1. Opinion

Tampa Bay is fortunate to have Moffitt Cancer Center

Here’s what readers had to say in Thursday’s letters to the editor.
Moffitt Cancer Center
Moffitt Cancer Center
Published Nov. 6, 2019

Moffitt deserves all of our support

Moffitt Cancer Center

Tampa Bay today is blessed with some outstanding health care facilities in contrast to 30 years ago, when one had to leave the state for any serious medical procedure. In cancer care especially, leaving the state was the norm back in the day. Today Tampa Bay is home to a nationally recognized institution, the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center, a world-class research institution and hospital. It is one of only 50 National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers in the United States. Due to its rise in stature and patient demand, Moffitt is out of room. To meet the demand for its services and to be able to accommodate additional researchers who want to work here, Moffitt must build more beds and labs to get the work of curing cancer done. It is imperative that the state Legislature pass bills mandating a reallocation of annual tobacco tax monies to fund Moffitt’s needs. Fortunately, there are several state representatives and senators who appreciate the tremendous strides that Moffitt has made in these last few decades and are supporting the additional funding. Thanks to state Sen. Wilton Simpson and Rep. Jamie Grant for filing the bills that can make this happen. I implore the Legislature to support the long-term vision of the donors, staff, leadership and, especially, the patients who will benefit from an expanded, more robust facility that we are so fortunate to have, the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center.

Scott Wagman, St. Petersburg

The writer’s spouse, Beth Houghton, chairs the Moffitt hospital board.

A moral duty to stop killings

Drug cartel gunmen kill 9 U.S. citizens | Nov. 6

The sickening murder of American women and children in Mexico raises serious questions about relationships, risks and appropriate responses. Many Americans visit Mexico, many retire there, deadly drugs are sent from Mexico to the United States to meet American demand, weapons are smuggled from the United States to Mexico, and neither Mexican nor U.S. law enforcement can control multiple problems with drug cartels. The ambush killings further complicate what American immigration policy and law must be on the southern border. Clearly Mexico and the United States must cooperate to break the cartels and bring the killers to justice. This tragedy among others also speaks to updating and tightening immigration enforcement. Mexico and the United States have a moral duty to solve and punish the murders.

James Gillespie, St. Petersburg

Citrus County censorship

In Citrus, a war for words | Nov. 6

Inverness was home to the Citrus County commission meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 5, where leaders were under fire from the public over their denial of a request to fund the county's libraries for digital subscriptions to The New York Times. [ZACHARY T. SAMPSON | Tampa Bay Times]

I am appalled by the Citrus County Commission’s censorship. Elected officials refuse to pay for the digital New York Times for library card holders because the man in the Oval Office calls it fake news? What in the world has this country come to when elected officials can propose something so completely contrary to nature, reason or common sense? We citizens better get our act together and stop being led around by the nose by political parties and politicians. Blind allegiance to party over country is not only dangerous, it’s downright stupid. It never serves the will of the people — never. It is counterproductive. No wonder we look like a Third World country these days. We should not only thank but heed President George Washington who, in his farewell address to the nation, warned against “the baneful effects of the spirit of party” as inciting American citizens “with ill-founded jealousies.” Without the free press, America could devolve into dictatorship.

Robert Emery, Tampa


  1.  [Mike Luckovich --]
  2. In this Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2004, file photo, Tiffany Carr, executive director of Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence, left, speaks at a news conference held by Gov. Jeb Bush, background right, to announce a public awareness campaign designed to prevent disaster-related domestic violence, in Tallahassee. [PHIL COALE  |  AP]
  3. Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders waves after speaking at a July 30, 2016, rally with registered nurses and other community leaders celebrate the 50th anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid, on Capitol Hill in Washington.
  4. Bill Lehmiller installs a solar panel on the roof of the Tampa International Airport economy parking garage. [BORCHUCK, JAMES  |  Tampa Bay Times]
  5. Florida Power and Light has a large solar array in Sarasota.
  6. Paula Dockery of Lakeland served in the Florida Legislature for 16 years. [Paula Dockery]
  7. U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, D-St. Petersburg
  8. Marisol Lopez, 42, sent her petition a month ago to get her green card. [JUAN CARLOS CHAVEZ / TIMES  |  Times]
  9. State Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, supports legislation that would add secrecy to the searches for college and university presidents. [SCOTT KEELER | Times]
  10. Miami Herald columnist Leonard Pitts Jr. [undefined]
  11. Ernie Field pushes the doorbell on his Ring doorbell camera at his home in Wolcott, Conn. [JESSICA HILL  |  AP]
  12. In this Oct. 22, 2018 file photo, people gather around the Ben & Jerry's "Yes on 4" truck as they learn about Amendment 4 and eat free ice cream at Charles Hadley Park in Miami. [WILFREDO LEE  |  Associated Press]