When will the cries of children be heard? | Nov. 10, John Romano column
Young need training in child care
I've also felt that child abuse statistics are "shockingly horrifying," as John Romano declares. Talk to the deputies who handle such cases and you will know that this is an epidemic, especially and ironically during the holidays. Good foster homes are overloaded. We give money to help such causes, but is any organization really able to prevent the next new baby's death before someone ever knows there was mistreatment?
A good approach to child abuse prevention is to make child care/child psychology mandatory in middle school, if not again in high school. It is too critical a dilemma to be ignored.
The ideal curriculum would be twofold, because the psychology aspect would address self-esteem and other personal issues among the students themselves. A light might come on about how they can change their outlook and behavior because of this newly acquired information. An occasional class may be hands-on with a teacher and child so the students gain some compassion — a quality that may have never developed in their own homes — toward someone so vulnerable.
Besides engaging the class in empathy situations, lessons would equip future parents with some knowledge of the problems that are normal yet can be frustrating. Not all of us had positive role models in how to handle and positively speak to a child.
This may not be a new idea, but I think it is very important and needed training, especially the way this country is going.
Amy Stowe, Riverview
Floridians financially 'nuked' | Nov. 25, letter
Germans' power bills
A letter writer claims "German electric bills are plummeting" due to renewable energy.
The German news magazine Spiegel Online on Sept. 4 reported: "This year German consumers will be forced to pay 20 billion euros ($26 billion) for electricity from solar, wind and biogas plants — electricity with a market price of just over 3 billion euros. … In the near future, an average three-person household will spend about 90 euros a month for electricity. That's about twice as much as in 2000."
That doesn't indicate "plummeting" electricity bills.
Robert Deskin, St. Petersburg
Was Zimmerman the thug all along? Nov. 25, commentary
Shining a light on violence
I was pleased to read a column in the Times that finally speaks to George Zimmerman's violent history. This has not been the case with the majority of the mainstream media.
I still do not understand why a 17-year-old victim's character has been talked about so frequently, yet we heard nothing about perpetrator Zimmerman's questionable past. Thank you for this column. It is the first I have read addressing this issue.
Ann Jamieson, Tarpon Springs
Open a path to citizenship
The long, hard slog to citizenship that is being proposed as a solution to the problem of 11 million undocumented residents in our country appears to be facing an early demise in our Congress. Polls tell us that more than 60 percent of Americans favor this reform.
It defies logic to deny this pathway to so many people. The cry of amnesty rings strong among some members of the right.
Citizenship is America's golden prize. Our nation is a nation of immigrants. They joined the chorus of those who held this prize and together sang the songs of the masses who came to New York harbor so long ago. Is Lady Liberty standing there in vain? Perhaps her welcoming torch does not shine in the deserts of the Southwest.
Whether they come by boat or foot, we should gladly welcome them. Immigrants made America strong and prosperous. Congress needs to act.
Florence Laureira, Hudson
What shoppers want
I recently saw a political cartoon animatedly criticizing the opening of a store on Thursday for early Black Friday shopping.
Businesses and firms did not make this decision unilaterally. If consumers refused to begin their sales shopping Thanksgiving evening, these stores would remain closed. However, customers are constantly seeking better deals and lower prices. That is why these stores are opening earlier and earlier to offer Black Friday deals.
The only way to fight back against this shopping craze would be to encourage people to stay home and enjoy family gatherings and holiday traditions. The answer does not lie in lobbying state or federal legislators to outlaw commerce on Thanksgiving. That is preposterous.
However, one issue that does arise is the conundrum that employees encounter when having to decide between their job and spending Thanksgiving with family. Economically, those who value their work more than this family occasion, or who are compensated enough to offset the lost family time, should go to work.
Although if it were me, I would either quit or negotiate a temporary increase in pay, or offer a fellow employee an additional stipend to cover my shift.
Kyle Wayne, Clearwater
Big business calls the shots
There goes Thanksgiving, just another day of the year.
At one time we were a country. Americans. We worked hard upholding shared values to make a better life. Then along comes big business, destroying a culture we all enjoyed. We shared a common day off (Sunday) and six major holidays.
First went the Sundays and then gradually the holidays. Do you think big business felt bad forcing nonessential people to work? No, they didn't. The process led the general public to feel it was a win for all. Our political leaders could care less.
Big business has and will destroy any semblance of our past. They destroyed the middle class by moving our industries out. They have allowed the illegal entry of foreigners to take every remaining job.
Tom McGovern, Sun City Center