Zero is wake-up call to students
I feel that the purpose of grades is to assess what students have learned, as well as indicate the effort the student has put forth. If a student does not put forth the effort to turn in an assignment, he or she deserves a zero.
Some may regard giving a zero as some sort of punishment that inflicts pain. I say that is utterly ridiculous and feel that a zero serves as a much-needed dose of reality. In everyday life, there are consequences based on the decisions we make. As an adult, if you don't show up for work or put forth your best effort, you are reprimanded or fired.
We have no chance of competing in the world market if we turn out kids who have no concept of responsibility or work ethic. What about the students who work hard and miss no assignments? We must prepare students for the real world by teaching them that only with hard work comes rewards. It must also be taught that there are unpleasant consequences when a person does not act responsibly and do what is asked of them.
Colleen McGill, Weeki Wachee
A brief plea to be the rule enforcer
Wow! Just when you think you have heard everything, Brooksville comes up with a rule that all employees must wear underwear.
I would like to formally apply for the job of inspector (ladies only, please). I will work for free, without benefits.
Bill Scheiblein, New Port Richey
$125 video ticket borders on unfair
The Brooksville City Council has subcontracted its responsibility for public safety to a private company. Local residents are now finding this is not in their best interests.
My family recently received a $125 citation for failure to come to a complete stop before turning right on red at the intersection of Broad Street and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. The violation was videotaped under the red light traffic program administered by American Traffic Solutions.
The idea of cameras at intersections was sold as a means of deterring people from running red lights — a laudable goal. Does failure to come to a complete stop rise to the level of running a red light? Or do we just happily catch those more numerous violators in camera view as a collateral benefit, mail them a bill and split the fee?
How many citations were written for that intersection last year by police officers exercising some judgment and discretion? What percentage of warnings or citations written under the program are actually for people speeding through the intersection? Do we not have and pay for adequate traffic control by the Florida Highway Patrol, Hernando Sheriff's Office or our own somewhat redundant city of Brooksville Police Department?
Workers in Hernando earn a median wage below the state average. Our unemployment rate is 12.9 percent, the second highest in the state. A $125 citation can represent a couple of days' work, if you have a job.
The city of Brooksville is enabling, for a fee, a private company to exploit local residents. We need not complain about the towns of Waldo or Lawley on U.S. 301. Brooksville holds its own.
Howard P. Moore, Brooksville
Time to reassess idea of patriotism
It seems like most articles on the day after the Independence Day holiday usually report on military demonstrations or parades, rifle- or gun-shooting events, target-practicing efforts, park fireworks, along with numerous pictures and displays of our country's flag.
While patriotism is a trait to be proud of occasionally, it seems on most national holidays, and especially on July Fourth, Old Glory and the military always are the focal points.
Patriotism and nationalism should not be built on nostalgia, symbols or politicians' generalities, but based on one's behavior or citizens' individual acts of conscience. Our country should be promoting virtues of liberty and acts of justice, rather than martial actions, wars or wrapping ourselves in the flag.
It is also unpatriotic for Florida, and our country, to promote an industry of defense contractors, and to affiliate their services and contracts so much with patriotism, and to connect our public universities and colleges shamelessly with their research efforts for defense.
It is also unpatriotic to draw our country into a mistaken war and then keep extending the involvement, with untold casualties to soldiers and innocent civilians, while not telling Americans the truth. And why isn't the poor treatment of returning veterans treated with the same standards as when our young soldiers are sent off to war? And why isn't our treatment of the poor, the old and even the average working American citizen, especially when it comes to health care and salary levels, considered unpatriotic?
And why are antiwar demonstrators, who take some risks while doing it, considered unpatriotic, even to be accused of hurting America by the very political and business leaders who are doing just that?
As Ralph Nader has said, "Patriotism begins … by working to end poverty, discrimination, corruption, greed and other unfair conditions that weaken the promise and potential of America."
It is time to reinterpret patriotism and to treat the July Fourth holiday differently, not something to drape as a deceptive cloak around activities that mar our ideals, but rather to uphold as individuals and as a nation united.
Brian P. Moore, Spring Hill