One for boys, one for girls | Aug. 24
Proper values know no gender
At first glance, the approach of single-gender schools seems promising. The idea is to create a relaxed and encouraging educational atmosphere for each gender. But I wonder if there is true value in separating students in such a superficial manner.
The statement that "girls' brains develop in a different sequence than boys' " is flawed. All girls do not learn in the same manner nor develop at the same rate; the same with boys.
Also, the "house rules" for girls and the "values" for boys should be equal. Justice, honesty and integrity are not just "values that every single male needs to demonstrate in order to be a man," these are values that every human being should hold close to his or her heart.
The girls are encouraged to "keep promises" and "love each other," rules that might encourage people pleasing. Boys are to be spoken to in louder tones of voice? These people need to meet my mother, because she is louder than most men!
Instead of using 1950s stereotypes, perhaps categorizing students according to their learning styles (mechanical, visual, analytical, etc.) would be a better approach. I wish the schools and their bright young students much success. I only hope that one day we can stop superficially categorizing according to gender, race, religion, etc., and instead recognize across-the-board human traits that are most influential and not readily seen.
Ebony Tollinchi, Riverview
Rays plan is hush-hush | Aug. 24
Keep eye out for 'plan'
After St. Petersburg City Council members wanted a little more information about Mayor Bill Foster's secret plan on the Rays, he told them there are "individuals working on some plan."
That certainly cleared things up. I encourage Leslie Curran and her fellow council members to continue to be involved in Rays negotiations. Some clear-minded and forward-looking vision is seriously needed here.
Deborah Green, Sun City Center
The right approach
I love the Rays and watch every game, but team owners are using lame excuses to try to get the taxpayers to let them out of the legally binding lease. If they are not happy, let them find some land in Pinellas, build and pay for it themselves or pay an indemnity to get a release. They owe the taxpayers those 15 years. Mayor Bill Foster accurately represents many of us and should be supported.
Our demographics will never support Red Sox-like attendance, but if everyone would stop running down the stadium, attendance could be increased.
Henry L. King, Clearwater
Your place or mine? How about both? | Aug. 12
High failure rate
In this tbt* article, the newspaper treated the contemporary phenomenon of premarital cohabitation, both part-time and full-time. While it is certainly common practice among twenty- to thirtysomethings, it is not something that we as a society should promote. Secular sociologists have been telling us for the past decade that the divorce rate is higher among couples who live together before marriage — the rate jumps from half up to three-quarters.
I always appreciate when secular statistics confirm that which we teach from a spiritual standpoint. From our perspective, what is not good for the soul has negative repercussions on the other aspect of our lives — emotional, relational and at times even physical.
I do not sit in judgment of these couples, as they are products of a generation that tells them that it is better to "test-drive" their relationship by moving in with each other. But we want to call young couples to a better future.
If we want healthy marriages and families, it is important to warn couples of relational pitfalls. Imagine the Food and Drug Administration approving a medication that had a 75 percent failure rate and had no warnings. I would encourage journalists to add such warnings next time an article appears to glamorize that which is deadly for the future for the institution of marriage.
Father David L. Toups, Christ the King Catholic Church, Tampa
Ads are misleading
I wonder if anyone else is as annoyed as I am with the way auto insurance is advertised on TV. Every company states that it can save the average driver from $300 to $550 on their yearly auto insurance premium. I have called them all and have found that all quotes received are much more expensive than my present premium.
I'm the same driver with the same accident history and credit rating, yet they can not deliver what they suggest in their TV advertising.
Bill Hoelzle, Dunedin
Heed work history
As a white male over 55, I'm at the bottom of the hiring list. Soon my unemployment payment benefits will run out. I have a fair solution.
Since I've been paying taxes for decades, I propose that for every 10 years an individual pays federal taxes, his or her unemployment payments should be extended one year. Many years I worked two jobs and paid double taxes. Yet none of that is taken into account.
Given that many who have never paid into "the system" get free housing, food stamps and free health care, it is more than fair that people like me are given credit for paying for those programs for decades.
Nicholas J. Boyer, Tampa
President Barack Obama outlasted the naysayers and second-guessers and was proved to be correct in his approach to Libya. Without a single U.S. serviceman or woman injured, and for less than one week's expenses in Iraq, regime change is taking place.
So what will the far-right media and political types nickname this success? When health care reform began to increase access and cut costs, they derided it as "Obamacare." When the stimulus saved 3 million jobs, according to neutral experts, they called it the "failed stimulus."
Perhaps this will be called the "Libyan Disaster" or the "Arab Armageddon" so the president will not get any credit.
Scott Cochran, Tampa
Chief says TIA executives should fly business class | Aug. 24
A coach solution
Business class? Too expensive.
Here's a solution that would save money. Buy two coach tickets next to each other. Spread your stuff out on the empty seat and work.
No free drinks, but who needs booze when you're supposed to be working?
Joe Knight, Tampa