Young to retire - Oct. 9
U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young's announcement that he intends to retire at the end of 2014 has prompted many tributes to his exemplary career in public service. The University of South Florida is part of Young's living legacy. But all along, his support for the institution has really been about supporting people: people suffering from disease; people dependent on a healthy environment; and people who now live in a community with a brighter future.
Because of Young, the Joint Military Leadership Center is preparing a new generation of leaders to collaborate across branches and international lines in a learning center that provides hope for a more peaceful future.
Because of Young, the College of Marine Science was equipped to respond to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster with unique technology and some of the world's best scientific minds.
Because of Young, USF's Center for Biological Defense has the advanced technologies needed to identify potential threats and reduce the impact on public health. And because of Young's support for biomedical science, USF researchers have achieved breakthroughs in understanding and treating diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's as we work toward a cure.
Bill Young will hold a place of honor on our campuses and in our hearts for many generations to come.
Judy Genshaft, president, University of South Florida System, Tampa
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Cut corporate favors
There have been several letters proclaiming the need for the country to reduce the size of government by scaling back entitlements claimed by the "moochers and takers" within our society. Good idea.
Let's start with the entitlement claimed by businessmen who feel entitled to move their income offshore beyond the reach of the IRS. Then move on to the many corporate entitlements called "incentives" or "subsidies." And don't forget entitlements in the form of income tax loopholes. Billionaire Warren Buffet has pointed out that such loopholes allow his tax rate to be lower than that of his secretary. These are the sort of entitlements that Congress should go after - not Social Security, Medicare and food stamps.
Lewis Lederer, Clearwater
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The money behind the governor - Oct. 13
As a longtime subscriber to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida, I am disappointed that this medical provider gave $637,500 of its subscribers' premiums to a political campaign. That sum would have been much better used to reduce premiums, increase benefits, or provide medical services to the poor among us.
Marvin I. Honig, St. Petersburg
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Symphonies played with joy - Oct. 13
The recent articles featuring the Florida Orchestra, St. Petersburg Opera and Tampa Bay Master Chorale have been entertaining and informative. While John Fleming's rich tenure as the Tampa Bay Times music critic shall be missed, it is good to see that this tradition continues in the excellent pieces by Times correspondent Jim Harper.
I find them to be instructive, witty, and very much "spot on." I am delighted to see the Times' ongoing commitment to insightful coverage of our region's cultural resources and events.
Scott Kluksdahl, professor of violoncello, USF, Tampa
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A beloved mother's last lesson to her son - Oct. 14, commentary
Angels among us
As a now-retired owner of a senior companion service for some 25 years, I had on occasion the need to involve hospice care for my elderly clients. Therefore, I read with interest Suncoast Hospice president and CEO Rafael Sciullo's poignant and touching story concerning his own mother's similar need.
From experience, may I add that hospice is indeed a blessing with a well-deserved reputation for excellence. The compassionate, selfless personnel working in all areas of it can, one and all, best be described as "angels in street clothes."
Connie Paglen, Treasure Island
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We have just returned from a long-planned pilgrimage to the D-day war grounds in Normandy, France. We wanted to honor those brave American servicemen who fought so valiantly for our freedoms. Sadly the Obama administration has chosen to close multiple sites there in their effort to inflict maximum pain on the American people.
The administration continues to spend thousands of unnecessary dollars advertising Obamacare while having the gall to close the sacred cemetery and memorial in Normandy. For many in our group this was a once in a lifetime chance to personally pay homage to fallen family members. This irresponsible selected response to the government shutdown denied them their right. All we got to see were the locked gates and closure signs of a feckless administration.
Pat Jennings, Dunedin
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Holder should halt checkbook justice - Oct. 14, editorial
Fines and refunds
I am uncertain, as are many other Americans I suspect, as to where these huge fines levied against these corrupt financial firms actually end up. Since most fines are for duping investors and homeowners, why aren't these monies returned to those affected and not to the general fund where our even more corrupt Congress can revel in this windfall?
Roger H. Oddson, Sun City Center
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