1. Letters to the Editor

Monday's letters: Low blood pressure is a health risk

Doctor: Clinton recovering and 'fit to serve' | Sept. 15

Low blood pressure is health risk

I am not a doctor and haven't played a doctor on TV, but I think I may know what is causing Hillary Clinton's rash of fainting spells and unsteadiness. On hearing from her doctor that her blood pressure is 100/70, one might say that's great news because it is well under the recommended 120/80. But for elderly people (she's knocking on 70), having lower than low blood pressure is not necessarily good.

Very low blood pressure can be a sign of an underlying problem, especially in the elderly where it may cause inadequate blood flow to the heart, brain and other vital organs. The medical term is hypotension, which I have experienced.

At 100/70 all will likely go well, but health problems can occur when blood pressure drops suddenly and the brain is deprived of an adequate blood supply. Light-headedness and dizziness are warning signs. Generally this can be brought on when someone with marginal blood pressure stands a long period of time. The danger zone is 90/60 or so. As anyone who monitors his or her blood pressure knows, it can vary considerably during the course of a day.

A median blood pressure of 100/70 for an elderly individual is unusual because pressure normally increases with age.

John Demas, Odessa

U.S. to aid Israel with $38 billion | Sept. 14

Start helping at home

We can give another country $3.8 billion a year for 10 years, but we can't get the funding to fight the Zika virus. Something is wrong.

John Hall, Palm Harbor

Zika virus

Moon over Miami

Forty-seven years ago Americans united to send a man to the moon. Today we can't agree on how to swat a mosquito. It's insane.

James Gibson, Gibsonton

Frustration rises with sewage toll | Sept. 14

Walk the plank

The action by city officials to release raw or partially treated sewage into the bay waters is disturbing. But since this practice seems to be likely to continue for some time, maybe the city could look into saving money on the new St. Petersburg pier by simply eliminating restrooms. Instead, the pier could offer residents and guests a comfort room and relief walkway. At the end of the wooden walkway out over the water would be a wooden shack with latched door, skylight and hole in the floor.

Darryl David, St. Petersburg

Bathtub solution

What we've got here is a failure to cogitate. The simple solution is for the city to decree this emergency scheme the day before an expected severe rain event.

1. Everyone fill up your bathtub and a few gallon jugs with water; 2. We are going to turn off your water at midnight; 3. It will be turned back on when the severe rain event has passed.

Result: Clean streets and bays and worldwide attention for getting a job done in a simple and cost-free way.

Harald Haegg, St. Petersburg

Time for action

There is no end to the daily bad news about the city of St. Petersburg's latest storm-related sewage dump into our bay. Not only is this slowly destroying our most precious natural and tourist resource, it's also eroding any confidence the public may have in our city's leaders. The mayor can blame prior administrations all he wants, but he and the City Council have failed to be proactive about a crisis well known for years. New high-rise buildings have been approved without apparent regard for how an already strained and antiquated sewage system will handle new demands.

So while committees and "study" groups are talked about, nothing happens except for Band-aid approaches. Perhaps the pier development should be placed on a back burner until this more pressing predicament is addressed. What is horrifying is that the past year's three dumps occurred without a direct hit from a Category 1 hurricane or greater. The time for discussion and planning is over. What is needed now is immediate action.

David Mokotoff, St. Petersburg

Regulations loom over Uber, Lyft | Sept. 19

Panel should be abolished

Maybe our country's forefathers can be the guide to solving the current-day debate over Hillsborough County's transportation service options.

The rationale behind the interstate commerce clause in the U.S. Constitution is to promote fluid commerce between states for those doing business in multiple states. For the exact same reason, ridesharing companies doing business in multiple Florida counties should be subject to statewide standards, not inconsistent county-by-county rules that potentially impede regional commerce.

The parochial efforts to regulate ridesharing companies in Hillsborough County are inconsistent with the multiple-front efforts to promote Tampa Bay as a region and increase our economic diversity and destination value.

Hillsborough County is the only county in Florida with a Public Transportation Commission. In the spirit of promoting fluid commerce in the Tampa Bay region, the Legislature should abolish the PTC.

Kathleen Shanahan, Tampa

Reading file

Thoughtful feature

I write in praise of the Saturday reading file feature. I look forward to this whenever I need a respite from the hard daily news and the horse-race coverage of the election, the latest polls, etc. The reading file is a uniquely curated collection of diverse, broadening articles that are highly relevant to everyone's lives. There are always pleasant surprises in the skillfully chosen articles, which are wide-ranging and broaden one's perspective on life. This unique feature in the Times adds immeasurably to the value of the paper.

Edward H. Stein, Tampa