Tuesday, March 20, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Friday's letters: Literature key to good education

All about the new standards | Sept. 24

Literature key in good education

In reading the question-and-answer section about the Common Core standards, I was concerned by the fact that children will be reading more "nonfiction and informational texts." As a former literature teacher, I recognize the value of good fiction in children's lives: It fuels the imagination, teaches creative thinking, and offers both life lessons and pure pleasure.

The lessons of literature helped me raise my own children with more understanding and left me with the ability to retrieve lines from Shakespeare, Emerson, Dickinson and other great writers throughout my life. Those lines have brought comfort and understanding at times of need.

I hope great literature will still play a role in the lives of our children in school. If not there, they more than likely will never read those works later.

Elaine Markowitz, Palm Harbor

Obama pushes carbon limits | Sept. 21

Support pollution limits

Last week, President Barack Obama drew a line in the sand in the fight against global warming and effectively said: No new dirty power plants. His Environmental Protection Agency proposed first-ever carbon pollution limits on power plants, the nation's single largest source of the global warming pollutant.

Florida has a lot at stake when it comes to global warming: coral reefs, the Everglades, and beautiful coastal cities like Tampa and St. Petersburg could be transformed by rising seas and temperatures.

A recent Environment Florida Research & Policy Center report finds that Florida ranks third in the country for most carbon pollution from its power plants, the state's largest single source of global warming pollution.

Floridians agree: If we want a safer climate and future for Florida's kids, we can't keep building dirty power plants. Floridians have already submitted more than 150,000 comments of the 3.2 million comments Americans delivered to the EPA in support of carbon limits on power plants.

I urge Florida's decisionmakers to support the president's proposed carbon pollution limits in the fight to protect our children and grandchildren from global warming's worst impacts.

Jennifer Rubiello, Environment Florida, St. Petersburg

Common Core reversal | Sept. 24

Back to the basics

Gov. Rick Scott and his cronies have made a political football out of Florida education. Education is not that complicated. A sage once said the best education is "a wise man on one end of a log and a motivated student on the other end."

The basics for good teaching and learning: Start with a well-motivated, intelligent, moral, well-paid person trained in his or her level and/or subject matter. Like a doctor, this person should be ready to go after a semester internship. Provide a well-prepared curriculum guide, needed materials, good classroom or "log," no more than 20-25 students, and get out of the way. Such staff know how to make tests, evaluate and meet student needs. That's it.

Henry L. King, Clearwater

Scott goes backward on reforms Sept. 24, editorial

Setting higher standards

Last week you criticized Gov. Rick Scott on not being at his education summit. This week you slam him because the results of that three-day meeting clearly showed that parents, teachers and many others want the state to have higher educational standards but are not in favor of the federal government's centralized standards.

So Scott heard the results of that summit and has now put forth a challenge to state education leaders to devise a better method of providing a much healthier system. Your liberal editors and staff will try to demean the governor no matter his position, while you never come forward with any ideas of merit.

Bob Kinder, St. Petersburg

Midtown grocery heralds a fresh start Sept. 25, editorial

Costs and benefits

With Walmart being the largest low-wage employer in the country, one ought to consider the economic burden our community will now bear with the opening of this store in Midtown.

A U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce report estimates that a single 300-person Walmart Superstore in Wisconsin likely costs taxpayers about $5,815 per employee. This cost is paid through state, local and federal services because workers are still at the poverty income level. These benefits include emergency room medical treatment, food stamps, social services and other taxpayer-paid resources.

There is no easy solution, but has anyone asked what the cost to consumers would be — say by item, about a 4 percent increase — to pay wages sufficient to be able to shop at Walmart?

For example, would a consumer pay $3.12 for $3 gallon of milk to assure that their spouse working there could make a reasonable living without a need for governmental assistance? Can't someone ask those questions?

Gregory Matthews, St. Petersburg

As man charges with ax, officer shoots, kills him | Sept. 24

Downtown problems

A man wielding an ax in downtown St. Petersburg is plenty bad. But isn't it part of a bigger problem?

How about excessive drinking? Longer bar hours make for drunken patrons. Drug use at Williams Park is out of control. There is excessive trash and noise.

Is our downtown "thriving" as the politicians want us to believe, or is it turning into just another noisy, dirty, drunken bar scene, with streets and alleyways smelling of urine? "Thriving" is not the word I would use to describe our downtown.

Heidi Sumner, St. Petersburg

Cruz done, debate begins | Sept. 26

Patriot or politician?

Moderate Republicans in the Congress face a difficult choice: Should they vote for the greater good and face the threat of a tea party primary challenge, or should they abandon responsible governance and allow the radical right to disable the federal government?

No true patriot would have to struggle with a conflict between the best interests of our nation and his or her personal political career. Citizens should mark those who are in service to our country and those who are serving their own fortunes.

Kent Bailey, Thonotosassa


Wednesday’s letters: Let the teachers decide on guns

Trump touts arming staff as key in plan for school security | March 12It’s the teacher’s call on weaponsPlease, let’s try an alternate view about guns in the classroom. First, it hasn’t gone unnoticed that the preponderance of letters about guns ...
Updated: 7 hours ago

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...
Published: 03/19/18

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