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Wednesday's letters: SPC board puts college welfare first

St. Petersburg College

Board puts SPC's welfare first

The board of trustees at St. Petersburg College takes its charge and responsibility very seriously. We serve at the pleasure of the governor of the state of Florida, and work in concert with the college president and administration to guide a path of success for our students and college community. The final authority for any college function or mission rests with the board of trustees. While the president and administration present options and business plans for our consideration, the ultimate action plan is completely board-driven. To that end, I can assure your readers that the board's overriding responsibility is to the welfare of the college.

Two St. Petersburg Times articles in print within the last week require a response.

With regard to textbook fees at St. Petersburg College, it is important to note that the college performed an independent audit of our bookstore finances in December 2008 and found that the college was in complete compliance with our existing textbook contract. While it is imperative that your readers know that fact, the problem doesn't end there. The cost of college textbooks is a national problem. Soon, St. Petersburg College will be scheduling a workshop to address this multifaceted problem and discuss ways we can help locally. Currently the college has several options in the works to help students, among them are a free textbook swap program and a textbook loan program. The details of the workshop will be announced soon.

With regard to president Carl Kuttler's contract, the board of trustees will be meeting on Dec. 15 to finalize Dr. Kuttler's retirement contract. We will be receiving legal counsel from our board attorney, Joseph Lang, to help navigate this process. The existing contract is six years old, has been revised a couple of times, and is also subject to some statutory regulation that has been implemented over the last few years.

All that being said, I am sure I speak for our entire board by assuring your readers that while we are appreciative of Dr. Kuttler's long record of service to the college, our intention will be to give Dr. Kuttler what he is contractually entitled to receive. Be assured, our first duty as trustees is to the welfare of St. Petersburg College and its students.

Terrence E. Brett, chairman, board of trustees, St. Petersburg College, St. Petersburg

American health care that attracts Canadians | Dec. 7, story

Be wary of critics of Canada's health care

What a bunch of bull-pucky! My wife and I have been coming to Florida 17 years and always make sure our health is good. And we are heavily insured prior to leaving Canada.

What this article does not say is that there are 10 provinces and three territorial administrations that look after the Canadian universal plan. Those "horrible waiting times" you speak of can vary, and they vary for several different reasons. Sometimes Canadians do have to wait for nonessential or cosmetic surgery, but not to the degree this clinic likes to preach. Surgery and treatments in Canada follow a "coding" system of priority, and it works well. The difference I have found in the system here in the United States is that they check your wallet before they offer assistance. In Canada, all you need on your person is your health card.

A few years ago my wife fell and broke her wrist. We went to the closest emergency room and they sent her home with a pillow and an appointment for the next afternoon. The bill was $6,000-plus by the time it was over, and that was about 10 years ago.

American doctors see dollar signs when a Canadian walks in, as they know that we are insured most of the time.

Don't believe any of the bad things you hear about Canada's Medicare system as it is good, it's for everyone and we love it!

Frank Poole, St. Petersburg

American health care that attracts Canadians | Dec. 7, story

Benefits are many

This front-page article contains misrepresentations about our health care system in Canada as cited in the "contrarian view" at a clinic like Can-Care. First, I do acknowledge the two positive comments made by the clinic owner, Dr. William Handleman, that most Canadians have travelers insurance, and "Canadians don't sue." But I must point out that these are things he directly benefits from. However, references to the negatives are questionable.

The major benefit of the Canadian universal health care system is that every Canadian is entitled to basic heath care similar to the way every Canadian is entitled to basic education. However, those Canadians who choose to live in small, remote communities cannot expect the same access to all medical services as those offered in larger towns and cities, much as it is here in the United States.

The story mentioned one patient who was not able to get a Pap smear test "because she couldn't find a doctor." This is either due to patient ignorance or a hollow excuse. These are available. Yes, often we have to wait longer for such things as MRIs and other nonemergency tests, as stated in the article, but they are available in private clinics both in Canada and the United States if one chooses not to wait.

If one chooses to discourage universal health care here in the United States, please don't do it by degrading ours.

Jack Bisby, New Port Richey

American health care that attracts Canadians | Dec. 7, story

Lawsuits are limited

Your article made the point that a plus to the Canadian health care plan is that "Canadians are less litigious than Americans."

What you fail to point out is that this has little to do with Canadians themselves but rather with Canadian law, which significantly limits malpractice awards and reduces doctors' insurance premiums.

Unfortunately, the Democrat-led health care plans in Congress do little to bring about similar legal reforms here. Such reforms could lower health care costs and reduce the use of defensive medicine.

Joe Wareham, Tierra Verde

Tiger Woods

Despicable coverage

Tiger Woods has a spat with his wife and hits a fire hydrant and tree coming out of his own driveway! At 2:30 in the morning! What a story!

This is news? No, this is titillation, speculation, conjecture, a fly on the wall worthy of Inside Edition. And sadly, it's what sells.

The Fourth Estate has descended into the seventh circle of journalism: the paparazzi. To take a man and to judge and hound him over a private matter is despicable.

Franklin Roosevelt was a cripple and had a love affair. Gen. Dwight Eisenhower had an affair with his World War II jeep driver. John Kennedy had an affair with Marilyn Monroe (and perhaps others). And none of it was reported until after their deaths — because it was private, because the newspapers and network news showed respect for such men.

Tiger Woods is a national treasure, the greatest golfer of all time. And we can't wait to take him down, including the St. Petersburg Times column by Daniel Ruth. Such media behavior is mean-spirited, ugly and worthy of a rag such as the National Enquirer. What a descent in consciousness.

Don Hayes, Tampa

Jurors won't see his tattoos | Dec. 5 story

His choice, his expense

This article made me angry. This guy got these tattoos after he went to jail. Why should the taxpayers pay to cover them? He should have thought about what he was doing and how it would affect his trial.

It is apparent that he doesn't care if anyone has a negative reaction to the tattoos. Obviously, he wants to exhibit his choices. If his attorney feels it is detrimental to his case, let the attorney pay the expenses, not the taxpayers.

Darlene Kobsa, Palm Harbor

Jurors won't see his tattoos | Dec. 5 story

A task for tape

Instead of doing a background check on a makeup artist and paying $150 per day, why not just get a $5 roll of all-purpose duct tape? Then use it to:

1. Cover the tattoos.

2. Cover his mouth if he protests too much.

3. Bind his wrists and ankles if he gets too rambunctious.

Peter J. Brock, Sun City Center

Wednesday's letters: SPC board puts college welfare first 12/08/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 8, 2009 6:45pm]
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