Senate Bill 1684
The Florida Senate is considering Senate Bill 1684, which in my opinion would result in a number of detrimental effects to the environment of our great state. The primary concern I have relates to the effect it would have on our clean water supply - namely, the prohibition on local governments enacting fertilizer ordinances and the prohibition on water management districts from requiring water withdrawals where other sources are available.
The problems that increased fertilizer (nitrogen) content is having on our rivers and springs - resulting in the growth of algae blooms - have been well documented by scientists and environmentalists alike. As for water districts, this bill ties the hands of those most qualified to strike a balance among various claims for water and make sure that this resource remains available for all, not just the few.
This bill appears to be the worst environmental attack I have seen in many years. Please read the bill and let your senator and representative know that you care about continuing to maintain a clean water supply.
Michael Liberton, Webster
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Why don't lawmakers care? April 28, editorial
Ideology mars judgment
I am appalled that Will Weatherford has the nerve to say that he can't accept federal dollars for expanding Medicaid because he believes it's not sustainable. The federal government has paid every dollar of Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security and every other program that it has adopted. Also, if Florida doesn't accept this money it will go elsewhere.
Weatherford is letting his ideology interfere with sound judgment. He needs to listen to the health care professionals and do what's right for Florida. For him to take this stance is not only hypocritical; it's ignorant. I will thank him for one thing. I am now going to be an active voice to do everything I can to make sure that he is not re-elected in my district.
I would also like to personally thank Rep. Mike Fasano for trying to do what's right and standing up to all his fellow Republicans who are more concerned about their own personal agendas than they are with the people they were elected to represent.
Jeffrey Hibbert, Wesley Chapel
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Health care for homeless
Mobile units needed
Homelessness can happen to anyone at any point in life. The Department of Children and Families reports Florida has 54,300 people living on the street, giving Florida the third-largest population of homeless in the nation. In Congress, the Mobile Medical Homeless Healthcare Act of 2013 seeks to provide better access to health care by providing grants to local health care facilities to provide primary care, screenings, dental care, behavioral health care, immunizations, lab tests, case management, assessments and triage. Mobile medical centers would come to the individual to meet his or her need.
As Americans, we should not turn our heads and assume that a reason that an individual is homeless is due to a choice. Even Americans who are just barely making it find insurance premiums are too much for them to handle and have to decide whether to pay the health care bill or the mortgage. Just as the inability of a person to maintain his or her own place to live is in direct correlation to the economy and the cost of living, homelessness and health care are closely related. Inadequate health insurance can itself be cause for homelessness. For a low-income family, a serious injury or illness may force a choice between hospital bills or rent. An individual can wind up homeless and still have to deal with a lack of access to health care.
Mobile health care centers could help reduce these situations because they would give individuals another option for treatment. HR 29 has moved into a U.S. House Energy and Commerce subcommittee, and Congress should approve it.
Tamika Ellington, Brandon
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No cash for vet, she gets jailed - April 25
Guilty of being poor
Do we still jail people for stealing a loaf of bread because they are hungry? Tammy Brown is guilty of being poor. Our society has failed her in that she wasn't offered effective solutions to the problem of her dog's health.
Heartworm medicine is costly, veterinarians are expensive, and even the low-cost clinics would be beyond reach of anyone trying to survive on $125 a week. The only solution I have seen offered was to call animal services, sign over the dog and know that it would be euthanized. Anyone who has loved a pet knows how painful losing that pet can be. I have recently euthanized a beloved dog and cry daily over the loss.
Think about animals we use for entertainment, such as dog racing, horse racing, the circus, rodeos and so on. Those groups have big money and expensive lawyers so the cruelty continues unabated.
Let's allow Tammy Brown to return to her life with all the services our great society has available. She needs our compassion and our assistance, not punishment.
Diane Browning, New Port Richey
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From Dagestan to Boston April 26
Too much information
I know all this information could be found eventually on the Internet anyway, but why include in your article exactly where to find directions to make a bomb, what kind of detonator they used and where to get the explosives needed for a bomb? The only thing missing was the address in Russia where the bombers may have received "coaching," probably only because it is unknown to you at this point.
Where is the responsible journalism? After the family's background and history in the article, why wouldn't "The Boston bombers used two homemade bombs that they remotely detonated" tell the same story without giving all the details to any copycat lunatics?
David Hoover, St. Petersburg
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District pushes to scuttle daily P.E. April 25
Exert an effort
Seriously? Pinellas school administrators would end daily P.E. to "simplify school schedules and make it easier to calculate data for teacher evaluations"? Even though "data" supports daily P.E.? They would make it harder for the students, and then blame the teachers? Why am I not surprised.
Laura Vickers, Tampa