Monday, May 21, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Letters: Media specialists vital to student success

Media specialists play crucial roles

School media specialists play a vital role in developing both literacy and technology skills in our students. To cut these positions is shortsighted and dangerous, endangering our students' academic learning and future lives as productive and responsible citizens.

Studies have shown that access to high-quality library programs has a strong impact on student achievement, especially for those students who do not have access to print-rich environments in their homes. Many of the students in Pasco County come from homes that lack print resources.

It is not enough to have a room with books to which they have access. It takes a trained and experienced media specialist to create activities and programs that help to foster a love of reading and instruct them in the areas of research and technology that will be required in the future. The current proposal is to have media/technology assistants be responsible for the media centers. While our assistants are extremely valuable to us, they have neither the training nor expertise to perform our jobs.

The argument stated by superintendent Kurt Browning is that our emphasis should be on the students, so it is better for trained media specialists to be employed as classroom teachers, rather than provide programs from the media centers. In a classroom I can impact roughly 125 students. The literacy training that I just held for seven of our teachers will affect hundreds of students. The book talks that I hold for our language arts and reading teachers allow me to encourage all of their students to read and to return to me for more books, which they do.

The professional development that I hold for the entire faculty helps to familiarize our teachers with the changing technology available for them to use with their students and to learn how to adapt their teaching to the changing needs of their students. In my current position I have an effect on the education of over 1,400 students.

We are also moving toward using the Common Core State Standards as a basis for curriculum development in Florida. These standards require our students to read and write at a much higher level than ever before. Our teachers will need the assistance of their media specialists to identify and gather the complex texts required of the standards, and help in developing curricula that will ensure that our students' literacy skills improve. Media specialists are uniquely qualified to help with both of these tasks, and the Pasco County School District is poised to take these resources away from teachers.

Media specialists are a crucial ingredient for schools that want to prepare students for the 21st century and all of its technological and literacy demands. Do not shortchange our students' educations or their futures with what seems to be an easy fix to the current under-funding of education in Florida.

Kelly Anderson, Zephyrhills

Band's talents much appreciated

The entire audience was blown away by the music, the professionalism and joy that the jazz band of the Hudson Middle School played with Monday.

We were entertained to the heights. The young women and men displayed such expertise as they enthralled us. The Spartan Manor was the venue and we were the volunteers of west Pasco. What an honor, and what a day. The band deserved, and got, a standing ovation. Thank you to all, especially those talented young people and their charming director.

Lilyan V. Dayton, New Port Richey

Sheriff's Office's double standard? | March 8 letter

Deputy is giving office a black eye

That letter sure rang a bell with me. The writer said a deputy told her, "You know, this isn't Hollywood." That sure seems like the same deputy who responded to my call for help to the Sheriffs Office a couple of weeks prior. It concerned my request about whether deputies were able to check if my 25-year-old son had a valid license.

The reason being he was driving my wife's car that was insured and registered in both our names. My wife and I are separated and are working on our marriage. My son lives with her and has had his license revoked numerous times. I had called my insurance agent to check on the status of his license and was told they no longer could do that. I was also informed that if he was driving with no license I was liable. After informing the deputy of this he scolded me and said, "We won't do your job for you. Be a man and go take the car.''

I informed him my wife is disabled and needs her car and that I'm a 100 percent disabled Vietnam-era veteran. He jokingly said we can't tell you if his license is valid, but if we stop him and it isn't valid we will be glad to take him to jail and impound my wife's car.

Anyway, he informed me he had more important things to take care of and that I was wasting his time. I was furious and hung up on him. I think this person is giving the Sheriff's Office a black eye and I also think the department needs to monitor this guy's responses to folks who call for help, not for sarcasm.

Stephen Kinn, New Port Richey


Tuesday’s letters: If you don’t like the Electoral College, then amend the Constitution

The popular vote | May 20, letterIf you don’t like it, amend ConstitutionA recent letter supports the idea that a state should be able to change its Electoral College vote to match that of the national popular vote winner as opposed to the result...
Updated: 6 hours ago

Pasco Letters to the Editor for May 25

Re: Proposed TECO Solar Plant As a 21-year resident and property owner, I am writing in opposition to the proposed Tampa Electric Company solar plant tin rural northeast Pasco County.The solar plant will be .2 miles from my home. It will run 1.4 mile...
Updated: 6 hours ago

Monday’s letters: Focusing on the mental state of shooters misses the point

Texas high school shooting | May 18Criminals, angry people kill peopleSchool shootings are a distinctly American phenomenon. But shootings by people with serious mental illness represent less than 1 percent of all yearly gun-related homicides in ...
Published: 05/19/18
Updated: 05/21/18

Friday’s letters: Putnam and Publix, two P’s lose my nod

Publix pours cash to Putnam | May 17A pleasure to shop elsewhereMy family and I moved to Tampa in 1974, and have made Publix our favorite grocery store ever since. Forty-four years! That is why it makes me a little sad to have to say goodbye.Firs...
Published: 05/18/18

Saturday’s letters: For Florida to move forward, focus on a healthy and sustainable environment

Tampa’s future is bright | May 12Protect Florida, boost economyThis past year, Florida set another record-breaking year for tourism, welcoming more than 116 million visitors. While Florida boasts a unique quality of life and more than 1,300 miles...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/18/18

Sunday’s letters: What conservatives stand for

How can conservatism survive after Trump | May 13, Nickens columnhed#6324 I think it obvious that traditional conservatism was squeezed out of the 2016 campaign narrative and has become a niche thesis owned by a small group of intellectuals. A gr...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/18/18

Friday's letters: Putnam and Publix, two P's lose my nod

Publix pours cash to Putnam | May 17 A pleasure to shop elsewhere My family and I moved to Tampa in 1974, and have made Publix our favorite grocery store ever since. Forty-four years! That is why it makes me a little sad to have to say goodbye. F...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/18/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for May 18

Re: Pasco panel okays Tampa Electric solar farm after five-hour meeting | April 9 storySolar farm offers many positivesThere has been much publicity regarding the proposed TECO Mountain View solar project slated for 350 acres in East Pasco that was r...
Published: 05/14/18

Thursday’s letters: Florida has arguably become the autonomous vehicle capital of North America

Autonomous vehicles in FloridaThe state for self-driving carsAlmost overnight, Florida has arguably become the autonomous vehicle capital of North America. In the last three months, Voyage, a self-driving taxi service, has begun service in the Villag...
Published: 05/12/18
Updated: 05/17/18

Wednesday’s letters: Florida’s Community Health Centers save $1.78 for every dollar spent

Florida’s Community Health CentersHealth centers are a great dealIf you gave someone a dollar and they gave you back $1.78, wouldn’t you consider that a fantastic deal? That’s the deal Florida’s Community Health Centers provide for the state’s citize...
Published: 05/12/18
Updated: 05/16/18