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Sunday’s letters: Remembering Barry Cohen as a young law student

Letters to the editor
Wednesday 29 August 2018 13.15

After a terminal diagnosis, powerhouse attorney Barry Cohen lives his life | Aug. 24

The lawyer as young law student

Sue Carlton’s column concerning Barry Cohen brought back some fond memories of many years ago when he was a young law student renting the house next door to us in Gulfport. My parents liked him very much; he was friendly, funny and great with the neighborhood kids.

While he lived there, he got together an informal sandlot baseball team, and he loaded some of us scruffy kids into his turquoise-and-white Metropolitan car to drive us to a baseball field to practice. (Note: None of us made the big leagues.) But the day came when his car broke down and he had to march us a long way home, all the way intoning, "Hut, two, three, four!" (Imagine my mother’s amusement when she saw us coming down the street.)

We really enjoyed having him as a neighbor and have followed his career with interest all these years. Thanks for being a great neighbor, Barry. We send our best wishes and prayers to you and your family.

Karen Hartman Phifer, St. Petersburg

Who’s afraid of


Nancy Pelosi? | Column, Aug. 15

Fix the Affordable Care Act

In today’s political field, what we need is common sense. Although I am a proud, lifelong Democrat, I simply cannot support the Medicare-for-all system. Medicare-for-all would not expand the Medicare program, but replace it along with many other insurance providers in order to establish a Medicare-like, government-run type of single-payer system. I worry that we are going too far. It just doesn’t make sense to allow the sidelining of President Barack Obama’s trademark legislation in order to push for a goal that is seriously unattainable in this political climate.

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It is now time for Democrats to build on the work they have accomplished instead of replacing it. While the intent of the proposed Medicare-for-all system is not completely bad, I believe it would make more sense to work on fixing the issues within the Affordable Care Act — instead of starting from scratch and losing the traction we already have gained.

If the Democrats start to waver in their commitment to the ACA, it will only provide an opportunity for those against the plan to sabotage it. We can’t let a minority of detractors destroy something supported by not only Democrats, but many Republican and independent citizens as well.

The ACA matters and has made health care accessible for millions of people since it became law. By striving to improve what we already have we can continue to help even more people in even more places. I am proud to be a member of a political party that cares so much about the people it represents, but it just does not make sense to turn our backs on the ACA to fight a battle we most likely will lose.

Chris Holcomb, Holly Hill

Tampa Bay Rays

Pull together as one team

As September is now upon us, and with it the prospect of playoff baseball that seemed so unlikely back in the spring, we are once again reminded that hope springs eternal when it comes to our beloved Tampa Bay Rays. The "never-say-die" attitude of this team — as epitomized by its inspiring manager — stands as a firm testament to what our entire region can achieve when we pull together as one team. It also underscores the importance of securing a new field of dreams to keep our Rays in Tampa Bay to inspire a new generation of fans that will help us fulfill our destiny as one region.

This sport has been a fixture of our community dating back to the 1880s, when immigrants brought the dream of baseball from Cuba to Ybor City — organizing the first of many leagues that would serve to pass the magic torch from one generation to the next. Baseball is hardwired into the DNA of Tampa Bay — and we owe it to the citizens of our community (young and old) to keep that flame alive as we embrace our destiny as a region that cannot be denied.

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Steven Bernstein, Tampa

A push to drill, shrug off spill | Aug. 27

Don’t forget the oil spills

Explore Offshore and organizations of its ilk should simply not have any voice in the use of federal waters off our coasts for drilling. We knew the disaster wrought by the wreckage of an oil tanker in Alaskan waters. Now the oil industry would like us to ignore the reality of the BP disaster, the multi-billion-dollar settlement of which was inadequate since the ultimate damages, including to cleanup workers and our environment with remnants on the sea floor, are still unknown.

As citizens of the only world we know, it should be obvious that our resources are not infinite and should be conserved and that alternative sources for energy need to continue to be developed and used. We do not need to keep looking for sources of environment unfriendly energy. The oil industry wants to feed its coffers by feeding our addiction. The science is there to help us through withdrawal from oil dependency.

John Bonacorsi, St. Petersburg

Is Bondi trying out for co-host job


at Fox News? | Aug. 28

Remember ethics class

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When I was in law school we were taught in ethics class to avoid even the appearance of impropriety. This is especially true if one is holding a public office. Apparently, Pam Bondi was absent from class that day. During her tenure as attorney general, Ms. Bondi has repeatedly used her office to promote her personal agenda and to garner campaign contributions. Now she has once again overstepped boundaries by using her office to get a job at Fox News.

Kirk Gibbons, Tampa

EPA admits new carbon rules


will kill more people | Aug. 22

Pollution shouldn’t kill us

President Donald Trump wants to roll back pollution rules that his own fact-finders say would kill 1,400 more people a year. This pollution would sicken many children. Asthmatic children’s numbers have been on the rise, a fact directly related to pollution. We have a right to life without pollution.

Joe Jones, New Port Richey

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