Charter Gulf Coast Academy to reopen as public school | May 23
Charters require oversight
The proliferation of charter schools and for-profit schools, supported by misdirection of public funds with little accountability and oversight, is an accident waiting to happen.
A prime example: a few years ago your newspaper in the front section carried a story of the Florida Legislature expanding charter schools. In the same day's local edition you carried a story of a local charter school in which hundreds of thousands of dollars had been spent on personal needs while teachers, vendors and rent had not been paid. What a waste of money and what a loss for the children.
Yes, our public schools are not perfect. They need public and parent involvement and adequate financial support. I wish every legislator would be required to teach one month in a public school. They would have a far better understanding of the challenges facing schools today.
All this is not to object to private schools or religious-based schools. Parents and students have choices in this country. But education funds raised by taxes should not be diverted away from public schools.
Joanne Hannon, Pinellas Park
The Carter G. Woodson Museum
Museum has many benefits
The Carter G. Woodson African American Museum is a cultural venue, not "a social club, period" as it was plainly mischaracterized.
I'm proud to have had my artwork displayed there, alongside William Kwamena Poh's prints and Harriet Oloro's fabrics. The museum also provides an outlet for local performing artists and musicians.
The Woodson Museum will grow from a local to a regional cultural venue if given time.
Joseph Weinzettle, St. Petersburg
Group to reel in public's idea for the Pier | May 23
You can't please everyone
Do you get the sense that the folks in charge are trying too hard for the impossible; pleasing 100 percent of the people of St. Petersburg?
What unnerves me are two things:
1. An engineering group supposedly stated the caissons are too old, too damaged and too expensive to fix in the attempts to preserve the Pier as-is, and
2. The current design of the Pier is just not conducive to the look, feel and trajectory of how downtown St. Petersburg has grown and is growing. (The Pier isn't even on-par with the look and feel of the Skyway Bridge design!)
I fear Mayor Rick Kriseman will drag this out, again — trying to appease the impossible number of people, to where a decision is finally made but some group demands a referendum AGAIN and the cycle repeats to exactly how the Lens was undone.
Alan P Braunstein, St. Petersburg
Clearwater Beach parking
Perturbed over pricing
Prices just went up! Florida's best beach is making a lot of people upset. Now the price is $3 an hour with a five-hour limit. People like to go for the day. Now the message is: Welcome to Clearwater Beach — now go home!
Tom Yetter, Largo