Give Pinellas kids school uniforms
Buying new school clothes has always been a drain on family finances, though there are good bargains at thrift stores. But an even better solution would be uniforms.
Uniforms take "keeping up with the Joneses" out of the picture. Each child looks like the one next to him or her. And uniforms save parents a ton of money. Every school in Pinellas County should have uniforms, all alike.
The school district would be able to negotiate with U.S. manufacturers for the best price, so parents would know exactly what their costs will be. Khaki trousers and skirts paired with knit polo shirts in an assortment of colors is the answer. Fridays could be a "free" day so students could dress as they please within guidelines. Guidelines should encompass several things, including that all pants must be belted, fingernails trimmed with no color or graphics, shirts tucked in, and no jewelry except stud earrings.
When every student K-12 looks like every other student, it gives less privileged children the opportunity to feel as important as those who may have more money. It's also a huge disciplinary aid. Uniforms are standard in many school districts around the country for elementary students, but they should be standard for all age groups.
Also, every elementary classroom should have a "granny" in the room. There's not a grandmother worth her salt who can't "bad-eye" a child into good behavior. There are a lot of "grannies" who would love to volunteer for this duty just to have something meaningful to do with their lives.
There is a lot more involved in teaching than teachers. It behooves all citizens to become involved with teaching our children. After all, they are our future.
Kay Kelly, Clearwater
New curbs are a hazard, eyesore
After a recent walk through Morningside Estates, a subdivision in east Clearwater, I was shocked to see what looks like an invasion of 12-foot-long, 4-foot-wide at the center, eyebrow-shaped crazy curbs. What are Clearwater officials thinking?
The curbs, which have room for landscaping inside, block the bike lane on the side of the street, thus forcing kids on bicycles into the center of the road.
Also, the curbs have caused Morningside residents to lose hundreds of on-street parking spaces. Would you buy a house with a crazy curb in front of it? I know I wouldn't. In my view, these crazy curbs have lowered property values in Morningside Estates.
More drunken-sailor spending from Clearwater City Hall.
Bob Snow, Clearwater
Shortened school year a bad idea
I have been reading about the idea of a shortened school schedule. I agree with those in opposition.
The object of school is education and only education. How can these students learn if they are going for shortened hours, shortened days and anything else the unions and school boards can think of to cut the time and value of education?
Maybe if the system concentrated more on quality teaching and less on time off we would have a better quality student and more productivity from today's youth.
It's no fun being in school. Most of us know that, but enjoy it while you can. These are the best days of your lives. You will reap the benefits in the future if you put your mind into it and the teacher puts the effort forth for you.
One final thought: I keep seeing that the lottery has provided billions for education. Where is it? Why do we have to cut school budgets? Let us know how and where this lottery boon has been used.
Daniel J. Moran, Clearwater
Giving credit to Rep. Bill Young
My father, Martin D. Hagen, was wounded at the Battle Belleau Wood in World War I. About a year ago, I learned that he was among those Marines who should have received a Purple Heart because of an edict signed by President Truman. However, he never received it.
I gathered the papers and citations and contacted U.S. Representative Bill Young from the 10th district regarding this. He assigned Davide Macon the job of investigating. It took a long time to circumvent all the red tape, but they finally prevailed and I received the Purple Heart that was due to my deceased father.
I would like others to know of the compassion and efforts extended by Congressman Young on my behalf. He is one of the few politicians today who truly works for his constituents, regardless of party affiliation. Thank you, Congressman Young and Davide Macon, for bestowing this honor on my father.
Margaret LeFebvre, Palm Harbor
Re: A splash in the local economy | story, Aug. 14
Winter's tale should be a splash
How exciting it is to have a family-oriented movie made here based on the true story of Winter the dolphin. The Clearwater Marine Aquarium is a wonderful and educational experience. Once the film is finished and released, I envision families from all over seeing the film and making Clearwater Beach their destination so their kids can actually visit the site and see Winter. Lucky for Clearwater, Clearwater Marine Aquarium and the kids!
Debbie Roberto, Clearwater