Tuesday, March 20, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Friday’s letters: Stop laying blame on teachers

Hillsborough teachers are set to protest | Nov. 14

Stop laying blame on teachers

I am a veteran teacher, coming up on 30 years of service to public education. My mother was also an educator, clocking over 40 years of service in public education. She was a teacher in Hillsborough County in 1968 when the teachers walked out over the derision and disgust of parent-teacher organizations and others who called them disloyal, commies, and pushed hard for their dismissal. As this is not a union-friendly state, these teachers were putting a lot at stake, and many in the community said they didn’t care because they weren’t in their classrooms. The claim was this could be better resolved if they would just get back in their classrooms and then we could all sit down nicely, calmly, and work things out.

No. That is what brought them to that place, and it is what has brought us, now, to this place. When you indicate to somebody that you are endlessly willing to sit and listen, wait, be patient, and have your good intentions manipulated for another’s delays and advantage, there is no motivation to speed the process, to make it a priority and resolve it.

We, the teachers, just keep slogging and keep having expectations piled on even as we’re being told how understanding everyone is. This year started with a big rah-rah, let’s all pull together, we’re going to make it work and it’s going to be a more positive, supportive environment instead of the demoralizing, demeaning, exhausting environment it has been with the evaluation system in all its unwieldy and (as yet) unproven glory.

That’s not what happened. If anything, the operating environment is a hyped, intensified crisis mode that still has endless piled-on trainings that no one is ever given time to "unpack" and utilize, meetings, collaborations and conferences. The general atmosphere is: "We’re all stretched and stressed, so get over it. Oh, and by the way, I’ll be in next week to evaluate you."

If we all act like good little soldiers who are asked to and continue to march on, keep our heads down, work harder, and don’t rock the boat (the teacher guilt gambit, I call it), we will continue to march on, keep our heads down, work harder, and the boat will keep on sailing without a course that includes the real consequences on the real people who deliver to our children.

Please don’t keep guilting the teachers and laying it at our doorstep that we need to "think in the best interests of the students" in this current crisis. We didn’t create the crisis, we have not been beneficiaries of it, nor have our students, and we are thinking of the students by opening up a public dialogue that includes the concerns of students and parents. My exhortation is that this should be turned into a large-scale moment to create public collaborations and use the crisis mode in a different way, but please don’t keep putting this on the teachers to make it all okay.

Lucretia Dovi, Tampa

Legislature should ban sanctuary cities
Nov. 14, commentary

Pandering proposition

I wonder if Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran has even a basic understanding of local law enforcement. Does he know that local law enforcement officers do not have lawful authority to enforce federal laws? Does he have any idea how busy local officers are handling everyday domestic disturbances, traffic accidents, investigating crimes and attending court? Does he not understand that if federal ICE agents present valid warrants to county sheriffs, the sheriffs will gladly hold a suspect?

All of us in local law enforcement (I was police officer, detective and supervisor in a large metropolitan area for over 30 years) must comply with the civil rights laws and have no desire to be taken to civil court for violations of civil rights. Florida would be better served if Corcoran would stop pandering to his supporters and do his job.

Paul Carroll, Homosassa

What about the guns?

Richard Corcoran is on a noble mission. His message is that if we eliminate sanctuary cities, with all those dangerous illegal aliens, violent crimes will go down. That’s debatable, but there’s more to the story. Did the NRA help write this to distract from the bigger issue? After all, the woman was "gunned down." Why doesn’t Corcoran take our protections a step further and work to enact stricter gun controls?

M. Gerald Lang, Seminole

Ybor City won starter spot | Nov. 11

This will never work

It astonishes me that there is even a consideration for a new stadium for the Rays given the circumstances: no large fan base, years of dismal attendance, and a losing team for the last 10 years.

Now let’s add a stadium where there will be limited parking in a city that has virtually no public transportation system.

The politicians and planners are truly living in a Field of Dreams, but no one’s going to come. Better off to let the club move to an out-of-state city where the team will feel wanted.

