Thursday, April 26, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Friday's letters: With effort, dream within reach

What's become of the American dream? | April 9, commentary

With effort, dream within reach

I am a teacher in the Pinellas County school system. I agree with so much of what Peggy Noonan wrote about the American dream — it does still exist and the ability/inability to achieve it does depend on one's support system while growing up. Having parents/guardians who are "functioning, reliable, affectionate" is key.

From the beginning (they are never too young), start a daily dialogue with your child that tells them about your day, asks them about theirs and shares something from both. When they reach school age, get involved with a school in your neighborhood so that you continue to be an integral part of your child's education. Hold your child accountable for knowing what was covered in classes each day, show an interest and discuss your own experiences with that subject. If the conversation does not seem to be forthcoming, keep asking questions until the information starts to flow. Let your child know that you place a value on the time that he/she spends in school and that you expect them to get as much out of that time as possible. Developing that communication with your child will not only make your life easier, it makes parenting an extremely rewarding experience.

This relationship and those expectations are so much more valuable than taking the limited time to "stand in line for the charter-school lottery," and I found Noonan's use of that statement as an example of a "functioning, reliable, affectionate" parent to be disappointing. Rather than standing in line, spend time with your child, show an interest in what they are doing, definitely including their activity on social media, and make every effort to let them know that you are involved and that you care. No matter how hard we try, no school, be it public, private or charter, is going to be able to do that job for you, and you don't want them to — you would be missing the most amazing experience of your life!

Theresa Delphonse, Largo

Cancer treatment

Funding toward a cure

Cancer is something that has affected my family personally. I was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2013 and thanks to my physicians at Moffitt Cancer Center I can proudly say I am cancer-free today.

Even before that, I was very active at Moffitt as part of the Advanced Prostate Cancer Collaboration because I know the importance of the work there. It's life-changing. And lifesaving.

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer among men. One in seven men will receive the same diagnosis I did. That's why my family and the Columbia Restaurant Group work to promote awareness and raise funding for adolescent and young adult sarcoma as well as prostate cancer research at Moffitt.

Over the last 30 years, Moffitt has made lasting contributions to the prevention and cure of cancer that have helped thousands in our community and beyond. As the cancer center looks toward its future, it has unveiled a major renovation and expansion project.

Moffitt will raise a majority of the funding for this project, but is also looking to state lawmakers for help. The cancer center has asked the state Legislature to increase the amount of cigarette tax funding it receives by $8 million annually. This additional funding would be used to renovate the hospital to better serve its patients and build a new state-of-the-art research building for scientists to make strides in diagnosing and treating cancer.

Moffitt deserves support from our community and state lawmakers. As one of the researchers once told me, "Every day I wake up thinking 'This is the day we'll find a cure.' "

Richard Gonzmart, Columbia Restaurant Group, Tampa

Soccer referendum

Big step forward for city

I moved to the Tampa Bay area in 2007. In the midst of one of the worst economic environments in American history, St. Petersburg thrived. Why? Because Tampa Bay is an extraordinary place to live, and not just because of new luxury condo towers and restaurants. It's about quality of life.

During the recession, we witnessed the Museum of Fine Arts' expansion, American Stage building its new home, the Chihuly Collection's arrival, the Warehouse District's creation, and soon the opening of the James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art and the Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement. And the Florida Orchestra's attendance grew almost 40 percent.

While the arts are important in developing a community, they cannot do it alone. People come to the bay area for the arts, beaches and sports.

On May 2, St. Petersburg voters decide the fate of a referendum allowing the city of St. Petersburg to sign a 25-year lease on Al Lang Stadium, and the outcome will play a significant role in the fate of Major League Soccer in our community. MLS has the ability to draw tens of thousands more people to the Tampa Bay area.

Businessman Bill Edwards is offering to do the heavy lifting as he provides the hundreds of millions of dollars required to bring Major League Soccer to Tampa Bay. Seldom does such a clear decision come before the voters to acquire such an asset without a penny of public funds.

Michael Pastreich, president and CEO, Florida Orchestra, St. Petersburg

Why cops shoot | April 9

Where the crimes are

The article regarding the number of blacks shot by police is probably correct. One important statistic that was left out was rate of violent crimes committed by blacks as compared to that of other races. Blacks on average commit 75 to 85 percent of violent crimes. I was a police officer for 26 years in major city. All police departments tend to use most of their resources where needed the most. Given that, blacks are more likely to come in contact with police.

Terry Hobt, Tarpon Springs


Thursday’s letters: A surgeon responds to story about a needle being left in a baby’s heart

All Children’s surgeon left a needle in a baby’s heart | April 22My view as one of the surgeonsI am one of the physicians discussed (but not interviewed) in this article. Whatever the motive for such an article, I disagree with many of the claims...
Updated: 7 hours ago

Wednesday’s letters: How we plan to improve foster care in Hillsborough

Improving foster care inHillsborough | April 19, editorialOur plans for helping kidsThis editorial poses many good questions. The Department of Children and Families’ peer review report is expected to be released soon. And while we welcome the an...
Published: 04/23/18
Updated: 04/25/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for April 27

Stop Ridge Road extension, reader saysWhen I spoke at the Dade City meeting of the Pasco County Commissioners on my opposition to the Ridge Road Extension, three of them responded, but only when my three minutes of free speech expired, and I could sa...
Published: 04/23/18

Monday’s letters: Term limits don’t work

U.S. Senate campaignTerm limitsdon’t workGov. Rick Scott has begun his run for the U.S. Senate with TV ads promoting term limits for representatives and senators. Aside from the probability that this would require a constitutional amendment, I think ...
Published: 04/22/18
Updated: 04/23/18

Sunday’s letters: Problems with high-speed rail

Thanks, Gov. Scott, for ghastly I-4 drives | April 18, Sue Carlton columnProblems with high-speed railIn her Wednesday column, the writer bemoaned the traffic on I-4 and blasted Gov. Rick Scott for turning down free government money for a high-sp...
Published: 04/21/18

Tuesday’s letters: Student journalists push to save their newsrooms and independence

Save student newsroomsAs professional newsrooms shrink, student newsrooms have become an increasingly important source of local coverage, holding not only our universities accountable but also local government. We write these articles, attending meet...
Published: 04/20/18
Updated: 04/24/18

Saturday’s letters: Don’t weaken rules on fisheries

Florida fisheriesDon’t weaken rules on fish stocksMembers of Congress are proposing changes to an important ocean law, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, that would adversely affect coastal states including Florida.Since it...
Published: 04/19/18
Updated: 04/20/18

Friday’s letters: We owe it to our children to teach them history

If we don’t understand past, future looks grim | April 19, Daniel Ruth columnThe history we owe our childrenIt’s not often I agree with Daniel Ruth, but this article was spot-on. I’m not sure when the schools started ignoring Germany’s World War ...
Published: 04/19/18

Thursday’s letters: Gun research can save lives

Gun ownershipCommon ground: Find the factsThere are many areas in the current debate about guns and gun ownership where both sides must agree to disagree. But there is one area where common ground ought to exist. That concerns the need for continuing...
Published: 04/18/18

Wednesday’s letters:

Poverty and plenty in bay area | April 7, editorialStruggling poor are not a priorityI commend your newspaper for continuing to produce real and relevant news, particularly the recent editorial pointing out that a prospering Tampa Bay should not ...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18