Letters to the Editor for June 18, 2013


Published: Tuesday, June 18, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, June 17, 2013 at 2:43 p.m.

Unconscionable cost

I must comment on the boy who received more than 70 vials of antivenin at a cost of $20,000 per vial (article, June 12). As a veterinarian over 20 years, I have treated quite a few snake bites in dogs.

Antivenin for dogs and people are the same product. My cost for a vial is about $300. I would normally charge the client about $400. The price per vial has varied over the years, but I have never seen it higher than $600.

The idea that one vial should cost $20,000 is unconscionable. The article refers to the difficulty of storing it, reconstituting and administering it as justification. Hogwash. It is no more difficult to use than many other drugs that must be reconstituted.

I salute the doctors who saved this boy. But the hospital administration who believe these charges are appropriate needs to do some serious re-evaluation of policy.

Deborah Cottrell, DVM,

West End Animal Hospital,

Newberry

Begin anew

The Alachua County Commission should begin anew the search for a county manager. As The Sun stated editorially June 13, the James Bourey episode was an "ugly process" in which the commission somehow "set him up for failure by making him an initial contract offer well below his current salary, only to have some commissioners act surprised and criticize him for making a counteroffer."

In my view, the reputation of the commission is on the line.

John Corr,

Gainesville

Major responsibilities

Wilson Hicks is correct in his June 12 letter that many of us didn't vote against the initiative to fix our roads because of it not including bus rapid transit. It seems to many that there has been and is money to spend on fixing roads. It has simply been spent on other things.

Many of us are waiting for commissioners to fulfill their major responsibilities with the money they have before voting to approve more. I consider major responsibilities to be policing, roads and transportation, and parks and recreation.

Here's an idea. Let's spend the tax money we already have on roads and then try to pass a 1 percent sales tax to replace the money now being spent on other odd things. Who thinks that would pass?

But let's be fair — current commissioners didn't create all this bad situation. There is enough blame to spread to past commissioners.

Paul Varnes,

Gainesville

Real issue

Is Edward Snowden another Jane Fonda? Jane had a point that the Vietnam War might have been a mistake. He has a point that the NSA and the administration may be violating our constitutional rights.

The real issue is how to make their concerns known. Instead of using her celebrity status to directly confront the administration, Fonda instead visited the enemy and happily smiled and cavorted on their anti-aircraft equipment that shot down our American pilots.

Similarly, Snowden could have use a whistle-blower status and told his story in secret to a sympathetic congressman. Instead, he too chose to cavort with our enemies in Hong Kong with this highly classified intelligence. They both should be in prison for life.

Ernie Taylor,

Gainesville

Correct name

The correct name of the so-called Patriot Act is the "Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act" (of Oct. 26, 2001).

The common word "patriot" is not in the title at all, nor in the text of the act. No wonder we don't understand it and are surprised by how the government is enforcing it. At the time of the hasty enactment there were some who recognized inherent dangers in it. It was not well thought through.

I hereby call upon the media to properly identify it with its full name when reporting on it. The act's whole name should be said at the beginning of verbal and written reports (and then it may subsequently be abbreviated).

Since we forget what USA PATRIOT Act actually means, if we are going to shorten it, the capitalization is necessary. It's sloppy communication otherwise.

June D. Littler,

Gainesville

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