Saturday, March 24, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Media specialists key to educating students

Media specialists play a vital role

Media centers (libraries and much more) are the heartthrob of the school. More money and inventory of educational tools are housed in this one area than anywhere on the school campus. Dissemination of information requires a professional, not an aide.

The American Library Association and most universities require a master's degree to become a school media specialist. Certification is required for those specialists. Southern Association of Colleges and Schools closely monitor schools for accreditation. Students seeking admission to schools of higher education: beware. Losing a media specialist may hurt you more than you could ever imagine.

It is the responsibility of the trained media specialist to integrate the resources into the curriculum, as controlled and designed by the classroom teacher. The resources are those of much more than just print. Audio/visuals come in a myriad of designs and each must be at the command of the media specialist. More than that, current journals, magazines, professional publications, online articles, et al., make the subject current. Your school media specialist is trained at the university level to have a full understanding of the subject areas: Reading, math, art, etc.

With the guidance of the media specialist, teachers can make outside of classroom and standard homework assignments become a research project, right there in their own school. Additionally, many media specialists build teaching tools. They work with teachers and students, as they write scripts and produce media that is custom to the curriculum. Media specialists also introduce recreational reading. This function can be the one place, the one person, the one instructor, the one friend, that makes the biggest change in a child's life.

Pulling the media specialist from the team would be a terrible mistake. It won't save money, it will cost student futures.

Bill Milner Whitefish, MT

No need to fear background checks | March 22, guest column

Background check facts bogus

The information the writer is offering to make the case for more gun control is incomplete. Let's start with the notion that background check records are promptly destroyed. Each licensed dealer is required by the federal government to maintain the records for at least 20 years and to make them available for inspection at any time.

While doing background checks may initially stop uninformed felons from buying a gun from a licensed dealer, there is little chance the felon will be prosecuted for trying since only 44 cases were pursued by authorities in 2012. They will merely steal a gun or buy a stolen one.

The writer states 40 percent of all firearms were sold at gun shows without background checks. Even Politifact debunked this claim. It's based on a 1994 university study which asked 2,568 households about the origin of their guns.

Of the only 251 which replied, 35.7 percent reported obtaining their gun from somewhere other than a licensed dealer. Their choices also included buying from a friend or family member and were included in the 35.7 percent, but this detail was of course conveniently left out. That has been rounded up to 40 percent.

In some cases, where a respondent skipped the question about whether the gun came from a licensed dealer, the researchers made a judgment call. That's right — they guessed or just plain made it up.

Why bother confusing an anti-gun study with the facts? Because the facts do not support their agenda.

Richard Golden, San Antonio

Real story of the 2nd Amendment

Commissioner Jack Mariano forgot to explain which version of the Second Amendment he was supporting. Was it the version our founding fathers used to create this great nation or was it the NRA version that is referred to as the insurrectionist version that has cost us so much blood and treasure.

As any historian of that period would tell you, the original 13 colonies had a big problem — how to get assurance from the powerful federal government they could arm and train their respective militias without interference from the federal government.

The solution was the creation of the Second Amendment which gave colonies the assurance they could arm and train their militias without interference from the more powerful federal government.

Unfortunately the Second Amendment was highjacked by the insurrectionist and turned into a bulletproof right-to-own any and all guns without any legislative constraints something our founding fathers never intended.

The blood and treasure lost because of this version of the Second Amendment continues to this day.

Arthur Hayhoe, Wesley Chapel

Thanks for being a good neighbor

On March 15, our son lost the family dog in the Meadow Pointe subdivision.

On March 24, we went there to do an all-out blitz to try to find him through marsh, swamp, and over 20 miles of different little subdivisions to no avail.

As we trekked through this massive area we were amazed at how close-knit this community really was.

Everyone we came in contact with said, "Oh, is that Charlie?'' They all knew and all were looking out for him. Such a large community knew about one little dog, knew his name, and showed that they all cared about getting him home.

Even a Times delivery person was one of the "sighting" calls my kids received, showing that your paper even cared about getting this dog home to the little girl and family who were so sad.

Because of all the caring people in this community, and the people like your delivery person, I can say with great joy that on the morning of March 25, Charlie came out of the woods, found by a couple in Meadow Pointe. He was tired, filthy, hungry and happy to be home again!

Thank your delivery person from the bottom of our hearts for his thoughtfulness and tell him he's done your paper proud.

Denise Sperry, Naples


Monday’s letters: Driverless cars on perilous roads

Driverless cautions | March 23, commentaryDriverless carson perilous roadsHaving watched the video of the tragedy in Tempe, Ariz., I believe the police are correct. This accident could not have been avoided as the pedestrian stepped out of the sh...
Published: 03/23/18

Friday’s letters: Think through assault weapons ban

Gun controlThink through assault rifle banI recently emailed a Florida state representative who had pledged, among other things, to ban assault rifles in the state. I asked him if he would ban the sale and transfer of these guns or ultimately make th...
Published: 03/22/18

Saturday’s letters: Tax guns to pay for security

Million-dollar questions | March 21Tax firearms to pay for securitySo public officials are wondering where they’ll get the money for stationing an armed guard in every school. How about heavily taxing every gun? It’s the proliferation of the weap...
Published: 03/21/18
Updated: 03/23/18

Thursday’s letters: School safety requires funding

Constitution Revision CommissionSchool safety requires fundingThe Constitution Revision Commission should consider amending a proposal (45, 93 or 72) to allocate the necessary recurring funding for the new school safety mandates, separate from the ba...
Published: 03/21/18

Wednesday’s letters: Let the teachers decide on guns

Trump touts arming staff as key in plan for school security | March 12It’s the teacher’s call on weaponsPlease, let’s try an alternate view about guns in the classroom. First, it hasn’t gone unnoticed that the preponderance of letters about guns ...
Published: 03/20/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for March 23

Re: Residents object to solar farm | March 16, storyLakeland Electric has shown that residential customers can be incentivized to allow placement of utility-owned solar panels on their roofs. Likewise, business owners can be incentivized to allow...
Published: 03/19/18

Tuesday’s letters: It shouldn’t be this hard to fly

Tampa International AirportIt shouldn’t be this hard to flyI’ve given the train two tries now from economy parking at Tampa airport. It’s a lot of work. How silly to go down one bank of elevators, then take a good walk to the next set of elevators to...
Published: 03/19/18

Monday’s letters: Protect Floridians’ right to privacy

People push for changes at Constitution hearing | March 14Protect Florida’s right to privacyI attended the Constitution Revision Commission’s public hearing at USF St. Petersburg last week. I was there because I thought it was important to have m...
Published: 03/18/18

Sunday’s letters: Effort to stem pet cruelty pays off

Puppy millsEffort to stem cruelty pays offThank you to everyone who contacted their legislators, and a huge shout-out to the Tampa Bay Times for letting us know that state legislators were considering a bill to eliminate the hard-achieved gains on lo...
Published: 03/17/18

Saturday’s letters: Insurer focused on repairs, not fees

Citizens hit with $12.7M verdict | March 15Insurer’s focus: repairs, not feesCitizens Property Insurance Corp. has spent the past several years making sure that insurance proceeds for sinkhole repairs are used to restore a home and make it whole....
Published: 03/16/18