Sunday, July 22, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Wednesday's letters: Protect high-quality trauma care

Trauma care ideas clash | April 17

Protect high-quality trauma care

When I speak about the great things happening at Bayfront Health, I mention our dedicated doctors, nurses and staff — and our high-quality work in many different health care specialties.

Another point of pride is Bayfront Trauma, our award-winning trauma center in St. Petersburg. Bayfront Trauma opened in the mid '80s, quickly earned its Level II trauma designation, and has been serving our community ever since.

But today, Bayfront Trauma is being threatened. Northside Hospital has filed an application with the state to open a trauma center just blocks away from Bayfront. Northside wants the Department of Health to grant it "provisional" status to open, even though that goes against the Florida statutes and department regulations. Make no mistake, this trauma center is unnecessary and could cause great harm to trauma care for Pinellas County residents.

Why? Studies have repeatedly shown that trauma patients get the best care when trauma-related resources are centered in specific locations. Put another way, with the proper volume of patients coming into a trauma center, doctors and staff can keep their skills sharp and provide the highest quality care.

Gov. Rick Scott and the Legislature want to allow trauma centers to open whenever someone submits an application. Certain lawmakers believe more trauma centers will drive down prices and improve care. This is just not true.

We believe trauma care in our area is at risk, and we are taking every possible action to protect it.

Michael A. Brown, board chairman, Bayfront Health, St. Petersburg

State Department

U.S. diplomacy in peril

American diplomacy is in peril. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is home alone on the seventh floor of the State Department. He has no deputy. Three months into the Trump administration, there are no nominees for the many assistant secretary and deputy positions that direct American diplomatic operations around the world and conduct interagency coordination at home. Tillerson has accepted a 30 percent budget cut, and the federal hiring freeze, lifted for the rest of government, remains in effect at State.

More than 16,000 members of the U.S. Foreign Service are serving our country around the world. America's diplomats and development professionals help prevent the spread of conflict, open markets for U.S. goods, assist Americans abroad, negotiate agreements in line with U.S. goals, report on threats to the U.S. homeland, and work alongside our military colleagues on a range of missions, from stabilizing Iraq to earthquake relief in Haiti.

I proudly served in the Foreign Service for over 25 years conducting public diplomacy. I teach diplomacy now at Eckerd College and have for the last 20 years.

The first Friday in May is designated as American Foreign Service Day. It is on this day that members of the Foreign Service around the world and here at home come together to recognize and celebrate the thousands of people who commit their lives to serving the nation abroad and the impact their work has on us all. This year we will also be grieving our administration's apparent willingness to hollow out American statecraft by neglecting diplomacy.

It is my hope that my fellow Americans take this time to pay attention to American diplomacy and the institutions that give it voice.

Donna Marie Oglesby, St. Pete Beach

Embattled Artiles resigns | April 22

Senators showed integrity

Thank you for the coverage of events that resulted in the resignation of state Sen. Frank Artiles. Now that Sen. Perry Thurston has withdrawn his charges, I think it is time to applaud both him and Sen. Audrey Gibson for the integrity they demonstrated when faced with such outrageous behavior from a Senate colleague.

Gibson and Thurston's response was refreshing and served as a reminder that there are still leaders who will respond to a bully with integrity and grace. I hope other elected officials follow their example.

Debbie Zomermaand, Tampa

The presidency

Not learning from mistakes

Two recent letters refer to Barack Obama's presidency as a failure. So does Donald Trump, who claims to have inherited "a mess." What might he have said had he followed George W. Bush? By any measurement — jobs, the housing market, the stock market, foreign wars, bin Laden, the automobile industry, etc. — Obama greatly outperformed his predecessor.

The trouble with never admitting when you are wrong is that you are very likely to repeat your mistakes. Conservatives complain about the debt created during Obama's tenure as president. They hope, evidently, that people will forget that Bush inherited a surplus from Bill Clinton and turned it into a colossal deficit. They also ignore the fact that Ronald Reagan created more debt during his tenure than every president from George Washington to Jimmy Carter combined. When conservatives complain about debt, they limit their complaints to Democratic presidents.

