Sunday, February 18, 2018
Editorials

Editorial: Moving past Hillsborough's Confederate statue debate

One of the most divisive fights in Hillsborough County in years edged toward a quiet resolution last week as workers took down a Confederate memorial outside the old county courthouse. The debate over whether to move the monument brought out the best and worst in the community, but in the end, the public made itself heard and set a new bar for race relations in the public square.

With little fanfare Tuesday, a crew carefully separated and removed the two Confederate soldiers on either side of the 106-year-old marble monument. The move followed a contentious public debate that played out over months as supporters and opponents argued over whether the memorial should be removed from public land. Hillsborough County commissioners seesawed between retaining the memorial and removing it, only to create a window last month by agreeing to move the monument if private sponsors would pay for the work, which donors agreed to do in a single day. It was a classic case of good coming from a bad experience.

This was a painful, dishonest and unnecessary public debate for many reasons, chief among them the commission's failure to provide clear leadership. At the end of the day, however, all sides had their voices heard, the right decision was reached, the memorial was preserved for public viewing on private property and an ugly episode came to an orderly end. This should not, especially in the South, be taken for granted.

It stands to reason that some on the losing end cannot come to terms with the outcome. A group presenting itself as a defender of Southern heritage is suing the county to stop the monument's removal, an act one of its leaders Tuesday blamed on "a bunch of jackals." An administrative judge on Tuesday denied the group's request for an injunction halting the monument's removal while the lawsuit played out. This was another positive step that was in line with the law and the moral standards of the times.

The county intends to repair and store the memorial until its new home is ready at a Brandon cemetery. This should bring a dignified end to a public battle over race and history that has led to flashpoints in other cities. It also should be a reminder that Southern history did not end on the battlefield. The nation came together to form a strong republic. The principles of reconciliation endured through generations because Americans both North and South found ways to celebrate regional pride without extending it as cover for bigotry. It's time to put this episode in the past and focus on the challenges in moving the entire community forward.

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Editorial: Trumpís rising deficits and misplaced priorities

Editorial: Trumpís rising deficits and misplaced priorities

Itís not popular in Washington or virtually anywhere else these days to express concern about the rising federal deficit. Congressional Republicans who used to be deficit hawks first voted to cut taxes by $1.5 trillion over the next decade, then rais...
Published: 02/17/18
Editorial: Buckhorn should not appeal verdict in firefighterís case

Editorial: Buckhorn should not appeal verdict in firefighterís case

The city of Tampa should have taken Tanja Vidovic seriously from the start when the Tampa firefighter complained about her treatment in the workplace. Now that a jury and judge have spoken, itís time for City Hall to cut its losses, learn from its mi...
Published: 02/15/18
Updated: 02/16/18
Editorial: CareerSource troubles mount as public trust drops

Editorial: CareerSource troubles mount as public trust drops

The dark cloud enveloping Tampa Bayís job placement centers keeps growing. There are accusations of forged documents, evidence of nepotism and concerns about grossly inflated performance numbers that could be tied to receiving more public money and b...
Published: 02/15/18
Updated: 02/16/18
Editorials: Prayers and platitudes after shootings arenít enough

Editorials: Prayers and platitudes after shootings arenít enough

Even before the victims of another mass shooting at another public school were identified, Gov. Rick Scott, Attorney General Pam Bondi, state legislators and members of Congress rushed to South Florida or to social media to offer their thoughts and p...
Published: 02/15/18
Editorial: DCF review should get to the bottom of Hillsborough foster care issues

Editorial: DCF review should get to the bottom of Hillsborough foster care issues

The Florida Department of Children and Families is right to call for a timely and "comprehensive" review of Hillsborough Countyís foster care system. Though the probe is a reaction to a recent case involving a child who was left unattended, the revie...
Published: 02/14/18

A Washington Post editorial: Modernize 911 calling before it becomes an emergency

This Friday marks the 50th anniversary of the first 911 emergency call placed in the United States. Since then, uncounted lives have been saved and people helped. It has been a great accomplishment of government.But even as an estimated 240 million 9...
Published: 02/13/18
Updated: 02/14/18
Editorial: Scott, Cabinet cannot be trusted on felonsí voting rights

Editorial: Scott, Cabinet cannot be trusted on felonsí voting rights

Gov. Rick Scott always has been grudging and imperious about restoring the voting rights of felons, requiring them to wait for years before begging the governor and Cabinet to be recognized again as citizens. That arrogance is on full display in a le...
Published: 02/13/18
Another voice: ĎDreamersí donít know whom to trust on immigration

Another voice: ĎDreamersí donít know whom to trust on immigration

Immigrants brought into this country illegally as children by their parents may be wondering whom to trust. The political theater being played out in Washington hasnít settled the status of either the "Dreamers" or the estimated 11 million other undo...
Published: 02/13/18
Editorial: Promising Tampa stadium site for Rays

Editorial: Promising Tampa stadium site for Rays

While it came as little surprise, the Tampa Bay Raysí selection of an Ybor City site near Tampaís Channel District as the best spot for a new stadium is an important milestone in the effort to keep Major League Baseball. Now comes the hard work of de...
Published: 02/09/18
Editorial: Senate should reject Houseís attack on public schools

Editorial: Senate should reject Houseís attack on public schools

After pummeling public education so soundly last year, itís little surprise Republican state legislators are mounting another attack on public schools, teachers and local districts. The mammoth education bill passed by the House last week is loaded w...
Published: 02/08/18
Updated: 02/13/18