Re: Largo High School's International Baccalaureate program
LHS does a fine job
My letter is in response to the article about Largo High School, particularly to the comment made by one parent concerning LHS' student population and its ability to provide an adequate education for a high school-bound child.
I was pleased to see that LHS has been chosen to serve as an IB school for the central part of the county. The move can only encourage and augment the hard work of their fine staff and faculty.
To be sure, LHS has had its challenges over the past few years. But even in the face of its challenges, the school has provided a strong foundation for moving on to secondary education.
Two years ago our daughter graduated from LHS. In her senior class, students graduated to seek their educational fortunes at Harvard, Yale and at other colleges and universities throughout the nation and in Florida. So unless those parents expressing concerns have other issues with LHS, why would you not want your child going there?
Joe Glymph, Clearwater
Re: Attacks on the Pinellas Trail in St. Petersburg
Kids aren't supervised
I have used this trail and personally witnessed young people throwing rocks at riders. On one occasion, I turned my bike around and chased them away as they threw some big rocks at me and others.
Parents, where are your kids?
It is your job to know what they are doing.
Dennis Cramer, St. Petersburg
Silence the bikers
Pinellas Park, listen up. On Wednesday nights, why is it that 49th Street from Park Boulevard to north of 102nd Avenue N sounds like a drag strip/raceway? The motorcycles tearing up and down that strip make enough noise to wake the dead. It can be heard for miles. And they all gather at Steak & Lube to race their engines and be a nuisance.
I don't begrudge anyone wanting to ride a motorcycle, but why must the peace in the surrounding neighborhoods be literally shattered? And there are hundreds of them. If hundreds of cars were on the same road making that much noise, the Pinellas Park police would have a field day handing out tickets for no muffler, speeding, reckless driving, and yes, disturbing the peace. So why can the bike riders get away with it?
They don't seem to have any respect for quiet at all. And if Steak & Lube is encouraging it, shame on them. All right, PPPD, it's about time to start earning your pay. Unless, of course, you don't care either.
Glenn Johnson, Pinellas Park
Re: We know what works for reading, letter Sept. 14
This method works
I just wanted to lend my support for the letter that the Rev. Manuel Sykes, president of the St. Petersburg NAACP, wrote.
I do not know the Rev. Sykes but can attest to the importance of what he wrote about direct instruction. I have worked in schools as a teacher and adviser to teachers for more than 35 years. I have seen the positive results when teachers use reading programs based heavily on direct instruction strategies.
Direct instruction was pioneered years ago for use in Project Head Start. In the "Follow Through Evaluation," one of the largest systematic evaluation studies ever published (by Abt Associates and the Stanford Research Institute) in the 1970s, use of direct instruction showed its superior effectiveness in teaching children to read.
Direct instruction has been used in schools with low-performing readers and has shown clear and compelling positive results for years.
Mark A. Koorland, St. Pete Beach
Re: St. Petersburg red light cameras
Make lights easier
We appreciate the fact that fines will not be levied until Oct. 15. But if you really wanted to help local drivers you would add two or three seconds to the length of the yellow light so we could make better decisions when entering an intersection.
Tom Reid, Seminole
Re: Budget plan: Work with less, story, Sept. 14
Cut car allowances
I agree with St. Petersburg City Council member Bill Dudley that "people are hurting," so this is not a good time to increase the city's property tax millage rate.
However, there is a simple way to restore the domestic violence position in the police department ($45,000) and perform needed sidewalk repairs along Central Avenue: Reduce or eliminate the $200,000 in car allowances provided to the city's top administrators.
That's the least these folks can do to share the pain. At least they have jobs.
Hal Freedman, St. Petersburg
Teach the bad drivers
It never ceases to astound me when waiting at a red light with a car next to me to have the light turn green and the other car is halfway across while I am looking both ways to be sure there are no red light runners that would T-bone me if I didn't check first.
This is one of the reasons it has become necessary to put up cameras to help train the thoughtless drivers to be more defensive and considerate of their own safety.
It wouldn't hurt, when you are approaching a light that could turn before you get to it, if you tapped your brakes to alert the distracted tailgater that you might be about to stop.
Ernie Agnew, Gulfport
Above and beyond
As a business visitor to your area this past weekend, I wanted to leave my thanks and gratitude to Officer Gerald (he didn't leave his last name), a 30-year veteran of the St. Petersburg Police Department and his efforts.
While not fully having my bearings at Tropicana Field, he went to great lengths for me to find my vehicle, which I eventually did. Nowhere in America — and I travel frequently for business — has any public or private individual done so much to assist an outsider. He is a credit to the force and your community at large.
Paul Reardon, Portsmouth, N.H.