Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Monday's letters: Bill supports childhood education

READ Act

Bill supports early learning

Just a few days after the inauguration, the House of Representatives passed the READ Act (HR 601) — legislation that has the potential to improve the lives of children around the world who don't have access to a quality education. ("Reinforcing Education Accountability in Development" is the new name for the reintroduced "Education for All" Act, which passed in the House last year but was blocked in the Senate).

The READ bill will strengthen the accountability and transparency of U.S. global basic education programs to ensure our investments are working, and improve education services for girls and for children affected by conflict or emergencies.

We can still make good things happen, even in the current deeply divided political climate — but the Senate needs to hear from us. I'm hoping others will join me in calling or writing to Florida Sens. Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson and asking that they support the READ Act. Let's affirm that, as Americans, we still care deeply about improving the lives of children.

Beatrice Boles, Coral Springs

Anger isn't persuasive | Jan. 26, letter

Optimistic march

Obviously, the letter writer was not at the Women's March in St. Petersburg. I was. I did not see anger or yelling, and everyone's opinion was welcomed. We even saw Trump supporters. I did see lots of singing, laughter and optimism. It was the most productive march I have attended.

We know democracy is messy and requires input from the people. Maybe, instead of judging, the writer should come out and see for herself.

Mary Sheppard, Riverview

Democracy in action

I am one of the 20,000-plus people who participated in the Women's March in St. Petersburg. Contrary to the letter writer, it was a joyous, empowering group whose most "militant scream" was "love trumps hate."

It was democracy in action.

Roberta Rhodes, St. Pete Beach

Rules on pot fall short | Jan. 27, editorial

Respect voters' wishes

Access to medical cannabis (marijuana) is very limited due to the number of certified physicians, cost, pharmacy access and the number of conditions treated. The Florida Board of Health and the Board of Medicine want to restrict access even further. The 71 percent of us who voted for Amendment 2 stated it very clearly: Physicians may recommend cannabis for conditions similar to the 10 diseases listed in the amendment if the benefits outweigh the risks.

The Department of Health's tentative rules say that only they determine similar conditions — not your treating physician. We must speak up and demand what our supermajority asked for.

Jim Funk, Gainesville

Everglades

Build a reservoir

Florida is known for its natural beauty. Unfortunately, its waterways have recently been known for something else — toxic blue-green algae.

Luckily, there is a solution to this crisis by way of building a water storage reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee. During the 2017 legislative session, lawmakers will have the chance to act on such an opportunity and help to stop Florida from becoming synonymous with closed beaches and water that is not safe for anyone to enter.

John Hand, Ruskin

Comments

Thursday’s letters: On immigration there has to be a better way

‘Zero tolerance’ ignites outrage | June 20Find better way on immigrationOver the years I’ve voted for candidates from both parties. My observation of the Trump administration’s policy on immigration is not about politics. It has to do with having...
Updated: 4 hours ago

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...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/20/18

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