Open wounds | April 14
'Fixing' what wasn't broken
As a physician and resident of the Tampa Bay area, I have been following this debacle at the Heart Institute inside Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital. This was an obvious case of the parent hospital system (Johns Hopkins in Baltimore) swooping in and trying to fix what wasn't broken. It appears there were good physicians, staff and management in place. Then the powers that be in Baltimore decided to replace the current system with one of their own. We have seen the results. They then tried to cover it up until that was no longer possible.
While the Tampa Bay Times has done an excellent job of reporting and outlining the mistakes (and that is too small a descriptor for the lives lost and damaged), the headquarters in Baltimore needs to do this themselves. They need to outline for all to see what mistakes they made (why did they decide to "fix" what wasn't broken?), own these mistakes and really be transparent. It will be a long time before all is forgiven and forgotten.
Dr. Gail Dudley, Sun City Center
No charge for shooting man he wanted to help | April 13
He wanted to be left alone
When a person tells you they don't want help, you leave them alone. How is it that a supposed good Samaritan is able to pursue and hound a person until that person gets angry and lashes out? No charges are being filed against the unnamed good Samaritan but the actual victim, the gentleman who was hit by a motor vehicle, will now possibly face assault charges.
Did this good Samaritan consider that the victim, even though he got up and walked away, was disoriented and frightened? Perhaps if the man's wishes to be left alone had been heeded, the good Samaritan wouldn't have had to pull out his gun and shoot. Perhaps if the gentleman, who used a walker to tote around his possessions, wasn't presumably a homeless person, this entire situation would have been handled differently.
Georgianna Woernle, Floral City
Publix torn on plastic bag bans | Carlton column, April 14
Let the marketplace decide
As an avid fisherman, I have seen firsthand the destruction that plastic — plastic bags in particular — have wrought on our oceans. As consumers, my wife and I always bring reusable bags to the grocery store. However, instead of outlawing these nuisance bags, why not let the customer decide with economic incentives and disincentives? Charge for the cost of every bag. Better yet, if shoppers bring their own bag, give them a discount. The marketplace will figure this out.
David Mokotoff, St. Petersburg
Tax code is too complicated
I just finished our taxes, and let me start by saying, I do not mind paying taxes. I understand that the government uses the money they collect to provide services, a list that goes on and on. But no one should have to pay a professional to prepare their personal taxes. Our tax code is so complicated that professional tax preparers, given the same income data, frequently come up with vastly different results. Finally, why do I have to pay postage to remit my taxes? (I'm an old-fashioned guy who wants to mail them in.)
Joel Hearshen, Tampa