Have a pier contest
As I sat reading the newspaper about the difficulty and expenses involved with the design of the new pier in St. Petersburg, I thought to myself, “Why not have a contest that would be open to all who would want to submit an idea or drawing?” It wouldn’t have to be a professional or elaborate drawing. It could be the idea of a 10-year-old or an 87-year-old grandma. It could include ideas for the amenities and activities that the person would like to see inside.
It’s possible there could be more than one winner who might have some good ideas for the inside. There could be different categories that could be given to the professionals for bidding. If the city doesn’t want to give cash prizes, they could promise a genuine walnut plaque mounted in the foyer honoring their achievement. (I’ll even donate the plaque and engraving).
Dennis J. Williams
Get the name right
I read with interest and disappointment the short article in the Oct. 26 business section about the anniversary celebration at Whole Foods Market Carrollwood (“Anniversary giveaways at Whole Foods”). The store happens to be at 3208 Northdale Blvd., about 200 yards from (inside) the main entrance to Northdale. Having been in consumer product sales management in the grocery industry for almost 30 years, I know that Whole Foods’ main competitor is Fresh Market, which technically is in the Carrollwood area. This is probably what Whole Foods marketing folks are thinking.
If Whole Foods is embarrassed to be associated with Northdale, why did they put the store here? They can’t use the zip code excuse because we both are 33624. Come on, Whole Foods! Like it or not, you are Whole Foods Northdale. Be proud of it. This is a great neighborhood.
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi’s assertion that the proposed medical marijuana amendment’s summary “suggests there is no federal prohibition” makes no sense. The exact wording is “Applies only to Florida law. Does not authorize violations of federal law ...” That wording tells me the amendment does not alter federal law, that it alters only Florida law.
Her complaint is a last-minute attempt to insert ambiguity where none exists.
Bondi wants to stop the amendment because she fears that if it reaches the ballot, it will become law, and if it becomes law, it will not cause the problems opponents claim. University researchers have found that the first 16 states to enact medical marijuana laws saw traffic fatalities drop 9 percent in the first year, beer consumption down and teens’ pot use unchanged.
John G. Chase
Regarding Susan Crawford’s (Bloomberg News) article Oct. 27, “How we can create a tech-savvy government” (Views):
This has all happened before in a different but related domain — Electronic Health Records. The EHR was designed, rolled out and incentivized with certain targets of “meaningfulness” — the meaningfulness being that as it relates to data elements, tracking billing and costs so as to ultimately create a “smart” medical record, and a few safety and quality elements of patient care, none of which has yet to be realized in improved outcomes. No meaningfulness was designed or implied from a doctor-patient relationship interaction and, consequently, significant disruption has occurred to that interaction, work flow and care delivery.
The same cultural errors from legislative mandate to execution — not understanding the complexity of the society-technology interface — have been repeated with HealthCare.gov. System designers need to merge the policy intent with users’ and implementers’ interests, understanding how functional the final technology will be from a user perspective.
This requires a full examination of the structure and implementation of programs requiring public technology usage so as to not repeat the same errors with future public projects and large populations of citizens to be served.
Xavier E. Prida, M.D.
Courage in Dunedin
Finally, someone has taken a stand on decency (“Dress codes a focus for high school dance,” Oct. 28).
Congratulations to Dunedin High School for setting a dress code for its homecoming school dances.
It’s about time somebody had the courage to say enough is enough.
I fervently believe there is no activity undertaken by the state or federal government which is not filled with waste, fraud, abuse and inefficiency; managed by a plethora of rules and regulations that may or may not make sense; staffed by a bloated bureaucracy of limited productivity that cannot be fired or replaced; and fueled with a never-ending budget.
After observing recent events in D.C., particularly the testimony on the ACA website development and roll out, I am convinced of this opinion now more than ever.
Sun City Center
The Kansas City model
The current plight of the Bucs is a perfect demonstration of the Peter Principle. A person in a hierarchy is promoted upward until he reaches the limit of his ability and fails.
The Bucs’ coaching staff demonstrates this every week. The scheme they create works in the first half and fails in the second because the opponents have figured out how to counteract the strategy — and the Bucs haven’t figured this out because they don’t think they have to.
How to turn things around? Get rid of the coaching staff. Want an example? Look at Kansas City and its new head coach, Andy Reid — that team is undefeated.