Sunday, June 24, 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


Monday’s letters: College instructors need classes in active shooter training

Active shooter perceptions disproven | June 21We need active shooter trainingThe only guns that I had seen before coming to the United States of America were in glass cases in museums. When I came to America to get a Ph.D. in English at the Unive...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/22/18

Friday’s letters: What a new Rays ballpark would mean

Rays exec hints at stadium timeline | June 15What a new ballpark would doThe Tampa Bay Rays 2020 organization is working diligently with local business leaders and civic organizations to rally support for the Rays’ new ballpark in Ybor City. The ...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/22/18

Thursday’s letters: On immigration there has to be a better way

‘Zero tolerance’ ignites outrage | June 20Find better way on immigrationOver the years I’ve voted for candidates from both parties. My observation of the Trump administration’s policy on immigration is not about politics. It has to do with having...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/21/18

Wednesday’s letters: Charters and traditional public schools each have their place

Public school as public good | Letter, June 17Both kinds of schools can workAs a mother and grandmother of children raised in both traditional public and charter schools in Pinellas County (and a 25-year supporting-services employee for public sc...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/20/18

Tuesday’s letters: Keep programs that fight AIDS

For author Biden, it’s a father’s gift | June 6Keep programs that fight AIDSAfter former Vice President Joe Biden’s recent visit to St. Petersburg, I noticed an article that he co-wrote with former Sen. Bill Frist. It reminded everyone about the ...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/19/18

Is anyone watching the money?Hernando County’s budget shortfall is ever changing going from $6 million to $11.5 million to $14 million to what is assumed a final number of $12.6 million. Who knows the budget shortfall could change again.Who’s watchi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Re: County OKs solar zones | June 8Plea ignored at solar plant hearingThe Pasco County Commission on June 5 voted to identify a utility-sized solar electric plant as a "special exception" use on agricultural-zoned land in Pasco County. What thi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Monday’s letters: Skip those plastic bags and save the environment

To save our seas, overcome congressional apathy | Column, June 16Do your part and skip plastic bagsEvery day we read about the shame of our landfills and oceans filling up with plastic bags, yet most people don’t care. My wife and I always carry ...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

White House defends splitting up families as ‘biblical’ | June 15The suffering of the childrenI am a mother and attorney with more than 20 years of practice living in Tampa. For the past three years, I worked as a magistrate in a Unified Family C...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Saturday’s letters: Community-based care requires community involvement

Fix foster care, and do it quickly | Editorial, June 15Involve the community itselfWhile the detailed article about the scathing state review of Hillsborough County’s foster care problems touched on leadership, a critical point was not addressed....
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18