Thursday, April 26, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Candidates not recommended by Tampa Bay Times respond

Frank Grey Pasco County Court Judge

My experience is what voters are looking for in a county judge.

Experience: Most matters considered in county court involve areas of law in which I have over 26 years of experience, including 12 as a Supreme Court certified mediator.

Proper demeanor: For 18 years I've been chosen as special magistrate to the county's Value Adjustment Board; conducting hearings judiciously, fairly, respectfully, weighing evidence and consistently applying the law.

Leadership, community service: A lifelong Pasco resident, I've been president of the West Pasco Bar and New Port Richey Rotary, served on boards of local nonprofit organizations, and been a regular church parishioner for 50 plus years. I've donated many hours of legal services to the elderly and others in need — including the widow of a war casualty.

Endorsements: Police Benevolent Association and County Commissioner Ann Hildebrand. For many others, please visit I ask for your vote on Aug. 14.

Donald Stephenson Pasco School Board, District 2

The omission of my opponent's shortcomings indicate the writer's own personal bias. The recommendation stated that Mrs. Hurley "refused to rubber stamp administrative recommendations" and yet she possesses a shocking 100 percent "yea'' voting record. Somehow that was irrelevant. Also omitted, the fact that Mrs. Hurley has taken thousands of dollars from special interests - teachers unions, PACs and entities that do business with the board. And it is ironic that the Times would criticize my platform's focus on fiscal issues when Joanne Hurley has no platform whatsoever.

Calling me "contradictory" because I oppose IB but advocate for magnet schools is akin to saying "you can't like ice cream unless you like every flavor." I was extremely clear that I wanted to see Pasco add additional magnet options. This face was omitted deliberately. The dishonest nature of this recommendation is glaring. Visit to get the real story.

Heather Fiorentino School Superintendent, Republican

The children of Pasco County have benefitted from Heather Fiorentino's leadership. Pasco's graduation rate has skyrocketed since 2000, improving over 20 percentage points to 88.5 percent. Pasco has earned an outstanding grade of A or B each year Heather Fiorentino has been superintendent and was ranked as the top performing school district in the Tampa Bay area. Two recent, independent studies have issued glowing findings of the district's performance and Heather Fiorentino's leadership.

Heather Fiorentino has served the people of Pasco during difficult times, facing unprecedented financial shortfalls and increased federal and state expectations. Pasco's students continue to shine, which is a testament to her skillful leadership. Their success should be the primary factor in determining who should lead Pasco's school system.

It is surprising that you would recommend a double-dipper with no education experience over an educator who has a proven track record of securing positive outcomes for children.


Thursday’s letters: A surgeon responds to story about a needle being left in a baby’s heart

All Children’s surgeon left a needle in a baby’s heart | April 22My view as one of the surgeonsI am one of the physicians discussed (but not interviewed) in this article. Whatever the motive for such an article, I disagree with many of the claims...
Updated: 8 hours ago

Wednesday’s letters: How we plan to improve foster care in Hillsborough

Improving foster care inHillsborough | April 19, editorialOur plans for helping kidsThis editorial poses many good questions. The Department of Children and Families’ peer review report is expected to be released soon. And while we welcome the an...
Published: 04/23/18
Updated: 04/25/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for April 27

Stop Ridge Road extension, reader saysWhen I spoke at the Dade City meeting of the Pasco County Commissioners on my opposition to the Ridge Road Extension, three of them responded, but only when my three minutes of free speech expired, and I could sa...
Published: 04/23/18

Monday’s letters: Term limits don’t work

U.S. Senate campaignTerm limitsdon’t workGov. Rick Scott has begun his run for the U.S. Senate with TV ads promoting term limits for representatives and senators. Aside from the probability that this would require a constitutional amendment, I think ...
Published: 04/22/18
Updated: 04/23/18

Sunday’s letters: Problems with high-speed rail

Thanks, Gov. Scott, for ghastly I-4 drives | April 18, Sue Carlton columnProblems with high-speed railIn her Wednesday column, the writer bemoaned the traffic on I-4 and blasted Gov. Rick Scott for turning down free government money for a high-sp...
Published: 04/21/18

Tuesday’s letters: Student journalists push to save their newsrooms and independence

Save student newsroomsAs professional newsrooms shrink, student newsrooms have become an increasingly important source of local coverage, holding not only our universities accountable but also local government. We write these articles, attending meet...
Published: 04/20/18
Updated: 04/24/18

Saturday’s letters: Don’t weaken rules on fisheries

Florida fisheriesDon’t weaken rules on fish stocksMembers of Congress are proposing changes to an important ocean law, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, that would adversely affect coastal states including Florida.Since it...
Published: 04/19/18
Updated: 04/20/18

Friday’s letters: We owe it to our children to teach them history

If we don’t understand past, future looks grim | April 19, Daniel Ruth columnThe history we owe our childrenIt’s not often I agree with Daniel Ruth, but this article was spot-on. I’m not sure when the schools started ignoring Germany’s World War ...
Published: 04/19/18

Thursday’s letters: Gun research can save lives

Gun ownershipCommon ground: Find the factsThere are many areas in the current debate about guns and gun ownership where both sides must agree to disagree. But there is one area where common ground ought to exist. That concerns the need for continuing...
Published: 04/18/18

Wednesday’s letters:

Poverty and plenty in bay area | April 7, editorialStruggling poor are not a priorityI commend your newspaper for continuing to produce real and relevant news, particularly the recent editorial pointing out that a prospering Tampa Bay should not ...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18