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Letters to the editor: Calvert responds

Calvert responds Regarding "Crist, Iucalano for Hillsborough commission" (Our Views, July 20): As we watch cities around the country go bankrupt, get into more debt or raise taxes and fees to cover budget gaps, we know this country has a spending problem. Our county, Hillsborough, is no different, with a pending pension bomb and a budget shortfall. I would submit that re-electing those who got us here is not the way to get us out of this mess. I qualified by petition, collecting more than 2,100 signatures from citizens, which demonstrates widespread community support for change. I have received donations almost entirely from individuals while my opponent, Victor Crist, garnered his donations from lobbyists, lawyers and corporate donors, many from companies that he regulates sitting on the Public Transportation Commission. Clearly, my opponent's 20-plus years in government are paying dividends that he is banking on to get re-elected once again. Our elected officials' retirement is based upon their highest paid position, encouraging them to move from position to position. It's exacerbated by "lily pad" career politicians who leap frog from race to race as they are term limited. My opponent has a long history of using politics to direct and appropriate vast sums of taxpayer dollars to his pet nonprofit organization in the USF area, and after spending all those tax dollars he recently characterized the area as a "third-world country." Is this success? Crist was also responsible for deceptively slipping the $48 million opulent "Taj Mahal" courthouse funding into a transportation bill at the 11th hour at the close of the legislative session in 2007.
It is time for a leader who looks at what we can afford instead of what special interests dictate. I led the taxpayer revolt against the sales tax increase for light rail in 2010. I also led the initiative to get a financial impact statement on November's ballot that will require costs to be disclosed before implementing new government programs. I remain the advocate of the tax-paying public. I, a Republican, support businesses, not bureaucrats, and it's time for the government to get out of the way to let Americans do what we do best — create jobs. If you want government of lobbyists, lawyers and special interests, re-elect my opponent. But if you want new ideas, a government that lives within its means, and a common-sense approach to problem solving, I am your only choice on Aug. 14 in Hillsborough County Commission District 2. Sharon Calvert Lutz Mathieu replies Regarding "Fasano and Corcoran in Pasco races" (Our Views, July 23): As an attorney I have written and worked with legislation my entire adult life. Once elected to the state House of Representatives, District 36, I intend to read and research all proposed bills prior to voting. My decisions will be based on what's best for citizens, not elected officials. All I ask is that the voting public research, on the Florida Division of Elections website, under committees, "Committee For Floridians For Principled Government." Read its purpose, who runs it, where the $629,744.07 came from, and where it went. Be informed. You will never get change unless you vote for it. I am endorsed by the Republican Party of Pasco for good reason. We are tired of the same old recycling of politicians in Pasco County and their populist positions, which ensure re-election but do nothing to improve our lives or Pasco's economy. Vote. James Mathieu Port Richey NRA should help In the wake of the Colorado shootings, many again have questioned whether a new law could keep guns away from the mentally impaired. Does the National Rifle Association have ideas it could advocate to help in this regard? It's the one group powerful enough to sponsor, help write and push through such a law (hopefully with input from law enforcement). The NRA has reason to fear that legitimate rights might be taken away, since laws, once passed, are often taken to extremes. So, limit any new gun law to one year and renew it only if the NRA agrees it's useful and isn't being misused. No new law would eliminate all lunatic attacks. But we shouldn't give up. Using its political clout to help find a way to curtail these sickening attacks could gain the NRA political good will, gratitude and support. Dave Anshutz Tampa Shortsighted goal The July 21 article in 4You — "Does my baby need to take vitamin D?" — was unfortunately misleading. Parents can't be assured their infant has sufficient Vitamin D stores without knowing their baby's 25-Hydroxyvitamin D level. Any one-size-fits-all supplementation recommendation, as put forth by the Newsday columnist, is clearly wrong. This lab value would be of special interest for parents of African-American babies, as the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2001-2004) revealed a whopping 81 percent of children ages 1 through 6 were either deficient or insufficient in their vitamin D stores! With recent studies showing a strong association with other benefits when achieving a 25-hydroxyvitamin D level of 30 to 35 nanograms per milliliter — cardiovascular, blood sugar control, immunity, autoimmune and more — to restrict the goal to just achieving a much lower rickets-preventing vitamin D level is shortsighted. Scott Parrish Tampa

The writer is a registered pharmacist.
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