Friday, January 19, 2018
Editorials

Editorial: A day to celebrate American independence, values

There's something satisfying this Fourth of July in the simple traditions that mark the holiday. Two long wars and the endless insurgencies have left the nation tired and introspective about the terrible sacrifices America has made, and there are more troubling developments in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and other hot spots that have renewed debate about protecting our national interests. But today is a moment to celebrate our independence and our American values, to enjoy the familiarity of hot dogs and fireworks, parades and family picnics.

Celebrating that day only a couple of hundred years ago when the Continental Congress approved the Declaration of Independence also is a reminder of how quickly and firmly this nation became a worldwide model for freedom, human rights and common decency — values that are the very foundation of American life and the dreams of so many of our fellow men.

America's record at home and abroad is not perfect, and our nation still has a way to go in ensuring fair and equal access for all to jobs, housing, society and the political process. But the experiment the Founding Fathers launched has not only endured but grown, because the truths they held as self-evident capture what all humans want — the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

The surge of violence in Iraq and Syria, the political stalemate in Afghanistan and the emerging threat from terrorist movements masquerading as liberators have combined this holiday to make America think twice about its international obligations. This nation cannot be expected to export its own experience across the globe. But it should not be surprised that so many nations keep calling for help.

America should be proud on this holiday of the role we have played over the arc of history. While these are dangerous times abroad and polarizing times at home, the nation is healthy and secure, and still on guard against man's inhumanity to man. There is a continuity to the American experience that puts even the worst news of the day into perspective.

This nation has seen itself through incredible challenges because American ideals are universal even if the ability to pursue them is not. So on this holiday, let us celebrate what makes America a symbol of good across the world. And let us recommit to those values and that independence so the next generation can look back on the same storied history.

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Editorial: Criminal charges should finally wake up FSU fraternities to hazing’s dangers

Editorial: Criminal charges should finally wake up FSU fraternities to hazing’s dangers

The death last fall of a 20-year-old Florida State University fraternity pledge revealed pervasive dangerous behavior within the school’s Greek system. Andrew Coffey, a Pi Kappa Phi pledge, died from alcohol poisoning after an off-campus party, and a...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Editorial: Confronting racial distrust in St. Petersburg, one conversation at a time

The St. Petersburg Police Department’s heavy presence in Midtown on Martin Luther King Jr. Day and the community animosity it stirred have raised a familiar, troubling question: Can St. Petersburg’s racial divisions ever be reconciled?That big ideal ...
Updated: 3 hours ago
William March: Tampa Bay Democrats line up for state legislative races

William March: Tampa Bay Democrats line up for state legislative races

A surge of Democrats seeking local legislative offices and hoping for a "blue wave" in the 2018 election continued last week, led by Bob Buesing filing to run again versus state Sen. Dana Young, R-Tampa.In addition:• Heather Kenyon Stahl of Tampa has...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Editorial: Saying ‘thank you’ helps Tampa police build needed trust

Editorial: Saying ‘thank you’ helps Tampa police build needed trust

The smiles, applause and at least one hug belied the grim impetus for a gathering last week at a neighborhood center in Tampa — the Seminole Heights killings.The Tampa Police Department held a ceremony to thank those who helped in the investigation t...
Updated: 7 hours ago

Editorial: State’s warning shot should get attention of Hillsborough schools

The state Board of Education hopefully sent the message this week with its warning shot about the slow pace of the turnaround at Hillsborough County’s low-performing schools.The board criticized the school system for failing to replace administrators...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Editorial: More talk, answers needed on future of USF St. Petersburg

Editorial: More talk, answers needed on future of USF St. Petersburg

The Florida Legislature’s abrupt move to strip the University of South Florida St. Petersburg of its hard-earned separate accreditation and transform it back into a satellite of the major research university lacks detail and an appreciation for histo...
Published: 01/18/18

Another voice: Self-dealing by nursing home owners threatens patient care

The outsourcing of logistical support services, which became commonplace in the U.S. military in the 1990s and later was adopted by state prison systems, has now come to dominate the nursing home industry. And while nursing homes, unlike the military...
Published: 01/17/18
Editorial: Making illegal sewage discharges legal is wrong answer

Editorial: Making illegal sewage discharges legal is wrong answer

Three years into a crisis with its sewer system, St. Petersburg has a dandy new idea for dealing with the environmental fallout of dumping dirty water into the aquifer. Instead of committing to banning the outlawed practice, a consultant suggested th...
Published: 01/16/18
Updated: 01/17/18
Editorial: Tighten substitute teacher rules in Hillsborough

Editorial: Tighten substitute teacher rules in Hillsborough

A substitute teacher at a Plant City elementary school berated a class of fourth graders — and then the school principal. Another compared a student to a stripper. Others were caught napping, hitting children, making sexual remarks, giving students b...
Published: 01/16/18
Updated: 01/17/18
Editorial: Balancing the playing field for workers’ compensation

Editorial: Balancing the playing field for workers’ compensation

For the longest time, injured workers in Florida were basically at the mercy of the whims of employers to treat them fairly. A 2003 law aimed at reducing the cost of workers’ compensation coverage for businesses had the desired impact, but it also di...
Published: 01/16/18