1. Letters to the Editor

Monday's letters: Here's what measles was like for me back in the day

Religious exemptions for vaccinations should end | Editorial, April 22

What measles was like for me

I had measles when I was 9, and I still remember waking up and asking why I was in the bedroom off the living room when my room was in the front of the house. I would fade in and out of sleep.

There was a tall man talking to my mother. I was told he was Dr. Lane. I would fade again and when I came to, my mother was bathing me with what I now believe was alcohol to help take my fever down.

Later, I had rheumatic fever and an enlarged heart; all were the result of the measles.

When I read that parents refuse to have their children vaccinated, I wonder what they are thinking. They must love them; why don't they care for them?

I think that the law should say that children have to be vaccinated to go to public school. It is unfair to expose others to measles.

Maybe some parent will read this and not want her child to have his health ruined by the lack of a needle prick.

Marie F. Smith, Lakeland

Student who tackled Charlotte campus gunman called a hero |, May 2

A hero rushed the gunman

When a shooter recently entered an anthropology classroom at the University of North Carolina, he was quickly tackled by a brave young Army ROTC student, who ending up sacrificing his life expressly for the likely successful purpose of saving others.

It's gotten so easy to criticize this young hero's generation, but now and then stories like his come along, and our hopes for the nation's future are raised. God bless ROTC Cadet Riley Howell. May he rest eternally in peace, and may his bravery inspire others.

David Fraser, Clearwater

Alabama House votes to ban almost all abortions | May 2

Women have right to choose

Women should have the right to have control over their own bodies. People, many of them men, regard abortion in very negative terms. Men, who have no idea what it is like to be pregnant and have a baby, often want to control what a woman's rights are all about. When abortions are illegal, they will still occur, often with disastrous results.

Furthermore, women with financial means always will have options. Poorer women have far fewer options. Men can always pursue their career, not so for a pregnant women. It is time that women should have the same rights, options and opportunities as men.

Louis Burwick, Dunedin

Maine becomes first state to ban single-use foam containers |, May 1

Let's have a clean legacy

With Maine's passage of legislation to ban polystyrene by 2021 came complaints that it would be too costly for small business. Yes, polluting the lands with single-use, non-recyclable, plastic containers comes with a cost. Pay now for a higher-priced alternative, or let our children and their future communities figure out how to survive with our waste.

It is time we begin to recognize the long-term impact of our abusive habits and take the necessary — and sometimes more costlier — steps to address their ultimate cost now, and let that be our legacy.

Gregory Matthews, St. Petersburg