Insurance ideas are appalling
I read with disdain the Jan. 8 story, "Citizens rates may jump." I, for one, take exception to the tactics employed to violate and punish Florida homeowners who were dropped like hot potatoes by their private insurers.
And I must add that those of us within the designated distances from the coast were dropped because of the potential for wind, not water or storm surge damage. I guess Polk County is near the coast? Although it isn't, policyholders there weren't canceled. Why? The year 2004 was all about wind — in the central part of the state!
I am particularly appalled by these insurance task force recommendations mentioned in the article:
• Not writing new Citizens policies for erosion-prone coastal areas.
• Making incoming policyholders and their agents sign certifications that they could not find other coverage or the only offer is more than 15 percent higher than Citizens' rates.
I don't know about you, but the average homeowner is very busy these days with either working or trying to find a job to pay their expenses, raising their children, caring for their elderly parents, etc., and I resent the condescending attitude of our lawmakers and the burden placed upon homeowners to vet out new insurers so that poor Citizens won't be overburdened with policyholders.
Please excuse me for asking, but who made these decisions in the first place? If I want to revert back to a private insurer, then why can't I return to the insurer who canceled my policy — the agent I have been with for 25 years who has been a trusted adviser with regard to my insurance woes, even in light of this current debacle created by the state of Florida, and who also had no choice in the decisions that were made?
Perhaps our legislators should reconsider "dipping" into Citizens to balance their budget and allow Citizens to provide coverage for those who are less fortunate in finding a private insurer just because of where they chose to live.
And for heaven's sake, stop changing the rules and scaring us with rate hikes and sending us letters about "opting out," which isn't what you think. Citizens is either insuring us or they aren't. And if they aren't, then use the democratic process by allowing us to choose our insurer.
Barbara Kanehl, Dunedin
Re: Coachman loses in school merger | letter, Dec. 26
Comments about school disgraceful
I am disappointed and disgraced as a teacher to read Patricia D'Andrea's recent letter to the editor about Kennedy Middle School. I know her as a fellow multicultural liaison and cannot believe the comments she has made.
For your information, Kennedy Middle has been one point away from being an "A" school for the last two years. We have been an "A" school in the past.
I feel blessed to teach at such a diverse school. I am the ESOL teacher at Kennedy. My students come from various countries including the United States. To clarify what one person wrote, a Spanish teacher teaches Spanish to those wishing to learn Spanish (mostly Americans). ESOL is English to Speakers of Other Languages and no, most of my students are not "illegal" (very ignorant!).
My students are Doorway Scholarship winners, Principal List and Honor Roll recipients, National Junior Honor Society members, and straight "A" students who have overcome the obstacle of learning English to become model students and citizens.
Renee Belvis, Clearwater
Re: Handicapped need their spaces | letter by Joe Slatton, Jan. 2
Common sense isn't that common
The writer makes a valid point, and the answer to his question, "Why don't these people use some common sense?" seems to be that "these people" don't use (or have) the common sense to understand that those parking spaces are reserved for people who are physically handicapped.
R.J. Radford, Clearwater