Would lawmakers wait to file claim?

Published February 1, 2007

I have a question for Sen. Mike Fasano and Rep. John Legg and other lawmakers in Tallahassee who went along with the sinkhole legislation.

What would you do if your house developed the following problems: Cracks in walls, floor tiles, bathroom wall and floor tiles, pool deck, walkway or driveway? Yes, let us not forget doors and windows that cannot open or close correctly. Would you wait until your home sinks in the ground, in short, falls apart before you file a sinkhole claim? I don't think so. You would file a claim at the first signs of any cracking, etc., just as other homeowners have done in the past. It is the insurance companies responsibility to disprove it.

I'm sure that the sinkhole optional coverage premiums will be sky-high. Who will control them? However, that would be no problem for Sen. Fasano or Rep. Legg and other lawmakers in Tallahassee as they don't have money problems as the fixed income homeowners in Florida have.

I agree that some sinkhole claims may be fraud. However, it's the insurance companies' responsibility to review each claim and weed out the frauds, which they have not been doing in the past. They did it the easy way, paid the claim and then cried wolf.

If the insurance companies would investigate each claim with their eyes open there wouldn't be so many claims to pay.

Frank DeAngelo, Hudson

Insurance should come with options

A la cart insurance is a sane solution to a very troublesome problem. We should purchase home insurance similar to how we purchase auto insurance options. Buy the coverage in those categories you feel necessary and comfortable with and that which you can afford. By increasing deductibles you will decrease your premiums.

Competition will eventually level out costs. In reality, we already have home insurance coverage under varying categories such as flood, wind, hurricane, etc. All categories should be optional.

Finally, if the insurers won't sell homeowners coverages, then they should be ineligible to sell auto insurance.

D. Depoalo, Hudson

Sad to see Black Bean Deli close

It is with a heavy heart (and a growling stomach) that I read about the indefinite closing of Juan's Black Bean Deli. My husband and I have frequented that restaurant for years, following it to the Grand Boulevard location. Even my 2-year-old daughter acquired a taste for black bean soup at a young age thanks to Juan's insistence that "Cuban kids love it!"

He was always there to share his delicious food, rich heritage, and amazing stories in which he was a part of history. I am thoroughly disappointed that, because a few people can't get their act together, we have lost a truly unique dining experience. I hope for and look forward to Juan's grand reopening!

Heidi Sullivan, New Port Richey

Fiorentino lacks compassion Jan. 28 letter

Stop the negative comments!

I must say I have had about enough of reading all of the negative comments that have been made about Heather Fiorentino. Cheers to the positive ones! They seem far and few between.

All of these people who want to judge her and her actions need to put themselves in her shoes. She is our school superintendent, and we need to support her decisions. We may not always agree with them but if you don't agree, keep your opinion to yourself. Maybe you should run for her position next time it is open.

I have three children in the Pasco County school system and I have had direct contact with Mrs. Fiorentino many times. My children love her.

Here's to you Heather Fiorentino, you are doing a fabulous job.

Sara Brandt, New Port Richey

Get old-fashioned tunes on airwaves

Since WGUL 106.3 left the airwaves well over a year ago, there is not one radio station that attempts to transmit good, old-fashioned American standards. The emphasis is on standards, not old.

Goodbye Sinatra, Goodman, Torme, Miller and Fitzgerald. Goodbye to Broadway show tunes, movie soundtracks and the vocals of Lee, Stafford, Martin, Crosby, etc. All gone.

In its place is an endless cycle of rock, hip-hop, rock and more hip-hop. WDUL 105.5 specializes in its "easy listening form," but it is a rare occurrence if it plays anything earlier than 1960.

Surely, there is an audience, particularly in this so-called senior citizen area of West Pasco, that could tune into one station devoted to what good music is all about and just maybe I can turn back on my car radio and house radios.

Bob Lauro, Port Richey

Nation neglects its health Jan. 29 guest column

AMA plan could help insure all

The American Medical Association is deeply concerned about America's uninsured. Our efforts to ensure that all Americans have adequate health care coverage go above and beyond our support for health savings accounts, which are a good fit for some patients. One pillar of the AMA plan includes support for more patient choice in health plans, and HSAs are just one of those options.

The cornerstone of the AMA plan to cover the uninsured is to provide tax credits, or vouchers, for lower-income Americans to purchase their own health insurance.

Tax credits for individually owned health insurance based on a sliding scale of a patient's income would provide more money to those who need it most - America's poor. In addition, insurance market reforms are necessary to make individual ownership a viable option.

If fully implemented on a federal level, the AMA plan could extend health insurance to nearly all of America's uninsured, while providing dependable insurance to all citizens. The nation's patients are our priority, and the time to talk about the uninsured problem has passed. Now it's time to take action on a solution.

William G. Plested, MD, AMA president, Washington, D.C.

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