School Board deserves zero
To the School Board of Hernando County, are you really considering giving a point score for not doing homework? Did this proposal actually make it on the agenda?
This is the most absurd idea I have yet seen come before the board. Points for doing nothing! Exactly what is that teaching the child? You don't have to go to work and you'll get 40 percent of your pay? You can avoid doing anything and still receive something.
Superintendent Wayne Alexander is supporting this crazy idea. This is the same Mr. Alexander that doesn't even want to be here. He'd rather be in one of the New England states. Please let him go.
The idea that it will support the child is ridiculous. When exactly is this child going to learn to support him or herself? High school? College? In the world? And here I thought school was a building block system to prepare children by instilling in them a work ethic and responsibility for their own actions or inactions.
How about this: No homework and the child has one day to do it with a 10 point deduction for being late. That could be followed by another 10 point deduction for each day it is late until the child receives a zero after 10 days. Now the child has the responsibility for doing the work, may actually learn some of the material (that is the goal I believe) and can still earn a grade better than a zero but does not receive 40 percent for doing nothing.
Please do not reward these children for doing nothing.
John Stansbury, Brooksville
Schools need outside review
I picture the Hernando educational system as a person lost in a maze, running this way and that way, finding dead ends in all directions. Change, for the sake of change, usually leads to chaos especially when no thought has been given to the outcomes.
Since the present superintendent took over two years ago, change has been the only constant. A dress code! No dress code! Fire a guy for insubordination! Rehire him! Move many of the principals from one school to another. High school to elementary and vice versa, regardless of their experience. Violate his contract involving job search at least twice with no school board action. And now: make 40 the lowest grade a student can get.
It's time for a total examination of the Hernando schools from top to bottom, done by an independent entity because no one seems to know where they are going, where they should be going and how they are going to get there.
What is the schools' role in 2009? Is it still to prepare young people for citizenship, develop a skilled workforce which can compete in a global economy, prepare for college, promote critical thinking, and teach about our culture and heritage? Then we are failing miserably ... Oh, sure. Students know all about diversity and alternative lifestyles, but is public school supposed to promote an social agenda? Maybe that's the problem. Schools are trying to be all things to all people and as a result are nothing to anybody.
Ed Ferguson, Spring Hill
Managers root of golf course woes
While the economy has touched us all and may, in part, hurt play at the Seven Hills and Spring Hill golf courses, as a resident, customer and former employee, the lack of support that the managers state on their sign has some justification but needs further explanation.
Since the early 1990s, the poor attitude, lack of customer service and overall poor management led to the demise of these businesses. Members were given no consideration, regular golfers refused to play there and many leagues were forced to leave because of these conditions. That said, the management needs to look no further than a mirror to place blame!
It's such a shame that these two courses will go to pot unless someone competent and knowledgeable takes over.
Barbara and Joe Sicari, Spring Hill
Let's hope better owners coming
In reference to the closing of two golf courses in Spring Hill, Spring Hill Golf Course and Seven Hills Golf Course, it came later than expected. Their reasons for closing were not the economy but their attitude toward the paying public, their management problems and their inability to make the customer happy whenever possible without hurting the course in any way.
For instance the use of the driving range was very inconvenient due to the fact that it was far from the clubhouse but that could have been corrected by allowing the players to use a cart to get there. They would not allow this no matter what. After all when players are waiting to tee off they should be allowed to pay for their cart and use it to get to the range.
The attitude in the pro shop was always "if you don't like it move on." Well, that is just what people did, they moved on. Too bad for the employees with the good attitudes that worked at these courses. I do hope the courses are sold, renovated and become successful to give the residents another place to play and help their home values increase instead of decrease.
Joe Fratto, Hudson
At the end of the rope comes a realization that most of us aren't 'normal' | June 28 guest column
Help available for brain disorders
Thank you Jerry Cowling for speaking out on your sleep issues, and behavior now known to be another brain disorder. You are so right that most of us are not "normal" but most have some behavior, addiction, physical or mental issue which would put us in the group of persons that have a brain disorder.
I have started using this term as "mental illness" has such stigma attached. This stigma keeps many from reaching for help, accepting help when diagnosed, or staying with the treatment when received. Your story fits so many who have a brain disorder. You noted a difference in your high school years. No amount of will power, prayer, or trying to curb behavior made it better. Over time it took over and stole your strengths leaving the behavior changes stronger than ever.
Welcome to the group of 57.2-million Americans that experience a mental disorder, or brain disorder in any given year. You join a very distinguished group of Americans that have learned to treat and live well with their brain disorders. Those who you share writing talents with are: Eugene O'Neill, Robert Schumann, Leo Tolstoy, John Keats, Tennessee Williams, Earnest Hemingway and Charles Dickens, to name a few.
NAMI Hernando is a resource that can help individuals that have behaviors that may be caused by a brain disorder and their families find education and resources to achieve wellness. NAMI offers free classes to those diagnosed, and to family/support persons to understand and better support persons with mental illness/brain disorders. Classes start this fall, have limited seatings, and require registration. Call us at 684-004, 683-1350 or 544-0352.
Judy Thomspon, Spring Hill
'Young lads' show American spirit
Recently, as I was enjoying my St. Petersburg Times with my regular mug of coffee, there was a knock on the front door. There stood a couple of young lads (as we call "young men" of late teenage years in England) wanting to trim my bushes. Believe me, my bushes were in dire need of the electric saw and so I saw (no pun intended) these two lads as my garden saviours.
They told me they were just starting up their business and persuaded me that they could be trusted to do a good job at a very reasonable price. They had been to the bank and obtained a small business loan (all under the watchful eye of family I was glad to hear) and bought themselves a truck and the necessary tools with which to turn themselves into landscapers.
These two young men were polite, full of enthusiasm, and energetic and they were willing to work hard in order to achieve their aims in these hard economic times. And they did an excellent job of cleaning up too!
If this is not a fine example of good, old-fashioned American optimism, then I don't know what is.
Gillian Maden, Spring Hill