Re: Move IB? Not without fight | story, Oct. 7
Why mess with Palm Harbor IB?
What are Pinellas school superintendent Julie Janssen and the School Board trying to do to a very successful International Baccalaureate program at Palm Harbor University High? Do not move a program that is loved by both teachers and students. If it is needed at Countryside High School, then start a program at that site. Our state schools are ranked low enough without messing up a program of the quality of the IB program at Palm Harbor University High.
I am not a teacher and my children are grown, but the children in my neighborhood go to Palm Harbor and I see the quality of youths that this school is turning out. For goodness' sake, don't kill the goose that is laying the golden eggs in our school system! I dare say that moving this IB program will cost more than starting another program at Countryside.
And by the way, did anybody check Janssen's qualifications before she was put in her position? I am beginning to wonder.
Barbara A. Wise, Palm Harbor
IB program needs continuity
I am a 2008 graduate of the Palm Harbor University High School International Baccalaureate program. I have become aware of the proposed relocation of the IB program to Countryside High School. I do not think school officials fully understand the methodology that occurs at the IB program at PHUHS.
One of the most important factors in a successful program is the continuity of the teachers and curriculum. It is special that students receive an IB education starting from Day 1 of their freshman year. By the time the IB program officially starts in the junior year, IB students already have a thorough understanding of what is expected of them and knowledge of what the IB curriculum entails. Students who jump in junior year after receiving a traditional approach the first two years will not understand the fundamentals of the program and will not succeed in the same way as the students at PHUHS, where teachers of pre-IB students often teach IB students as well.
Furthermore, look at the length of time required to train non-IB teachers to be IB teachers; it doesn't happen overnight.
Logan Clark, Palm Harbor
Re: What's up with the dishwater | story, Oct. 3
Chalky dishes seen elsewhere
I live in Otter Key Condo and we are having the same problem with our dishes being chalky as the Morningside Estates neighborhood in Clearwater. My neighbors and I are upset about this and want to know what we can do or who to talk to about it.
Miriam Wilstrup, St. Petersburg
Re: What's up with the dishwater | story, Oct. 3, and Chalky dishes, irate consumers, letter, Oct. 6
County owes us for water woes
I want to go on record to say that this problem is bigger than it looks. As said in the first article, it started months ago. I live in the unincorporated county, and I get my water from Pinellas County Utilities. When this started happening to me, I was really upset because it appeared to have no explanation other than a broken dishwasher.
The dishes were coming out horrible and chalky, just like it said in the first article. It is a calcium or lime deposit of some sort. It stuck on plastic and Tervis glasses the worst. I have to soak my dishes in Lime-a-way to get it out. This is costly and time-consuming. I would have purchased a new dishwasher, except that it's built in and costs more than I can afford.
It is downright disgusting, and I do not think we should have to fix the problem. Everything was fine until the water department started to mess around with the way things were going.
The county official quoted in the article questions why it is that only a small number of people are troubled by this phenomenon. I would guess that they are all out buying dishwashers and not calling the water department or haven't read the paper.
When it only happens in the dishwasher, the conclusion is that is the cause. I guess only a few bright ones like my son and his wife, who are going through the same problem, thought about calling the water department and were given some relief by being told it was only temporary. That was about five weeks ago. We are still having the problem.
I feel that Pinellas County Utilities should issue a statement about what has and what needs to be done by them, so everyone can finally understand what is going on and get a nice credit on their bill if they have gone through this and can prove it. Maybe some officials should eat on the dishes or drink out of the stained cups.
Emily Wiseman, Tarpon Springs
Utility bill leaps in Clearwater
My Clearwater utility bill increased significantly this month. On the bottom of the statement was a notice:
"Approved rate increases for the following services are effective October 1, 2010: Water 7%, Sewer 7%, Reclaimed Water 7%, Solid Waste 5%, Recycling 3%, Stormwater 6%"
This is a total of 35 percent, which is a hefty increase.
My understanding is that the increase was approved by the Clearwater City Council in lieu of raising taxes. The large number of unsold condos and foreclosures on properties have resulted in a deficit and funds must be procured from somewhere.
If there was an article announcing this hike in the St. Petersburg Times, I did not see it. Having the facts before receiving the bill would not have lessened the amount or given me the option of not paying. I do question a charge for reclaimed water, which has not been installed on my street.
Patricia Bates Smith, Clearwater