Wednesday, November 22, 2017
Letters To The Editor

Sunday's letters: Baseball fans need mass transit


Public transit could rally fans to new stadium | April 10, Ernest Hooper column

Baseball fans need mass transit

I couldn't agree more with this column. My wife are I are big baseball fans. We just moved down from Rochester, N.Y., where we held season tickets for the Twins' AAA affiliate Red Wings (commute time 20 minutes if you hit all the lights). Though we now live just a couple of miles from the gorgeous baseball complex at USF, we looked forward to frequenting the Tampa Bay Rays by becoming season ticket holders down here.

Forgetaboutit! Just try to get to Tropicana Field from Tampa Palms for a night game. You might as well pack a lunch because you're going to have to leave the house by noon to make it by the first pitch. I'd bet many of us national pastime lovers would quickly become Rays' season ticket holders if we could only count on getting to the game without sacrificing an entire day and suffering the ill effects of just trying to get there.

We love it down here with the warmth and the sunshine. But we also love baseball. Smarten up and spend some cash now to begin to catch up with other progressive cities. Tampa needs bus-only lanes, high-speed rail and maybe even, someday, Uber helicopters (you never know).

Richard W. "Rick" Sherin, Tampa

St. Petersburg's economy

The costs of development

While St. Petersburg is going through an economic boom of sorts and property values downtown are rising, there is a social disease that is getting out of control: substance abuse.

Alcoholism is not a new problem in our city. Jack Kerouac drank himself to death here while spouting anti-Semitic, McCarthyist politics. But the recent economic boom has given rise to a disturbingly large number of new bars and seemingly little else. Art galleries that were truly dedicated to supporting local arts have been shuttered due to rising rents and lack of support from the city.

As with any burgeoning bar scene, there are other undesirable elements that come along with the alcohol. You create a thriving bar scene and you also create a thriving drug market. They unfortunately go hand in hand. You have a large number of people getting intoxicated every night, and people will see that as an opportunity to generate money in all forms.

I am sick of seeing our city held up to be a beautiful, shining example of an artistic community while I see people of my generation (I am a millennial, I suppose) succumb to drug addiction and alcoholism. We are running the risk of creating an epidemic for the sake of rising property values and economic growth for a small subset of our population. And let's be honest: A lot of property developers don't even live locally.

This isn't even touching the fact that there are large sections of our population who are shut out from this economic growth due to racial divisions that still exist in this city. I can't see these things continue to happen and sit by idly doing nothing, but I am essentially powerless.

David Brinkmann, St. Petersburg

Failure to protect bicyclists, pedestrians April 8, editorial

European approach works

Instead of making driving lanes narrower to make room for bike lanes, we should take examples from Europe, namely Germany. They have wide sidewalks and bike lanes on them. Do not walk in a bike lane or you will get run over as bikes have the right of way there.

Donna Herrick, Hudson

Don't tamper with Tampa's tree ordinance April 8, commentary

Fewer trees, more flooding

Former council member Joe Chillura wrote an important and meaningful tribute to the value of Tampa's trees and the reasons to continue to protect them against builders and developers. An appointed group, the Mayor's Economic Competitiveness Committee, will be able to decide what happens to our trees. These are not elected officials but people in the building business, or connected to it, who will gain financially from easing what they consider to be the burden of working around massive 100-year-old trees.

The loss of the trees will mean more concrete, less permeable soil and more flooding. Just what South Tampa doesn't need.

We cannot afford to fail to protect our grand oaks, camphor trees and all the other huge treasures that are the trademark of South Tampa. People who can attend the meeting April 27 should go en masse to object to any changes in the ordinances.

Judy Batson, Tampa

Heard it here | April 11

Public money, private gains

As a physician who takes care of uninsured, underinsured and insured patients, I am well aware of the financial burdens of obtaining and paying for insurance, as well as all the hoops patients jump through to get appropriate (or any) care. The small notice mentioning the increase of WellCare Health Plan's CEO Ken Burdick's compensation to $9.3 million should have been front-page news.

Per their own website, WellCare is a publicly traded company that "focuses exclusively on providing government-sponsored managed care services, primarily through Medicaid, Medicare Advantage and Medicare prescription drug plans, to families, children, seniors and individuals with complex medical needs."

What this means is that this is a wholesale transfer of public money to private hands. The doubling of the stock price means that money for care — to physicians, hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, tests, preventive care, medication, therapies, etc. — is being diverted to dividends and executive pay. However we as individuals think the health system should be set up in the United States, we as a nation must get a handle on how "government" monies are being transferred to private companies.

Linda Nied Prieto, M.D., Clearwater


Friday’s letters: Find private investors for a new stadium

Opening offer from Rays on stadium sounds too low | Nov. 17, editorialFind private investors for stadiumThe Rays "offered" to pay 18.75 percent of the costs? How outrageously presumptuous to say that they offered! Put another way, they demanded t...
Updated: 8 hours ago

Thursday’s letters: Tax plan won’t help wages

Tax billThis won’t help stagnant wagesThe unfair tax proposal that cuts taxes for the rich and most powerful and cuts the ability of working people to claim any comparable deductions is no more than another greedy power grab by the rich and powerful....
Updated: 11 hours ago

Wednesday’s letters: Breaking down health data

Don’t let news on blood pressure raise yours | Nov. 17, commentaryBreaking down health numbersThank you for publishing the timely commentary by Dr. H. Gilbert Welch on blood pressure. The point he makes about relative risks versus absolute risks ...
Published: 11/20/17
Updated: 11/21/17

Tuesday’s letters: Disgraceful tax proposals

Tax billDisgraceful, harmful proposalsThe very fact that the Congress of the people of the United States would propose, not to mention pass, the current tax bill is nothing short of disgraceful. What sort of representatives of the people support cutt...
Published: 11/20/17

Monday’s letters: Doctors should speak up on harassment

Sexual harassmentDoctors need to speak upThe recent widespread recognition, followed by disapproval, of sexual harassment across many workplaces signals a paradigm shift in social attitudes toward abuse of power that is long overdue.The male-dominate...
Published: 11/17/17

Saturday’s letters: Reservoir project off to a good start

Lake OkeechobeeReservoir project off to good startThis year, more than 70,000 Floridians contacted their legislators to support expediting a reservoir project south of Lake Okeechobee. Another 150 business people, anglers, health care professionals a...
Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/17/17

Sunday’s letters: Roundabout way to help the rich

Senate GOP’s tax plan to kill ACA mandate | Nov. 15Devious way to hurt middle classSo, let’s see if we have this straight. The proposed amendment to the Senate tax plan, to kill the individual mandate, will cause young people to not buy health in...
Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/17/17

Friday’s letters: Stop laying blame on teachers

Hillsborough teachers are set to protest | Nov. 14Stop laying blame on teachersI am a veteran teacher, coming up on 30 years of service to public education. My mother was also an educator, clocking over 40 years of service in public education. Sh...
Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/16/17

Pasco Letters to the Editor for Nov. 17

Questioning fees draws snarky responseYou are probably aware of the new Pasco utility fees that became effective last month.Under the dubious title of "convenience fee" for making utility payments by credit card or e-check, Pasco Utilities adds $2.75...
Published: 11/15/17

Dollars need to stay at home if south Brooksville is to survive

As a member of the Moton High School Class of 1967, I grew up a poor but very happy child because of the love given to me by all. So all I had to do was be a child and not rush to be an adult.There were many black businesses along a four-block area o...
Published: 11/14/17
Updated: 11/22/17