Children need, deserve a daily dose of exercise, column by George K. Jones, May 3
Healthy students are better learners
As a physical education teacher, I would like to thank you, Mr. Jones, for your vision and dedication to all Pinellas elementary children who participate in daily physical education. You built the foundation of a daily, comprehensive and research-based PE program, which has remained steadfast in following the national guidelines for children.
Pinellas County Schools' elementary physical education program is recognized throughout the state and nation as the benchmark in quality education. But with the recent administrative recommendation to provide only three days of PE at 50 minutes per day per student, this best practice is in jeopardy.
Every educator has a professional, ethical and moral responsibility to provide a safe learning environment for our children. Thirty minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity daily is considered the optimum in my classroom, the PE field. (No gym, bathroom facilities or water). As Mr. Jones said in regards to the proposed change to 50 minutes, "The heat and endurance factors alone usually result in little or no positive results for the last 20 minutes of the class."
As an educator, I want to do everything possible to help my students succeed. The Pinellas school district has in place a quality, daily PE program with a curriculum based on the growth and development of children. Healthy children are productive learners. Let's continue to provide the highest-quality physical education program possible. Thirty minutes of daily PE in elementary school is in the best interest of our children.
Linda S. Fairman, Oldsmar
New Countryside Library
Keep library away from power lines
Hopefully, those that selected the property don't intend for the new library to be built near the row of electrical towers.
And perhaps proper decorum will be reinstated so that people leave their cell phones turned off and enjoy the library for what it is, not a room in which to be cacophonous.
Mrs. Harriet P. Sherwood, Clearwater
The Lens plan for the St. Petersburg pier
Proposal will create a real pier
Yes, a new pier is needed, but it will not be an icon; that takes time.
A new structure should show the city's history, told by the name Sunshine City, the present by new buildings, and the resurgence of the inner city. The future might be the melding of St. Pete, Tampa and other cities to create a true metro area.
An arched walking bridge will go from the shore to the end of the pier. An imaginative architectural work will be exhibited at the beginning of the bridge, at the apex and at the end. The bridge would connect with a modern, unique building providing retail, space for activities and entertainment.
Walkways and open spaces will be there. Boats of various sizes could tie up. This whole structure will be a real pier. It will replace the current iconic pier and take up its path. This clearly supplants a huge, aluminum, outdoor architectural object sitting in the water. It will use cheaper materials.
Charles Blowers, Clearwater
SPC graduates deserved better
I cannot believe the only mention your newspaper made of this year's St. Petersburg College graduation was a small photo of a student brushing her hair!
This was a joyous and very important occasion for thousands of people who were gathered at Tropicana Field on May 4. The graduates ranged in age from 17 to 77 years of age. These hard-working and intelligent graduates are our future leaders, teachers and caregivers, yet you didn't find that interesting enough to cover this momentous event.
Your lack of attention makes me rethink the necessity of my subscription.
Charlene Lord, Largo
Armed woman shot dead by police | story, April 29
Woman's death was unnecessary
She was in her home, it was 8 p.m. Sunday night and she wasn't expecting anyone. Then came a forceful knock at the back door.
Being alone is scary, so she grabs her gun and peeks out the back window to see who is there. She is vulnerable, so thinks it best to show the intruder that she is armed.
The St. Petersburg officer could have withdrawn, but he chose to kill her on the spot, for aiming a gun at a stranger, at her back door, in the dark, uninvited.
What right does an officer have that allows him to shoot someone not suspected of a crime, in her own home, through the window? Who was she bothering? Was she guilty of being hard of hearing or near blind?
What are the chances the internal review finds the execution justified? Has this review ever revealed that a shooting was not justified?
I guess her owning a gun was a mistake.
Kurt Steinmann, Belleair