Bob Rosenberger, Spring Hill

Florida Legislature

They’re not listening

For whom do our legislators work? I ask because my Florida senator doesn’t appear to work for me. I drove 27 miles on Nov. 3 to talk to the Hillsborough County legislative delegation for three minutes about commonsense gun laws. My senator never once looked at me during that three minutes.

On Nov. 8, about 30 people took a bus 240 miles to Tallahassee to meet with our legislators for the same purpose. My state senator’s aide informed us that our senator would not be available to meet with us until March.

Surveys show that the majority of Floridians want criminal background checks. My senator doesn’t. Polls show the majority of Floridians do not want open carry. My senator does. University officials, campus security and professors oppose campus carry.

Are our legislators supposed to represent us? Are our legislators supposed to be responsive to the taxpayers? How do we get our voices heard before the next legislative session and not in March?

Elizabeth Corwin, Tampa


Pasco Letters to the Editor for March 23

Re: Residents object to solar farm | March 16, storyLakeland Electric has shown that residential customers can be incentivized to allow placement of utility-owned solar panels on their roofs. Likewise, business owners can be incentivized to allow...
Updated: 12 hours ago

Tuesday’s letters: It shouldn’t be this hard to fly

Tampa International AirportIt shouldn’t be this hard to flyI’ve given the train two tries now from economy parking at Tampa airport. It’s a lot of work. How silly to go down one bank of elevators, then take a good walk to the next set of elevators to...
Published: 03/19/18

Monday’s letters: Protect Floridians’ right to privacy

People push for changes at Constitution hearing | March 14Protect Florida’s right to privacyI attended the Constitution Revision Commission’s public hearing at USF St. Petersburg last week. I was there because I thought it was important to have m...
Published: 03/18/18

Sunday’s letters: Effort to stem pet cruelty pays off

Puppy millsEffort to stem cruelty pays offThank you to everyone who contacted their legislators, and a huge shout-out to the Tampa Bay Times for letting us know that state legislators were considering a bill to eliminate the hard-achieved gains on lo...
Published: 03/17/18

Saturday’s letters: Insurer focused on repairs, not fees

Citizens hit with $12.7M verdict | March 15Insurer’s focus: repairs, not feesCitizens Property Insurance Corp. has spent the past several years making sure that insurance proceeds for sinkhole repairs are used to restore a home and make it whole....
Published: 03/16/18

Friday’s letters: Put young people to work rebuilding infrastructure

Smart way to pay for infrastructure | March 13, commentaryMake rebuilding a youth project Raising gas taxes to pay for infrastructure may not be the best way to go. I suggest we re-invent the old WPA (Works Progress Administration) and draft high...
Published: 03/13/18
Updated: 03/15/18

Thursday’s letters: An alternative for giving: Breadcoin

Panhandling paradox | March 11Innovation in giving: BreadcoinPanhandling is destructive to the donor, panhandler and our community — a guilt trip that erodes personal dignity, respect and self-worth, making the recipient more beholden and entitle...
Published: 03/13/18
Updated: 03/14/18
Wednesday’s letters: Daylight bill is bad for business

Wednesday’s letters: Daylight bill is bad for business

Daylight saving timeDaylight bill is bad for businessI encourage Gov. Rick Scott to veto the daylight saving time extension bill. It makes no sense. It puts Florida out of sync with the rest of the country. Commerce will be affected. The entire Easte...
Published: 03/13/18

Pasco Letter to the Editor for March 16

Re: Pasco to test roadside recycling | March 9 column Pasco County (and its residents) have financial incentives to recycle, but the participation rate is low. Clearly, Pasco County either needs to make recycling mandatory — by making residents r...
Published: 03/13/18
Tuesday’s letters: Billionaire’s personal agenda

Tuesday’s letters: Billionaire’s personal agenda

Billionaire targeting young voters | March 7Using youths in personal agendaIs anyone surprised that Tom Steyer is using his extreme wealth to support his personal agenda and the liberal agenda of the Democratic Party? His real motive, hidden in h...
Published: 03/12/18
Updated: 03/13/18