Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Letters: School is no place for politics

Getting in the act at the RNC Sept. 1 article

Politics has no place at school

Dayspring Charter School in Pasco County hit a new low when it permitted and encouraged students to lie about what their career dreams were in a video shown at the Republican National Convention.

In one case dozens of takes were shot to get a student who wants to be a professional athlete to lie and say he wanted to be the next Stephen King. Other students were forced to say similar lies.

No matter what your political feelings are, a school that encourages students to lie is to be held in low contempt especially when it is done for political reasons of which innocent children have no understanding.

John Ennis, Hudson

Withholding data a dangerous step

A recent police brief reported a rape in New Port Richey that was committed five days earlier. This is not a case of slow news day but rather a case of no big deal. The Tampa Bay Times reported someone alerted the newspaper and as a result the Times pressed the Sheriff's Office for information.

The few details released by the Sheriff's Office are that two men armed with guns broke into a home which they burglarized. The residents of the home did not know the men. One woman was raped by the armed assailants. These facts do not read like a domestic/date rape or a too-much-to-drink-at-the-barbecue encounter. These facts read like an armed attacked against local residents.

A spokesperson for the Sheriff's Office claimed the public was not in any danger, but if the Sheriff's Office thought there was danger, of course, the media would have been notified.

I do not know if this is a blatant disregard for the rape victim or a blatant disregard for public safety but some one is being disregarded. The media has a right to know and a responsibility to inform.

Maybe the Sheriff's Office forgot this fact that an informed community is a responsible community. Vigilantes come about as the result of rumors and self-anointed saviors. Trust is earned through truth and fact. In the absence of trust lives the paranoia that feeds the rumors.

The Times has done its job and informed the public. Rape is rape and rape is a crime. Armed home invasion is a crime. Silence is a violation of human rights.

Peno Hardesty, New Port Richey

Close encounter with 'angry white guy' at theater | Sept. 1 Barbara Fredricksen column

Foreign trade started a decline

If you're old enough, you know the real cause of today's economic ills — it was the foreign trade policies of the 1960s which led to the destruction of the U.S. manufacturing base.

The beginning of the end for our economy was allowing the importation of Japanese vehicles. In the early 1960s, Japan began exporting motorcycles to the U.S. By the end of the 1960s, building on its overwhelming success, Japan exported automobiles to this country.

Presidents Kennedy and Johnson were in the White House at the time, so it was supposed pro-union Democratic presidents who set the wheels in motion for the takeover of American industry.

Richard Golden, San Antonio

Hippies created lots of problem

In Ms. Fredricksen's Sept. 1 column, she mentioned after the '50s and '60s review at the Show Palace Dinner Theatre she was approached by an "angry white man" who stated basically the hippies in the show caused all the problems in the '60s. She stated she grew up in the '60s and they weren't the problem.

After I got out of the U.S. Navy I went on the New York Police Department and was stationed in Manhattan. Perhaps Ms. Fredricksen should have spent my first five years (1968-73) as an officer taking time away from the safety of the citizens. That was because all we did was respond to demonstrations where we had to dodge plastic bags of urine being thrown from roof tops.

We watched as colleges had windows broken and were covered in graffiti. When they got out of hand the mounted unit would arrive because walking horses through the crowd would help break it up. But alas these gentle people found a way to handle that. They threw marbles on the ground causing the horses to fall and one even fractured his leg.

I'm sure you're sad the hippies are no more but you still have the occupiers. Now I ask Ms. Fredricksen one big favor and please answer me in the next column. Would she have used the same phrase if it was a black man?

Gene Huber, Spring Hill

Firefighters' raise was negotiated

I am appalled by the latest bullying tactic of County Administrator John Gallagher and his marionettes better known as county commissioners. The county will only accept a Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Grant if the Pasco County Fire Fighters union Local 4420 is willing to give up a merit raise.

The two items have absolutely nothing to do with each other. The grant is federal money for which the county administration applied and it will provide funding to hire 18 full-time firefighters, bringing staffing levels back to what they were in 2008.

