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  1. Archive

TRAVELERS SHOULD BE QUARANTINED

Misstep opened a path for Ebola - Oct. 2

The biggest misstep in this event occurred long before Thomas Eric Duncan went to the emergency room in Dallas.

If the Centers for Disease Control is serious about preventing the spread of Ebola from Africa to the United States, there should be a process to quarantine any traveler from a known location where Ebola is active. Obviously, any traveler can be carrying the virus in its dormant state without exhibiting any active symptoms. If the government is unwilling to put a quarantine in place, we'll be tying the hands of the CDC in any effort to stop the spread of Ebola to our populace.

A one-week quarantine would have protected everyone who came into contact with Eric Duncan since his arrival to our country.

Kenneth Reikowski, Valrico

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Cost, in a word: outrageous - Oct. 1, editorial

Attack on Obama was petty

Reading this editorial, I wondered if I missed an announcement that Rupert Murdoch of Fox News had purchased the Tampa Bay Times. Suddenly the newspaper has taken the tenor of a right-wing blog in attacking the president, who almost certainly didn't order the stage work. He wouldn't have cared if he stood on a podium with no backdrop.

Given everything the president has on his plate these days, this editorial seems so petty. You might have instead reported how much the deficit has been reduced during Barack Obama's current term or how the Affordable Care Act, the health care program the right derisively refers to as Obamacare, has bent the cost curve downward and insured millions of Americans.

But no, in capping the hit piece the editorial writer alludes to the right-wing meme that George Soros is the president's personal financier who handles all the back-channel deals and could have easily paid for the stage.

This writing is not up to the standards of the Times unless you're trying to appease a readership that is permanently tuned to Fox News.

Ted Johns, New Port Richey

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Less theater, more substance

Everyone should be outraged at the reported cost of erecting a temporary stage at MacDill Air Force Base for the president to deliver a short speech. It was a frivolous expenditure.

During my 30 years of military service, I was at air bases, Army posts and forts, and naval air stations throughout the United States. Every one had a movie house or a gymnasium or a hangar capable of handling the visit. Please, Mr. President, a little less theater and a bit more substance.

Orfeo Trombetta, Seminole

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Secret Service chief out - Oct. 2

Administration out of touch

It is fortunate for all of us that the press keeps President Barack Obama informed. Problems with ISIS, border security, the IRS and veterans health care have all been brought to the president's attention via the media. All this time I thought he had Cabinet secretaries and multitudes of staffers to keep him apprised of things that affected our security and welfare.

Ed Germond, Apollo Beach

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Lawmakers blast PSC position - Sept. 27

Customers on the hook

What hypocrites our legislators are. I have been following the ripoff by Duke of their customers for a long time. However, a recent letter writer says having the customers foot the capital costs is "an arrangement unparalleled anywhere in the nation."

There is another utility (water) right here in east Hillsborough County by the name of Pluris Eastlake Inc., which charges its customers, rather than shareholders, for their crumbling pipes. Residents of neighborhoods served by Pluris have attended hearings at the Hillsborough County Commission, where several times I mentioned that I should be given stock in the company and share in the profits if I have to foot the utility's "new pipes" bills.

We have been promised county service by the end of the year. Let's hope we can look forward to $50 to $60 bills like folks in Tampa.

Elinor Wencka, Tampa

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U.S. blasts Israeli housing plans - Oct. 2

Talk but no action

Wire stories about Israeli settlements in the West Bank have appeared numerous times over the years in the Tampa Bay Times. By now, two things should be quite clear from reading about these settlements being built: Israel is not serious about a two-state solution; and, while the United States may publicly criticize the settlements, it tacitly approves of them. This is Kabuki theater.

Several U.S. administrations have condemned Israeli settlements, yet they keep being built. Washington could stop this de facto colonization of the West Bank tomorrow by making Israel's $3 billion in annual aid contingent upon no more settlements. However, neither the president nor Congress has the mettle do such a thing, so on this charade goes.

Dan Corson, Riverview

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Policing on pot needs fresh look

Oct. 1, editorial

Education, regulation work

The drug war has been waged in a racial manner since its inception. The Harrison Narcotics Act of 1914 was preceded by a wave of anti-immigrant sentiment. Opium was identified with Chinese laborers, marijuana with Mexicans and cocaine with African-Americans. Racial profiling continues to be the norm, despite similar rates of drug use for minorities and whites. Support for the drug war would end overnight if whites were incarcerated for drugs at the same rate as minorities.

Criminal records are inappropriate as health interventions and ineffective as deterrents. Legal tobacco is one of the most addictive drugs available. Despite widespread availability, tobacco use has dropped dramatically, without any need to criminalize smokers or imprison tobacco farmers. Public education and regulation work. Drug prohibition, on the other hand, has done little other than subsidize violent drug cartels.

Robert Sharpe, policy analyst, Common Sense for Drug Policy, Washington, D.C.

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