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Wednesday's letters: Breaking down health data

Don't let news on blood pressure raise yours | Nov. 17, commentary

Breaking down health numbers

Thank you for publishing the timely commentary by Dr. H. Gilbert Welch on blood pressure. The point he makes about relative risks versus absolute risks is an important and often misunderstood data presentation issue. One can easily become too obsessed with and misinterpret the relevance of health measurements.

A USF researcher, Dr. David Diamond, has been making the same cogent argument about cholesterol numbers. His underappreciated work in this area deserves more attention in the press. Patients and doctors both need to become more aware of the different impressions data presentations can make, especially the clinical relevance of different risk estimates.

Paul Leaverton, Tampa

Crowd backs raises | Nov. 15

Teachers deserve support

As a public school parent, I support every public school teacher in Florida "working the contract," not for a week, but until teachers are fairly compensated. Parents would quickly realize that much of what we take for granted in our children's school experience is subsidized by the generosity of teachers working beyond their contracts.

To pick up the slack, parents and administration would have to step up or do without — and would be forced to acknowledge the actual work that teachers perform on a daily basis.

District accolades are only possible because of teachers. Yet while the best teachers are leaving their profession, having been disrespected and demoralized for too long, school boards are giving themselves and superintendents raises (and benefits) far exceeding what is being offered to teachers across Florida.

Teachers already sacrifice too much — their well-being, time with their own families, relationships and freedom from financial worry. How much more can teachers be expected to donate to school systems simply because it's easier for the Legislature, Department of Education and school districts to take advantage of teachers' "love for children"?

The money is there to pay teachers like the professionals they are. Cut the testing way back. Have you ever heard anyone say there's not enough money to pay for the increased and educationally vacuous testing? Never.

Sandra Stenoff, Winter Park

Tax bill

Help those on fixed income

I gladly pay taxes and see it as the responsibility of all citizens, and I hail the benefits provided to keep our country going. But it is very disturbing that very wealthy people have found escape routes out of paying taxes and are now being handed even more benefits with the proposed tax legislation. Meanwhile, those of us on fixed incomes will have some of our deductions taken away and, according to tax experts, will see our taxes rise in a few years.

It's not fair to burden the middle class so that those who have the means to pay more end up paying less. The fact that $1.5 trillion will be added to the federal deficit for the benefit of the rich and the detriment of the poor is immoral.

Lois Rogers-Watson, Palm Harbor

Corporations don't need cut

When middle class people get a tax cut, they have to prove that they are entitled to it based on something that they have already done, such as having a child or making payments on a mortgage. Why is it that large corporations should expect huge tax cuts based on the presumption that they will hire many new employees and increase workers' wages in the future as a result? This line of thought puts the cart before the horse.

The economy is well into recovery. Corporations are doing well financially, based on business reports. Big businesses can afford to hire workers and expand operations without government help in the form of tax cuts. Very few qualify for anything resembling a bailout at this time. The least that Congress can do is require corporations to show that they are in need of a break before they get one.

Oh, and what happened to Republican concerns about the national deficit?

Sheila Smith, San Antonio

This will never work | Nov. 17, letter

Send the Rays to Orlando

I agree with the letter writer's concern about fan and financial support in our area for the Rays. However, instead of moving out of our state as the writer suggested, why don't we let Orlando have them? They already have NBA and MLS teams and lots of corporate support, and should be able to handle another major league team. The Bucs and Bolts have strong local support and may be all we need.

In exchange, we should get Orlando's legislative support for a train on the I-4. Not a bullet train, just a modern, comfy train for tourists and locals alike. I'd rather do 70 mph in a train than zero in my car on I-4. Finally, we should also ask for a joint marketing campaign with Orlando. It is time we realize that for tourists from other states and countries, Clearwater/St. Petersburg/Tampa to Orlando/Daytona Beach is just one big market.

Pablo Rottenberg, Temple Terrace

Moore allegations divide GOP women Nov. 18

Dealing with the devil

It is disgusting that the governor of Alabama says she believes the Roy Moore accusers but will vote for him anyway. The only thing more disgusting is all the people who knew Donald Trump's accusers described actions he clearly admitted in the Access Hollywood tape and voted for him anyway. Nobody can rationally believe his denials. What have we come to?

Deborah Hart, Brooksville

Congregation has faith in its guns | Nov. 17

Religious firepower

So, River at Tampa Bay Church openly states that their congregation is armed and prepared to use deadly force if necessary. One has to wonder what the public reaction would be if a local mosque posted the same message outside their door.

P.J. Jaccoi, Sun City Center

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