Letters: Doug Hughes' important message

Published May 21, 2015

Gyrocopter pilot faces 6 charges | May 20

Remember Hughes' message

Doug Hughes is facing up to nine years in prison for a stunt, in which nobody suffered any harm other than embarrassment, to draw public attention to corruption in government, specifically the influence of big business on U.S. politics.

Coincidentally this week, four of the world's biggest banks were fined $5 billion for illegally manipulating currencies. That seems like a big fine, but as their combined profits are in the $40 billion to $50 billion range, it is a slap on the wrist. I wonder if it's even possible to estimate what these illegal manipulations cost the companies and people that they impacted. My guess is many, many billions of dollars. Of course, no one goes to jail.

Interestingly, these same four banks spent a little over $20 million last year for lobbying and political contributions. And I repeat: No one goes to jail.

Good luck, Doug Hughes!

Derek Roberts, Clearwater

Poor sportsmanship | May 20, letter

Lightning fan fights back

The Canadian hockey fan who whined about not being able to wear his Montreal jersey to the Tampa Bay Lightning game should call his congressional representatives and complain about his basic rights. Oh, but he can't, because he is a visitor in our country.

Florida has had record growth for tourism this year with just under 100 million guests. Quebec had under 5 million last year. It is obvious that we don't need his money.

You won't see anyone harping about how the Canadians treat us when we go up there, because we don't go there. Kindly stay in Sainte Julie, wear your jersey in your living room and watch the games on television.

David Campbell, Seminole

Attack the problem of poverty from new angles | May 18 letter

Children need help

Kurt Donley's views on attacking poverty locally are right on, especially when he says, "The end game is all about children." Globally, it's the same end game with many of the same problems. Almost 60 million children are not in school. And every year more than 6 million kids die before age 5 of preventable and treatable diseases such as measles or diarrhea. Thousands of women die from pregnancy-related causes.

The latest evidence shows we can end these unnecessary deaths by 2035. Congress will soon consider bipartisan legislation that will hold the U.S. Agency for International Development, our main vehicle for helping developing countries, accountable for a more effective approach to ending these preventable deaths of mothers and children. The legislation will mandate a coordinated U.S. government strategy with measurable goals and transparency at all levels.

I urge our Florida senators and representatives to join in support of this effort. It's the right thing to do.

Linda Schatz, Tampa

Waterfront plan | May 20, letter

Preserve the waterfront

Finally, the public is waking up to the implications of the waterfront plan.

Wednesday's letter to the editor criticized converting Al Lang Field into a venue bigger than Brooklyn's Barclay Arena, located in a borough of 2.6 million people at the intersection of subway and rail lines. And another City Council member has come out against privatizing park land for a hotel and parking lots — an idea for which nobody has taken credit and was never mentioned at the earliest public hearings.

St. Petersburg takes justifiable pride in having preserved its public waterfront against commercialization for a century, and this is no time to end the vision. No to a bigger arena. No to a hotel, parking lots and convention center.

Stephen Phillips, St. Petersburg

Restrictions hurt health care work May 19, Dianne Morrison-Beedy column

More training needed

I have read with interest two recent articles written by a physician's assistant and a nurse practitioner. Both individuals spoke proudly of their advanced education and of their desire to practice medicine and prescribe controlled substances independent of physician supervision.

I would like to object to their premise that they are adequately trained to do these things. Medical doctors go to school and undergo extraordinarily difficult postgraduate training for eight to 10 years after college. We then must pass an arduous board examination and apply for state licensure in order to practice.

My first clinical professor told me that 90 percent of what we as physicians diagnose and treat is easy and could be successfully treated by our nurses. It's the other 10 percent that requires the training and expertise of a board-certified M.D. I would suggest that those who want to practice as physicians and prescribe as physicians go to medical school. Yes, it's arduous, difficult, intellectually challenging, time-consuming and expensive, but the rewards are wonderful.

Abner Landry, M.D., Largo

The real inner city problem May 17, Orlando Patterson column

Inclusive minds win

The enemy to renewal is uncertainty on a bedrock question: "Are material problems a function of moral problems — or the opposite?" Conservative ideas begin with the former, while liberals' suggest the latter. How do our cities and country get off the dime? Persuasion.

Our 45th president will win by having persuaded just enough voters to self-identify with an inclusive moral palate. The next president must prevail by framing ideas in the context of our universal, color-blind, moral taste buds. The winner will be best at helping undecideds think about ideas of caring, fairness, liberty, loyalty, authority and sanctity — and their opposites.

Gary Harrington, St. Petersburg