority of its clinical faculty based at Tampa General, or 35 miles from those at All Children's, but now that separation is nearly 50 miles. A more logical solution would have been for USF to move the entire medical school to St. Petersburg, adjacent to its gorgeous St. Petersburg campus on the edge of a thriving downtown community and the new Johns Hopkins-affiliated All Children's Hospital.
There is already a precedent for placing an entire college in St. Petersburg, with the world-renowned USF College of Marine Sciences adjacent to the USF St. Petersburg campus. There is vacant land where the old children's hospital resided, and Bayfront Medical Center — a Level II trauma center and teaching hospital — is desperately seeking affiliation.
Bayfront already has family practice and ob/gyn residency programs; it would have been the perfect "takeover" hospital for USF. Once completed, the new USF College of Medicine would then have a teaching hospital adjacent to a Johns Hopkins children's hospital adjacent to a nonmedical branch of the university in a beautiful waterfront city setting. Would that not make more sense?
Jeffrey B. Neustadt, M.D., clinical professor of pediatrics and orthopedics, USF College of Medicine; chairman, Division of Orthopedic Surgery, All Children's Hospital, St. Petersburg
Mom, two kids found dead | Sept. 23
Show concern for neighbors
Sadly, a sense of hopelessness, isolation and loss of a supportive community is too common for our marginalized neighbors struggling financially. In the case of Clearwater's Brown family of four, it became overwhelming and ultimately deadly.
If we saw Dawn and children drowning, wouldn't we throw toss them a rope? Yet other neighbors report they saw the problem coming for months.
Missing in this tragedy that might have been prevented was a single person willing to invest a minute or two and sincerely inquire how she is coping with the stress in her life. Also to share that help is a phone call away by dialing 211, or that a nearby faith community might have resources for her family.
Our neighborhoods are filled with hundreds of families like Dawn's in need of a caring word and a link to a supportive community.
Michael Doyle, Tampa
Editorial cartoon | Sept. 21
Test of tolerance
I wonder what the response of the current administration in Washington, and the American media, would be if Christians were to voice outrage at the publication of the cartoon portraying Jesus as being married and sent out to get groceries. I'm betting no apologies would be issued.
Mary Crepeau, St. Petersburg
Again, the same old hate | Sept. 23, commentary
Racism still with us
When I read Leonard Pitts' article about the racist bumper sticker I was furious.
This president has worked diligently for the benefit of all Americans during a terrible time in our history while being blocked at every turn by a Congress determined to see him fail regardless of the cost to the country.
I have said to friends and family that the reason behind this is racist: resentment that there is a black man in the White House. God help America.
Judy Recio, Brandon
Is there any proof that such a bumper sticker was actually seen by the young lady, or that it actually exists?
James Gagel, Coral Gables
Prayers to save 'God's creatures' | Sept. 23
Stop the poachers
I was sad to read about avaricious poachers killing rhinos and elephants for body parts to then sell them in Asia. I was encouraged, though, that three major religious groups were united in trying to stop the killings.
I was very young when I bought small ivory figures for gifts to my brother. I was aware of where ivory came from but did not think that the elephants were killed in order to supply the demand for ivory. I believed the tusks were "harvested" after the elephants died of old age. After I was educated about the mass slaughter of these highly intelligent creatures, I never bought ivory again.
Haylee Gagnon, New Port Richey
If you have noticed that some polls are showing Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama running neck and neck, while other polls are showing Obama ahead of Romney, you might want to inquire what polling technique was used.
It turns out that younger voters are more favorable toward Obama, while older voters (above 50) prefer Romney. Some pollsters only poll land line phones, which are owned mostly by older voters. Younger people are going with mobile phones, and many of them do not own land lines.
So polls that call land lines only will get more older, conservative Romney voters, while polls that call cell phones will get more younger voters who lean toward Obama.
Michael Otto, Oldsmar
Home riddled with gangster lore | Sept. 23
I start my day off reading the Tampa Bay Times as I am always seeking ways to edify myself. Lane DeGregory certainly filled that need with an exceptionally well-written story regarding Ma Barker.
I had read stories before on Ma Barker being the first female on the FBI's most wanted list. The article made me wonder whether she was a hardened criminal or simply a loving mother wanting to harbor her sons from the law. DeGregory gave me pause as to whether the FBI had enough evidence as to the role she played in her sons' criminal activities.
I hope the Times publishes more of these incredibly interesting articles.
Holly Haley, New Port Richey