Clinton and Obama raised taxes on the wealthiest citizens. Reagan and Bush reduced taxes on the wealthiest. Yet Clinton and Obama created more jobs than Reagan and Bush.

Robert Monroe, Tampa

Senator lets down Marines' values | John Romano column, April 20

Rot in the culture isn't new

Those who believe that the coarseness in our current culture started with President Donald Trump are delusional. Have they not observed the ever-lowered bar or standard for what is (apparently) acceptable in recent years — whether it be language, behavior or appearance?

Much of this is due to our entertainment culture. Whether it be music, movies or TV programs, standards have been lowered to the point where those of us who are "old school" can hardly find a movie to attend due to unacceptable language, explicit sex, and/or violence. Hollywood has foisted upon us this "culture rot." It's up to us to accept or reject it. To blame it on our president is incorrect.

Marilyn Renner, Dunedin


Monday’s letters: More reaction to Trump

Trump sides with Putin over U.S.A. | July 17 editorialVoters will have to protect national securityThe American intelligence agencies are in unanimous agreement that Russia involved itself in the 2016 election, all to benefit the candidacy of Dona...
Published: 07/19/18
Updated: 07/20/18

Sunday’s letters: What to do about the National Flood Insurance Program

Time’s running out on flood insurance | Column, July 18Kill the flood insurance programThe Republican ethos (Sen. Marco Rubio) is that government should not interfere in markets and that privatization should be implemented whenever possible. That...
Published: 07/19/18
Updated: 07/20/18

Saturday’s letters:

Time for more civil debate"Politics" is an activity which involves power and control, arriving at decisions based on differing interests. Normally, leaders weigh the needs of the individual with the abilities of the country. Can America afford a soci...
Published: 07/19/18
Updated: 07/20/18

Friday’s letters: Trump’s excuses about Helsinki

Trump got tripped up | July 18 A dangerous mix-up for a president President Donald Trump would have us believe that he misspoke when he stood on the world stage with Russian President Vladimir Putin and expressed belief in Putin rather than the un...
Published: 07/18/18
Updated: 07/20/18

Thursday’s letters: Watch what Trump does ... and what he says

Trump sides with Putinover U.S.A. | Editorial, July 17 Watch what he does — and what he says, too Anyone who still takes issue with the allegation that Donald Trump is temperamentally unfit to be president need only look at his shameful and ...
Published: 07/16/18
Updated: 07/19/18

Tuesday’s letters: Leave fireworks to the professionals

Nobody is scaring birds with fireworks | Editorial, July 16Leave fireworksto the professionalsThe situation with fireworks has gotten completely out of control. I was at Curtis Hixon Park on the Fourth of July, and numerous people were exploding ...
Published: 07/16/18
Updated: 07/17/18

Monday’s letters: Make investment in the Rays an actual investment with an actual return

Paying for ballpark will take teamwork | Editorial, July 12An actual return on investmentMuch attention has been given to the cost of the proposed Rays stadium in Ybor City and who will foot the bill. The three-legged stool of the Rays, the busin...
Published: 07/12/18
Updated: 07/16/18

Sunday’s letters: Stop burning of sugar cane near the Everglades

Florida’s land of black snow | Bill Maxwell column, July 1Don’t burn sugar cane, periodIn this column, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Chris King got a lot of things right about how sugarcane burning negatively impacts the Glades communities w...
Published: 07/11/18
Updated: 07/13/18

Saturday’s letters: The dangerous days before Roe vs. Wade

The reality of back-alley abortions | Column, July 11The dangerous days before RoeI am a 71-year-old retired nurse. I still remember when abortion was illegal and birth control was restricted to married women in the United States. In 1983, I set ...
Published: 07/09/18
Updated: 07/14/18

Thursday’s letters: The Rays’ Ybor City stadium will be magnificent

Rays’ big dream is small ballpark | July 11The new stadium will be gorgeousI had the pleasure of attending the unveiling of the Tampa Bay Rays "next-generation, neighborhood ballpark." I was blown away. As an 18-year resident of Tampa Bay, and ma...
Published: 07/09/18
Updated: 07/12/18