The grievance firefighters have against the county is for a merit raise of 5 percent agreed to by the union and the county commissioners in our last contract. The county is contractually bound to pay this raise, but it is claiming poor mouth. If the county administration did not believe that it could afford this raise it should have never agreed to it in a contract. The county wants to play the part of a bully and refuse to give its firefighters what it has already agreed to.

The firefighters of Pasco County will not ever put the safety of our citizens in risk. The county administration, on the other hand, wants to weaken that effort. By failing to accept the grant the administration would be decreasing your level of safety. The nationally accepted level, as approved by the National Fire Protection Association, is that a fire engine should be staffed by four firefighters. Pasco has a long way to go in order to get to this level of service. But, by adding to the number of available firefighters, the fire department will be able to increase the number of available trucks to respond to calls for service. This increase of manpower and trucks will shorten and improve response times for the citizens of Pasco County.

The firefighters of Pasco County are among the lowest paid in the Tampa Bay area. Pasco starts a firefighter out at $30,300; Tampa starts at $37,140; Hillsborough $38,652; Hernando $33,000; Clearwater $35,323; Oldsmar $38,182; and Pinellas Park $38,275.

We show up and do our job, all we ask is a fair wage, and for the county to hold up its end of the agreements.

James Schulz, Dade City


Wednesday’s letters: Charters and traditional public schools each have their place

Public school as public good | Letter, June 17Both kinds of schools can workAs a mother and grandmother of children raised in both traditional public and charter schools in Pinellas County (and a 25-year supporting-services employee for public sc...
Updated: 6 hours ago

Tuesday’s letters: Keep programs that fight AIDS

For author Biden, it’s a father’s gift | June 6Keep programs that fight AIDSAfter former Vice President Joe Biden’s recent visit to St. Petersburg, I noticed an article that he co-wrote with former Sen. Bill Frist. It reminded everyone about the ...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/19/18

Is anyone watching the money?Hernando County’s budget shortfall is ever changing going from $6 million to $11.5 million to $14 million to what is assumed a final number of $12.6 million. Who knows the budget shortfall could change again.Who’s watchi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Re: County OKs solar zones | June 8Plea ignored at solar plant hearingThe Pasco County Commission on June 5 voted to identify a utility-sized solar electric plant as a "special exception" use on agricultural-zoned land in Pasco County. What thi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Monday’s letters: Skip those plastic bags and save the environment

To save our seas, overcome congressional apathy | Column, June 16Do your part and skip plastic bagsEvery day we read about the shame of our landfills and oceans filling up with plastic bags, yet most people don’t care. My wife and I always carry ...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

White House defends splitting up families as ‘biblical’ | June 15The suffering of the childrenI am a mother and attorney with more than 20 years of practice living in Tampa. For the past three years, I worked as a magistrate in a Unified Family C...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Saturday’s letters: Community-based care requires community involvement

Fix foster care, and do it quickly | Editorial, June 15Involve the community itselfWhile the detailed article about the scathing state review of Hillsborough County’s foster care problems touched on leadership, a critical point was not addressed....
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Friday’s letters: Freight trains are infrastructure that works in Tampa Bay

Railroads are infrastructure that worksFreight trains carry the loadCentral Florida is our state’s fastest-growing region. We’re on track to outpace South Florida’s growth 2-to-1 over the next several years. Great news for our local economy, but it n...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Thursday’s letters: Charter schools aren’t the enemy

Don’t plug your ears when schools ask for tax | May 20, columnCharter schools aren’t the enemyAs an educator, I am astounded when I hear claims from school board members that charter schools take away funding from the local public school system. ...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/14/18

Wednesday’s letters: Trump’s words insult our Canadian visitors

Trade disputes torpedo G-7 summit | June 10Canadian visitors are owed apologyLike many Pinellas County residents, I’m pleased that we receive thousands of Canadian "snow birds" as part-year residents. Not only do they enhance our economy, but by ...
Published: 06/11/18
Updated: 06/13/18